Work With Your Undertones
No matter your skin tone, the key to finding the right makeup is dependent on your undertones. And when it comes to shopping for the right foundation, things can get a little confusing, as most brands will offer two or more colors that look almost identical. For example, Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H comes in Bisque W and Bisque N — warm and neutral. What does this mean? Beneath your specific skin tone lies a subtle hue of one of the following undertones:
Cool: Pink, red or blue undertones
Warm: Yellow or golden undertones
Neutral: A balance between both cool and warm
Typically, olive skin is known for either having warm or neutral undertones, with a greenish cast. And while most olive skin tones have yellow hues, that’s also dependent on where you fall on the olive skin tone spectrum — the lighter your olive shade, the cooler your undertones are, while darker olive shades have a deeper, more golden undertone.
Not sure what your undertones are? Here’s how to find out:
The White Vs. Cream Test: Grab two articles of clothing (or even a towel) — one white and the other off-white. While wearing NO makeup, decide which color complements your skin tone best. If it’s the pure-white shade, your undertones are warm. If the cream color suits you more, then you have cool undertones. If both flatter you just the same, you’re neutral!
The Vein Test: Look at the veins on your wrists. If they’re green, then you have warm undertones. If your veins are blue, then you have cool undertones. Do you have both colors or do they appear to be blue-green? Then you have neutral undertones.
The Jewelry Test: If gold jewelry enhances your complexion, then you’re likely on the warmer side. If silver jewelry looks best on your skin tone, then you have cool undertones.
Still not sure? Here’s one more for good measure!
The Sun Test: When you’re out at the beach, does your skin tan and turn golden-brown, or do you turn pink first? If you tan immediately, you’re most likely warm-toned. If you burn first, you’re probably cool-toned.
Foundation for Olive Skin
Working with your exact undertone will help you determine which foundation is perfect for your olive complexion. Unless you have specific skin concerns you’d like to conceal, you don’t need to go heavy-handed with the foundation (lucky you!). A lightweight formula or a BB or CC cream will deliver just enough coverage to give your olive skin a flawless finish. And if you’re still unsure of your skin’s undertones, have a makeup expert at your go-to beauty department help you solve the mystery!
Choosing the Right Blush
Brighten up an olive complexion with either a rosy pink warm peach or even a bronze-tinged blush. Anything too light and the color wont even show up on your skin, but if it’s too dark, it will cause your tan to look muddy.
Best Bronzer for You
Not that you need bronzer, but swiping a little shimmer on your cheekbones will really liven up your face. To keep it looking natural (and not orange!), choose a copper or earthy-brown shade for instantly gleaming skin. Tread lightly — too much and your faux-glow will look a little too intentional.
Eye Shadow Shades
You can most definitely play it safe or sultry and go for golden-brown eye shadows that play up your natural skin tone like the shades in the Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette OR you can really make your eyes stand out with rich pops of color. An olive complexion really stands out (in a great way!) against sapphire or royal blue, emerald green, burnt orange, deep plum — and let’s not forget a seriously smoldering dark smoky eye.
Flattering Lipstick Colors
This is where we REALLY envy you! Your skin tone works with a wide range of colors from subtle nude to electric orange! Big and bright shades bring out your natural gold undertones, while berry hues add extra warmth to your complexion. Other colors to rock include coral with pink undertones, vampy or wine-based reds, cranberry shades, and deep pinks. There’s almost no way you can go wrong — unless (hey, we all have our exceptions!) it’s purple or brown, as they can wash you out and give your complexion a sallow appearance. Otherwise, wear whatever makes you feel good!