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Decoding Your Skin Undertone: Unravelling the Mystery of Blue vs Green Veins on Your Wrists

Updated: 24 hours ago

Are your veins blue or green (or a mix of both)?


Although it may seem trivial, but the colour of your veins is key to unlocking flattering makeup shades and clothing colours for your skin’s undertone.


A close-up of a hand and lower wrist resting on a table, with neutral undertones and blue and green veins.
Blue vs green veins - what do you see?

To understand your skin’s undertone, we must first decode whether the veins on your wrist are blue, green or blue-green in colour. This simple, yet enlightening method is one such test we conduct, to determine your skin’s undertone. Understanding your skin undertone is essential for finding beauty products and choosing fashion choices that truly enhance your natural beauty. 


The colour of your veins can indicate whether you have a cool, warm or neutral skin undertone. If you have cool undertones, your veins will have a blueish-purple colour to them. Whereas, your veins will look green if your undertones are warmer. Although, if your veins have hints of blue-green, then you likely have neutral undertones.


By identifying your skin’s undertone, you’ll be one step closer to choosing the right makeup shades; hair and clothing colours for you. Fancy glowing from within?


So, stand outside or in an area with natural daylight and take a closer look at your wrists. By understanding the significance of blue vs green veins, you can unravel the mystery of your skin’s undertone and make more informed beauty and style choices.


Contents:



 

Understanding Skin Undertones:


Understanding your skin undertone is the crucial foundation to creating a balanced and harmonised look with your natural colouring. Whether your veins appear blueish-purple, green or blue-green indicates whether you have cool, warm or neutral undertones. Cool undertones typically have blueish-purple veins; warm and olive undertones green veins and neutral undertones blue-green veins with a mix of warmer and cooler undertones. By identifying your undertone, you’ll begin to effortlessly choose the right makeup shades, hair and clothing colours to suit you.


However, the concept of undertones goes beyond your skin’s surface and veins. Whilst your skin tone is the colour seen on your skin’s surface; your skin undertone is the subtle hues that lie beneath the surface. Your skin’s undertones can greatly impact the way that colours appear on you.


Undertones are categorised into four main types: cool, warm, neutral-cool and neutral-warm. Cool undertones generally have hints of pink rosiness or beige underneath the skin, (or red-blue in darker skin tones). Whereas warm undertones have yellow, peach or golden hues. Neutral undertones, as the name suggests, have a balance of both warm and cool tones, with no stand out colour. Although neutral-warm undertones are associated with warmer colour seasons (Spring and Autumn) and neutral-cool with our cooler seasons (Winter and Summer).


Did you know that olive undertones are often referred to as the fifth undertone? Olive undertones can be either neutral-cool or neutral-warm, but usually look ashy or grey, with a faint greenish cast.



 A diagram showing the link between skin undertone and vein colour (cool: blue-purple; warm: green and neutral blue-green).


Blue Vs Green Veins - What Are They?


Before we dive further into determining your skin undertone, let’s understand the science behind blue and green veins. According to MINT, veins are responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood back to the heart and the colour they appear varies between people. The colour of your veins is influenced by a combination of factors. These include: your skin’s thickness; your blood’s oxygen levels and the way light interacts with your skin. 


Blue veins are usually seen in individuals with cool undertones. They appear blue because the skin absorbs colours in the red spectrum, reflecting back the vein’s blue hue. On the other hand, green veins are more commonly associated with warm undertones. These veins appear green because the yellowish colour of the skin blends with the blue veins, resulting in a greenish appearance.



A close-up of a hand and lower wrist, with cool undertones and blue-purple coloured veins.
An example of someone with cool skin undertones. Can you see the bluish-purple tinge in their veins?

How To Identify Your Skin Undertone Based On Your Veins:


Now we know the connection between vein colour and undertones, let’s look at identifying your skin undertone using the blue vs green vein method:


  1. Start by finding a well-lit area with natural lighting or step outside. Natural light provides the most accurate representation of your skin tone.

  2. Look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. Ensure your wrist is clean and free form any self-tanner or bronzer.

