Ever notification that some colors simply seem to make you glow?

You can know that you look an excellent in blue since it matches her eyes or think the you “can’t” undertake red since you’re a redhead. However have girlfriend noticed the there are certain blues that in reality wash you out? Or a the shade of red lipstick that appears to elevator your totality face?

That’s the weird and magical power of color.

Not every blues and also reds (or greens, or yellows, etc) are created equally. Us all have our best blues or our best reds. The distinctions can be ethereal if girlfriend don’t recognize what you looking for.

You are watching: How to determine what color looks best on you

Wearing your ideal colors can save you time, money, and also energy, and make you look healthier, younger, and an ext vibrant. Learn about all the benefits of Color analysis here.


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While I offer done-for-you Color evaluation services, I know not everyone has the budget to hire a professional. Don’t fret! you can gain a pretty great idea the your best colors if you invest some time evaluating yourself. In this short article I’m going to present you specifically the actions to take it the very first steps come figuring the end your finest colors.

Where come start?

While there room several components that go into which colors look ideal on you, the best place to begin is with your undertone (and overtone). Figuring out this item alone way you can get rid of almost fifty percent of the colors, making shopping double as easy.

In component 1 that this 2 component series top top Color evaluation (sometimes referred to as “Seasonal shade Analysis”), ns going to define “overtone vs undertone”, provide you 5 ways to determine your undertone, and also what to execute if you’re truly “neutral.”

In component 2, I’ll give you the run-down on the other 3 important facets of your an individual color analysis: depth, chroma, and contrast level, and also show you just how to identify yours.


If you’re new here, ns Missy of streamlined Wardrobe, an Ethical an individual Stylist & Capsule Wardrobe Curator. I aid ambitious, eco-conscious womxn who desire to look great, feel confident, and also simplify their lives.

Find much more information about an individual style, capsule wardrobes, and color evaluation over on Instagram. Girlfriend can additionally download my free 10-page overview to defining your personal Style.


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As the name suggests, her undertone is the color that is under the skin (not come be perplexed with overtones). Anyone undertone sits somewhere on the spectrum that cool (more blue) to warmth (more yellow.) i say it’s a spectrum since it is—some human being are obviously richly warm and also some are really icy cool, but most room somewhere in the middle, and also a couple of are true neutral, a perfect balance of warm and also cool.

Once you know your undertone, you can eliminate any colors that have the opposite undertone. You have the right to see wherein all the color in the spectrum sit on the color wheel in this graphic.So, if she warm, girlfriend can get rid of all the colour on the cool side, and if you’re cool, remove warm colors.

Note: True red, green, blue, and yellow are technically global or "neutral" colors.

Overtone Vs. Undertone

It appears pretty straightforward, yet world often battle with undertone. I get it— sometimes it’s obvious, however other time it can be pretty tricky, particularly for those with very fair, olive, yellow, or black skin tones. A the majority of this difficulty can be defined by the confusion roughly overtones. Before we go any type of farther, let’s breakdown the necessary difference in between undertone and overtone utilizing the graphic below.


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A intuitive explanation the overtone vs. Undertone, and also how the two work-related together to create countless different skin tones.


At the top, you have the right to see a gradient from warm (yellow) v neutral (red) come cool (blue.) You could think the neutral should be green due to the fact that it"s in between yellow and also blue, but so is red. Go earlier to the shade wheel. You’ll check out that red is additionally directly between blue and yellow; it’s just that you need to go the other means around the color wheel (see shade wheel above to see what i mean). The factor we use red and also not eco-friendly here is since no one has actually a environment-friendly undertone. (If right currently you’re thinking that olive skin has a environment-friendly undertone, simply wait. I’ll explain olive skin in a moment.)

Now, below the shade gradient, you"ll check out 4 bars of common skin overtones overlaid on height of the undertone gradient. You can see the someone with much more pinky overtones and warm undertones results in a peachy skin tone, like Blake Lively, conversely, someone with pink overtones and also cool undertones outcomes in a much more porcelain skin tone, favor Emma stone or Lucy Liu. Over a neutral undertone, you get a much more pure pink, prefer Madelaine Petsch.

Similarly, if you take it a much more yellow skin overtone and also overlay that on a warmth undertone, you gain a very tawny skin tone, favor Gwyneth Paltrow, conversely, if you overlay a yellowy overtone over a cool undertone, you acquire what we call an "olive skin tone,” prefer Sarah Jessica Parker (because yellow + blue = green, favor an olive.) Yellow overtone end a neutral undertone provides you one orangey tan, prefer Eva Mendes.

Take a depths brown skin tone: on height of warmth undertones, you acquire a caramel or love husband color, like Mindy Kaling or Naomi Cambell, and also over cool skin tones you get more of a chocolate, choose Lupito Nyong"o, or taupe, choose Zoe Saldana.

