If you have olive skin, finding the right makeup can be challenging. Bright, fun colors look amazing with your complexion, but it could take all day to find a foundation or lipstick that perfectly matches your unique undertones. And of course the right makeup application is key. Ahead, find your ultimate guide to choosing the right makeup for olive and medium skin tones.
Understanding Your Undertones
No matter what your dominant skin tone is, what really makes foundation work is how well it complements your undertones. And to make things more confusing, many brands offer two or more colors that look nearly identical. Beneath your specific skin tone lies a subtle hue of one of the following undertones:
Cool: Pink, red or blue undertones
Warm: Yellow or golden undertones
Neutral: A balance between both cool and warm
Typically, olive skin is known for either having warm or neutral undertones with a greenish cast. The lighter your natural skin tone, the cooler your undertones are, while darker olive shades have a deeper, more golden undertone. If you’re unsure, here are a few tests to help you find out.
The White vs. Cream Test
Start by grabbing two articles of clothing (or even a towel) — one white and the other off-white. While wearing no makeup, decide which color complements your skin tone best. If it’s the pure-white shade, your undertones are warm. If the cream color suits you more, then you have cool undertones. If both flatter you just the same, you’re neutral.
The Vein Test
Look at the veins on your wrists. If they’re green, then you have warm undertones. If your veins are blue, then you have cool undertones. Do you have both colors or do they appear to be blue-green? Then you have neutral undertones.
The Jewelry Test
If gold jewelry enhances your complexion, then you’re likely on the warmer side. If silver jewelry looks best on your skin tone, then you have cool undertones.
The Sun Test
When you were out at the beach this summer, did your skin tan and turn golden-brown, or did you turn pink first? If you tanned immediately, you’re most likely warm-toned. If you burned first, you’re probably cool-toned.
Foundation for Olive Skin Tones
Working with your exact undertone will help you determine which foundation is perfect for your sun-kissed complexion. Our favorite for this is the NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation because it comes in 45 shades and does an excellent job at blending into the skin. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a foundation daily, we also recommend a lightweight formula like a BB or CC cream that will also deliver just enough coverage.
Blush and Bronzer for Olive Skin Tones
A little blush can add that touch of color that brightens an olive complexion in a flash, and our favorite product to do so lately is the Lime Crime Sunkissed Face Palette. We love this collection of shades because you can mix and match them for a colorful, dewy glow. As for bronzer, the NYX Professional Makeup California Beamin’ Bronzeris spot-on for medium skin tones because it comes in a myriad of shades and gives you an instant sparkle with just a few swipes.
Eyeshadow for Olive Skin Tones
As for shadow, whether you want to play it natural or sultry is up to you. Golden-browns and red hues look gorgeous on your skin, which is why we love the Morphe Ring The Alarm Palette for olive complexions. It has just the right amount of oranges and some spicy red and burgundy brown tones to accentuate your eyes and complexion. Not to mention, it’s an easy palette that can go with you just about anywhere.
Lipstick for Olive Skin Tones
Your olive skin tone works with a wide range of lipstick colors from subtle nude to electric orange. Big and bright shades bring out your natural gold undertones, while berry hues add extra warmth to your complexion. Other colors to flaunt include coral with pink undertones, vampy or wine-based reds, cranberry shades and deep pinks. Our favorite lip colors for olive tones, however, are without a doubt deep browns, which is why we love the NYX Professional Soft Matte Lip Cream in Dubai. This velvety color provides a pretty matte finish and it’s so striking on medium skin tones that people will do a double take. That said, there’s almost no way you can go wrong — we encourage you to wear whatever makes you feel your best.