  3. Observe the colour of your veins. Are they blue, green or hard to tell and more blue-green?


If your veins appear blue or purple, chances are you have cool undertones. Conversely, if your veins have a greenish hue, you likely have warm undertones. If you can’t clearly determine whether your veins are predominantly blue or green, you may have a neutral undertone. 


Did you know that identifying your skin undertone is a significant part of the colour analysis process? Even during an Online Colour Analysis?


It’s important to note that this method is not foolproof and can serve as a general guide. Other factors, such as lighting and skin conditions can influence the appearance of your veins. Therefore, it’s always best to consider multiple methods and consult with a Colour Analyst if you’re unsure about your undertone.



Do you have blue or green veins?

  • Blue (with a purple tinge)

  • Green

  • A mix of both Blue and Green

  • I can't tell!



A close-up of a fan of bright and antique silver and gold colour drapes used for the skin undertone jewellery test.
The drapes I use during the skin undertone jewellery test. From left to right: Bright Silver and Antique Silver (best for cool undertones) and Bright Gold and Antique Gold (for warm undertones).


Other Methods To Determine Your Skin Undertone:


While the blue vs green method is a popular and easy way to determine undertones, there are other methods you can use to cross-check your results:


Jewellery Test:


Look at how gold and silver (including antique silver and gold) jewellery compliments your skin. If silver looks more flattering on you, you likely have cool undertones. If gold enhances your complexion, chances are you have warm undertones. If both silver and gold look equally good, you have a neutral undertone.


Eye and Natural Hair Colour:


Cool undertones are often associated with blue, grey, blue-grey or greyish brown eyes. Whilst warm undertones are commonly found in individuals with brown, green, amber or hazel eyes. Similarly, hair colour can provide clues. Cool undertones are often accompanied by ash blonde, ash brown, steely grey or black hair. 


Whereas warm undertones are more prevalent in individuals with auburn, ginger, golden brown, golden blonde or strawberry blonde hair. Those with neutral undertones may have any combination of the above eye and hair colours.


Sun Reaction:


Pay attention to how your skin reacts to sun exposure. Cool undertones tend to burn easily and have difficulty tanning, while warm undertones generally tan more easily without burning.


White vs Cream Test:


Assess whether pure white or cream better harmonises with your complexion. Generally, cooler undertones harmonise with white, whilst warmer undertones come alive with cream. Although, if you have neutral undertones, you’ll look amazing and feel bright in both.


Black vs Brown Test:


Look at whether black or brown hues (or both) brighten and refresh your skin tone. Usually, black enhances cooler undertones, whereas brown compliments warmer undertones. Similar to white and cream, neutral undertones can wear both.


By considering these other methods alongside the blue vs green vein method, you’ll gain a better understanding of your skin undertone and natural colouring. Although if you're unsure, feel free to consult a Colour Analyst. 



A close-up of a fan of jewel tone colour drapes: blue red; royal purple; emerald green; royal blue, plum and burgundy.
These jewel toned colours best suit those with cool or cool-neutral undertones. Here’s my jewel picks (from left to right): Blue-Red, Royal Purple, Emerald Green, Royal Blue, Plum (Amethyst) Purple and Bright Burgundy.


The Significance Of Skin Undertone In Choosing Clothing Colours:


Now that you’ve identified your skin undertone, let’s explore why it’s an important factor when choosing makeup and clothing colours. Different colours compliment different undertones and understanding this can help you enhance your natural features and achieve a harmonious look.


For individuals with cool undertones, colours with blue or pink undertones work best. Think cool-toned reds, deep berry purples and silky shades of cool, delicate lavender and grey. These colours best complement cooler undertones and create a striking contrast against the skin. Cool undertones (particularly Winters) can also rock jewel tones like emerald green, sapphire blue and amethyst purple. These rich saturated colours tend to bring out the vibrancy of cool-toned skin.


