find out if you have a cool or warm undertone

Determining Your Undertone

Determining your undertone is the first and most crucial step in finding your perfect match foundation for any brand. The process can be greatly simplified by following the options below.

Option 1: Trial and Error

The easiest way of determining your undertone is by using the Goldilocks Method*:

  • Current foundation is too red/pink and is labelled cool? You're most likely warm.
  • Foundation is too sallow? You're most likely cool or neutral.
  • Foundation is just right? Take note of the undertone labelled on the bottle. That is your undertone. 

Most foundation brands have the undertone noted on the bottle. If not, look for words like:

*The one exception to this method is Mac who switches the definitions of warm and cool. A Mac NW foundation corresponds to Cool in this and most other brands while NC corresponds to Warm.

Option 2: Check Your Neck

Shine your phone's flashlight onto your neck and take note of the color. If you're fair, look for light yellow and pink tones. If you're medium to dark, look for a golden, olive, or red cast. For reference take a look at the following celebrities and their corresponding tones:

Image by David Shankbone
Kim Kardashian: Olive Toned (Warm Medium)


 Beyonce: Caramel (Warm Dark) 


Image by David Shankbone
Margot Robbie (Pink Toned: Cool Light)


Image by Disney ABC Television Group
Viola Davis: Red Toned (Cool Deep)


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