Determining your undertone

The essence of working out what colours work for you is determining whether you have a cool or warm undertone to your skin. This will determine whether blue based or yellow based colours work best on you. From here you can then fine tune that knowledge to determine what value works better on you, lighter or darker, and what clarity works best on you, softer or sharper.

This might sound quite complicated but isn't that bad if you break it down and you can always get a colour analysis done if you really aren't sure! On this page we are going to look at how to determine whether your skin tone is cool or warm. I have read about many different ways whilst learning how to do colour analysis, so I'll give you the most common ones:

Silver and gold

The method used by colour analysts is to sit you in natural light in front of a mirror and hold up a piece of silver cloth and then a piece of gold cloth.

If you have a cool undertone the gold will give you a yellowy greenish colouring under your chin, in extreme cases almost making you look jaundice. Whereas silver will make your skin shine.

If you have warm undertones the silver will make you look very pale almost grey, but the gold will give you that healthy shine.

If neither of the colours seems to make a difference, then your undertone could be quite neutral meaning you can wear any of the colours but often your other colouring such as your hair and eyes will make one set of colours enhance you more than the others. So, you will need to read through the season sections to determine which one best describes you.


Another method that I have read about is to use the colours of your veins to determine your undertone.

Looking at the veins around your wrists, if they are a blue or blue-purple colour then you are most likely to be cool, if they are greeny then you are most likely to be warm. The theory being that blue blood looks green because you are seeing them through a yellow undertone.

If you have a mixture of blue and green then you could be neutral.

Skin colour

Cool skin is pink, or blueish, and tends to burn before tanning. Warm skin is literally that warm, olive, golden or peachy and tans really quickly.


People with cool skin tend to look better in silver jewellery and those with warm skin look better in gold jewellery. Most people subconsciously know what colours look good on them and tend to wear clothes and jewellery that works with their skin tone. It works the same way as the silver and gold cloth but is much subtler!

So, has that helped you determine what undertone you are?

If not check out my Pintrest board for some graphics, or get in touch for a colour consultation

What now?

Now that you have determined your undertone you are on the way to determining what season you are and within that what value and clarity looks good on you.

If you are cool then you are going to be winter or summer, and within that you can be:

  • Cool Winter
  • Clear Winter
  • Deep Winter
  • Cool Summer
  • Light Summer
  • Soft Summer

Move on to the determining your cool season page for more details

If you are warm then you are going to be spring or autumn and within that you can be:

  • Warm Spring
  • Light Spring
  • Clear Spring
  • Warm Autumn
  • Deep Autumn
  • Soft Autumn

Move on to the determining your warm season page for more details


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