The Viral Hack That Will Teach You How To Find Your Undertone Once And For All

If you've dipped your toes into the realm of beauty, color analysis, or makeup, you've likely heard the term "undertone" being thrown around before, but do you really know what it means? Regardless of your skin's level of pigmentation, everyone falls into one of three — or four, depending on who you ask — undertones: Cool, neutral, warm, and olive, which is sometimes lumped in with warm. This tone is the color under your skin, not the actual color of your skin, so even if you're a cool undertone with a tan, you don't automatically switch over to warm.


Finding your undertone is the secret key to determining what hair colors, makeup shades, and clothing choices will look the best or most harmonious with your skin. Sticking to products and colors that fall into the same category will allow you to pick tones that complement your skin, resulting in an overall more natural look, even in bold shades. Finding this undertone, however, can be a bit tricky, especially if you feel like you fall in between categories. Thankfully, TikTok creator and makeup artist MAJ Beauty has shared an incredibly simple hack to help you find your undertone, and it all lies in your hands.

The hack

In her TikTok, MAJ Beauty reposts and reacts to a moment in a video on YouTube by makeup artist Scott Barnes. In it, his model is having trouble determining her skin's undertone ahead of their planned makeup look, so Barnes asks her to stick out her hand in the shape of a fist. By looking at the tones in her knuckles, he was able to easily determine that she had a warm, or yellow, undertone.


To do this yourself, follow the same process on your own hands in neutral lighting. If, when you ball your hands into fist, your knuckles appear more yellow, you have a warm undertone. If they seem pink, you're cool. If you find yourself stuck in the middle or have a mix of both, you're likely neutral. If you're still having a bit of trouble, ask a friend to do the same thing, then compare the colors to get more of a baseline idea of where you fall on the spectrum.

Why this hack works so well

Other methods for finding your undertone involve determining what jewelry colors look best on you, looking at the veins in your arm, and comparing your face to a stark white and off-white t-shirt, but all of these options leave a lot of room for personal preference, incorporate the tones in the face, or can be more difficult to see on darker skin tones.


Determining your undertone from your face is doable if you have perfectly clear, redness-free skin, but acne, irritation, and skin conditions like rosacea can throw you off and make you think you're cooler-toned than you really are. Going for the veins on the arm is also a popular option, but skin with more pigment often makes this area more difficult to accurately read. With the knuckles, however, you get a precise view, away from the redness of the face, that works on every skin color.