What Is Olive Skin & How To Go About Your Olive Complexion – Makeup, Dress, Hair color & Skincare Guide

Olive skin

Olive is a mystery skin color in humans. The olive skin refers to general moderate tones of brown and tan with green, yellow, or golden undertones.

This unique skin tone has got a magical freshness to it.

It is neither too light that everyone can see even the smallest blemish on your skin nor too dark like bronze and brown that it hides the light color of your blush.

what is olive skin
Image Source Pexels

So what is this olive skin, where does it come from, and how to take care of it? – We will discuss everything in this blog.

Olive skin color

Olive skin is a spectrum of human skin color. In the Fitzpatrick scale, olive skin pigment is associated with Type III to Type IV and Type V ranges. 

You can generally say a moderate brown, brownish, or tan skin is olive skin type. The undertone of olive skin color is yellow, green, or golden. 

The person with darker olive skin color will have a darker undertone too.

Fitzpatrick scale

Women with this skin color can be anywhere from skin-brown to tan and generally have green, hazel or brown eyes.

The usual color of their undertones is neutral (although it could be all others as well), which brings us to what this “undertone” is and how can you determine whether you have olive skin or not.

Olive skin tone chart:

Four general olive skin tone colors

1. Olive skin undertone:

Undertone is the natural color underneath the surface of the skin and is basically categorized as warm, cool and neutral.

Warm: The skin color includes tints of yellow, peach or apricot. Gold jewelry suits them best and they look good in dress colors other than rosy pink, emerald green, blue, grey and black.

The veins on their wrists appear more green.

Cool: The skin color has tinges of blue and pink complexion.

Silver jewelry suits them best and they can flaunt gracefully in all colors except yellow, orange, tomato red, spring green, olive green and coral.

The veins on their wrists appear purple or blue.

Neutral: No obvious emphasis of pink or blue color but rather, the skin’s natural color is prominent.

Both colors of jewelry (including earrings and necklaces) suit them equally well and they only feel awkward in a few colors like bright yellow, bright purple, hunter green and black. Their veins appear both green and blue.

Here is a diagrammatic representation to help you understand better:

Olive skin undertone
Differences between Warm, cool & neutral undertones

Usually,  with olive complexion have a neutral skin undertone but there are many with olive undertone too.

Olive: This undertone is a combination of all the undertones along with the green color. People with a natural olive undertone would have skin appearing gray.

So how can you tell if you fall in the last category?

2. How to tell if you have olive complexion?

Although there are many shades of this skin type but it’s not that you can get it artificially – you have to be born with it.

There is no fixed rule for determining this unique skin type because different levels of melanin can give different skin colors.

However, if you have some or all of the following, you possibly have olive-colored skin.

  • Your veins can not be specifically viewed as green or blue
  • Both silver and gold jewelry suits you equally
  • There is a green hint to your skin
  • Light shades of lipstick look bland on you while the red ones appear pinkish or magenta on your lips
  • You tan more easily than your friends with fair skin.
  • General foundations look yellow or pink on your skin (we will discuss in detail the best foundations for olive skin later in the blog)


Is it a yes or a no? Tell us in the comment section below.

If it is a YES, you would be highly interested in our next heading.

If it is a NO, you will still be interested because someone in your family or friend circle might have an olive complexion.

Where does this olive skin tone come from – olive skin tone ethnicity

To which area do we assign black skin?


And white, fair skin?

Europe and Northeast Asia

But where did this skin tone originated from? Ethnicities carrying olive skin color can not be dedicated to a specific area because it is scattered among different regions,

including the Mediterranean, Latin America, Indian subcontinent and Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Yemen and Kuwait.

  1. Mediterranean

The Mediterranean constitutes of the Mediterranean Basin, which covers three continents: Africa, Europe and Asia.

It includes parts of countries like Turkey from Western Asia; Italy, France and Spain from Southern Europe; and areas of North Africa.

Communities of the Mediterranean race are characterized by short-to-medium height, narrow nose, dark hair and skin tone that ranges from cream to olive and dark brown.

  1. Latin America

Latin America includes countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay.

While there are different skin tones prevalent in these areas because many ethnic groups have migrated from other regions, brown and olive complexion is one of them.

  1. Indian Subcontinent

The Indian Subcontinent consists of areas like India, Pakistan, Nepal, Srilanka and Bangladesh.

While olive-skinned people in Bangladesh and Srilanka fall in Type V of the Fitzpatrick scale, Indians and Pakistanis, more precisely, share Type III and IV.

People in both India and Pakistan also love to do makeup and complement their olive skin tone with relevant foundation, blush, eye shadow and jewelry.

  1. Middle East

Ethnicities of Middle Eastern countries that own pale to olive and brown skin tones include Egypt, Syria, UAE, Yemen and Kuwait.

There are several other skin tone colors popular in these areas like fair, brown and even black because many people from all over the world come here to seek employment opportunities.

Is Olive Skin White?

If we talk about the color of the skin(i.e fair), it is definitely not white but if we consider the geographic locations and racial ethnicities, olive skin can be attributed to white people.

Because many Latin American, Mediterranean and Hispanic whites have this skin type. They may have different undertones ranging from beige, sand and limestone to amber.

