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The Best Makeup For Olive Skin Tones

From flushed cheeks to brown eyeshadow.
July 01, 2020

If you have olive skin, you’re all too familiar with the balancing act of finding the right makeup — avoiding warm products that bring out your yellow and green undertones, but not wanting to look too cool or flat. The good news is that you can rock bold colors with ease, and with a little finesse, you can nail down the perfect hues for your complexion, from flushed blush to pearly highlighter. Ahead, we share how to determine if you have an olive skin tone, plus the best products to complement your olive skin.

How To Determine If You Have An Olive Skin Tone

Olive skin tones feature a combination of brown and green hues. While olive skin is often associated with a gorgeous tan, olive complexions can range from pale to dark, which makes knowing your undertone a big deal for finding the right makeup look for you. 


Most often, olive skin tones have warm or neutral undertones. If you’re not sure what your undertones are, flip your wrists. Blue veins signify cool undertones, while green veins indicate warm undertones. If your veins seem somewhere in-between, you could be neutral. Once you have a better understanding of your undertones, it’s time to update your makeup bag.

Foundation For Olive Skin

With so many foundations out there that have super pink undertones, it can be a challenge to find your foundation color match. You’ll want to make sure to pick a shade that matches the exact color and undertone of your skin for a seamless look, but doing so is easier said than done.

Veering toward darker formulas with warm undertones will be your best bet, and from there, you can pinpoint the exact color that suits your skin best. Choosing a foundation that has lots of tone and shade options will allow you to find your perfect fit. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight line, which is available in 40 shades. If you prefer a powder formula, we love the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear in a Powder, matte finish.

Eyeshadow for Olive Skin

You have tons of options when it comes to eyeshadow with an olive complexion. If you fancy a classic look, you can’t go wrong with a brown smokey eye with the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude. If you want something more eye-catching, we recommend opting for a metallic, glossy finish using the  L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Amber Rush. For more sparkle, add a touch of the L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Shimmer Liquid Eye Shadow Makeup in Crown Gold to the center of your lids and add a coat of the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara to finish.

Brows for Olive Skin

Big bold eyebrows should be the focal point of your face, especially for olive skin tones. Use the L’Oréal Paris Unbelievabrow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel to help you get there. Start by lightly applying the product to fill in sparse areas. Then, use the angled brush to outline and define the shape of your brow. Finish up by combing through your brows with a spoolie, and your look is complete.

Bronzer For Olive Skin

For a sculpted, bronzed look, you’ll need to find the right bronzer for olive skin. Be sure to steer clear of overly orange bronzers, which typically don’t flatter your complexion. Instead, reach for natural browns and copper tones, which will accentuate your skin for a sun-kissed glow. Swipe the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer in Medium onto the hollows of your cheeks to help keep your makeup from falling flat.

Blush for Olive Skin

If you want to perk up your olive-colored skin, you should give blush serious consideration. With just a swipe of rosy color, you can create the illusion of a brighter complexion. When you have olive skin, it’s especially important to find a rosy pink or warm peach hue that’s just bright enough to show up without looking overdone. Your goal is to give your face a natural-looking flush. We love the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Satin Blush with Camellia Oil in Amber for this.

Highlight for Olive Skin

To make your olive skin glow, add a touch of the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops in Golden Hour to the high points of your face, like on the temples and down your nose. Blend evenly with a makeup sponge or your fingers. Once complete, you’ll have a glowy look that will bring out your natural warm undertones.

Lipstick for Olive Skin

While you can totally rock any lipstick shade you dream of, there is something extra special about hot red lips on olive skin tones (really, any skin tone for that matter). We love the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Maison Marais—a bold chili-red—for this. Berry lip shades also look stunning on olive skin tones and create a nice contrast. We love the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump in True Berry.

Next: The Best Makeup Colors for Every Skin Tone

Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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