There’s a good reason certain metal types suit you better than others. Read on and find out how to pick the right jewelry color for your skin tone!
What is Skin Tone & Why Does It Matter With Jewelry?
Your skin tone is not the same as your skin color, also known as overtone. Rather, it refers to the subtle undertones of your skin that come through no matter how the environment impacts your skin.
To get technical, the primary component in someone’s skin tone is their melanin content. We know that melanin also contributes to skin color, with more melanin resulting in darker skin color. However, in the case of skin tone, the more melanin you have the warmer your skin tone.
So why does skin tone matter when picking your engagement ring metal or other fine jewelry? It matters because different metals either clash or complement different undertones. Since the metal encasing your gemstones or diamond often rests directly in contact with your skin, it can have a major impact on how well your jewelry looks on you.
Most people fall into one of two undertone categories – warm or cool. A few of you may even be part of the neutral skin tone group.
Skin Tone vs Undertone
- Surface color of your natural skin
- It can change
- Categorized as light, medium, dark
- Muted color beneath your skin
- Cannot change
- Categorized as warm, cold, neutral
Skin Tone Categories
Light or fair skin tones tend to come from Northern European countries. People with paler skin are usually more sensitive to the sun and find they burn easily.
Medium complexions are typical of those of Southern Europe and Northern Asian descent. Usually, this skin tone is neutral and can tan well in the sun. Many people under the medium category have an envy-worthy olive skin tone.
Dark complexions typically originate from parts of the world that have the most exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as the Middle East, India, and Africa.
Your undertone is like the shadow of your skin that will always be there and never change. Cool, warm, and neutral are used to describe the different shades we find.
When applying make-up, the undertone of your skin determines what shade of foundation to use on your face, and it also helps us to understand which metal color is perfect to suit your unique skin tone.
- Cool tone: red, pink, and bluish hues underneath the skin.
- Warm tone: yellow and golden hues underneath the skin.
- Neutral tone: olive or a balanced mix of the above-mentioned shades.
How to Determine Your Skin Tone
Here are three ways to tell which skin tone category you fall under.
- Your Veins
Look at your veins under natural light and check their appearance under your skin. Under natural light, you’ll be looking at your undertones rather than your overtones. Are your veins blue or green? Are you even able to tell?
Well, if you can’t tell, you may be someone who falls under the neutral skin tone category. If your veins are blue or purplish, then you’re part of the cool tone group. Finally, if your veins are green, you’ll fall under the warm tone category.
- The Silver/Gold Test
If you have some jewelry lying around, try on some silver and yellow gold pieces and see which metal complements your skin better. If the silver looks better, it’s likely you have cool undertones. If you have warm skin tones, yellow gold will stand out as the better option.
Hint hint: At JamesAllen.com you can use our virtual try-on to see how well your favorite engagement ring looks on your hand AND you can try it on using different metal colors!
- Your Skin’s Reaction to Sun Exposure
When you’re out in the sun, how does your skin react? Do you tan easily or rarely experience sunburn? Or do you find your skin is easily burned and turns red quickly? Those who tan easily likely have a warm skin tone. If you burn easily you’re probably part of the cool tone club.
Buying The Right Jewelry For Your Skin Tone
Now that you know how to determine your skin tone and which undertone category you fall under, we can start to figure out which metal type is perfect for you.
If you fall in the cool category, white metals complement your skin the best. These include platinum, white gold, and silver. If you’re worried about whether your white gold jewelry will still stand out against paler skin, fear not. White metals shine just as bright as yellow or rose gold.
If your skin tone falls in the warm category, then opt for yellow gold or copper. Earth tones, such as rose gold, bronze, or black metals also look great on warm skin tones. Darker metals can really elevate your look, especially with statement pieces like diamond necklaces or tennis bracelets.
Finally, if neutral is your tone, then you can choose the metal you like best. Go with what makes you feel beautiful because every metal looks great on your skin!
P.S. Love rose gold? Rose gold is a neutral metal, so it looks great on everyone!
Just keep in mind, these guidelines are just that – a place to get you started in experimenting with which metals look best against your beautiful skin. At James Allen, we have all the tools and support you need to find and design the engagement ring of your dreams and the wedding rings you and your partner will cherish forever.
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Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.