What Are Your Most Flattering Colors? | Here’s How to Figure It Out

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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woman in brown sweater and in green sweater

We all feel better in some colors than we do in others, but did you know there’s a way to figure out your most flattering colors once and for all? It’s true! Some colors are just more complimentary to certain skin tones than others. It all has to do with whether or not your skin has warm or cool undertones.

Last week I was on my Instastory talking about my favorite shade of plumping lip gloss. I talked about how my favorite brand differentiates between warm and cool shades right on their website, making it easy to pick out your perfect lip color with confidence. (And helping you avoid that situation we’ve all fallen into—where you buy what seems to be your perfect shade at the grocery store, only to get home and realize it looks terrible on you! ????) #suchabummer

As I was recording my Instastory, it occurred to me that some of my Instagram followers might not know if they have warm or cool undertones! So I put up a poll, asking my Insta followers if they’d like to see a blog post that would help them figure it out. The response was an overwhelming “yes!” So here we are!

Understanding my skin’s undertones and figuring out my most flattering clothing and makeup colors has given me confidence as I shop. Today, I’m going to help you figure out yours and hopefully give you a big confidence boost! I’m going to break it down and make it simple.

Your Most Flattering Colors: The Tests

First of all, think of your skin as having two layers. The undertone is the second layer. Everyone either has a cool (pink) or warm (yellow) undertone. I have warm undertones. 

If you’re not sure about your answers on these tests, call in reinforcements! Text your mom, your BFF, or your daughter and ask for their thoughts. ????

The Hair Test

Do you have red or auburn hair? You probably have warm undertones.
Is your natural hair color black, or did you go gray very early? You probably have cool undertones.

The Family Test

What were your parents’ natural hair colors? My handsome daddy was a redhead in his youth! I was never a redhead (I always longed to be!), but I do have auburn tones, and I did inherit the fair, warm undertones that often go with red or auburn hair.

The Vein Test

Look at the veins on the undersides of your wrists. If they appear blue, you probably have cool undertones. If they look more greenish, you probably have warm undertones.

The Tan Test 

I know we all try our best to stay out of the sun, but way back in the day when you oiled up with baby oil and soaked it up (We all did it! ????????), did you tan or burn? Cool undertones burn. Warm undertones tan (although they may burn slightly at first).

The Clothing Test 

Do certain shades brighten up your complexion, while others make you look tired or emphasize the dark circles under your eyes? Which colors snag you the most compliments? If you look better in blue, pink, and black or white, then you’re more likely to have cool undertones. If you’re better in brown, gold, olive green, or orange, then you probably have warm undertones.

Suzy’s Tip: Be careful here! We’re not talking about your favorite colors. For example, I adore pink. When I wear it, I feel pretty and feminine. But pink is generally a cool color, so it’s not the best for my warm complexion. I still wear it, but I look for peachier pinks or pinks with brown undertones. And if I’m speaking somewhere, or making an event appearance, pink is not the color I choose.

The Jewelry Test

Which looks better against your skin, silver, or gold? If it’s silver, you have cool undertones. If it’s gold, you have warm undertones.

Suzy’s Tip: Again, we’re not talking about your favorite jewelry colors, but the most flattering against your skin.

Your Most Flattering Colors: What To Do With This Information

Some colors are strictly warm-toned (like brown and cream) or cool-toned (like black or white). As someone with a warm complexion, I will always look better in browns than blacks.

Brown Tie Waist Tunic Sweater | Snake Print Leggings | Brown Booties (similar) | Handbag | Safety Pin Earrings (less expensive similar style HERE)

 

This tie-waist tunic sweater is also available in red for you cool-complexioned girls. It fits TTS, is still available in every size, and now it’s under $30! Tie-waist anything is a huge trend for spring & summer, and this figure-flattering, lightweight tunic sweater is perfect for the transition into spring. My snake print leggings were such a fun find this fall, and I always get compliments when I wear them! They’re not clingy, and they’re somewhat stretchy, but know that they’re not as stretchy as your workout leggings. The Circle Clutch handbag I’m carrying was gifted to me by Karama, a non-profit whose mission is to alleviate poverty by restoring dignity through creative, purposeful work for African artisans. Take 20% off your purchase from Karama Collection with code EMPTYNEST20. #lovethem

Ruffle Neck Cotton Sweater | Black Ankle Slacks | Black Flats | Black Faux Fur Clutch (similar) | Necklace | Earrings

 

In most color families, some shades can vary based on their specific undertones. Let’s take the color green, for example. The green ruffle neck sweater I’m wearing in the “WRONG COLOR” photo at the top of this post and above, is “wrong” for my warm complexion because this specific shade of green has cool blue undertones. A better shade of green for warm skin would be a shade like olive, which has yellow undertones.

My ruffle neck cotton sweater is no longer available in green, but I’ve linked all of the available colors above. My ankle length slacks are from NYDJ. They stretch out during the day, so order a size down. The necklace and earrings were gifts from Karama. Take 20% off your purchase from Karama Collection with code EMPTYNEST20.

