Medium skin tones are some of the most common skin tones. But what exactly is “medium skin tone”?
Which foundation shades would match someone with medium skin tone?
We show you how medium skin tones look like and how to find the right foundation shade.
For light and dark skin tones, see our Visual Guide to All Skin Tones.
Skin tone depth for medium skin
When we describe someone as “light-skinned” or “dark-skinned”, we are really describing their skin tone depth.
Therefore, someone with “medium skin tone” would fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
Undertones for medium skin
Once you’ve figured out your skin tone depth, it’s time to determine your undertone.
This part is crucial because the worst foundation mismatches tend to be shades that make one appear unusually orange or pink or grey.
Broadly speaking, medium skin undertones fall into 4 categories:
Warm skin tones look more yellow.
Cool skin tones look more pink.
Neutral skin tones are somewhere between yellow and pink.
Olive skin tones have green and grey hues.
MAC Foundation Shade System Explained
Here at Redmond Mom, we use the MAC foundation shade system to classify brands and shade matches/equivalents because it’s more precise.
NC: has yellow, neutral and olive undertones
NW: has pink and neutral undertones
C: has yellow and olive undertones
For example, someone who is NC40 has medium skin with yellow, neutral or olive undertones.
What do light to medium skin tones look like?
Light to medium skin tones fall somewhere between light and medium shades.
Light-skinned people may also find themselves in this shade range as they get more sun in summer.
It’s usually described as “beige skin color”, “light beige”, “rose beige”, “buff” and “nude”.
Top rated foundations for light to medium skin tones (warm or neutral undertones)
Top rated foundations for light to medium (cool or neutral undertones)
|Light to Medium |
|Light to Medium |
|NC25 Foundation Matches/Equivalents||NW25 Foundation Matches/Equivalents|
|NC30 Foundation Matches/Equivalents||NW25 to NW30 Foundation Matches/Equivalents|
|NC35 Foundation Matches/Equivalents|
What do medium skin tones look like?
Medium skin tones are some of the most common skin tones and are usually described as “tanned” or “caramel”.
Top rated foundations for medium skin tones (warm or neutral undertones)
|Medium Warm |
|Medium Cool |
|NC37 Foundation Matches/Equivalents||NW25 to NW30 Foundation Matches/Equivalents|
|NC40 Foundation Matches/Equivalents|
|NC42 Foundation Matches/Equivalents|
How to find your foundation shade that matches your skin tone
Once you’ve figured out your skin tone depth and undertone, check out our extensive Foundation Matcher to find foundation brands and shades that match your skin tone.
If you want to know your shade for a specific foundation or concealer, use our Shade Finders to find the right match:
Popular foundations & concealers reviews
Image credits: https://www.maccosmetics.com, www.amazon.com