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This is in reference to the main muted underlying color found in your skin or rather the main color that is peaking through.  Our skin tone is made up of multiple colors, but there is a main underlying tone. So that is what we are talking about when we say undertone.

Skin can have a yellow, red or green overtone (surface color), as seen in olive skin, which doesn't necessarily mean warm. So make sure you follow the tips below to help you determine your true characteristics.

Cool Undertone = Pink or Red-Violet as seen in Summers and Winters. Some cool skin tones have an obvious pink cast while others appear very neutral. 

Summer skin tones are soft and often contain obvious pink tones. Some skin is very pink, while others appear more neutral beige with only slight hints of pink. Overall it is softer and more delicate than a Winter's skin tone.

Winter skin tones are clear and can appear quite neutral. It is not uncommon for there to be no natural cheek color. Olive skin appears neutral beige with a yellow-green overtone.

Warm Undertone = Yellow-Orange (golden-yellow) as seen in Spring and Autumns.

The yellow-gold undertone can range from very light and subtle (bright ivory or very light creamy ivory) to a more obvious one (bright golden beige to deep bronze).

Some Springs and Autumns have a red-orange undertone which gives their skin a peachy look.

The main difference between an Autumn and Spring skin tone is in it's clarity. Autumn is a soft season so their skin is naturally less bright. A pale Autumn skin tone has an opaque creamy appearance.

Spring's are a clear season and therefore their skin is naturally clear and bright as well. Some Spring's have an almost translucent quality to their skin.

Warm vs. Cool

It can be tricky to see the differences in undertones at times. Here are some examples of warm vs cool to help give you a better idea.

Bright vs Soft

The second factor is brightness or clarity versus how soft or muted one's coloring is overall. This can be confusing when trying to determine between two warm color types or two cool color types. Here are some pictures for reference to help you easily distinguish between the two.

People with very warm coloring such as, redheads can be tricky to tell apart sometimes. However, if you look at the models above the one on the left has obviously brighter coloring than the model on the right.

People with cool coloring can be equally hard to tell apart at times, again it is key to compare. Winters are cool and bright, while Summers are cool and soft.

Both of these women have dark hair and pale skin and both are warm color seasons. The woman on the left (actress Rachel Brosnahan) has skin that is bright with an obvious golden cast. Her hair is a rich brown that contains bright warm highlights. Her eyes are a clear warm blue.
The model on the right has skin that is a pale ivory with a soft golden tone and creamy appearance. Her hair is a deep soft warm brown as are her eyes.

The model on the left has a cool clear skin tone, glassy black-brown eyes, and pure black hair. While the model on the left has a creamy soft golden beige skin tone with warm dark brown eyes and warm dark brown hair.

Both of these gentlemen have deep coloring. However, one is bright and the other is soft. One is cool and the other warm.
The model on the left has a brightness to his deep cool brown skin and the model on the right is very deep and golden overall, but his coloring is also slightly softer.
Here are even more examples to help you tell the difference to between cool and warm and bright and soft. These two elements are extremely important for determining your overall seasonal color type.

Both of the young men above have blonde hair and blue eyes. The model on the left has clear blue eyes, golden blonde hair, and clear golden beige skin. He is a Spring. The model on the right has soft cool gray-blue eyes, light sandy blonde hair, and a pale cool ivory skin tone. He is much cooler and softer overall, which makes him a Summer color type.

Here as you can see the model on the left is cool and the model on the right is warm. Both belong to clear/bright seasonal color types. The main difference between them is how warm or cool they are.

Autumn and Summer are both soft seasons. However, one is warm and one is cool as you can see in the example shown here. 

For Those Who Have Gone Gray

Here are examples of different seasonal color types that are going gray or who's hair has gone completely white. Some color analysts believe that when your hair changes color as you age, that this changes your season or that some seasons don't gray attractively. As you can see from the examples below that is simply not true.

Spring's hair goes a bright golden gray or pearly white, while Autumn's turns a softer golden gray as seen here. 

Summers are cooler and softer than Autumns. A Summer's hair takes on a blue-gray cast as it transitions, while an Autumn's hair goes soft pewter or golden gray.

The model on the left has salt & pepper hair, cool beige skin, and cool brown eyes. His overall look is cool and clear. While the model on the right has soft golden brown hair that is turning a soft golden gray around the temples, his skin is bronze, and his eyes are a soft warm hazel. His overall look is soft and warm.
Below are a few more examples of cool and warm, and soft and clear.

I hope the above examples have given you more insight into your own coloring. You can learn more about each color type on our Seasonal Color Type page.