How to Pick the Undertone of Blue Like an Expert

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Recently whilst dropping my daughter and her friend to dancing class, her friend said “you really like blue don’t you, as you’re always wearing it?“.  I answered in the affirmative as I do love blue as I have blue eyes and blue is a signature colour for me as it is an eye enhancer.

How to pick the undertone of blue and turquoise
You can see in this cobalt blue of my jacket that it has a slight purplish tone (not close to anything teal) so it is a cool blue.

Blue is one of the hardest colours to determine the undertone as it’s naturally a cool colour, being that cool colours are blue based.  Just as yellow is naturally warm which I shared here in picking the undertone of yellow.

But there are blues that do have a warm undertone.

When I first did my training as a colour consultant I remember trying to figure out the difference between a warm and cool blue to be tricky, and I frequently get asked to explain how to pick a warm from cool undertone blue as it’s often not particularly obvious.

You will notice that there are also different intensity and values of blue, as well as warmer and cooler undertones in the images below.

How to pick the undertone of blue

When you look at this image above you will see there are a variety of warm and cool undertone blues.  What you will notice is that the warm undertone blues all have a small element of yellow added to them so they move more toward the teal/turquoise spectrum (even if that’s a very light or dark version).

How to pick the undertone of blueThe cool blues have more a purplish tone (or are just more “blue” not as turquoise).

When you think about it, it’s totally logical – the closer the blue gets towards the yellow end of the spectrum the warmer it becomes (whilst still remaining blue).

The closer it gets to the violet spectrum the more it cools down.

How to choose the undertone of turquoise and other bluesThough when choosing turquoise  – which in itself is on the whole a warmer version of blue, there are still some variations of warmer versus cooler turquoises.

Those with cool colouring can wear both the warmer and cooler blues, as blue is naturally cooler in undertone, but warm undertone skins are best just sticking with the warmer blues (in the right intensity and value for you too).

How to pick the undertone of blue and turquoise
This blue is a teal blue and so is a warmer shade of blue and can be worn by those with a warm undertone as well as those of us who are cool.

 

So you can see that as a cool undertone person I can wear both the warm and cool blues!

If you’d like to discover your best blues, greens, reds (in fact your whole colour wheel of ideal colours), I do a personal colour analysis as part of my 7 Steps to Style program.  Discover more here and start wearing the rainbow of colours that really flatters you!

More Tips on Understanding Colour and Undertone

Understanding Colour Properties

Understanding Colour Systems and Personal Colour Analysis

Understanding Undertone and Ageing – Warm to Cool

Neutrals – What are They and How to Wear Them

Discover Your Colours – Colour Intensifiers

How to pick the undertone of blue and tur

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4 Comments

  • Your wonderful, personal, color tool is perfect for determining undertone, Imogen. Looking at a single item of clothing in various light sources can mask true undertone properties to the untrained eye. My days of coming home with the wrong color are over, thanks to you!! I’ve learned to do the same comparison strip when purchasing a new lip color. I always take two colors with me from home, then do a hand swipe with the new color I am contemplating….works every time!! As a Spicy, this keeps me away from dreaded blue undertones.

    You are the best, Imogen, your followers can’t thank you enough for what you bring to our lives.
    Your faithful fan,
    Pat

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