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What Color Jewelry Should I Wear? How to Match Jewelry to Your Skin Tone

Just like you want to know how to complement your face shape, it’s equally important to understand what jewelry is going to go best with your skin tone. Now, when you’re sticking to the classics, like gold rings for women, you’re pretty much good no matter who you are. 

Gold and silver tend to look good on everyone, but still, some people are going to look better in one than the other. If you want to expand beyond the classics of gold and silver, especially, it’s of the utmost importance to know your skin tone and its undertones before investing any money into new jewelry.

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Understanding Skin Tones and Undertones

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Skin Tones

Skin tones are much more obvious (and much easier to understand immediately) than undertones. Your skin tone is simply the surface color of your skin. It’s as easy as that and requires basically no Googling to figure out. 

In general, skin tones are going to be categorized into one of four sections: fair, light, medium and dark. For some people, it can be a bit difficult to differentiate whether they’re fair versus light or medium versus dark. If you’ve gotten a good summer tan or you’ve in any way had the color of your skin altered, it can be a bit tricky to know which of the two you’re in. Generally, the jawline is the best place to look when determining which of the four options you are.


Even if you’re in between skin tones, it’s still pretty easy to figure it out. Undertones, however, can be a bit more complex. Undertones are divided into three categories: warm, cool and neutral. Unlike skin tones, undertones (as the name suggests) are below the surface of the skin. Undertones are what determine the shade of your skin’s color rather than the color itself.

How to Determine Your Skin Tone and Undertones

How to Determine Your Skin Tone and Undertones

Determining Skin Tone

For many people, it’s pretty easy to tell which of the four skin tones you are. Really, all you’ve gotta do is look. That may sound silly, but it’s that easy. However, if you’re not obviously in one of the four, you’re not out of luck.

As we mentioned earlier, the best place to see your natural, unadulterated skin tone is your jawline. The jawline usually doesn’t take in as much sun and is generally less affected by color changes than the rest of your face, so it’s the best place to start. Wash your face well and dry it off beforehand to get the best read on your skin tone.

If you still aren’t sure, consult your friends. Seriously, it may sound odd, but it can work. You’ve looked at your skin your whole life and, ironically, that may make it difficult to pinpoint which category you fall into. Your friends should be able to give you an objective look and help guide you into the right category.

Determining Undertones

Undertones are a bit more complex to figure out, but they also have more options to help you determine. 

The simplest option is just to grab some jewelry and try it on. Do you have everyday jewelry in both gold and silver? If so, you’re set. If not, you want to borrow some. Put on something in gold and see if it looks good on you. Then, put something on in silver and do the same. If the gold looks more flattering, you have warm undertones. If the silver looks more flattering, you’ve got cool undertones. If they’re both good, you have neutral undertones.

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Now, if you don’t have access to both gold and silver jewelry at the moment, you aren’t out of luck. You likely have veins. Most people do. Take a look at your veins and note the color. Purple and blue veins tend to indicate the presence of cool undertones. Green ones tend to indicate the presence of warm undertones. If you can’t really tell the color, chances are you have neutral undertones.

Not satisfied with either of those? Time to acquire a sheet of white paper. Get a blank piece of white paper and put it next to your face. If your skin looks yellow next to the paper, chances are you’ve got warm undertones. If your skin looks pink (or, at least, pink-ish), you probably have cool undertones. 

The color of clothing you select can also tell you a lot about your undertones. If you wear a lot of blue and find that flatters you, chances are you’ve got cooler undertones. If you enjoy yellow and other warmer colors, there’s a good chance you have warm undertones. Granted, that’s assuming you know how to identify colors that look good on you in general, but we’re guessing you do. If not, once you identify your undertones, you can find the colors that flatter you!

Last, but not least, how well do you do with the sun? People with neutral to warm undertones are more likely to tan without burning. If you step outside and come back fried, you probably have cool undertones.

Why Does Undertone Matter?

Well, it’s not the end of the world if you wear something that isn’t the most flattering for your undertones. In fact, the really fashion-forward can probably get away with it easily. However, if you aren’t well-versed in fashion, you can wash yourself out or make your skin look too warm accidentally by selecting something that doesn’t maximally complement you.

Of course, you don’t have to throw away your silver jewelry now that you realize you’re a warm undertone. You can still use pieces that don’t complement you as much. You just want to tastefully mix them in as an accent to the pieces that do complement you the most. That way, you’re utilizing your undertones and adding depth to an outfit, all while getting to keep the pieces you already have. Win-win!

Can Your Skin Tone Change?

So, in short, yes. You may see some tanning and darkening of your skin during the summer and then lightening during the winter. That’s pretty normal. However, your undertones won’t change. This is why it’s important to understand whether you’re warm, neutral or cool, so you can look your best year-round!

How to Match Your Jewelry to Your Skin’s Undertone

How to Match Your Jewelry to Your Skin’s Undertone

In fashion, you often want to focus on deliberately balancing opposites against each other. For example, someone with pale skin is going to have a harder time pulling off white and an easier time pulling off a dark gray. However, when it comes to jewelry, you want to match the tone of the jewelry with the undertones of your skin.

Warm Tones

Warm tones are going to look best in warmer colors. Good news, warm tones — you can pull off trendy styles, like rose gold wedding rings, as well as classics like yellow gold! In general, you want to lean towards warmer colors as well as earth tones. Your style should lean towards reds, browns, ambers and gold. Really, anything in that sort of Desert Southwest color palette is going to look good on you. For jewelry, any sort of gold is going to be your look.

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Neutral Tones

Neutral tones are the round face shape of the undertones world. Basically, you can pull off everything, and you’re lucky you can! If you’re stuck between a gold or silver engagement ring, well good news: you can pull off gold as easily as you can pull off silver. Really, you want to determine which jewelry you choose based on the rest of your outfit. If you haven’t started diving into the world of fashion, now’s the time. You’ve been given a gift from the style gods, so you might as well use it and create a fun mixed metal ring stack or wear necklaces in different finishes.

Cool Tones

Cool tones are going to look best in, you guessed it, cooler and more subdued metals. Silver is going to look great on you if you’ve got cool undertones. You want to lean into blues, silvers and black. Modern trends like matte black and tungsten rings are going to look fantastic on you, and you’ll find yourself looking best in cleaner and more minimal styles.

You don’t have to concern yourself with your skin tone as much as your skin’s undertone. Your skin tone will be a large factor in your undertones, but pretty much any skin tone can pull off any metal (so long as you pay attention to the undertones).

Find Forever Pieces You’ll Love to Wear

Find Forever Pieces You’ll Love to Wear

That’s really all there is to it! Once you determine your skin’s undertones, the jewelry world is your oyster. It’s not just the jewelry world that opens up, either! Broadly, the worlds of clothing and makeup will also become demystified because you know how to utilize the colors that look best on you.

If you read this and wonder, “What if the color I like doesn’t match my undertones?” — fear not. You can still look good in colors that don’t traditionally go with your undertones. All of this is just a guide that’ll help you figure out what looks best on you. Just because gold may look best doesn’t mean silver will look bad, so don’t stress. Wear what you like, and wear it with confidence!

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Image Credits

Sunward Art/