Manicure Colour Basics 2 – Matching Colours to Skin Tones

Now that you understand that there are different kinds of undertone,
there is something that needs to be stressed. Skin tone, or undertone,
is different from complexion. Your complexion is on the surface. It
can be categorised in terms of fair, medium, tanned, etc.

Your undertone however is the glow that lies under your skin. It is
not determined by your complexion, meaning to say, it is possible to
have fair skin, and yet have cool or warm undertones.









It is easy to see that the three actresses above have a fair complexion but
it takes slightly more advanced knowledge to identify their undertones.

Cool – pink or rose undertones

Neutral – no obvious tone

Warm – golden or yellow undertones









Maybe Asians would make better examples. Placed side by side, it is easy to
understand that Lucy Liu has warm tones and Li Bing Bing has cool tones. Note
how Lucy Liu is wearing a white dress with gold earrings (warm complements)
while Li Bing Bing is wearing a silver dress with silver earrings
(cool complements).

Complicated? Yes. But once you’ve worked out your undertone, know that you
will never purchase something of the wrong colour again, for yourself or for
others. It becomes much easier for you to pick and match things, from jewellery,
dress and bag, to lipstick, hair colour, and, of course, manicure. It is no
longer a secret why certain hues make your skin appear dull while other boost
vibrancy. Let us see a breakdown with men as models.

Cool Undertones




















Warm Undertones




















Courtesy of

We can see the application on manicures by referring to this instructive guide

Cool Undertones







Fair Skin

Light and light-medium shades of pink and red will look good, but the shades that
work best for fair skin have a blue undertone. Silvers and gunmetal look great
too. Cool fair-skinned ladies should be careful with darker shades. Opt for a light
or medium blue rather than a navy. Avoid golds, yellows, and greens. If you insist
on dark, trim nails short; if green is a must, choose pale mint.







Medium Skin

Medium-skinned women can teeter between both warm and cool colors, but a paler
shade really complements this skin type. Suggest lavender, rose, mauve, and light
blue. If you’re in the mood for bold, true red is very flattering. Avoid black and







Dark Skin

Deep grape and berry tones give depth to cool dark skin. Cool gray, navy blue, bright
pink, and jewel tones are also gems. Yellows and greens should be avoided, along with
beige, orange, gold, and brown because they tend to make skin appear dull or washed


Warm Undertones







Fair Skin 

Warm pink and orange-based red look great on warm fair skin. If you are looking
for something darker, try dark corals, golden yellows, or opaque beiges with yellow







Medium Skin

Darker polish as well as bright and vibrant shades hold well against tan skin. The best
matches will be colors with obvious yellow undertones including gold, copper, caramel,
brown, and olive shades. Purple and bright coral are also classics.







Dark Skin 

Warm, dark skin is the most versatile tone and flatters just about any color. But deep
jewel tones like dark greens, purples, and burgundies, really stand out naturally and
look glamorous. However, both pale colors and bright colors provide an excellent
contrast as well. You can also try bronze, magenta, and fuchsia.

Courtesy of

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