Conversely, those with warm or olive undertones should opt for colours with yellow-based, warmer tones. Colours like peaches and corals; golden yellow hues and earthy shades including olive and mahogany are great choices. Warm undertones also look stunning in colours such as mustard yellow, rusty orange and warm brown. These colours harmonise with the warmer undertones and create an overall warm and inviting look.


Whereas, individuals with neutral undertones are the lucky ones! They have more flexibility and can wear colours from both the cool and warm colour palettes.


Makeup Colour Tips For Cool Undertones:


If you have cool undertones, here are some makeup tips to enhance your natural features:


  1. Foundation: opt for foundations with pink, beige or neutral undertones. These shades will help balance out any redness and create a flawless look.

  2. Blush: choose cool-toned blushes in shades of pink or berry. Apply them to the apples of your cheeks for a fresh and youthful look.

  3. Lipstick: experiment with cool-toned lipsticks like blue-based reds, berries or mauves. These shades will make your lips pop and complement your undertone.

  4. Eyeshadow: play with cool-toned eyeshadows in shades of lavender, grey or silver. These colours will create depth and make your eyes stand out.


Remember though, these are just guidelines and the colours that specifically suit you will depend on your unique natural colouring. Fancy a colour analysis to find out your colours?



A close-up of a warm neutral colour drape fan: dark chocolate, coffee brown, medium golden brown, golden tan, camel and gold.
Here’s my selection of neutrals to suit our warmer undertones. From left to right: Dark Chocolate Brown, Coffee Brown, Medium Golden Brown, Golden Tan, Camel and Gold.


Makeup Colour Tips For Warm Undertones:


If you have warm (or olive) undertones, try these makeup tips to enhance your natural beauty:


  1. Foundation: look for foundations with yellow or golden undertones. These shades will help even out your complexion and give you a warm glow.

  2. Blush: opt for warm-toned blushes in shades of peach or coral. Apply them to the apples of your cheeks for a healthy, radiant look.

  3. Lipstick: play with warm-toned lipsticks like peachy nudes, corals or warm browns. These shades will compliment your undertone and create a harmonious look.

  4. Eyeshadow: experiment with warm-toned eyeshadows in shades of bronze, gold or copper. These colours will enhance your eyes and add warmth to your overall makeup look.


As always, feel free to experiment and wear what makes you feel beautiful and confident. Makeup should be a fun and creative way to express yourself and enhance your natural features.


Makeup Colour Tips For Neutral Undertones:


If you have neutral undertones, here are some makeup tips for you to try:


  1. Foundation: look for foundations with no obvious pink or yellow hues. A peach shade works particularly well, as these are neither overly pink nor yellow.

  2. Blush: opt for neutral blush colours like mauve, soft peach or dusty rose. These will best enhance your skin tone and provide a soft, natural flush to your cheeks.

  3. Lipstick: experiment with both warm and cool-toned lip colours, to see which colours personally suit you. Although neutrals tend to look good in almost every colour, depending on their skin tone. Try rosy browns, nude tones and soft corals for everyday and reds, pinks and plums for a more dramatic look.

  4. Eyeshadow: think neutral palettes such as taupe’s, creams, nudes, browns and blacks. Although don’t be afraid to trial different colour combinations, to find one that best compliments your features.


Luckily, the neutral skin undertone’s versatility means most colours will brighten and enhance your complexion. So with that in mind – have fun!



A view of a cool neutral colour drape fan: navy blue, charcoal grey, medium true grey, light true grey, taupe and lavender.
Our cooler undertone individuals can experiment with the following soft neutrals: Navy Blue, Charcoal Grey, Medium True Grey, Light True Grey, Taupe and Lavender.


Finding The Right Hair Colour For Your Skin Undertone:


Your hair colour can significantly impact how your skin undertone is perceived. Choosing the right hair colour can help bring out your best features and create a cohesive look. Consider these tips when selecting a hair colour based on your undertone:


Cool Undertones:


If you have cool undertones, opt for hair colours with cool tones too. Shades like platinum blonde, ash blonde or cool ashy brown will complement your skin tone and create a striking contrast. Avoid warm-toned hair colours such as golden blonde or copper, as these will clash with your cooler undertone.


