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Thread: NC vs. NW

  1. #1
    Senior Member mac_obsession's Avatar
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    NC vs. NW

    What exactly is the difference between NC and NW?

    This has been bugging me forever and I need to know

    You may only be one person to the world-but you maybe the world to one person.

  2. #2
    NC-Neutral Cool -For golden undertones
    NW-Neutral Warm-For pinkish undertones


    Here is some more info:
    http://www.specktra.net/foundation.php

  3. #3
    Senior Member mac_obsession's Avatar
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    haha I knew I shoulda looked before I asked. I was being lazy :x
    Thank you very much for your response and link!

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Alison's Avatar
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    It's so counter intuitive (sp?). I have a cool skintone (pink undertones) and I ware an NW foundation.

  5. #5
    They use the artist's color wheel. It does seem backwards.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Krystle's Avatar
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    NC vs. NW

    How do you know if you are a cool or warm?

    One MAC store I went to put NC on me and another put NW on. I didnt notice much a difference. How do you judge that?
    Krystle, 23
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    Senior Member jamiemeng's Avatar
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    I am cool
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Sanne's Avatar
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    NW is cooler, more pink undertones in your skin
    NC is warmer, more yellow yellow in your skin

    when your cool toned the veins at your forearm usually look blue, and when you are warm toned these veins usually look green.

    It also happens that people are neutral toned; meaning they aren't pink or yellow toned. Then you are lucky and you can wear both.

    If you ever go to a MAC store again, ask what underone you have!(or post a daylight picture here, maybe people can see it!)

  9. #9
    Member Cedar's Avatar
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    Most people naturally gravitate towards the colors that are right for them. Do you look better in pinks, mauves, and silver or brown, coral, and gold? The former is cool, meaning you need NW makeup, and the latter is warm, meaning you need NC makeup. (Took me forever to figure that out!)

    Look at your skin against a piece of white paper. Does your skin tone look more yellow or more pink?

    Or just scrap the whole fuss and go to the counter and buy what looks good on you.
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  10. #10
    I notice that people who wear NWs tend to look a little flushed, if that makes sense. People who wear NCs (as the others said) have this golden glow going on. Every now and then people can throw you off!

    A trick I learned: Put a swipe of neutral toned powder or foundation on the bottom of your cheek down to your jaw, and it should reveal a either pinkish or gold undertone. That should tell you where you are. If it blends in, you are neutral. Again sometimes if you have different colors going on it may not work.

  11. #11
    Member Klava's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    This is a very old post and I'm not sure if anybody will respond to my comment or may be I should post this somewhere else, but, nevertheless... lately I read that a lot of MUA say that there only a few people out there who really need foundation with pink undertones, that usually yellow works for almost everybody. What do you guys think? I know that it's true for me, because even though my face definitely has pink undertones, my neck has yellow, so I buy NC15 and it works great! i think the idea here is that your face color doesn't differ too much from your neck, so you don't have a mask effect going on... Thoughts, comments?...
    You are perfect the way you are!

  12. #12
    Senior Member YvetteJeannine's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    I don't know about that...

    I know definitely for me, if I personally wore an NC foundation, I would look like a death mask...I am a rich/auburn redhead, with green/blue eyes and definite pinkish tones to my face (I've got a lil' Irish flush going' on). I am an NW 20.

    I see many people can get away with wearing the NC line; but if you were distinctly cool-toned (that'd be warm-toned in MAC-speak), I don't think you'd want to try to get away with NC...I've seen a lot of people that should be wearing NW's, and get matched (or match themselves) to NC's...They don't look good.

    Alternatively, one can mix and match foundations...There are many women that either mix NW's and NC's together, or they use one color line for the face, and the other for the neck...

    However, I think if you're inclined to one type, that it would look correct with your neck as well as your face...But I'm not a Makeup Artist
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    Member Mixxi's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Klava
    This is a very old post and I'm not sure if anybody will respond to my comment or may be I should post this somewhere else, but, nevertheless... lately I read that a lot of MUA say that there only a few people out there who really need foundation with pink undertones, that usually yellow works for almost everybody. What do you guys think? I know that it's true for me, because even though my face definitely has pink undertones, my neck has yellow, so I buy NC15 and it works great! i think the idea here is that your face color doesn't differ too much from your neck, so you don't have a mask effect going on... Thoughts, comments?...

    I've been thinking about that because I have pink undertones on my face but yellow on my neck and body. I wear NW15 and it looks different to my neck and sort of mask-like so I think I might switch to NC15 now.

  14. #14
    Member Klava's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    Mixxi, let me know if that works for you.
    You are perfect the way you are!

  15. #15
    Senior Member BunnyBunnyBunny's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    I have more pink in my face, so naturally the makeup artists always want to give me NW, but for some reason I like NC better. I HATE how NW makes me look red. it makes my face look so red, I feel more comfortable having NC. Maybe because my pinker skin with the yellower makeup makes me look more overal neutral? I dunno. o.o

  16. #16
    Member Klava's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    I just had a makeup lesson with the freelance MUA, who used to work for MAC and has lots of experience. So I asked him about it and he told me that usually true redheads with very pale skin are the ones that need foundation with pink undertones, the rest of the people look better with warm tones foundations.
    You are perfect the way you are!

  17. #17
    Junior Member juicybarbie's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    i once went to a MAC store in cardiff and the girl gave me NW25 and it was WAY too dark for my skin. I'm quite pale and i almost looked like i had mud on my face!

  18. #18
    Senior Member corngrl2's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    I wear NW20...I once bought NC20 by accident and it made me look yellow and almost jaundiced. I find NW balances out my reddish tones and gives me a porcelain look.

