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Choosing the Best Colour for your Skin Tone

Every woman wants to look their best and feel confident in what they are wearing. This is especially so with swimwear. So what is the best colour swimwear for your skin tone? While we all love wearing our favourite colours; did you know that not every colour will flatter your skin tone? Although you can wear whatever colour you like, some colours will make your hair and skin seem duller than other colours.  The trick to finding the perfect colour bikini or swimsuit, that really makes you stand out from the crowd in all the right ways, is to choose colours that complement your skin tone – rather than clash with it. To find out the colours that best complement your skin tone you first need to understand skin overtone and undertone. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds!  We’ve created a guide demystifying skin ‘overtone’ and ‘undertone’ so you can pick exactly the right coloured swimwear for your skin tone and shine in the sunshine or shimmer in the pool.

Know your skin tones

What is skin overtone?

Skin overtone is simply the colour of your skin. Are you light, medium, or dark-skinned? There is a whole spectrum out there, with multiple shades from fair to deep. This depends on the amount of melanin pigment in the skin and is determined by genetics. It determines how much your skin will tan in the sun. To make sure that your skin really glows, you need to choose colour shades that create the right amount of contrast with your skin overtone. For example, stronger shades work best with light skin. The stronger contrast won’t leave you looking washed out like pastel shades will – these are too close to your natural skin colour.  Whereas pastel shades look really stunning against darker skin.

What is skin undertone?

The undertone is literally the muted colour that lies under your skin. The undertone is crucial as it defines how your natural skin reacts to certain colours. Undertones fall into three categories, warm, cool, or neutral. There are several ways that you can find out your undertone and knowing this will help you to choose the swimwear colours that will let your natural beauty shine through. Your undertone will remain the same despite sun exposure.

How to find your undertone

The Vein Test

Look at the veins in your wrist or inner arm. Are they green, or blue or purple colour? If you have green veins and your skin has a yellow or golden tone to it then you have warm undertones. If your veins look blue or purple and your skin looks pinkish then you have cool undertones. Is it difficult to determine whether you are warm or cool? A mix of both warm and cool undertone indicators means that you have a neutral undertone.

  • Warm – Green veins with a yellow, golden undertone
  • Cool – Blue or purple veins with pink undertones
  • Neutral – A mix of warm and cool traits

The Paper Test

Cleanse your face and remove all traces of makeup and lotion and wait for 15 minutes. Using natural light, hold a piece of white paper next to your face and look in the mirror. If your skin has a yellow tint next to the paper your skin tone will be warm; your tone will be cool if it looks slightly blue or rosy. If your skin is not noticeably yellow or blue, then your undertone is neutral. Our faces can show sun or wind damage that may give a false reading so as an extra check, hold the paper next to your chest or neck and look again. 

  • Warm – Yellow or golden tint to the skin
  • Cool – Blue or rosy tint

The Jewellery Test

Try on some gold, then silver jewellery. How do they look against your skin? Do you look brighter wearing gold or silver? If gold jewellery suits you best, then you have warm undertones; if silver suits you better then you have cool undertones.

  • Warm – Gold
  • Cool – Silver

The Best Swimsuit Colours for your skin tone

Our favourite top tip is – Choose swimwear colours that contrast with your surface tone and complement your skin’s undertone.

Colour Wheel

The easiest way to see the best colours for your skin tone is to look at a colour wheel. There is a clear divide between warm and cool colours. A warm undertone will glow in colours from the warm half of the colour spectrum; cool colours are similarly flattering on those with a cool undertone. As a mix of both, a neutral undertone can wear almost any colour and look amazing. The rule of thumb to finding the right shade is to make sure that you have a clear contrast with your overtone. With a neutral skin tone, this is even more important as you have more colour choices that will look great on you.

Swimwear Colours for a Warm Skin Tone

The best choices for a warm skin tone are vibrant, earthy colours and neutrals. Dark browns, bronzes and oranges, olive greens, warm deep reds, mustard yellows, amber and golds and mocha and taupe; will all highlight your warm undertones. Choose deeper, darker shades if your overtone is very fair and avoid lighter shades and pastels that will blend into your skin. If your skin is on the darker end of the overtone spectrum peach and creamy coral colours will also complement a warm undertone. Remember it’s all about creating that contrast between your skin tones and the colour of your swimwear so that your skin glows. Avoid cool colours.

  • Choose- Earthy Hues
  • Avoid- Cool colours and lighter earthy shades and pastels if you have a fair overtone

Swimwear Colours for a Cool Skin Tone

When choosing your bikini go for cool colours on the blue-green spectrum. Deep jewel colours, sapphire blues and navy, indigo and plum purples, through to raspberry pinks and ruby reds, will intensify those beautiful cool undertones. Rich emerald greens look especially amazing on you. Try to avoid warm hues.  If you have very fair skin with cool undertones, again, avoid the softer tones like lavender, cornflower blues and lilac pinks as they won’t contrast enough with your overtone. Conversely, these muted tones and colours, like cool mint or icy aquamarine, can look really stunning if your skin overtone is darker.

  • Choose –Blues and cool greens to blue-reds on the colour wheel
  • Avoid – Warm colours, also muted tones if you are very fair

Swimwear Colours for a Neutral Skin Tone

Most colours will enhance a neutral skin tone as you are a combination of both warm and cool tones. Congratulations, you have the widest choice of flattering colour options as you can choose from both sides of the colour wheel! One piece of advice though, with this undertone avoid opting for anything too bright or overly warm or cool as it will overwhelm, rather than enhance that natural beauty. Remember you are the balanced tone between warm and cool skin tones so you will look best in a hue with a more neutral base. Faded pastels of any colour on the spectrum like jade green, dusty pink or mid-greys are all great choices. And…don’t forget to pick the right amount of contrast for your overtone; if you’re pale a lighter shade is best; if you’re darker-toned you can go bolder.

  • Choose– Any colour, have a play with all that choice!
  • Avoid – Really bright hues. Stay closer to middle ground colours.

Now you’re ready to start shopping for all the different swimwear that complements your skin tones and playing around with all those amazing colours and shades. Check out our Body shape articles for some advice and top tips on the best styles of swimsuits and bikinis for your body shape.