How to Tell if You Need Yellow- or Pink-Toned Foundation

by Melissa King

Foundation comes in dozens of colors, but only three main tones -- pink, yellow or neutral (where you are neither obviously pink- nor yellow-toned). Pink foundation suits those who have a cool skin tone, and yellow looks best on people with a warm skin tone. If you use the wrong foundation for your skin tone, it might make your face look ruddy or ashen. The right foundation tone blends in perfectly with your skin for a seamless and natural look. You can perform a few tests to find out what foundation tone suits you best.

1 Stand under a bright light and look at the underside of your forearm. If the veins in your forearm are olive or yellow, your skin has a warm, yellow tone. If they're bluish purple or blue, you have pink, cool undertones.

2 Look at the complexion of your skin. If your skin is pale, pinkish red, olive, brown with a pink undertone, or dark brown with blue or red undertones, you need a pink-toned foundation. A yellow-toned foundation complements skin that is tan, brown, dark brown or pale with golden undertones.

3 Look at your eye color. People with yellow-toned skin often have green, hazel, amber or golden-brown eyes. If your eyes are dark brown, black, gray or light blue, you probably have pink-toned skin.

4 Examine your natural hair color. If your hair is dark brown, black or ash blonde, you may look best with pink-toned foundation. People with black, red, golden brown, reddish brown or strawberry blonde hair typically have yellow-toned skin.

5 Hold up gold and silver jewelry against your skin. If you look better with the silver jewelry, you probably have pink-toned skin. People with yellow-toned skin look better with gold jewelry.

6 Think about how you tan. If you tan easily, your skin likely has yellow undertones. If you have trouble tanning and usually burn instead, you probably have pink undertones in your skin.

Tips

  • If you have a mixture of these traits, you might have neutral-toned skin. People with neutral skin tend to look good in both pink- and yellow-toned foundation.
  • Warm skin tones benefit from makeup colors such as bronze, gold, copper, peach and earth tones. Cool skin tones go well with silver, jewel tones such as blue and green, and magenta and gray.