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Choosing the Best Styles for Your Olive Skin Tone

Discover how to bring out the natural beauty of your olive skin tone


The key to nailing your foundation, as well as finding the most complementary eye and lip colors, is understanding your skin tone. If you’re struggling with whether you have a “warm” or “cool” complexion, chances are high that you might have a more neutral skin tone.

Olive skin tones can show up in any color of skin–not only medium to darker hues like tans or toffees. Luckily, it’s easy to figure out if you have olive-toned skin. We will not only teach you how but also provide some shade suggestions so that you can create a flawless face.

Discover Your Undertones

There are only three steps you need to follow in order to find your undertone. After taking these steps, you will know whether your undertone is warm or cool.

The first step is to find a white shirt and stand in front of a mirror in natural light

First, Check Your Veins

Check the veins on your wrist. If they appear blue or pink, you have cool undertones. If they look greenish, you have warm undertones (or a neutral tone). If you can’t see a distinct color, it means the veins blend with your skin color.

Second, Wear White

Don’t know your skin tone? No worries! This quick and easy test will help you figure it out. Simply put on a piece of clothing in either white or off-white, then take a close look at your skin. If you have cool undertones, bright white will be ideal; if you have warm undertones, go for off-white instead. And finally, if both colors suit you well, chances are your skin tone is neutral.

Third, Silver vs Gold Jewelry: What’s the Difference?

Drawn to silver jewelry? You likely have cool undertones. Love gold? You probably have undertones that are warm. If your skin perfectly complements both silver and gold jewelry (and looks great with earthy elements like wood and different metals like copper) you have neutral undertones. 

How to Determine If You Have Olive Skin

Many people believe that if they have a neutral skin tone, it must mean they have olive skin. However, to figure out your actual skin tone, you need to take into account your entire complexion. The following statements are likely true if you have olive skin.

  • Your skin has a green or grayish tint
  • You have trouble finding the right foundation; most shades make you look too orange or too washed out.
  • It is hard for you to find a true red lipstick.

Is it possible to have pale olive skin?

You might be surprised to know that olive skin doesn’t necessarily mean tan skin. In fact, people with olive skin tones are typically classified as types III, IV, and V on the Fitzpatrick scale (a measure of how much melanin is in your skin). 

However, it’s possible for someone with olive skin to have less pigment.

Pale skin with neutral undertones may resemble olive-colored skin. The shade of skin will be more like pale gold or champagne than the color olive.

Makeup Shades That Bring Out The Best In Olive Skin Tones

Pro tip for all my olive-toned ladies out there: your perfect makeup color is probably not what it seems. Often, formulas with too much white will make you look ashen, and richly pigmented shades can turn peach or even orange when applied to your skin. For example, that red lipstick may look more pink on you than it does in the tube, and tan foundations may end up looking Orangey.

What makes olive skin tone so unique is that it isn’t exclusive to any one nationality. You can find this complexion across the globe, and paired with a myriad of different hair and eye colors.

Selecting the Right Foundation

If you have olive skin, it can be tricky to find a foundation that matches your skin tone perfectly. But don’t fret! There are foundations out there that will work for you. Look for these characteristics:

  • A foundation with green undertones is ideal for olive skin, as opposed to foundations with tan or pink undertones, which can make the complexion appear orange.
  • People with darker olive skin tones should use foundations with a gold or amber base.
  • A foundation with a luminizer can create a natural-looking radiance for those with olive skin, which might otherwise appear dull.

You don’t need to apply foundation over your entire face unless you just want that much coverage. Applying to trouble spots or in the T-zone (if you have oily skin) helps reduce shine and create the perfect palette for color cosmetics.

If you want to maintain a natural look while still covering up blemishes, opt for concealer instead of foundation. 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented® 2nd Skin Concealer won’t clog your pores and has buildable coverage that always looks like skin.

The Best Blush Shades for Your Face

If you have olive skin, you might want to stay away from peachy foundations. However, peach-based blushes will make you look radiant.

To create a natural, flushed look for your cheeks, try looking for colors like salmon or pink with gold undertones. Cream-based blushes are easier to adjust than powder blush and tend to be more fool-proof.

The Eyes Have it All

One of the benefits of having olive skin is that you can wear bold colors without looking washed out. If you love jewel tones, emerald or ruby will look great on your lids. You can also get a lot of use out of earth tones and shades with gold and amber highlights.

For a natural look, apply a small amount of highlighter to the center of your lid and sweep on a coat of mascara. You can also use highlighter on your lids or bronzer for sunkissed appearance.

The Perfect Lips

We believe that there are no rules when it comes to lip color. If you love a shade, wear it proudly! However, the key is finding a hue that complements your skin tone.

For example, if you’re enthusiastic about red and have an olive skin tone, a red with an orange base will appear more orange than red to people looking at you.

Instead of opting for superficial reds, go for a deeper shade with plum or raisin bases.

Your Hair Color Makes a Difference

Although olive skin is not always dark, it can be tough to find the perfect makeup if you have fair olive skin. A good place to start is your hair color; those with light hair should choosing different colors than someone whose olive complexion is paired with darker hues.

The way to make any color work with your skin tone is by being mindful of the undertones in the product. The majority of olive skin tones have neutral undertones, so it would be best to stick with colors that also have those undertones.

In Conclusion

If you have olive skin, you probably know that it can be tough to find the right colors for your foundation and makeup. The solution is to look for colors with similar undertones as your own skin. By selecting shades with comparable tones, you will end up with a natural-looking finish.

100% Pure’s products cater to all skin colours, with hues inspired by natural beauty. Those with cool undertones, warm undertones and olive complexions can wear any shade as long as it has similar undertones.

At its foundation, beauty is healthy skin that radiates. The products use only the best ingredients available to keep your skin clean and nourished, hence they allow you to have beautiful, healthy olive skin without using harsh chemicals.

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