Shopping Bag
Works well with

Foundation Matching + Undertones Demystified

Author: Vapour Beauty Team
Foundation Matching + Undertones Demystified
Choosing a foundation presents the challenge of selecting a color that will harmonize with your surface skin and your subtler undertones.

If this sounds confusing–– you are not alone. We are going to demystify it and empower you–– Read on...

No one's skin is just one even color—surface color varies depending on what lies beneath and how thick or thin it is. Surface tone is variation on the top layer of the skin, such as redness on the cheeks or nose. Undertone is a color theory term describing how colors mix and whether they appear warm, cool or neutral. Knowing your skin’s undertone can be important when choosing a foundation shade.



Top Tips for Color Matching

“There may be cases where you want to neutralize extra surface pinkness (and not match it);  for this you’ll want to choose a foundation shade that is slightly more yellow to balance out the red,” Nicole Cudzilo, Vapour National Make Up Artist

An example of how a similar skintone can lean cool, neutral or warm.

So, how can you determine yours? Below are several pro-tips for determining undertone. These suggestions may not work for everyone— relax, experiment and don’t underestimate your natural preferences toward color in makeup, jewelry and wardrobe.

  • Jewelry
    Silver, white gold and platinum compliment cool undertones. Yellow gold compliments warm undertones. The metal that harmonizes with your undertones will give you a fresh, bright look. Neutral undertones are complemented by both silver and gold. 
  • Vein Color
    One common way to determine skin undertone is by looking at the veins on your inner wrist in natural sunlight. If you can see them and they look bluish, your undertone is cool, and if they look green or yellow then your undertone is warm. If they are a mix, or you can't really tell, then you probably have a neutral skin tone. 
  • White Cloth 
    First pull your hair back and put a white T-shirt, around your neck and shoulders. The white fabric will draw out a subtle cast of color in your face. Blue or pink indicate cool undertones, while yellow and peach indicate warm undertones. Neutral undertones tend to look greenish next to the white cloth.

When studying undertones, we found there is more useful information available for lighter and Caucasian skin, so we asked Vapour friend and MUA, Dionne Belle, for advice.

To identify undertones on darker skin, Dionne recommends looking under the eye (on top of cheekbones) and on the side of the palm because skin can be lighter there. She also says that wearing white clothes can be really helpful. “It’s important to look at yourself in natural light because artificial lights can change how the color of skin looks,” she says. When asked how she likes using Vapour makeup Dionne replied, “I love working with Vapour, the colors are beautiful and so forgiving. Vapour covers such a wide skin tone range; they really work for everyone.” 


How It Works

Our shapeshifting shades are designed to honor your individual skin tone—not mask it.  Multi-dimensional mineral pigments create a soft, semi-translucent veil that diffuses skin with light to allow your living color to shine through. Our shades include both warm and cool tones that optically adjust for a custom fit –– to be as unique as you are.



Scarlett wears Essential Daily Primer, Soft Focus Foundation in Shade 125S, Bronzing Powder in Eclipse, Lux Organic Lip Conditioner, Mesmerize Mascara in Jet.

< Older Post Newer Post >

1 comment

  • Sara Chwatt on

    I love how luminous foundation covers lightly and adds a glow!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.