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How To: Find Your Undertone


We’ve all been there: You’re testing foundation after foundation, trying to find the right color. But no matter what shade you pick up, it looks a little bit off—too ashy, too peachy, too sallow—and nothing feels juuust right. 

If this sounds like you, we’re willing to bet that you’ve overlooked a crucial step in your quest for the perfect shade: finding your undertone. Once you’ve determined whether your skin has a pinkish or yellowish cast, you’ll be able to find the perfect shade for all your makeup. And we’ve got a ridiculously easy trick to figure it out.

Remember learning about primary colors (yellow, blue, and red) in elementary school? Here’s a quick refresher: If you mix two of them together, they create an entirely different shade.

Now, take this concept and apply it to your skin. It works the same way when you look at the veins on your inner wrist—they should look either more purple or more green. If you’re seeing purple, that means that you have rosy undertones—the red of your skin plus the blue from your veins makes purple. If you have yellow undertones, your skin tone will combine with the blue from your veins to create green. Simple as that! 

Now that we’ve got that all figured out, we’re one step closer to finding your perfect shade. One of the quickest ways is with our new feature Find Your Shade. Here, you’ll see nine people from the Birchbox community with different skin tones and undertones, along with a detailed list of the products that work for them, from concealers to tinted moisturizers and beyond. 

Here are two examples to help give you an idea:


Deepica has yellow undertones. Some products that work with her skin tone are BECCA’s Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation in Bamboo and Alison Raffaele True Concealer in Skintone 5.


Kerrie has rosy undertones. Some products that work for her include BECCA’s Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation in Noisette and Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream in Warm

To see all of the other products that work for Deepica, Kerrie, and other women, check out the category page

If you’re still having trouble deducing your undertone and need a consult on which product is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Discovery Specialist at, or tweet @BirchboxOps!


Have more customer or product related questions? Find out all the insider deets on how to get the most from Birchbox in the Special Ops column.

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