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Asian Skin Tones Demystified: How to Find Your Shade & Enhance Your Natural Glow

The dazzling spectrum of Asian skin tones is as diverse as the cultures that inspire them. From porcelain-like elegance in East Asia to the sun-kissed warmth of South Asia, the Asian skin tone chart boasts a rich variety. Our mission? To simplify this colorful kaleidoscope, help you find your perfect match, and empower you to flaunt your complexion confidently.

Let’s navigate the world of Asian skin tones and uncover beauty secrets together!

Feature Asian Skin Tone

The Spectrum of Asian Skin Tones

In this section, we are going to navigate through the vast spectrum of Asian skin tones, focusing on East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, and Central Asian complexions.

Different Areas in Asia

Before we delve into the various skin tones, let’s shed light on the reasoning behind focusing on East, Southeast, South, and Central Asian regions, and why we haven’t specifically addressed West or North Asia in terms of skin tones.

First and foremost, North Asia largely encompasses Siberia, which is part of Russia. The population in North Asia is relatively sparse, and the skin tones here tend to align more closely with East Asian or Eastern European complexions. Since our focus is on Asian skin tones, we incorporate relevant aspects under East Asia.

West Asia, often referred to as the Middle East, includes countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel. While geographically part of Asia, the skin tones and cultural aspects of this region are often studied separately due to their unique characteristics and Mediterranean influences.

Now, the classification into East, Southeast, South, and Central Asia is more widely used to highlight the areas below:

  1. East Asia is defined by its historical cultural ties, such as Confucianism, and generally lighter skin tones influenced by the temperate climate.
  2. Southeast Asia, situated between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, has a tropical climate that has contributed to the warmer undertones and medium tan complexions of its inhabitants.
  3. South Asia is known for its rich cultural tapestry, from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean, which accounts for the wide range of skin tones found here.
  4. Central Asia, historically influenced by the Silk Road, has seen a melding of cultures over centuries, resulting in a mix of skin tones.

East Asian Skin Tones

When considering East Asian skin tones, particularly among individuals from China, Japan, and Korea, the spectrum is diverse. Commonly, the skin tones range from porcelain to light beige, with underlying cool or neutral undertones. These undertones often present as pink or subtle bluish tints.

Model with East Asian Skin Tone
Model with East Asian Skin Tone

Southeast Asian Skin Tones

Southeast Asian skin tones, including Indonesian, Filipino, Malaysian, and Thai complexions, usually feature shades from light to medium tan, boasting golden or warm undertones. These warm undertones often give the skin a sun-kissed appearance with yellow, gold, or peachy hues.

Model with Southeast Asian Skin Tone
Model with Southeast Asian Skin Tone

South Asian Skin Tones

South Asian skin tones encompass a very broad array of complexions, especially in countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Ranging from a honeyed tan to deep espresso, South Asian skin often has warm or neutral undertones. These may appear as golden, olive, or sometimes peachy.

Model with South Asian Skin Tone
Model with South Asian Skin Tone

Central Asian Skin Tones

In Central Asia, home to countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, the skin tones are often a captivating blend. Here, complexions might range from a light olive to a rich golden brown. A unique feature is the varied undertones, with some individuals displaying a combination of both cool and warm hues, such as rosy pink coupled with golden tints.

Model with Central Asian Skin Tone
Model with Central Asian Skin Tone

It’s essential to recognize that the Asian skin tone landscape is extremely diverse, and individual variations abound. In each region, genetics and environmental factors play a significant role in determining one’s complexion and undertones. Therefore, while these classifications serve as a guide, they by no means capture the full breadth of diversity found across Asia.

Your Shade on the Asian Skin Undertone Palette

As you explore the rich diversity of Asian skin tones, understanding undertones is key. It’s like finding the perfect spice blend for a dish! Let’s embark on a journey to identify warm, cool, and neutral undertones, and unveil a handy trick for pinpointing yours.

Asian Skin Undertone Palette

Cool Undertone

Neutral Undertone

Warm Undertone

Warm Undertones

If your skin has a golden or honeyed hue, you likely have warm undertones. Imagine yourself basking in the sun on a tropical beach, with your complexion reflecting the rich colors of a sunset. To determine if you have warm undertones, check your veins. If they appear green, you’re in the warm club.

Cool Undertones

On the flip side, cool undertones manifest as pink, red, or bluish shades beneath the skin. Imagine the crisp serenity of a snowy day, your complexion reflecting a subtle, cool luminosity. In natural sunlight, if your veins appear more blue or purple, you are part of the Cool Squad!

Neutral Undertones

When your skin doesn’t clearly side with the warm or cool spectrum, you might be in the versatile world of neutral undertones. This balance yields a skin tone that agrees with an array of colors. If your veins look like a mix of blue and green under natural sunlight, you’ve hit the neutral sweet spot.

Little Trick

Veins under the natural light - undertone test

Makeup Suggestions

When it comes to makeup, selecting shades that perfectly complement your Asian skin tone can be like cracking a secret code. We’ve got you covered with some tips and tricks to help you find that flawless finish!

