The beauty world is vast and accommodating, which makes it inclusive to every individual’s style – regardless of maturity, gender, skin type, or shade.
And don’t get us wrong, we applaud the amount of care brands put into their product ranges! But we have to admit, it can get a little overwhelming to be in the presence of so many options.
With the progression of the cosmetic world comes the inevitable introspective thinking we have to do whenever we shop: what does my skin really look like? Knowing your shade and complimentary colors isn’t only integral to feeling your best, but it can open up new doors to your beauty routine.
So, what is a copper skin tone? We’ll be breaking down all the tips and tricks when it comes to styling copper skin tones, including celebrities with gorgeous copper tones, what colors will pop against your skin, and how to find your undertones (because being copper skinned doesn’t necessarily mean you’re warm-toned).
So consider this our comprehensive beauty manual for all of our copper skinned readers; we hope that these style tips help you feel as beautiful as you already are!
Copper Skinned Celebrities
While copper skin tones are most commonly found on people of color (typically of South and East Asian descent), it’s not impossible for other races to have copper skin as well. If you’re unsure about whether you fall under the copper category or not, take a look at these celebrities and compare their skin tone to your own.
Up and coming teen star Olivia Rodrigo came into the limelight for her portrayal of Nini in Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
However, she is more popularly known as a singer, and you’ve probably heard her hit singles Driver’s License, Good 4 U, and Deja Vu. Her musical style is a mix of pop, alt pop, pop rock, and indie.
Rodrigo is of Filipino, German, and Irish background – gifting her with a gorgeous light copper skin tone.
You may recognize Naomi Scott from her days on Disney Channel as Mo in Lemonade Mouth or the science fiction series Terra Nova.
However, she has gained more popularity in recent years for her portrayal of Princess Jasmine in the live action rendition of Aladdin. Now, she is not only an actress but a singer as well.
Born in London, Scott is of English and Indian descent. Her South Asian genetics are to thank for her warm, coppery skin tone.
Taylor Lautner is an actor and model, most prominently known for his portrayal of werewolf Jacob Black in the Twilight Saga.
While he plays a Native American hailing from the Quileute tribe, Lautner himself only has very distant Native blood.
Lautner recently clarified he has predominantly caucasian blood, primarily Austrian, Dutch, and English. However, his tan, copper toned skin kept his ethnic background a mystery for the bulk of his career.
After gaining worldwide stardom for his portrayal of Poe Dameron in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Oscar Isaac.
Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala to Guatemalan and Cuban parents, Isaac is a great example of someone with copper undertones to his skin.
The warmth of his undertones shine best when he’s tan, but he always has a golden-reddish glow to him regardless.
Actress, singer, and model, Priyanka Chopra was already making waves in the Indian entertainment industry prior to her marriage to Nick Jonas.
She has one of India’s highest-paid actresses, and is also revered for winning the title of ‘Miss World’ during their pageant in 2000.
She is also a feminist UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador named by Forbes as one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
Born in India to Indian parents, Chopra-Jonas has a beautifully radiant copper tone to her skin, emphasized by warm undertones.
Skincare For Copper Skin
That’s right, having copper tones to your skin means that your skin reacts differently to aggressors like the sun and acne, and it’s also more likely to fall victim to other skin conditions like scarring and broken blood vessels.
Because of this, you may want to adopt new products into your skincare routine to prevent damage to your skin, and to remedy any existing issues you may have.
When it comes to protection from the sun, it’s true that those with more melanin in their skin have more natural protection. However, it doesn’t make you immune. It’s important for everyone to have a sunscreen (for body, and for face) to use every day.
When you have copper skin, you may feel it unnecessary to use a sunscreen as you typically do not “burn” in the sun like other people do. Instead, you likely tan. But that doesn’t mean that you’re avoiding some serious damage from the sun’s rays.
To protect your skin, opt for a sunscreen that’s at least SPF 15. We would recommend going higher if you’re the outdoorsy type, and suggest that even those who stay home find their holy grail sunscreen (sun rays can penetrate the windows in your home and cause some pretty serious damage).
When it comes to facial sunscreens, try finding one that mentions being “non-comedogenic.” That basically means it doesn’t clog pores, so it’s less likely to cause breakouts.
Also, the typical white casts that come with sunscreens is a lot more likely to show up on darker skin tones, so find one that doesn’t leave a white cast.
