Understanding skin tone and undertones — like whether you have olive skin with warm, cool, or neutral undertones — is key to finding flattering makeup. It doesn’t matter if you’re just on the hunt for a new foundation or looking for the best eyeshadow palette with colors that’ll complement your complexion — the information comes in handy.
Although many people can tell if they have a fair, olive or medium, or dark skin tone, most of the time, makeup comprehension ends there. But learning more about your olive skin tone can make shopping for new makeup products even easier. Ahead, a makeup artist shares everything you should know about your olive skin color, like best eyeshadow colors for olive skin, best neutral eyeshadow palette for brown skin, complementary colors to look for with other makeup, and more.
best eyeshadow colors for olive skin
What Is Olive Skin Tone?
The term olive skin doesn’t refer to just one complexion shade. You can have light, pale olive skin or dark olive skin. “Olive skin has the main characteristic of being in the range of green and brown,” Jaleesa Jaikaran, celebrity makeup artist and Humphreys Witch Hazel brand partner, tells POPSUGAR. In terms of undertones, olive skin tends to be more neutral or warm rather than cool.
Marie explains that warm, soft shades with hints of pink, red, and gold are perfect for brown eyes. “Think roses, peaches, and the color of your favorite bronzer or blush.” Urban Decay’s Naked Cherry palette is just the thing. It has 12 colors, including both matte and shimmery shades, each with a touch of copper, rust, bronze, or berry-red warmth.
With two deep bronzy-grays, a coppery gold, and a highlighter shade, this budget-friendly mini palette has everything you need to make your brown eyes pop. “For a dramatic look with a simple approach, keep these colors close to the lash lines, blending them over your eyeliner on the top and bottom,” Marie offers. “Swiping the shadow along your lash line diffuses the liner and actually increases the longevity of the wear.”
If you’re open to splurging on a pro-level palette, you should definitely consider Tom Ford’s Color Quad. It comes with four luxuriously smooth shadows and is available in several color families, including many that look brilliant on brown eyes. We recommend Body Heat, Disco Dust, Honeymoon, or Pretty Baby.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit
Anastasia’s Sugar Glow Kit looks a lot like a blush and highlighter palette because, well… it is—sort of. The four creamy, light-reflecting powders can be used on the eyelids to brighten up dark brown irises, as well as on the cheeks, temples, brow bone, décolletage, and anywhere else you want to add a little glow.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Shadow in Amber Rush
If you gravitate toward shimmery shadows, pick up a pot or two of this long-lasting, light-reflecting formula from L’Oreal. Rosy pinks, golds, purples, and grays are best for brown eyes, like the shades Amber Rush, Glistening Garnet, Smoldering Plum, or Bronzed Taupe.
What Makeup Is Best For Olive Skin?
To understand what best eyeshadow for brown eyes and olive skin, it is best to understand a few basics about the unique olive skin tone. Olive skin is so misunderstood that even the experts disagree on the undertone components of this skin tone. It is obvious, as the name indicates, olive skin has green pigment.
What makes olive skin so unique is that it has an undertone that doesn’t fit into the typical cool, warm or neutral categories. Rather, those with olive skin may find a combination from all three undertones.
Light and dark olive tones are based on different ethnic backgrounds originating from European regions, middle eastern regions, and Latin American regions.
Olive skin is uncommon, which leads to it often being improperly categorized as golden tan. This mistake can lead women to purchase the wrong make-up shades. The differences between tan and olive may seem slight, but they make a noticeable difference in cosmetics.
How to Color Match Olive Skin
Paying attention to the undertones of your olive skin tone will make color-matching complexion products like foundations and concealers a breeze. Jaikaran recommends you take a look at the color of the veins on your wrist. “Check your wrist or any visible veins — if they are blue to purplish veins, then you can range between neutral and cool tones,” she says. “Veins that are green mean you have a warm skin tone. If you have a mix of blue and green, then you are more neutral.”
With this information, you can look for brands that cater to your skin tone. “Exa Beauty High Fidelity Foundation ($32) carries a wide range of shades and undertones that have been a favorite of mine and in my pro makeup kit,” says Jaikaran.
Flattering Colors For Olive Skin
There are a variety of shades to choose from to flatter your olive-colored skin. “Shades of gold, bronze, and copper tones look amazing on olive skin, regardless if it’s eyeshadows or bronzers,” says Jaikaran. “For blushes, peach, pink, orange, and shimmering tones flatter olive skin beautifully.”
As for the best lipstick hues for olive skin, Jaikaran recommends berry and brown shades as they look “lively on this skin tone.”