Warm Undertones:


For warmer undertones, choose hair colours with yellow or reddish undertones. Shades like golden blonde, honey brown or auburn can enhance your natural warmth and create a harmonious look. Steer clear of cool-toned hair colours like ash blonde or platinum, as they can wash you out and appear unnatural.


Neutral Undertones:


If you have neutral undertones, you can choose cool or warm-toned hair colours, depending on your preference. Although, consider the level of contrast between your features when choosing a colour that looks natural on you. For the best, most harmonising results, stay within a few tints, tones or shades of your “natural” colour.


If you’re unsure on the best hair colours for you, consult a professional hair stylist or Colour Analyst. They’ll be able to recommend the best hair colours for you based on your skin tone and undertone.



A close-up of a fan of warm toned colour drapes: dark mahogany, olive green, mustard yellow, orange, peach and bright coral.
Best suited for warm and olive undertones, here’s my favourite warm, yellow-based colours to try: Dark Mahogany, Olive Green, Mustard Yellow, Burnt Orange, Peach and Bright Coral.


Dressing For Your Skin Undertone – Colours That Compliment Cool, Warm and Neutral Undertones:


Choosing the right clothing colours can make a significant difference in how you look, feel and are perceived by others. Here are some colour suggestions for individuals of each undertone:


Cool Undertones:


  • Cool Blues: Embrace shades of royal blue, navy or cobalt. These colours will bring out your blue undertones and create a radiating contrast against your skin.

  • Jewel Tones: Experiment with jewel tones like emerald green, amethyst purple and sapphire blue. These rich, saturated colours complement your cooler undertones and help to create a vibrant look.

  • Neutrals: Opt for cool-toned neutrals like grey, charcoal or silver. These colours provide a sophisticated image and allow your undertones to shine.

Warm Undertones:


  • Earth Tones: Embrace warm earthy hues like olive green, mustard yellow or burnt orange. These colours will harmonise with your green undertones and add warmth to your overall image. 

  • Warm Browns: Experiment with shades of warm brown such as caramel or chocolate. These colours compliment warm undertones and create a natural and radiant look.

  • Warm Neutrals: Opt for warm-toned neutrals like tan, camel and gold. These colours provide a soft and flattering backdrop for warmer undertones.


Those with neutral undertones can usually wear a mix of neutral, warm and cool colours. Whereas, olive undertones look amazing in earthy tones, golds and green shades.


Remember these are just a few recommendations based on colour types that commonly suit certain skin undertones. Always wear colours that make you feel confident and express your personality and sense of style. Don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with your wardrobe and colour choices.


To Finish…


Understanding your skin undertone is valuable knowledge in the world of beauty and fashion. The blue vs green vein method is simple, yet effective in determining whether you have cool, warm or neutral undertones. By identifying your undertone, you’ll find choosing makeup shades, hair and clothing colours that enhance your natural colouring much easier. 


Remember, these guidelines are just that – guidelines. Ultimately, it’s about finding what makes you feel confident and beautiful. Use this information as a starting point for decoding your skin undertone using the blue vs green vein method. Ready to take the first step towards discovering your unique colour palette and embrace your true personal style and brand?


If you would like to discover your skin undertone and tonal colour season palette, book yourself a colour analysis! In-person in Chandlers Ford (near Winchester, UK) or online.



Credit: Style Coaching Institute®. (2024)  Online Stylist and & Fashion Diploma Course. Available at: https://www.stylecoachinginstitute.com (Accessed: 10 January 2024).


Credit: Midwest Institute For Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT). (2023) Blue Vs Green: Demystifying The Colour Of Arteries and Veins. Available at: https://www.mintstl.com/blog/blue-vs-green-demystifying-the-color-of-arteries-and-veins (Accessed: 10 January 2024).





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1 Comment


Funny I have one vein in mine wrist it turns purple under the sun but when I am not under the sun skin it turn to normal colors? The purple veins only on mine left wrist mine right wrist normal? Can someone tell me also when I not in the sun it turns normal skin

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