 

Makeup

When it comes to finding the most flattering makeup for your skin tone, there are a few brands that make it easy. They tell you specifically which shades they created for warm or cool complexions! #sohelpful

FoundationIt Cosmetics CC+ Cream is a beauty blogger favorite, and I’ve been using it for years! It’s full coverage, has mineral-based SPF 50+ sunscreen to protect your skin, and it features micronized light-reflecting pigments to illuminate your skin without any kind of shimmer or sparkle! The best thing about it, though, is that every shade indicates if it’s meant for warm or for cool complexions, so it’s pretty mistake-proof! I’m fair, and I wear “Light” (made for light skin w/ warm yellow undertones). Check out the entire line HERE.

 

city lips lip shades
Photo courtesy of City Beauty.

Lips – You already know I love the awesome lip plumping glosses and non-drying matte lip colors at City Beauty! I so appreciate that the brand does the work for me and tells me which shades work best on my complexion! My favorite shade is “Sun Diego” (a warm-toned pink with a slight golden shimmer). A few weeks ago, I ordered the warm pink “Watermelon” shade because I was looking for a pinkish color for spring that would work with my skin. It arrived this week, and sure enough, it’s perfect. Click HERE to see all of their glosses and HERE to see all of their non-drying matte shades.

Blush – When I was researching this post, I searched high and low for blush palettes that were specifically made for either warm or cool complexions! I stumbled upon a brand called Morphe, and I ordered their warm blush palette to check the pigment quality. (If a blush has poor quality pigmentation, it will fade out too quickly.) I was impressed, and at just $22 for eight shades, it was a good value! ???????? Click HERE to check out their warm blush palette and HERE to check out their cool blush palette. (Or click the corresponding images below.)

 

EyeshadowMorphe also makes eye shadow palettes that feature shades specifically for warm or cool complexions. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’ve ordered the warm palette. (And I love the $12 price!) Click HERE to check out their warm eyeshadow palette and HERE to check out their cool eyeshadow palette. (Or click the corresponding images below.)

 

I hope this post will give you confidence as you make your fashion, accessory, and makeup color choices! But I also hope you don’t limit yourself based on what you learned!

Remember, you can wear any color you want! Even though my complexion is warm, I wear black all the time! (And you know I’ll never stop wearing pink! ????) Most importantly, remember that true beauty comes from the love in your heart, the smile on your face, and the encouraging words you use to bless others. ????

Happy Valentine’s Day, precious friends. ❌⭕❌⭕

Blessings,

 

 

 

Photos of me by Megan Weaver.

SHOP MY LOOK

 

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14 Comments

  1. Suzy! So helpful! I needed this review and had no idea make up came in warm vs cool tones too! I have heard good things about Morphe so I will try it out. I always learn something here! Happy Valentines!

    1. Julie,
      That makes me so happy! Thank you for the kind words! You are so sweet.
      xoxo Suzy

  2. This was a great post Suzy! I had always had a hard time figuring out if I was warm or cool with just the vein test, so the other options helped me figure out I’m cool????!

    1. Lynette,
      Yay! Go out and buy all the black and white you see!!! I’m so happy you enjoyed it and learned once and for all! That thrills me to no end! Thank you for sharing!
      xoxo Suzy

  3. Very helpful information about picking the right colors for your skin tone. I love IT cosmetics CC cream too! Need to try the lip gloss, thanks Suzy!

    1. Cynthia,
      I’m so happy you found it helpful! You are so welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment!
      xoxo Suzy

  4. Very informative, I always felt I had warm undertones and really do see a difference when I wear cool colors. It really is more flattering to stick with colors that suit you best.

    My Best,
    Nancy

    1. Nancy,
      You’re so right! I wear every color, but it’s so helpful to know they ones that flatter
      me the most! I’m so glad you liked it!
      xoxo Suzy

  5. Wondering about gray hair. I used to have auburn hair and I think warm undertones. A coral or salmon color was great for me. Also browns, etc. I think coral colors still look good but it’s confusing with gray hair because pinks and blues also look good. Any suggestions? My husband and I couldn’t really tell by my veins either.

    1. Sue,
      I’m not 100% sure about that, but typically people with gray hair have more of a cool complexion. That said, your skin undertones shouldn’t really change over time. I know people who have colored their hair and all of the sudden none of the colors that used to work on them work now! It’s common! The makeup I linked to isn’t expensive, so you might want to purchase one of each and give it a try! Please let me know what you figure out! If you feel pretty in both, warm and cool, then go for it!
      Thanks for your comment, Sue, and I’m sorry I wasn’t more help!
      xoxo Suzy

  6. Thank you for this post! I just read it and I’m so glad you explained several ways to tell if we are warm or cold, plus the colors and products you mentioned that help us make better choices. You are always so good to do the research.
    I do think we must have some crossover colors, but maybe it is due to the tones in them? I am a warm, but red seems to be a good color I can wear plus I like it on you, too. AND, I still think you looked pretty in that emerald green!????

    1. Martha,
      Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and learned something. Yes, I do think things can change somewhat as hair turns gray, etc., but I basically think our undertones stay the same. Crossover colors can work, based on their undertones. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
      xoxo Suzy

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