The same piece of jewelry can look a little different on everyone. Why? Certain gemstones and metals are more flattering against some skin tones than others.
By learning what works best with your skin type, you can shop for jewelry with greater confidence, knowing that the end result is sure to look fantastic.
Determining Your Skin Tone
Before you begin shopping for your jewelry, take a moment to determine your skin tone. Although the surface color of your skin can change in response to sun exposure, rosacea, or extreme temperatures, its undertone always remains the same. To identify your skin’s underlying tone, see which of the following categories you fit into:
Warm: If you tan easily and tend not to burn, then your skin probably has an olive or yellow warm undertone. If you are of African American or Indian descent, then you most likely fall into the warm skin tone category--although some deep ebony skin tones can have a cool, bluish undertone instead.
Cool: If you don’t tan well and are prone to burning, then your skin likely has cool undertones (pink, or bluish-red). If you blush easily, then it’s a sure sign that you have a cool skin tone. If your skin doesn’t seem to fall into either category, then you may have neutral undertones. Neutral skin blends well with most colors, making jewelry, clothing, and makeup shopping a cinch.
The Skin Tone Test: If you aren’t sure which category your skin falls into, then try looking at the veins on the inside of your wrists. If your veins appears greenish in color, then your skin has warm undertones. If they appear purplish or blue, then your skin has cool undertones.
Matching Skin Tone & Metal Types
Yellow Gold: If your skin has warm undertones, then you will likely look best in yellow gold, whose rich, gentle hues will complement your skin flawlessly. For a look that flatters your skin to perfection, combine your yellow gold with champagne diamonds, citrine, peridot, rubies, chocolate topaz, and garnets.
Rose Gold: Rose gold can look great with both warm and cool skin tones alike, suiting those with olive and pink undertones to perfection. A gorgeous metal by itself, rose gold needs no ornamentation, but goes beautifully with morganite or pink diamonds.
White Gold: White gold suits cool skin tones best, flattering pink and bluish undertones. To complete your look, wear white gold jewelry set with emeralds, turquoise, blue topaz, or purple tourmaline. When in doubt, go with diamonds, but always avoid stones with yellow undertones.
Two-Tone Gold: If your skin tone falls in the neutral zone, then you can’t go wrong with two-tone gold. Since neutral skin works well with a wide spectrum of colors, the world of gemstones is your oyster. As with warm and cool skin, neutral skin is sure to look fantastic against the sparkle of a diamond.
Oxidized Silver: Oxidized silver creates a great, vintage look, and is used by many jewelers and artisans. Oxidized jewelry can work for both cool and warm skin tones depending upon the extent of the oxidization. While heavily oxidized pieces work best with warm skin tones, lightly oxidized pieces can complement cooler skin tones.
Naomi Janelle Shaw is an online journalist, beautician, and mother of three. Follow her on Facebook