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Jewellery colours to match your skintone (and undertone)

How to choose jewellery to match your skin tone (and undertone)

When ordering jewellery online, it makes sense to concentrate on picking colours and tones based on what you love, but sometimes picking the right finish can be tricky. Since many retailers offer the same design in gold, rose gold and silver colour finishes, how do you decide which one is best for you?

Ultimately, if you have a clear preference for one colour over another, it doesn’t really matter what you decide to get. 

However, if you’re struggling to decide between metals because you love them all or if you’re purchasing a gift and are unsure about which metal will best suit the recipient, this guide will help you to discover the tones that are right for you (or your loved ones). 

Why is Skin Tone Important?

Since jewellery generally rests against your skin, naturally it makes sense that one of the biggest factors that affect how it looks on you (other than the design) is your skin tone. If you’ve ever wondered why a silver necklace that looks so amazing on your friend doesn’t look quite the same on you, it could be down to your skin tone. 

Much like wearing makeup and your favourite colour clothing and hijabs, wearing the ‘right’ colour of jewellery can really highlight your features by bringing out your skin tones, and even the colour of your hair and eyes; whereas colours that clash with your skin tone can have the opposite effect, making your skin look dull, tired or ‘washed out’ in comparison.

This is why looking at skin tone — and more importantly your skin’s undertones —  is so useful in helping you determine which metal will suit you best.

What is Skin Tone and Undertone?

Your skin tone is the overall skin colour you can see at first glance and can change throughout the year due to tanning and other various reasons.

Your undertone is the ‘hidden’ colour just beneath the surface of your skin that affects your overall hue, and unlike skin tone, your undertone doesn’t change.

There are three general undertones of skin: warm, cool and neutral (often seen listed in foundation shades) and while the skin on your face and body is rarely just one colour, your overall tone determines which category you belong to.

So, you need to look at your general skin tone together with your hair and eyes, as well as how your skin behaves in the sun. If your skin tans easily and rarely burns, then it means you have a warm skin tone, whereas if you struggle to tan and your skin burns easily then you’re likely to have a cool skin tone. 

How Do You Determine Your Undertone?

Once you have a general idea about your skin tone, you can look at your undertones. Determining your undertone is easier than you think, and here are some ways you can do it:

  • Look at the colours you see

  • Look at your skin in the mirror in natural daylight and observe what you see. Do you see hints of yellow or pink, or does your skin have an olive tinge to it? Warm undertones tend to lean towards peachy, yellow or golden tones, whereas cool undertones lean towards pink, red or blue. If you have a mixture of these colours you’re likely to have a neutral undertone. 

  • The vein test

  • One of the easiest ways to determine your undertone is to look at the veins in your wrist in daylight. Veins that appear green or olive indicate you have warm undertones, whereas if your veins have more of a blue hue or even a hint of purple, your undertones are cool. If you see a mix of both colours, or if it’s hard to tell the colour, then you may have neutral undertones. 

  • The white paper test

  • You can use a white item of clothing (or even a sheet of paper) to help bring out your undertones. In bright daylight, hold the item up to your neck and chest area. If your skin looks pink or rosy by comparison, it means you have a lot of cool undertones in your skin. If your face looks more yellow, your undertone is warm. 

    You can also compare how you look in white versus cream coloured clothing. If you feel you look better in creamy tones rather than bright white, that's a good indicator that you may be warm-toned. If you can wear both colours without feeling like you look washed out or tired, you may have a neutral undertone.

  • Gold versus silver test

  • The colour of jewellery also helps determine your undertones easily. The colour that makes your skin look visibly more radiant and healthy by comparison is the one that will indicate your undertone and the one that is most likely to suit you best. If gold makes your skin look healthy, you’re warm-toned, whereas if silver complements your skin better it means you’re likely to be cool-toned. 

    If you can’t tell or if you feel both colours make you look good, it’s likely that you’re neutral.

  • Colour/tone of your clothing

  • We all have certain colours and particular shades that we know look really good on us. These are the colours that when worn, often get us the most compliments too. In contrast, the colours that clash or do not compliment you are likely to make you feel washed out and garner (unwanted) comments such as ‘you look tired today!’ 

    Pay attention to the shades that suit you. Bright blues, greens, and deep purple tend to look good on cool undertones. Pastel tones such as lilac, light pink and mint also look amazing. 

    Warm jewel tones such as ruby, deep blues and emeralds, as well as earthy tones such as orange, copper and warm browns compliment warm undertones beautifully. 

  • The colour of your eyes and hair

  • Though this isn’t always the case, your hair and eyes together with your skin can also help create an overall warm or cool look. Warm skin tones generally tend to have brown, hazel or green eyes, with brown, red or black hair. If the hair is blonde it tends to be a warmer, deeper shade of blonde. Cool skin tones tend to have blue or green eyes, with icy blonde, ginger, brown or black hair.

    So Which Metal Tone Suits Your Undertone Best?

    Now that you have a good understanding of your undertone, the rest is simple. People with a cool undertone are more likely to look the best in light and white metals, such as silver, white gold, platinum, rhodium and stainless steel, whereas those with a warm undertone will always look good in warmer metals such as yellow gold, copper and brass. In other words, cool-toned metals will always work with cool undertones, and warm-toned metals will always look good with warm undertones.

    Those with neutral undertones benefit from being able to suit all tones equally and so it just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

    And what about rose gold? As rose gold leans more towards the warmer spectrum, it works very well with those with a warm to neutral undertone, and in particular, it really helps to bring out a softness in warm skin tones. 

    Cooler tones can also wear rose gold, however if you have a lot of red undertones in your skin you may wish to avoid it as rose gold can accentuate the pinkness. Undertones with a lot of green/olive may also find that rose gold contrasts too much against the skin and may prefer to opt for silver or gold-toned jewellery instead.

    Also important to remember is that the colour of rose gold jewellery can vary greatly depending on which retailer it’s purchased from. Some rose gold jewellery is very pink and so may not look good with red undertones, whilst other rose gold jewellery is a lighter, softer hue of pink which can be more flattering for all undertones. 

    Our Final Thoughts When Choosing Jewellery

    We hope this guide helps you with your jewellery purchasing decisions. However, it’s also good to remember these guidelines are not set in stone and there are other factors to also take into consideration - like your personal style. For example, you may prefer silver-toned jewellery to compliment your edgy, street style look, or you may opt for gold because it gives your classic attire a more elegant look. And if you don’t like to limit yourself to just one tone, you may prefer to mix your metals together for an effortlessly chic, modern and on-trend look.

    Ultimately, whatever you decide to choose, the best jewellery is always chosen for how it makes you feel when wearing it. A beautiful piece of jewellery that not only looks good but also makes you feel good will always be special to you, no matter what the metal or colour!

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