The first step to knowing the color wheel is to understand undertones. There are two types: cool and warm. The colors grouped with these undertones are exactly what you would associate with their names. For example, red and orange are reminiscent of heat, so they are “warm,” while blues and greens remind you of the sea, therefore “cool.” Colors like yellow and purple fall into both undertones and can actually go either way. You can have a red-purpl
e or orange-yellow that’s “warm,” or a blue-purple or green-yellow that’s “cool.”
The second step of knowing the color wheel is understanding what colors complement each other. To do this, pick any color on the wheel and find the one directly opposite. For example: red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow. Easy!
There are a few ways to determine what skin tone you have. The easiest way is the vein test. Look at the veins on the underside of your wrist. Do they look blue? You’re “cool.” Green? You’re “warm.” Having a hard time deciding? You’re “neutral.”
Overall, understanding your undertone is the basis for choosing what other colors will look best on you.
When we are looking at makeup we tend to get colors simply in the wrong tones. Maybe it’s a pink lipstick or a charcoal shadow, but more often than not, the color ends up looking horrible on us. Makeup is an art form, and just like with painting, knowing the color wheel is so helpful for great makeup!