And most importantly, don’t forget that sunscreen isn’t applied once a day. It should be reapplied every two hours to ensure maximum protection from the sun.
An unfortunate factor to having copper skin is that you are more likely to deal with acne scarring and other types of hyperpigmentation.
Because your skin has more access to pigment (called melanin) compared to fairer skin, your body releases more melanocytes when disruption occurs, making scarring and inflammation look worse than it actually is.
Physical exfoliants may leave you feeling silky smooth at first, but they’re likely to cause superficial microtears on the surface of your skin, which could eventually lead to more hyperpigmentation. Instead of a scrub, opt for a chemical exfoliants.
These are more commonly known as acids. You’re probably familiar with salicylic acid, which is a beauty favorite for those dealing with active acne. It’s a great choice of exfoliant for warmer skin tones because of its anti-inflammatory properties – reducing the risk of inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Try introducing glycolic acid into your skincare routine, or a weekly AHA/BHA face mask. These are super gentle chemicals that won’t leave your skin visibly peeling. You want to avoid any skincare products that peel your skin as this could lead to dark spots as well.
To keep your skin looking and feeling healthy, a moisturizer is a must. But, because copper skin tones are more predisposed to visible sun damage and age spots, you shouldn’t purchase the first face cream you spot on the shelf.
While it’s up to your discretion, we don’t recommend you use a moisturizer that contains high percentages of chemical exfoliants – especially if you’re already using them in another area of your routine.
If you have particularly scarred skin, or if your skin has grown resilient to other AHAs and BHAs, finding a moisturizer with a low percentage of lactic acid would be best, like this one from Natrx.
Vitamin C, niacinamide, and peptides are also a fantastic addition to your moisturizer. All three of these ingredients can aid your skin in collagen production (thus speeding up the healing process for any active scarring), and can brighten the skin to even tone.
If you’re under the sun a lot, you may soon find spider veins popping up around the thinner skin on your face, around your eyelids and around the mouth in particular. Unfortunately, those with copper skin tones are moderately more prone to breaking their blood vessels than those with lighter skin.
The sad news about spider veins, or varicose veins, is that there’s no natural way to really eliminate them. However, there is a way to reduce their appearance on your skin – and that is through retinoids.
A good quality retinol cream can work wonders on a plethora of skin conditions, including burst blood vessels! Because it contains the powerful combination of tretinoin and vitamin A, the use of retinol can boost cell renewal rates as well as collagen production!
After consistent use, retinol can thicken your skin, therefore reducing the look of varicose veins. Be extra careful of your use of retinol, especially if you already have sensitive skin, as many people have reported skin irritation as a side effect to using it.
If you have an excess amount of burst vessels in your face, or you’re looking for a more permanent solution, talk to a medical specialist about sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic procedure that involves injecting a solution called sclerosant into the burst blood vessel. This solution damages the vein further, signaling your body to destroy the vein altogether – eliminating the look of the spider vein entirely.
We would only recommend this procedure if you have very prominent varicose veins, as it is a pricier procedure that involves multiple visits.
Finding Your Undertone
If you didn’t know, finding the true tone of your skin is a bit more complex than seeing what color it is in the mirror. That color (the overtone), can vary depending on sun exposure, but the undertone of your skin will never change.
But not being able to immediately discern your undertone doesn’t make it less important, in fact, knowing your undertone will it make it easier to find complimentary jewelry, and to find your perfect foundation match.
People with copper skin tones may initially believe they have warm undertones because their skin is on the warmer side, but that isn’t the case! Use these tips to find your personal undertone:
Warm undertones are primarily orange or peachy, yellow, and golden.
To see if this is you, throw on a plain white t-shirt. Try and find a shirt that’s as pure white as possible – we mean no creams or off-whites.
If you’re not sure of the difference, you can do this by holding up a plain white piece of paper to your face instead. Whites tend to showcase the look of your undertone more, so try and pay attention to see if your skin looks more yellow in comparison to the paper. If it does, you’re warm toned.
If you’ve ever been under the sun for more than a couple of hours at a time, you’re probably aware of your skin’s reaction to it. If you can’t recall ever having a red, painful sunburn, and instead find your skin immediately tanning instead, you’re likely a warm undertone.
The old jewelry trick is popular, but because it’s a little subjective, we wouldn’t really recommend it to those who are truly at a loss for what their undertone is. It involves trying out silver and gold jewelry and seeing which one looks best on your skin. If it’s gold, you have warm undertones.
