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Know Your Undertone | Are You Blue or Yellow Based?

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

Are you ready to look and feel your best? Are you ready to rock your wardrobe like never before? To finally have the tools to choose the right foundation shade? The right lipstick colors? The best hair color for you?

Then you have come to the right place.

I am about to take you on a journey to figure out your undertone. We are using the yellow-based/ blue-based color system and I'm going to walk you through some really simple ways to figure out if you are blue or yellow-based. Have you ever noticed that some colors look great on you, but others look jarring and unpleasant? Are you drawn to some colors, but despise others?

This is because you were born either blue or yellow based and look best in the colors of your base (or skin's undertone). You were born with this innate knowledge and are attracted to colors in your spectrum.

So, why is it important to know your base?

When you have the right foundation shade and wear the right colors in your spectrum, you look healthier, more vibrant and younger. People subconsciously trust you more and you look more put together. If you’re not wearing your right colors you can look washed out, tired, and unwelcoming.


I was raised with color theory so this topic is near and dear to my heart. Pretty much since birth, I’ve been wearing only my best colors, because my parents made sure of it.

I’m a third-generation color snob. My grandmother Renae (hi grandma) studied with the late Robert Dorr, the blue base yellow base color scientist himself. She wrote a series of books on color theory and traveled all over the world teaching this color system.

My father, Barry Knapp also had a passion for color theory. Being a hairdresser and a makeup formulator, he used the blue-based yellow-based color system to his advantage. His revolutionary Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundations come in 7 blue based and 7 yellow based shades. If you haven't heard about Oxygenetix yet, you're in for a treat. Oxygenetix topicals are breathable and pro-healing, taking care of your skin with flawless coverage. You won't wear anything else ever again. But don't take my word for it, try it out for yo'self ;)


Before we get into it , heres a Quick history lesson: Robert Dorr’s passion for color started in 1928 when he was working in Chicago making theatrical posters. Back then, they hand-painted posters every day for the nightly performance. He and the other painters had to mix his colors by hand each day he went to work and he discovered that all colors (red, yellow, blue, black, and white) and every shade of these colors contained undertones of either BLUE or YELLOW. He realized that colors with blue undertones worked in harmony with each other and colors having yellow pigmentation worked in harmony, but when the two undertones mixed it didn’t look so good.

He became more fascinated with color harmony and began studying how people responded to it. Dorr observed that most people either like blue-based colors (KEY 1) or yellow-based colors (KEY 2).

When he moved to the West coast he continued his research testing hundreds of thousands of men and women of all races and ages, finding the similarities shared among blue-based individuals and yellow-based individuals. He studied skin tone, eye color, hair color, purchasing preferences, and more.

Now we have a wealth of scientific knowledge on the blue-based yellow-based color system.


Today I want to share with you some really simple ways to find your color spectrum so you can start your journey towards color harmony.

I am going to be going through a series of questions to help you determine whether you are blue or yellow based, so take out your notepad if you want to be a stellar student today, otherwise, follow along and keep track in your head.

The first question I’d like to ask you is, what undertones do you see in your skin?

Skin's undertone is a huge indicator of your base tone. The best place to check your undertone is on the inside of your wrist, in a place that doesn’t get too much sun, the palm of your hand, or your ears.

If you have fair to light skin (Fitzpatrick 1 and 2 ) do you have rosy pink undertones or peachy pink undertones?

Rosy undertones = blue based

Peachy pink undertones = yellow based

If you have medium or brown skin that tans more easily (Fitzpatrick 3 & 4) do you have rosy or golden yellow undertones?

Rosy undertones = blue based

Golden yellow undertones = yellow based

If you are Fitzpatrick 5 or 6 with dark skin, do you have blue or plum undertones or golden brown undertones?

Blue/plum undertones = blue based

Golden brown undertones = yellow based

Another great way to determine if you are yellow based or blue based is to pay attention to the colors you are drawn to. We are all born with the natural gift of liking colors in our spectrum.

I’m going to show you blue based and yellow based versions of 3 colors . Keep track of which colors you like more, which color of the pair makes you excited inside. If you don't like either color, think if you absolutely HAD to choose, which would it be?

Blue based colors will be on the left, and yellow based on the right.

1) Burgundy or Fire Truck Red?

2) Snow White or Creamy White?

3) Hot Pink or Coral?

So which side did you like more often? The blue based colors or the yellow based colors?

Now I want to show you a line of blue based colors and a line of yellow based colors next to each other so you can start training your eye.

Which line of colors would you RATHER have in your life? Which color row as a whole makes you warm and fuzzy inside?

Now that we have gone through all the questions, tally up your answers. Were you more inclined to choose blue based colors or yellow based colors? Do you have blue-based skin or yellow based?

Chances are you are already choosing colors that look good on you, so trust your instincts. But having more knowledge of this color system is a great tool in achieving harmony in your home, with your business, and always looking and feeling your best.

Enjoy living in color! Thanks for joining me.

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