As a child, one of the first times I noticed the plethora of shades that skin comes in is when I was introduced to cosmetics. Trotting down the well-lit aisles, I slowly examine the lipsticks, eyeshadows, mascara, and then the foundation. I wondered why companies manufactured so many colors because to the naked eye people didn’t look that different (to me, there was just light, tan, and dark). As I scan the bottles, I notice that the shades are in order from dark to light with each shade just a few steps darker than the next.
As I got older and began to shop for makeup, I noticed that some shades also had an undertone, most commonly either yellow, pink, or olive. This was the first time I actually examined my skin tone; I wanted to know what makes my skin unique.
Why do I need to know my skin tone?
Knowing your skin tone may not be as important as knowing your name, address, or blood type but it can come in handy at times.
The most obvious reason for identifying your skin type is to be able to select the right shade of makeup. You could visit a makeup counter and leave it all to a “professional,” but those jobs are 70% sales and some artists are stronger at selling then applying makeup. Foundation and concealer are both used to cover imperfections on the skin, so they have to match your skin tone as close as possible. Purchasing the wrong shade can create a line of demarcation, making your face appear different than your body.
Besides helping you pick a worthy foundation or concealer, determining your skin type will help choose shades of eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick. When selecting these items they must compliment your skintone, otherwise they may become a distraction. Have you ever seen someone with a nude that was too pale for their skin? The color totally washes them out and gives a zombie-like feel.
Boost your wardrobe
Styling yourself can be hard because certain styles provide comfort. Almost all women can say they have a favorite look whether it be all black, tribal prints, or leather detailing. Determining your skin tone can help you pick better pieces the next time you shop. You’ll be able to discover new colors that compliment your look and bring forth hidden features. Skin tone can also determine the type of jewelry you wear. Dark tones look stunning in yellow gold while pale tones can appear discolored in the same piece.
Choose the perfect hair color
Have you ever wanted to make a drastic change and dye your hair but are lost on which color will work best? Well, knowing your skin tone can help you pick colors that will compliment your appearance. When shopping for color, you’ll notice that there are many types of browns, blondes, and reds, which can be confusing. All of these shades have their own undertone, and it must mesh with yours to flourish.
How to determine your skin tone
Now, it is time to look at your skin tone. Begin by moving to a brightly illuminated room and grab a mirror. A take a good look at your skin and determine if you are fair, light, tan, or dark. Once you have decided which category you fall in, it is now time to look at undertone. Undertone is the color that lies beneath the shade of your skin. Most people can determine their undertone by applying pressure on their skin with a finger. If the area turns yellow when pressed, you have a yellow undertone, the same holds true about a pink undertone.
People with an olive undertone may find it hard to detect. Olive skin is often mistaken for golden skin, but there is a slight difference. People with Indian roots often have olive undertones. There aren’t too many makeup companies that cater to olive tones, although brands are now catching on. If you aren’t able to find makeup shades with olive undertones using cosmetics with a yellow one will also work.
What your skin tone tells you about skin care
Skin care products are typicallycategorized by type instead of tone which makes sense, but your skin tone can determine what step you take for healthy skin.
Those with fair skin are the most sun sensitive because their skin contains the least amount of melanin. Melanin helps protect the skin against ultraviolet rays, so it doesn’t get burned easily. Fair skin is very hard to tan so many people use a self-tanner. Fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration are bound to happen to those with this type of skin sooner than others, so using anti-aging products and sunscreen is a must.
Light skin is a bit more protected from the sun than fair, but it can still burn with ease. Those with light skin may get a small tan, but it can fade away after only a few hours. If you have light skin, you should focus on protecting the skin from aging and the sun.
Tan skin has more melanin so it won’t burn very quickly, but it will tan fast. This type of skin should still focus on aging and sun protection, but they may not have to begin as early as those with light or fair skin.
Dark skin is the most protected from the sun since it contains the most melanin. Dark skin has a tendency to reproduce faster, so the skin stays supple. The downside to the high reproduction rate of skin cells is that dark skin is more susceptible to scars and keloids. Those with deep skin should focus on exfoliation and sun protection.