Makeup For Olive Skin Tone: A Complete Guide

Discover which shades and cosmetics flatter and complement olive undertones effectively.

Reviewed by Jocelyn Ly, Licensed Cosmetologist
Written by Shatabdi Bhattacharya, BSc
Edited by Madhumati Chowdhury, MA (English Literature)
Fact-checked by Vaishali Sinha, MA (Comparative Literature)  • 

Makeup for olive skin tone can be tricky. People often mistake it for a neutral undertone. But olive skin is a mix of subtle yellow, green, and ashen hues. That is why it can be really hard to find the right shade of makeup that will complement the skin.

If you are having trouble finding makeup for your olive skin, we are here to help. Our list comprises shades and cosmetic products that are sure to flatter your skin. Swipe up to check out our suggestions.

protip_icon Keep In Mind
  • Eyeliner: Eyeliner Dark eyeliners like deep black or dark brown can make your eyes pop.
  • Liner: Eyeliner Use nude lip liners to help define your lips and make them look fuller.
  • Concealer: Eyeliner The correct shade can help with acne marks, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots. For dark circles, opt for a shade twice lighter than your natural skin tone.
  • Steer Clear: Eyeliner Using cool-toned foundations with pink or blue undertones, and bright eyeliners like blue, purple, and green.

How To Determine If You Have Olive Skin Tone

The skin undertone is the subtle color under your surface skin color. There are three types of undertone – cool, warm, and neutral. People with a cool undertone have pink, red, or blue hues. A person with a warm undertone may have a golden, peach, or yellow undertone. A neutral undertone is a balance between both warm and cool undertones.

However, some people do not have any of the three undertones. They may have an olive skin tone with a bit of yellow and greenish-ash colors with a neutral undertone. You can take a few tests to determine if you have olive skin tone.

protip_icon Trivia
Olive skin tone is associated with Fitzpatrick skin types III, IV, and V. People with light olive skin tone tan more easily than those with a light skin tone.

1. The Towel Test

Hold a white towel against your face and then an off-white towel. Check which one goes with your skin. If the white towel suits you more, you have a warm or olive undertone, and if the off-white towel suits your skin, you have a cool undertone. And if both towels suit your skin, you have a neutral undertone.

2. The Vein Test

Look at the veins in your wrist and determine their color. People with cool and warm undertones have blue and green veins, respectively. People with olive skin tone do not have a distinctly blue or green-colored vein.

3. The Jewelry Test

If you have an olive skin tone, you will look good in silver and gold jewelry. However, pastel-colored jewelry may not suit olive skin tone.

Here are a few tips to determine if you have olive skin tone:

  • If the right shade of foundation leaves a yellow or pink hue on your skin, you have an olive skin tone.
  • If light and pastel shade lipsticks do not complement your skin tone, you have an olive skin tone.

Do not be disheartened. Olive skin tone is unique and beautiful and comes with its perks.

Perks Of Having An Olive Skin Tone

Silver and gold tones look good on olive skin tone
Image: IStock
  • People with olive skin tone tend to have oily skin, i.e., it is protected from dryness and premature aging.
  • Both gold and silver jewelry complement an olive skin tone.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Olive skin is also admired for its natural, glowy appearance. Using a little bit of foundation in the shadow areas is enough for an envious makeup look.

On the flip side, there are a few drawbacks:

But the good news is, all these drawbacks are easy to manage with a proper skin care routine. Finding the right makeup for olive skin tone is easy if you know the tips and hacks. Scroll down to learn more.

How To Pick The Right Makeup For Olive Skin

1. Foundation For Olive Skin

Most commercial foundations are formulated for cool, warm, and neutral undertones. However, olive skin can use foundations meant for neutral undertones. After applying some foundation, you can also use a concealer to hide any skin imperfections.

2. Blushes For Olive Skin

Pink blush makeup for olive skin tone
Image: Shutterstock

Peach, pink, bronze, and shimmery shade blushes look beautiful on olive skin. Avoid using pale, cool-toned, and pastel shade blushes as they may give a greenish hue to your skin.

3. Highlighter For Olive Skin Tone

Picking the right highlighter can be tricky for olive skin tone. A pale highlighter may make you look ashy or chalky. While choosing a highlighter, avoid shades that look too pale and pick something with a golden hue.

4. Lipsticks For Olive Skin Tone

Berry lipstick for olive skin tone
Image: IStock

Look for lipstick shades that will help balance the green undertone of your skin. Berry and brown shade lipsticks look beautiful and vibrant on olive skin tone. If you opt for a berry or brown shade, choose darker shades with chocolate undertones.

