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What is Warm Skin Tone?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 21, 2024
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Warm skin tone is a term used in cosmetics to describe a person with yellow or golden undertones to his or her skin. Knowing whether skin is warm or cool can help define what type of colors, jewelry, and even hair color will help complement a natural skin tone. There are several ways to tell if skin is warm or cool.

One easy way to tell warm skin tone from cool is to look closely at veins in the arm. If veins appear more green than blue, the person typically has a warm skin tone. If veins appear more blue than green, the person is often considered to have cool skin. Vein checking only works on skin types where veins stand out enough from skin color to be easily noticeable.

Another way to determine if skin is warm or cool is by holding up swaths of gold and silver fabric next to the face. A warm skin person will almost always look more vibrant, colorful, and lively with the gold fabric. Silver fabric can make warm skin appear washed out or yellowish.

Choosing the best colors for a warm skin tone will vary from person to person. Most of the time, anything with a yellow undertone will compliment warm skin, while colors with blue or pinkish undertones may not make skin look its best. That does not mean that a person with warm skin tones must avoid cool colors entirely. Depending on hair and eye color and complexion, some people with warm skin can still look smashing in cooler colors.

Sometimes, people with warm skins are referred to as autumns or springs, based on several different skin tone analysis systems that use seasons to suggest the best colors for a person's complexion. People with an “autumn” warm skin tone look best in bold reds, golds, oranges, and leaf greens. Those with a “spring” complexions still use yellow-toned colors, but look best in muted shades like olive, warmer pinks and reds, and even some dusty lavenders and aqua colors.

In terms of hair color, people with warm skin tend to look best when using dyes that have a golden or copper base. Some experts recommend avoiding dyes that are listed as ash or have maroon red undertones. Many available hair dyes and highlighting kits will say whether they are for warm or cool skin tones; some common names for warm-enhancing colors include words such as golden, caramel, bronze, and copper.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for BeautyAnswered. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon132547 — On Dec 07, 2010

ColdRain- Sorry to say this, but you are wrong about dark skin not having yellow or golden undertones. Ethnic skin color comes in a variety of shades and not all are created equal. Caramel, Golden Brown, and Medium Brown do have warm undertones. Ebony, from my knowledge, is the only complexion that carries a cooler undertone.

By ColdRain — On Aug 31, 2010

heart297-Warm and cool skin tones are usually only used to classify people with fair skin. People with dark skin do not typically have yellow or golden undertones in their skin, which is what they use to classify a warm skin tone.

By beachgirl05 — On Aug 31, 2010

Do only people with fair skin have either warm skin tones or cool skin tones? It is possible for African Americans to have a warm or cool skin tone?

By sunflower34 — On Aug 31, 2010

heart297- No, there are typically not makeup products designed for people with warm skin tones. However, as it states in the article, there are certain makeup colors that people with warm skin tones look best in.

By heart297 — On Aug 31, 2010

Are there makeup products that are specifically designed for people with warm skin tones?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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