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How to determine if you’re warm or cool skinned

Are you warm or cool skinned? Which colors of makeup will look best on you? Find out and follow these beauty tips!

“HELP! What colors will look best on me?” That is one of the most frequently asked questions I get asked as a makeup artist and colorist. The easiest and most simple, fool-proof way is to take the Warm vs. Cool Test. Determining which color camp you fall into may sound complicated, but it is based on color science. Once you’re armed with this knowledge, you can then determine what shades will look most natural or dramatic against your skin tone.

Warm skin -- Jessica Biel

Am I warm?

Warm complexions comprise about 75 percent of the world’s population with their golden glow. Think of the colors of the sun — golds, bronzes, coppers, oranges, russets, bricks — any color with a more predominant “yellow” undertone to them.

These colors look most natural on someone that is warm. However, that does not mean that you cannot wear cool colors, it will just look more vibrant against your skin.

Cool skin -- Anne Hathaway

Am I cool?

On the other hand, cool complexions comprise the other 25 percent of the world’s population, having pink, rose or blue tones to their skin. Think of jewels — amethyst, sapphire, ruby, emeralds, garnets etc., as well as the colors in ice — silver, blue and gray.

These colors will look most natural on someone that is cool. Cool undertones can venture into warm colors, but remember, they’ll look more dramatic on your complexion.

Red hot makeup

A red hot pout is a winter staple. And since we’re deep into winter, the age old question, “Which red works for me,” is posed with renewed interest. Now that you know if you have a warm or cool complexion, you can move forward by asking – do I want a natural look or do I want drama?

Red lipstick shades

Warm complexions should look for a brick red for a more natural look. To be bold, try a color with cool undertones, like an orange/tangerine red. For a lip that subtly dazzles, try a red lipstick that shimmers with gold or bronze flecks.

The most natural red for a cool complexion will be a blue-based or berry-red. For a deeper, more dramatic look, select lipstick in burgundy-wine shades.

My favorite reds can be found in an iconic Century of Red Palette that allows you to mix and match to create the perfect red for yourself.

More makeup tips

Makeup tips for redheads
Makeup tips for blondes
Makeup tips for brunettes and dark hair

Photo credits:, Adriana M. Barraza/

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