If you are a fan of nude lipsticks, go for brownish nude shades and avoid pinkish nude shades.

Similarly, for red lipsticks, choose a shade with an orange or yellow undertone and avoid the ones with a blue undertone.

5. Eyeshadow For Olive Skin Tone

Gold and bronze eyeshadow makeup for olive skin tone
Image: Shutterstock

Eyeshadows with gold and bronze shades are perfect for olive skin tone. You can go for deep blue and purple eyeshadows if you want to rock a smokey eye look. You can use mascara to give some volume and definition to your lashes.

Petra, a blogger, shared eye makeup tips for her olive skin tone. She opted for neutral copper and vibrant emerald shades and paired them with a coral lipstick, noting, “I think this look is perfect for anyone with olive skin tone or warm skin tone. It will also suit nice to everyone with warm green eyes.” She blended the two shades on the eyelids, and then, “I took the first copper shade and blend[ed] it around the lower lash line. I used dark brown to darken the upper lash line and since that wasn’t enough for me, I went over with a black eye shadow and winged it out a bit, to lift up the eye. Some mascara and the eye are done (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
Celebrities like Zoe Kravitz, Meghan Markle, Venessa Hudgens, and Salma Hayek have olive skin tones.

6. Nail Colors For Olive Skin Tone

Those with olive skin tones are blessed with both neutral and warm undertones, making it easier to choose nail colors. There are a variety of color options you can select, ranging from bright and dark shades to pastel and muted shades. Deep shades like burgundy, blue, black, violet, and emerald green flatter the neutral undertones of the olive skin tone and add a bold edge to your look. Subtle bright tones, like pink and coral, and warm pastel shades like peach and beige, complement warm undertones and balance your overall makeup look. Metallic shades, like silver and sparkly golden, are also fun nail color options for olive skin tones. Avoid electric pop colors and nail polishes with bright yellow undertones.

Apart from the above makeup tips, you may follow additional beauty tips to flaunt your olive skin tone. Take a look.

Additional Makeup Tips For Olive Skin Tone

  • Bold and dark eyebrows may draw away the attention from your face. Opt for a gray or brownish eyebrow shade to keep it subtle.
  • Avoid bronzing your face. Olive skin tone has a natural tan effect, and a bronzer may make your face look sunburned.
  • Line your eyes with black or brown eyeliner or kohl. These shades will brighten up your eyes. Avoid bright liners in colors like green and blue.
Brown eyelining makeup for olive skin tone
Image: Shutterstock

Infographic: How To Choose The Correct Makeup For Olive Skin

People with olive skin tones typically have some brown undertones. Such skin tones are neither cool-toned nor warm-toned – and instead have a neutral tone. Hence, how can you find the right makeup that complements your olive skin tone? We are here to help you choose the right makeup products that best suit your complexion. Learn more from the infographic below.

how to choose the correct makeup for olive skin (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Even though it may seem tricky to identify if you have an olive skin tone, it is relatively easy. The towel, the vein, and the jewelry tests help you figure out your skin tone. As you learn how to do it from this article, choose your makeup for olive skin tone accordingly. Take into consideration that skin with olive tone is prone to hyperpigmentation and gets tanned pretty quickly. So, a good skincare routine and sunblock is a must. Makeup or no makeup, make sure to apply a good sunscreen lotion on your skin to prevent it from the sun’s harmful rays.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is olive skin the most attractive?

Many people consider olive skin one of the most attractive skin tones. It is the average skin tone among most ethnicities around the world.

Does coral look good on olive skin?

Yes, coral looks good on olive skin.

Does black look good on olive skin tone?

Yes, dark hues, especially black perfectly complements olive skin tone as it helps highlight the color and creates a sleek and elegant look.

How can I make my makeup last longer on my olive skin?

You can finish your look with a setting spray, use a compact powder, and invest in a good quality, full-coverage foundation to make your makeup last longer.

What does olive undertone skin look like?

Olive skin can have either warm or neutral undertones. The skin may look pale greenish, golden, or have a yellowish tint. It is commonly noticed in Mediterranean, Asian, and Latina people.

Key Takeaways

  • Eyeshadows in gold and bronze shades are ideal for olive-toned skin.
  • Blushes in peach, pink, bronze, and shimmering tones look gorgeous on olive skin tone.
  • Berry and brown lipsticks also look stunning and lively on this skin tone.
Makeup For Olive Skin Tone_illustration

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team


Discover the answer to the age-old question: “Do I have olive skin?” With this video, you’ll never have to wonder again. Get the facts and learn how to identify your skin tone.

Personal Experience: Source

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