I finally gave in and went to a place where they help you find the right make up based on skin type and your undertones. This explained why the darker one my mother had me buy, never looked right.
An undertone is defined as the natural color below the surface of your skin but we look at it more as the shade of your skin tone. There are three types of undertones, warm, cool, and neutral. The warm shades have golden, yellow, or peachy undertones, cool are blush, pink or red undertones and neutral is a combination of both. Furthermore, your skin tone may change due to a variety of factors but your undertones will remain the same and it is possible for you and your friend to have the same skin tone but different undertones.
It is important to know your undertone so you can select the correct shade of foundation, avoid any harsh makeup lines and to have a more natural look. When you buy a foundation, you'll find them classified according to skin tone with sub groups based on undertones. If you use the wrong foundation, the lines between the foundation and skin tone tend to be noticeable but if you blend it all the way down the neck you won't have this problem. Finally, when you know your correct undertone, you'll find it easier to create the natural look.
There are several things you can look at to determine your undertone. The first thing is to look at your tan. If you burn easily or tans to a rosy, deep cinnamon, or a reddish tone, then you have a cool undertone but if your skin tans to a peach, golden, caramel, or olive undertone, you have a warm undertone. If you don't tan to any particular shade or you burn or tan equally well, you most likely have a neutral undertone.
A second way of finding your undertone is to hold a piece of white printer paper next to your skin under bright natural light. If you skin appears pinkish then you have cool undertones but if your skin looks yellowish, then it probably has warm undertones but if you don't see any real color, you have neutral undertones.
The final way is based on your hair and eye color. If you have lighter hair color with a lighter eye color, you most likely have a cool undertone but if you have darker hair with darker eyes, you most likely have warm undertones. This last way is more of an educated guess so try the paper or tan test to check your guess of undertones.
If you aren't sure, talk to someone who specializes in makeup and can look at your skin. It will help you make better choices. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.