Common Misconceptions

Aside native olive skin believed to have either eco-friendly or warm undertones, over there are number of other usual misconceptions around skin tones. One is the Asians have actually warm undertones since their skin is often described as "yellow.” However, you have the right to see that eastern people deserve to sit anywhere on the spectrum, from Mindy Kaling to Olivia Munn come Lucy Liu. Another is that black or an extremely fair skin is always cool. This graphic shows you that civilization of any kind of overtone (white, yellow, pink, brown, black) deserve to have either cool or warm undertones.


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This is just one of the most basic tests to conduct on yourself, despite it’s not constantly easy come interpret. You just look at the veins on your wrists or under your eyes to watch if they appear to be an ext purple/blue (cool) or green (warm).

2. Organic Hair Tone


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This can be tricky for those of us who haven"t watched our herbal hair color in little bit (this to be me because that years). If that"s you, watch at just your roots and brows, or try to find photos of you yourself with natural hair roughly the period of 20 (our hair transforms a lot of in our early childhood and teens, commonly darkening together we acquire older; top top the other hand, hair can start to walk gray together we age, therefore looking back we desire to uncover a good example of ours hair at it’s “peak” color.)

To determine whether your hair is an ext cool or more warm, asking yourself: “Does mine hair have any type of "golden" tones? Or would I describe it as "ashy"?” If it has actually warmth, your undertones are most likely warm, yet if it’s an ext ashy, climate you’re most likely cool. (Jet black and also platinum blonde space usually cool.)

Note: Red hair is tricky! you’d think the orange being a warm shade that redheads would have warm undertones, yet that’s not constantly the case. If her hair is bright orange or strawberry blonde, you’re probably warm. If it’s an ext auburn, you could be cool. Redheads have to not depend on the hair color test alone.

3. Gold or Silver


Hold up gold and also silver jewelry beside your face. Which one makes you look at brighter and healthier and which one renders your skin an ext yellow, red, uneven, or gray? If yellow jewelry provides you a lift, you"re warm. If silver is better, you"re cool.

4. Ideal Neutrals


Compare warm and cool neutrals to your skin, put on no makeup. Check white matches cream, gray matches camel, and also black matches brown. If girlfriend looked ideal in white, gray, and also black, she cool. If you looked best in cream, camel, and also brown, climate you’re warm.

Note: if your hair is colored, sheathe it v a white towel or sheet.

5. Eyes


Eye color alone doesn’t have actually much bearing on even if it is you’re cool or warm. Blue eye don’t automatically mean cool just as brown eyes don’t instantly mean warm. What you desire to look because that is the high quality of the color and also the functions of the eyes. If you have actually brown or golden flecks or starbursts, it is an indicator the you have some warmth undertones. If her eyes show up smoky, icy, or prefer shattered glass that shows cool coloring. If the tone of the eyes can be described as “golden,” “turquoise,” or “honey,” that often means warm. If the tone might be described as “icy,” “chocolate,” or “grayish”, the usually way cool.


What about neutral?

Like i said, it’s every a spectrum. We’re individuals, and also our color is made up of a lot of different factors, some warm and also some cool. Some world are truly appropriate in the middle. If friend struggled v the over tests, either unable to determine cool or heat or if you identified warm in half of them and also cool in the others, you can be truly neutral or close come neutral ~ above the spectrum. If that’s you, stick come colors that room neither overly warmth nor overly cool, but somewhere in the middle. An ext than likely, you’re not rather dead center, yet lean slightly to one side or the other, which way you can wear colour that space in that half of the spectrum, yet will look ideal if you stick closer come neutral. For example, if you decide you skinny warm however are close to neutral, you deserve to wear noþeles from warm to neutral, but will look ideal in warmth tones that room not too many warm and also have some neutral basic to them.

See this graphics for examples of colour that space cool, neutral, and also warm.


What’s next? uncover your Depth, Chroma, and also Contrast

Now that you know your undertone, you can make much better decisions around what colors to wear, particularly near your face.

That said, if you struggled v undertone but you nothing think she neutral, it’s feasible that what was actually throwing friend off was something else…

In component 2 that this 2-part series on recognize your ideal colors, I present you just how to determine your depth, chroma, and also contrast. This three aspects of your an individual coloring impact the types of color (and shade combinations) that make you look your best.


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Now that you understand your undertone, here’s exactly how to recognize the appropriate level of depth, saturation, and contrast to look for so the your clothing don’t overpower you or to wash you out.


Ever wonder what hair shade will look finest on you? In this comprehensive guide, i walk friend through everything from skin undertone vs overtone, just how to discover yours, and also what to carry out if she neutral.

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The hatchet "Color Blocking" simply way wearing several solid colored items in different hues. It deserve to be just 2 colors or a few. It might seem scary come try, but it"s in reality pretty straightforward if you monitor a few guidelines.