When determining your model’s skin tone during makeup training or before applying makeup on a client it is important to be able to identify your client skin tone,  Some results may be confusing, so it’s important to use multiple tests and look at the common results to properly indicate the true underlying skin tone they have. Start by looking at your client’s clean face in natural light. If they have yellow, peachy, or golden pigments, they are likely warm toned. If reds, pinks, or blues are coming through, they are probably cool toned. If they have a mix of colours or you can’t tell, they are likely neutral.

A client’s skin tone helps you determine the best lipstick colour for them

Read on for a quick guide on how to determine your client’s skin tone!

1. The Vein Test

Possibly the easiest way to find out if a client is cool or warm toned right off the bat! In your first meeting, be sure to check the color of your client’s veins. But, you don’t want to be weird about it—imagine how creeped out you’d be if someone just grabbed your wrist! Let you client know what you’re doing—they’ll be impressed by your knowledge of skin and color theory, and they’ll learn a cool trick!

So, what should you be looking for in those veins? “Cooler” toned people generally have blue or purplish veins under their skin. This means that their skin has a cool undertone, which will enhance shades like purples, blues, and light greens beautifully. “Warmer” toned clients will have more of a greenish look to their veins, meaning they have warm undertones to their skin. Think of warmer colors, like red, orange, and yellow. These shades will pick up flawlessly on warm toned girls!

How to find out if your makeup clients are cool or warm toned


Asking your client if they burn or tan is an easy way to help determine their skin tone. If your client says they burn easily, they are likely cool toned. If they are able to tan easily, they are probably warm toned. They are likely to be neutral if they say they burn and tan, or if they burn but any burns turn into a tan quickly. Either way, remember to remind your clients to always wear SPF!

4. The Jewellery Test

Similar to clothing colors, your client’s choice of jewellery can help determine their skin tone. Since gold has a yellow tone to it, it falls in the “warm” area of shades. So if your client looks fab in her gold necklace and rings, she’s warm toned! On the other hand, silver stands out well on cool toned girls. It has a greyish white tint to it, which compliments cool tones extremely well.

Determine your client’s skin type and skin tone

And no—just because someone’s undertone is cool or warm does not mean they can only wear those types of shades. Your client’s undertone is most important for matching makeup products, since they lie directly on the face and blend into the skin! Give clients a few recommendations for lip and cheek colors to enhance their natural skin tone. They’ll love how invested you are in their beauty process!.

3.Natural Assets

Your hair and eye color can also give some indication as to your skin’s undertone. Generally speaking, (though there are exceptions) cool toned people have blue, gray, or green eyes and blonde, brown, or black hair. The warm-toned tend to have brown, amber or hazel eyes and strawberry blonde, red, brown or black hair.

5. The Paper Test

Find yourself a piece of blank white paper and stand in front of a mirror in natural bright light with no makeup on. Hold the paper up to your face – does your complexion look dull and yellowish? You may be warm-toned. Does the white seem to “lift” your face and make you look rosy and healthy? You’re probably cool. Notice absolutely no difference, or do you appear grayish? You’d be “a neutral”.

HINTS: the way undertones work when choosing a foundation is this: your skin will love the color that it compliments (ie. warm skin loves yellow-based foundation) and will “reflect” the shade that doesn’t. So, if you’re wearing the wrong tone of foundation for your undertones, it will tend to just look “wrong.”

But, it’s important to realize that when selecting the correct foundation, you only want a “hint” of that undertone.

A foundation that’s too pink, even on cool skin, will not flatter. Likewise, some foundations that market themselves as warm-toned can make some warmed-toned skins look far too yellow.


Not everyone fits neatly into an “undertone box.” If you’re still confused, or feel like you flit between both cool and warm undertones, then you’re probably neutral. Even if you’re very clearly cool or warm-toned, you may still find instances where it doesn’t work. Some warm-toned people do have blue eyes for example, and because of this, they look great wearing blue.

Ultimately, discovering what colors and tones makes you look your most vibrant self is the real key. Anything that lifts and highlights your own personal skin tone is the best choice for you.

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