Prom is just around the corner, and you know what that means! Prom dress shopping. With so much riding on your special night, you want to make sure you’re looking stylish. Prom colors are just one of many factors that go into an epic prom outfit, but as details go, they’re an important one.

Different colors suit different skin tones, but how can you know which one suits yours? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s a primer on color and skin tone: how to determine your skin tone and which colors suit each type.

How to Determine Your Skin Tone

Certain colors suit certain skin tones, but you’re not going to have much luck figuring out which suit yours if you don’t know your own skin tone!

There are two main tones you should take into account when choosing which colors suit your skin: the surface tone and the undertone. Both will play a part in determining which colors look best on you, and different combinations of either can give you wildly different recommendations.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you determine both of these tones.

1. Analyze Your Skin Surface

The surface of your skin will give you an idea of your skin surface tone. This is the color that people will use to describe your skin, be it light, dark, black, or brown.

2. Look at the Color of Your Veins

Looking at the color of your veins is one of the best ways to determine your skin’s undertone. Roll up your sleeve and examine the color of the veins in your wrist. Are they blue or green? If your veins look blue, you likely have cool skin undertones. If they’re green your skin likely has warmer undertones.

3. Look at the Irises of Your Eyes

Examining your eye color is also a great way to help you determine your skin undertones. If you have blue, gray, or green eyes, you’re likely to have cool skin undertones. Conversely, if you have brown, hazel, or amber eyes, you likely have warmer undertones.

4. Try on Silver and Gold Jewelry

Generally, people with cool undertones will look better in silver while those with warm undertones will gravitate toward gold. Take a look at your jewelry and determine which you prefer.

5. See How Your Skin Reacts to Sun

The final way to figure out your skin’s undertones is to see how you react to the sun. If you burn easily, odds are you have cool undertones. If you tan easily, you likely have warm undertones.

It’s possible to have light skin and warm undertones just as you can have dark skin and cool undertones. If you have fair skin that burns easily, then you likely have cool undertones. Those with medium/dark skin who burn and then tan probably also have cool undertones.

Complementing Your Surface Tone

There are some colors that will work well across specific surface tones. Here’s a good cheat sheet for complementing your surface tone.

Dark Surface Tone

Bold, bright colors will really pop on darker skin tones. Try jewel tones, such as turquoise and emerald green to really stand out in a crowd.

Pastels are another great choice for darker complexions, working to complement the darker tone of your skin. Try to avoid black and other deep tones as they won’t give your look enough contrast.

Light Surface Tone

If you have light or fair surface tone, then pastels are your best friend. Pastel blue, mint green, periwinkle, heather gray, and baby pink will all work to complement your skin tone without overwhelming your look.

Medium Surface Tone

If your complexion is described as olive, you likely have a medium surface tone. Earth tones and metallics will best-complement your skin. Try gold, forest green, mustard yellow, or browns for the best effect.

Complementing Your Undertone

Certain colors work best on specific undertones. Here are a few options for the different types of undertone.

Warm Undertones

If you’ve determined you have warm undertones, you should gravitate toward earth tones. These include reds, yellows, and browns. Steer clear of icy shades and jewel tones like blue and purple.

Cool Undertones

If you determine you have cool undertones, then blues, purples, and greens are your go-to colors. You should avoid yellows and oranges.

Complementing Both Your Surface Tone and Undertone

Things can get a little tricky when it comes to complementing both your surface and undertones. As a general rule of thumb, you should look to your surface tone to help you determine the shade of your dress and then your undertone can help you decide on the color itself.

For example, if you have dark skin, you’ll look great in bold colors. If you have cool dark skin, then you should err towards bright blues or silvers. If you have warm dark skin, then a bright yellow or red will work to best complement your skin.

Look to Your Wardrobe

When in doubt, look to your existing wardrobe. Odds are you’ve gravitated toward colors that complement your skin tone already.

Look for common color trends among your favored items – do you wear a lot of yellow? If so, that might indicate a potential prom dress color. Also, take note of your most complimented items – if you garner the most compliments when wearing your favorite red jacket, then red is likely a good pick for your prom dress.

Prom dresses 2020 will reflect the tastes of the wearer. Don’t underestimate your instinct for picking colors that already match your skin tone.

Pick the Right Prom Colors

Prom is an important right of passage, so you want to get it right. Step one: a rocking prom dress. Now you know everything there is to know about prom colors and skin tone. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to picking the right prom dress and taking your prom by storm.

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