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What color makeup goes with olive skin tone?

Finding the right makeup colors can be tricky for people with olive skin tones. Olive skin has both warm golden undertones and cool green undertones which can make choosing flattering makeup shades a challenge. This guide will provide tips on finding the best makeup colors for olive skin for eyes, lips, blush and more.

Understanding Olive Skin Tone

Olive skin gets its name from the greenish-golden hue it shares with olive fruit. It is considered a neutral skin tone that can lean warm or cool. Olive skin is common among those of Mediterranean, Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern descent.

Here are some characteristics of olive skin:

  • Has a greenish, golden or brownish hue
  • Tans easily in the sun
  • May appear yellowish, brownish or grayish
  • Veins appear green or blue-green
  • Looks best in gold jewelry

The key is to find makeup shades that flatter both the warm golden undertones as well as the cooler tones in olive skin. Choosing colors that are too warm or too cool can look off and clash with the complexion.

Best Makeup Colors for Olive Skin


The right eyeshadow colors can make olive eyes pop. Avoid shades that are too warm or orange as these may clash with olive skin. Here are flattering eyeshadow colors for olive skin:

  • Bronze
  • Gold
  • Shimmery champagne
  • Rose gold
  • Purple
  • Taupe
  • Green
  • Brown

Metallic and shimmery eyeshadows flatter olive skin best by playing up the golden glow. Stay away from pastels and go for richer jewel tones.

Eyeliner and Mascara

When it comes to eyeliner and mascara, olive skin looks great with:

  • Brown eyeliner for a softer everyday look
  • Black eyeliner for drama
  • Dark green or emerald green eyeliner to make eyes pop
  • Brown or black mascara

Avoid using bright blue or purple eyeliner near olive eyes as it can look jarring. Mascara in black or dark brown is universally flattering. Apply mascara to both top and bottom lashes to emphasize olive eyes.


The right blush can give olive skin a healthy, radiant glow. Look for rosy terra-cotta shades with warm golden undertones. Cool-toned blushes can look drab against olive skin. Try these blush shades:

  • Peach
  • Apricot
  • Rosewood
  • Mauve
  • Rosy brown
  • Terracotta

For a natural flush, apply blush to the apples of the cheeks. Blend well so there are no harsh lines.

Lipstick and Lip Gloss

Finding a lip color to suit olive skin comes down to sticking with warm, golden-brown based shades. Cool berry shades usually don’t pair well with olive complexions. Here are flattering lipstick colors to try:

  • Peachy nude
  • Honey
  • Rosewood
  • Terracotta
  • Mauve
  • Wine
  • Brown

Lip glosses look great on olive skin in shades like gold, peach, bronze and rose-brown. Steer clear of bright pinks and corals – an olive complexion is much better suited to earthier lip gloss shades.

Foundation and Concealer

Choosing the right foundation and concealer for olive skin comes down to finding a shade that matches the complexion while counteracting discoloration. Look for formulas with yellow/golden undertones to complement olive skin. When testing shades, be sure to check for a match along your jawline in natural lighting – not just on your hand.

Opt for a liquid foundation with sheer to medium coverage to let your skin shine through. Full coverage, opaque foundations can look mask-like on olive skin. For concealer, select a shade that matches your foundation and use it sparingly to cover blemishes and under eye circles.

Makeup Tips for Olive Skin

Here are some makeup application tips to enhance olive skin:

  • Prep skin well with moisturizer before makeup
  • Use primer if you have oily areas to smooth skin
  • Conceal dark circles and blemishes using a brush and light handedly
  • Use a sponge applicator to blend liquid foundation seamlessly
  • Set makeup with translucent powder to reduce shine and improve wear
  • Use cream or liquid highlighter on cheekbones and brows for a dewy effect
  • Line lips with lip liner to prevent feathering
  • Use a setting spray to lock in makeup and reduce transfer

The right techniques combined with flattering colors can help those with olive complexions create a radiant, flawless makeup look.


Olive skin has a unique set of characteristics that impact what makeup shades will be most flattering. By understanding olive undertones and avoiding shades that are too cool or too warm, you can highlight your natural beauty.

The best makeup colors for olive skin play up golden undertones in eyeshadows, lip colors and blush while counteracting discoloration with proper foundation and concealer shades. With the tips provided, you can pick makeup that enhances your olive glow.