Foundation Selection Tips

Trying Foundation on Jawline
Trying Foundation on Jawline

Choosing the perfect foundation and concealer for your Asian skin tone doesn’t have to be a wild goose chase. Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Swatch different shades on your jawline to find the hue that seamlessly blends with your skin tone.
  2. Consider the lighting. Natural daylight is your best friend when it comes to testing makeup shades. Fluorescent lighting, on the other hand, can be as deceptive as a mirage.
  3. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Sometimes, finding the perfect shade means blending two hues to create a customized concoction worthy of a mad scientist.

Eye Makeup and Lipstick

For individuals with warm undertones, earthy shades for eye makeup, such as gold, copper, or warm browns, will beautifully accentuate your features. When it comes to lipstick, you can’t go wrong with corals, deep reds, and warm berry tones that flatter your natural warmth.

Makeup Example for Warm Skin Tone
Bold Red Lipstick + Warm Brown Eyeshadow

On the other hand, those with cool undertones will find that eye makeup in cool hues like lavender, soft blue, or cool-toned greys creates a stunning contrast. For lipstick, consider soft pinks, mauves, or cool reds to give your lips a pop of color that works harmoniously with your cool complexion.

Makeup Example for Cool Skin Tone
Soft Pink Lipstick + Cool Coral Eyeshadow

Finally, if you’re blessed with neutral undertones, try versatile eye makeup shades like taupe, sage green, or powder blue. As for lipstick, versatile hues like rose, soft peach, and muted berry tones will complement your unique complexion, no matter the occasion.

Makeup Example for Neutral Skin Tone
Muted Berry Lipstick + Taupe Eyeshadow

By understanding the nuances of your Asian skin tone and undertone, you can confidently choose eye makeup and lipstick shades that enhance your natural beauty.

Best Dressing Colors for Asian Skin Tones

Selecting the right colors for your attire can be transformative. Like an artist with a palette, choosing hues that complement your Asian skin tone and undertones can enhance your presence and poise. So, let’s explore the enchanting world of colors!

East Asian Skin Tones

This is a recent fashion show by Tomoaki Nagao (Nigo). You can see lots of pastel colors used by this Japanese fashion designer.

East Asian complexions usually range from fair to light beige, often with cool or neutral undertones. For those with cool undertones, hues that emulate gemstones such as sapphire blue and emerald green will beautifully complement the skin. For a more subtle look, shades like icy pink and lavender are favorable. Individuals with neutral undertones may consider incorporating light neutrals, such as dove gray or soft taupe, to create an elegant appearance.

However, if you have a warm undertone, earthy shades like burnt orange, golden yellow, and warm neutrals are the way to go.

Southeast Asian Skin Tones

In this Indonesia Fashion Week, we can see lots of rich hues.

The skin tones among Southeast Asians tend to span from medium beige to tan, predominantly with warm undertones. Those with warm undertones should explore colors like rich maroon, mustard yellow, or olive green, which effortlessly enhance the natural radiance of the skin. Neutral undertones are versatile and can be complemented by colors like sand or muted turquoise. 

If you have cool undertones, opt for icy shades like lavender, cool blue, and jewel tones like amethyst or ruby. Neutral colors like charcoal gray can offer a balanced contrast.

South Asian Skin Tones

Joyeeta Sanyal 1
Joyeeta Sanyal 3
Joyeeta Sanyal 5

The previous “hottest girl in India,” Joyeeta Sanyal, has a warm skin undertone. Photo Source: Wallpaper Access

South Asians typically possess skin tones ranging from caramel to deep brown, with warm or neutral undertones. A warm undertone is flattered by earthy hues such as terracotta or amber, whereas a neutral undertone benefits from the versatility of colors like coral or muted teal. Moreover, integrating neutral colors like espresso brown can add sophistication to the ensemble.

If you have a cool undertone, embrace jewel tones like royal grayish blue and emerald green. Contrast with a neutral like ash gray to add depth.

Central Asian Skin Tones

Central Asian skin tones, which may vary from fair to olive, have a mix of cool and warm undertones.

If you have warm undertones in your skin, earthy shades are your best friends. Think of colors like rust, ochre, and sage green. These shades complement your natural warmth, making you glow. Imagine wearing a rust-colored scarf or an ochre dress – perfect for any season!

For those with cool undertones, cool pastels work wonders. Colors like powder blue, lilac, and mint green will enhance your natural coolness. Picture yourself in a lilac top or a mint green skirt. These colors can bring a fresh and calming presence to your look.

Finally, neutral undertones are lucky. They suit a wide range of colors. Consider sandstone, seafoam green, or soft lilac for a subtle, elegant look. Want something bolder? Try contrasting shades like light chestnut brown or deep teal. These colors create a stunning effect, making you stand out in the best way.


Having explored the rich tapestry of Asian skin tones, it is evident that the harmonious interplay of colors and undertones is integral to one’s appearance. Understanding the subtleties of your specific Asian skin tone and undertone not only enables well-informed choices in makeup and wardrobe but also enhances the natural allure of your complexion.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that Asian culture is steeped in tradition, and fashion is no exception. If you are intrigued by the cultural aspects of Asian fashion, we invite you to delve into our “Chinese Dress” and “Japanese Fashion” channels. Each channel offers a window into the cultural nuances and traditional garb specific to regions.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or ideas ~ We are always here to exchange brilliant thoughts!

Have a good day

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