Makeup Consultation 101: Is Your Client Cool or Warm Toned? - QC Makeup Academy

Using the right makeup products on your client can make or break the final look. You need to choose products with undertones that will enhance your client and give her a gorgeous glow! As a makeup artist, the first thing to find out about your clients—besides their names—should be what type of skin tone they have.

It takes a well-trained eye to be able to determine the undertones and type of a client’s skin just by looking at them. So how do you find out what their skin is like in just a few short minutes?

Read on for a quick guide on how to determine your client’s skin tone!

1. The Vein Test

Possibly the easiest way to find out if a client is cool or warm-toned right off the bat! In your first meeting, be sure to check the color of your client’s veins. But, you don’t want to be weird about it—imagine how creeped out you’d be if someone just grabbed your wrist! Let your clients know what you’re doing—they’ll be impressed by your knowledge of skin and color theory, and they’ll learn a cool trick!

So, what should you be looking for in those veins? “Cooler” toned people generally have blue or purplish veins under their skin. This means that their skin has a cool undertone, which will enhance shades like purples, blues, and light greens beautifully. “Warmer” toned clients will have more of a greenish look to their veins, meaning they have warm undertones to their skin. Think of warmer colors, like red, orange, and yellow. These shades will pick up flawlessly on warm-toned girls!

2. The Sun Test

An easy question to ask, but not always the best factor, is determining a client’s real undertone. Basically, if a client tends to burn or go pink in the sunlight, then they are cool-toned. If your client mainly tans when they go out in the sun, they’re warm-toned.

Now, you can take this test with a grain of salt—it comes down to how the client sees themselves, as well as how good their memory is. They might have a bit of both areas, which means they fall somewhere in the middle. Best to take them onto the next test…

3. The Color Test

Remember those shades we were talking about before? The ones that looked good on your clients? Use them to find out what their skin tone is!

If your client looks really good in purples and blues, they will be cool-toned. Or if they absolutely glow when they wear their bright pink and orange dress, they’re probably warm-toned. There are those lucky ladies who look good in anything and everything—these clients are easy to work with because their skin will look great with any shade!

4. The Jewellery Test

Similar to clothing colors, your client’s choice of jewelry can help determine their skin tone. Since gold has a yellow tone to it, it falls in the “warm” area of shades. So if your client looks fab in her gold necklace and rings, she’s warm-toned! On the other hand, silver stands out well on cool-toned girls. It has a greyish white tint to it, which compliments cool tones extremely well.

And no—just because someone’s undertone is cool or warm does not mean they can only wear those types of shades. Your client’s undertone is most important for matching makeup products since they lie directly on the face and blend into the skin! Give clients a few recommendations for lip and cheek colors to enhance their natural skin tone. They’ll love how invested you are in their beauty process!

Up your game as a makeup artist and refine your color theory! Find out how to use color-correcting concealers on every client.

Author Katie Deck

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Katie bowden says:


    I am very interested in your online makeup course, would you send me some information please.

    Many thanks

    • Katie Deck says:

      Hi Katie!

      Thanks for your interest in our courses – we can definitely send you more information! I’ve emailed you a detailed description of how the school and courses work 🙂
      You can also find more information about each course on our website. Our course outlines tell you what you’ll learn in depth. You can also find out about how it works, your student discounts, as well as where you can go in your makeup career!

      Feel free to get in touch and contact us any time with your questions!

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