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How to use Colour Theory

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

I am sure most of you have heard about colour theory.

You've probably mixed red with yellow and produced an orange... but I am speaking about a different colour theory.

Everybody has a colour to their skin, and they know their colour pretty well - but what most people don't know, is that your skin also has an undertone and an overtone.

What is an undertone colour of the skin?

You've probably heard of people saying 'you have a cool undertone', or a 'warm undertone', or a 'neutral undertone'. What this means is, what tonality your skin colour falls into.

This is very important when selecting coloured cosmetics.

It's the colour that lies under the colour of your skin. It's affected by your genetics - so Brazilian people tend to have warmer undertones, but their skin colours are different.

Which undertone am I?

You cannot tell what the undertone of your skin is at first glance, but here are a few ways to identify if you are cool, warm or neutral:


  • Your veins appear blue

  • You suit silver jewellery more than gold

  • You look better in blacks than browns


  • Your veins appear green

  • You suit gold jewellery more than silver

  • You look better in off-white rather than pure white


  • Your veins are turquoise (mixture of blue and green)

  • You suit both gold and silver jewellery

  • You look good in pure colours

What affects your skin's undertone?

  • Oxygenated and deoxygenated blood vessels

  • Skin thickness

  • Melanin concentration

  • Carotene

How to apply colour theory?

So, now that you know which undertone your skin has, you can make smarted decisions when shopping for coloured cosmetics.

Here is a list of colours or shades which should suit your skin undertone:

Warm tones

  • Red

  • Orange

  • Yellow

  • Gold

  • Peach

  • Terracota

For cool toned skin:

  • Purple

  • Blue

  • Green (cool toned)

  • Silver

  • Pink

  • Slate

For neutral tones:

Honestly, anything you fancy! But it is not recommended to mix extreme cool and warm tones. Stick to pure colours.

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