The vein trick is also a classic, but a trick that most people don’t pay attention to is, instead of looking at the veins on your wrist, try and find some veins near your face (the neck works just fine). If you have greenish veins, you’re warm-toned.
Cool undertones are typically pink, blue, or red.
If you try the white t-shirt/white piece of paper trick and find that your skin tone looks more rosy, it’s likely you have cool toned skin.
Another indicator of cooler undertones is if you have the ability to visibly blush or go red. If wearing bright whites doesn’t make you look washed out, that’s also another indicator of cooler undertones.
Should you know the painful feel of a sunburn, you’re likely cool toned. Fairer, cooler toned skin is more likely to fall victim to the suns rays because of the lack of pigment that protects your epidermis from UVs.
Does wearing silver jewelry make you feel more in harmony with yourself? Silver tends to look most flattering on cooler toned skin. But remember, this method isn’t necessarily the most reliable because of personal bias. If you do want to try this method out, ask a friend (or a couple of them) for their opinion.
Bluish looking veins? That’s a clear indicator of cool undertones.
If you’ve been trying and failing to choose which undertone family you belong to, remember that it isn’t necessarily black and white! It’s completely possible for you to have both undertones, making you a true neutral.
Typically, those who fall solely underneath warm or cool undertones will look washed out in different shades of white. If you can wear a range of whites, from creamy shades to stark and bright, without looking washed out, odds are you have neutral undertones.
If you do burn in the sun, but your sunburn fades into a golden brown tan after the peeling stops- that’s also a sign of being a true neutral. Do you think you can rock any shade of jewelry? That’s also a sign of neutral undertones.
When you look at your veins and don’t think they’re either blue or green, or find that they could fall into either category, you likely have neutral undertones as well.
As a rule of thumb, those with copper skin tones are less likely to have cool undertones, and will likely fall between neutral undertones (for lighter copper skin) to warm undertones (for those with richer copper skin).
Now that you have a better understanding of you undertones, you can find your perfect shade match when looking for foundations, and have a better understanding of what shades of clothing and makeup pop on your skin tone!
You can place even more emphasis on how beautiful your skin is by further customizing your makeup routine.
Foundation and Concealer
You’ve probably fallen into the habit of grabbing warm brown foundations and concealers off the shelf, and you’d be right to do so. However, now that you have more of an understanding of how complex each particular skin tone is, you can find your true shade match.
What makes their lines so inclusive is that they completely eliminate the worries of falling “in between” foundation shades. How? By ensuring all overtone colors are accompanied by separate undertones.
When shopping for your perfect fit, we highly recommend you go to a store that allows you to test out the products. While a foundation could look like a perfect match on the bottle, you won’t truly know how it looks until you swatch it on your skin, let it dry down, and check if it oxidizes.
Those with cool tones to their skin may find that some foundations look orange on them, making them too warm for their skin. If a foundation washes you out, it’s too cool. If your foundation leaves you looking ashen and grey, it’s likely you’re not neutral enough of a skin tone to use a neutral foundation.
When swatching, don’t go for your wrist like you regularly would. Your wrist doesn’t get the same amount of sun exposure as your face. The best place to swatch would be on your neck, but if you have sensitive skin and are trying to avoid a breakout near your face, the back of your hand works well too.
Concealer can be 1-2 shades lighter than your natural skin tone, but the undertone should stay the same.
When it comes to contour, those with fairer skin tones can get away with using more brown toned powders and creams to give themselves a chiseled appearance. Unfortunately, for those with more melanin in their skin- this won’t give you defined looking features, and may not even show up on your skin altogether.
To bypass this problem, look for contour shades with more grey undertones. This will mimic the way natural shadows fall on your face, giving you a naturally contoured appearance.
If you have copper skin, it’s likely you have darker features all around. Your hair can range from brunette to black, and you probably have darker eyes as well. Pair this with your copper skin, and you have a beautiful base to pack color onto.
Copper skin looks gorgeous with jewel toned or warm colors. These colors pop against the richness of your skin tone, and fall more in harmony with your features.
Deep colors like forest greens, plums, and mustard yellows would look especially beautiful on darker skin.
Don’t be afraid to go bold, either! Bright colors like turquoise, orange, and firetruck red will look extra gorgeous on your base. We suggest finding cream based shadows or liquid liners to get as much color payoff as possible.
