It may not surprise you that there are certain metals that look better on you than others, but why is it that someone with your same skin tone can wear a certain metal and look great, but when you try on that same piece, its completely unflattering!? Well my fellow jewelry shopper, contrary to popular belief, the undertone of your skin is NOT the same as your skin tone! In this post, we break down the science of undertones so that you'll know for future purchases what metal compliments you best.
Skin tones are the color of your skin on the surface, but the undertone of skin is a different ballgame. The undertone of your skin is the color that lies underneath your skin, or the "tint" if you will. These undertones are usually divided into cool, warm, and neutral. This explains why you may have the same skin tone as someone, but your undertones differ, so metals don't look the same!
There's actually a couple ways to determine your undertone. One simple way to test your undertone is to check the veins on the inside of your wrist. If you see that they are bluish-purple, you have a cool undertone. If these veins have more of a greenish color, you probably have a warm undertone. If this color is somewhere in the middle, or you see both colors present, you have a neutral undertone.
Another way to test your undertone is to perform a foil test. Simply hold up a silver-colored foil to one side of your face, and a gold-colored foil to the other side of your face. If your face lights up with the gold, you have a warm undertone. If your face has more brilliance with the silver foil, you have cooler undertones.
If you have a cool undertone to your skin, your skin most likely have a pink shade to it. With these undertones, cooler metals such as silver, stainless steel, and titanium tend to compliment your skin. Scientifically speaking, your hemoglobin is the dominant pigment in cooler undertones.
With warm undertones, your skin probably has an underlying tan glow to it. For these undertones, gold-colored jewelry compliments the skins complexion very well. The pigment carotene is dominant in warm undertones.
And for those of you who fall into the neutral skin tone, you're a lucky part of the population that can pull off just about anything! Mixed metals also usually suit this undertone well.
Of course, none of this accounts for taste! We here at Alara encourage the bold, eclectic, and daring to step outside the trendy norms. If you have a warm undertone but you love titanium jewelry, wear it proudly. None of this means you have to start wearing different metals based on your skin tone. Odds are, you probably already know what metals compliment your skin and what you like.