When we leave the house, we usually want to look good. That's why we spend so much time getting ready. We have to pick out the right outfit, wear the right makeup, do our hair, pluck our eyebrows and so on. The list is endless, and for some of us, the process steals hours from our lives. The good news, however, is that you might be able to speed the whole thing up. It's as simple as knowing your skin tone.

There are two basic skin tones -- cool and warm. You can decide what you are by investigating the color of your veins as seen on the underside of your arm. If the veins show through blue, you've got blue or white undertones, meaning you're a cool skin tone. Those with green veins have yellow undertones and are therefore warm. But there are much more specific descriptions as well.

There are six main types of skin tones ranging from light to black. Identifying your skin type will help you pick out make up, clothing and a hair color that best suits your natural appearance. A lot of people spend hours out in the sun or in a tanning booth to try to change the color of their skin. In doing so, they increase their chance of skin cancer. It's in your best interest to work with the skin you've got, instead of trying to change it.

Think of your skin tone like a natural foundation. It's your starting point. Everything else is determined by that foundation. You can use that starting point to help you pick out everything from the right makeup to the right nail polish, and if you do it correctly, you'll be amazed by the results.

If you're still not convinced, think of it this way: The average American woman spends more than $10,000 per year to look good [source: Romolini]. If you're going to spend that much money, you might as well make sure you're spending it on the right stuff. After all, would you spend money on a product that doesn't work? You don't want to spend $20 on lipstick that doesn't help you look your best.

Read on to find out how to match a lip color with your skin tone.