When it comes to a pretty pout, those with copper skin tones are in luck. Since your skin is in more of a medium toned shade range- you can get away with rocking pretty much any color you can think of.
Berry shades are a copper toned persons best friend. Think deep plums or jam shaded colors. If you’re aiming for something a little more luxe and vampy, try finding lipstick shades that have brown undertones (they’ll emphasize how gorgeous your skin is).
Speaking of, you should always have a brown shade in your arsenal! Brown lipsticks, ranging from light taupes to even deep melted chocolate shades will mesh together nicely with the warmth of your skin. This is the perfect time to recreate those incredible makeup looks from the 90s!
Red lips are always in, but just like foundation, this is a cosmetic product where you have to keep your undertones in mind! Red lipsticks are definitely not one size fits all. Warm and neutral undertones will find a orange or yellow based red suits them, while those with cooler undertones will look striking in a blue or purple toned red.
Choosing Hair Colors
Branching out and committing to a new hair color can be liberating, but it can also be super disappointing if you didn’t do thorough enough research beforehand.
With more melanin rich skin, the possibility of looking washed out with certain hair colors is every looming. Luckily, we’ve dug deep to find out which colors you can definitively rock, saving you from a potential bad hair day!
To bring out the sunniness and glow of your natural complexion, dye your hair black!
Surprisingly, black is a lot more complex of a color than you may initially believe. Naturally black hair usually has red to brown undertones. Opting for a blue black dye will make you look washed out, and could potentially leave your skin looking sallow.
Because of this, you should always opt for a natural looking black dye. This will emphasize the warmth in your skin tone.
If you decide to go brown, you have quite a range of shades to choose from!
A honey shade is probably the lightest all-over color you can go without looking washed out. This is still a very sunny, warm color, so it will look harmonious with your natural skin tone, instead of it looking like you dyed your hair.
Caramel to chocolate browns will make you look sleek and put together. Pair these shades with your naturally dark features, and you will always look coordinated and balanced.
Espresso colored hair is likely only a shade or two lighter than your natural hair color, so it’s a nice way to bring your hair some new life without it being too overpowering of a change.
For those with lighter copper skin and lighter eyes (think Rihanna), going a mushroom brown color will really make your features shine. We would suggest straying away from ash browns if you have deeper skin, or if you have dark features as you will look pale.
Blonde Highlights or Balayage
Going with an all over blonde may leave you looking sallow. Save yourself the bleach damage by opting for a couple of warm blonde highlights, or have your ends fade into a blonde balayage instead. This will look especially nice on those with golden or yellow undertones to their copper complexion.
A good auburn hair color is warm, rich, and welcoming- making it the perfect match for those with copper skin. We think this is a great shade for those with neutral or warm skin tones as it will really emphasize the radiance of your skin color.
This is the perfect shade to commit to during the autumn or winter season, and can bring a lot of depth and body to healthy locks. It’s a must try color for those with seriously shiny strands!
Or, you can go on step deeper and opt for a wine red. Wine reds are purple based, and can look absolutely jaw dropping on deeper copper skin.
Grey to Mauve
For lighter to medium toned copper shades, or for those with cool undertones- a grey or mauve color would look striking.
Have you ever known a natural blonde that dyed their hair deep black? They instantly looked sharper. Unfortunately for those with copper skin, having dark hair isn’t exactly out of the ordinary, so instead of going dark to obtain that edgy look, you’ve gotta go light!
You may think that dying your hair ash grey could wash you out, but going that light actually leaves you looking super sleek and sophisticated.
For those who want their hair to have a more girly touch to it, a mauve color will seriously turn some heads. Think grey with a touch of lilac or pink to it.
If you’re still having trouble deciding which hair color will work best with your skin tone, take a look at this video from Brad Mondo on YouTube explaining the best methods for finding your new look!
The beauty world is a place where all colors and tones should be celebrated, and we are so thankful that we’re living in a time where brands are becoming more and more inclusive.
Copper skin is one of those complexion shades that can be a bit confusing to understand at first, but we hope that our guide has made the process a bit easier to digest. Having a deeper skin tone should never close doors in the cosmetic world, but rather open them to worlds of possibility.
So whether you’re wanting to try out a deep purple eyeshadow, or just search around for your perfect brown lip- we have full faith that you can do so in confidence!