  19. #19
    Senior Member BunnyBunnyBunny's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    So I got over that whole, looking paler, fixing my skin color, trying to look whiter thing and bought Studio Tech in NW20. My god I look perfect!! I look absolutely amazing. The makeup artist was amazing and now I look amazing too! Haha, find your right color and you will look flawless with our products.

  20. #20

    Re: NC vs. NW

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by juicybarbie
    i once went to a MAC store in cardiff and the girl gave me NW25 and it was WAY too dark for my skin. I'm quite pale and i almost looked like i had mud on my face!

    Same here. I went to a nearby MAC store and the MUA gave me an NW35. I wore it for a while and was okay with it. I went there again last week and a different MUA was trying some new shades on my face and applied an NC42 foundation, and I noticed the difference!

    I looked so grey when I had the NW35 on my face, yet it was glowing and looking fresh with the NC42 on.

    So now, i'm happily an NC42

  21. #21

    Re: NC vs. NW

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArabianBeauty
    Same here. I went to a nearby MAC store and the MUA gave me an NW35. I wore it for a while and was okay with it. I went there again last week and a different MUA was trying some new shades on my face and applied an NC42 foundation, and I noticed the difference!

    I looked so grey when I had the NW35 on my face, yet it was glowing and looking fresh with the NC42 on.

    So now, i'm happily an NC42

    yayyy for NC42! That's what I am too, hehe during the Summer anyway lol.
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  22. #22

    Re: NC vs. NW

    Wow that chart thingy was helpful now I know what I am NC

  23. #23

    Re: NC vs. NW

    I have another question, *sorry*. What about C, N or W shades? What kind of undertone would they be suitable for? Thanks for your help.
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  24. #24
    Junior Member lil.white.lie's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EvilFairyQueen
    I have another question, *sorry*. What about C, N or W shades? What kind of undertone would they be suitable for? Thanks for your help.

    The MAC website explains it quite well !

    Quote:
    If your skin looks more Yellow-Golden Olive, you will find those undertones in the Cool or C shades.

    If your skin looks more Beige, you will match with the Neutral or N shades.

    If your skin looks more Pink, you will find those pink undertones in the Warm or W shades.

    I wear C3 Studio Fix and it looks good on me.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member MisStarrlight's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ms.marymac
    They use the artist's color wheel. It does seem backwards.

    I feel like everyone says this, but no one really understands it....I know I don't. I have been an artist my entire life, and a makeup artist for a few years-so I have quite a bit of experience w/ the "artist color wheel". It's not really different than the regular color wheel.

    Warm colors: colors w/ yellow tones in it
    Cool colors: colors w/ Blue undertones

    My skin is very blue. My skin is very obviously cool...I wear W10/NW15....

    Am I missing something? Can someone explain this to me?

    Honestly, If you ask me, NW & NC mean nothing...go by your eyes & match them to your skin...NC42 & NC50 are very "red" compared to NC43 or NC55, The "C" studio Fixes are more "red", but if you think about the names, NC=neutral cool, therefore C should=cool & be further away from the NWs & Ws....and then when you get into the very deep skintones-forget about it-I know tons of women who have a ton of "yellow" in their skin, but if they are darker than NC55 in tone, they're gonna be red whether they like it or not.....
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  26. #26
    Senior Member lethaldesign's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    When I first started wearing MAC, the MA used NC20 on me. I bought SFF in that shade &when I got home it looked wayyy yellow on me. So I went back &a different MA used NW25 on me. I bought that in the SF compact &used that shade for awhile but it never really looked right. So I went to another MA who matched me up with C3. I've used it ever since, honestly not knowing what the "shades" meant. During the winter, though, C3 is too dark on me & C2 is too light. I went back to another MA last winter &she matched me up as NC25.... which was still too yellow for my "winter skin."

    Around that time, I discovered mineral makeup Which is just so much easier to match to your skin undertones, IMO. I still use my Studio Fix compact in C3 occassionally, but prefer my MMU nowadays!
    once you go MAC, you'll never go back !!NC25 || Brunette || Green-eyed gal

  27. #27
    Senior Member Wannabe Junkie's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    I'd had a go at seeing what my undertones are from looking at the veins but could never decide whether they're blue or green tinged.

    I went a MAC counter today and was told I'm between the two. I've got both yellow and red depending on the area of the face. So it'll just depend on the time of year which one I'll need. I guess it explains why I've had such problems finding the right shade in the past.
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  28. #28
    Senior Member rabideloise's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    I thought I would be a NW15, but I was matched the other day to NC15. The MA told me that if you have a lot of pink in your face that NC will cancel that out to give you a more balanced look. Since NW means neutral warm, I assumed that if I put that on my face it would only amplify the pink and red that is so prevalent on my cheeks and chin. NC15 balances everything out and it matches my neck and the rest of my body, whereas NW15 made me look like a kabuki girl! My veins are obviously blue, too. I guess the best way to find the perfect shade is to play around with the different foundation formulas and shades at the counter and then have one of the MAs match you. Make sure to tell them what kind of coverage you want!
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  29. #29
    Member dheedhee's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    i am using NC30 for MAC Studio Fix atm, and i thinking to try NW when my NC is finish.. is it gonna make a different?
    What comes around, goes around

  30. #30
    Member misspresh's Avatar
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    Re: NC vs. NW

    I'm using NW20 and it's way too yellow for me - the colour isn't actually too dark for me (NW15 is too pale), it just looks so yellow! Would NC20 be better for me?

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