What are the Pros & Cons of Having an Olive Skin Tone?

What are the Pros & Cons of Having an Olive Skin Tone
Olive skin comes with pros & cons at the same time

As much as it is a uniqueness to have a light or dark olive skin, it comes with specific advantages and disadvantages like every other skin color.


  • It is not as sensitive to the radiations of the sun as fair skin types. The reason being the enhanced production of melanin, which is a natural pigment that provides that olive color to the skin. But at the same time, absorbs the UV radiations which naturally protect your skin from the sun.
  • It is more oily which means you are protected from wrinkles and skin dryness. The skin also appears to be more thick and smooth.
  • It tans easier than the fair skin tones; you wouldn’t have to lie in the sun for hours.
  • As your skin is less prone to dryness and wrinkles, you will have a somewhat slow aging process which is ideal for all the ladies.
  • You can choose any jewelry color to wear. The choices of dresses that look good on you are also vast. That will be discussed later.


  • Having oily skin has its disadvantages as well. It clogs up the pores which result in acne and pimples. Use an acne scar cream for it.
  • Your face looks greasy and artificial, especially under strong lights. If you are in showbiz, this could be highly problematic. We suggest you see your face in the mirror makeup lights to note if it appears greasy before going out for a shoot. If it is, wash the face with soap or apply astringent toner before applying makeup to dry out the skin.


Portable Makeup Lighting
Make-up light helps you discover greasiness beforehand

If it is, there is every chance that the effect would be enhanced under studio lights. Wash the face with soap or apply astringent toner before applying makeup to dry out the skin.

  • Easy tanning also means that you have to be alert of the sun exposure in case you don’t want to be tanned. If you already have a dark olive skin tone, we recommend having a sunscreen always in your bag. Or better use the newest innovative products like masks to prevent harmful sun rays from affecting your skin tone directly.
  • As we mentioned earlier, chances of melanin secretion in olive-skinned people are more, which can pose risks of discoloration and hyper-pigmentation.

Now that you have understood a bit about the science of having olive skin, let’s discuss ways of creating an everlasting impact with it, on the viewers.

Best Clothing Colors for Olive Skin:

“Majority of dress colors and jewelry will look good on the olive complexion.”

Olive skin tones are flattered by vibrant shades with a rosy glow such as pink and fuchsia. 

For lighter olive skin tones, wear dresses in lighter hues with subtle contrasts of placid blues and blue-greens to look great. 

The clothing color will also depend on your hair color to look exceedingly charming. For brown to dark blonde hair, there are some options like orange, pink, yellow, and dark blue to look great on you.

Here are the details:

1. Pink

olive skinned in pink dress
Image Source Pinterest

It brings out an irresistible sex appeal. They make you look “royal” and “hot” at the same time. Pair it up with dark-colored hair and a rose necklace.

2. Black

olive-skinned in black dress
Black dress is a “killer” option

We wouldn’t lie to you. If you have the right body, dress and hair color, this could be a “killer” option.

If you have light-colored eyes, go for auburn or Mocha hair color; if you have dark-colored eyes, you can try the caramel or dirty blonde color.

3. Brown

olive skinned in brown dress
Image Source Pinterest

Contrast can work wonders in fashion but only if you have the necessary skills. To be on the safer side, uniformity is chosen.

Similarly in this case, if you are apprehensive of trying different colored clothes with your olive toned skin, why not wear something that is similar to it to complement it?

Brown is a very decent option, but remember one thing; not everything should be the same.

If you have a brown dress, go for grey-blonde hair.

Or if you don’t want to try that too, have an accessory like large Bohemian earrings to set up a balance between uniformity and dissimilarity.

4. Orange

This color works majestically with blonde to caramel hair and light olive-toned skin. The best thing is that you can wear both matte and glossy orange dresses without looking tacky even slightly.

Get a minimalistic necklace with a watch on your wrist and you are ready to rock the party.

5. Yellow

You can find mesmerizing pictures of every olive-toned celebrity donning a yellow outfit – a clear indication that this is a befitting shade for them.

If you are on the darker side, choose a non-bright, non-glossy shade of yellow but if you have a light-colored skin shade, don’t be afraid to get in a bright bodycon dress.

6. White

olive skinned in white dress
A white dress makes your face look elegantly deep

White will emphasize your lustrous olive tone color and make it look elegantly deep. Have a shade of blonde hair with this color of dress.

You can pair up your dress with artificial jewelry: an olive tree ring with a bracelet on the other hand and a necklace in the neck are enough for casting an exquisite effect.

7. Dark blue

olive-skinned in dark blue dress
Image Source Pinterest

We eradicated the possibility of wearing a sky blue dress with olive complexion previously but thanks to that, it brings the royal dark blue color in the limelight.

Have an ombre shade in your hair and complement their light color with the depth of the dress. How very grand!

How to do makeup for olive skin – Become a head-turner

We will discuss everything from the foundation you should put on to the blush, eye makeup and lipstick that will suit you the most.

Wearing the right shade and style of makeup is key to looking stunning.

Your undertone and olive skin color shade will define which item to opt for.

1. Foundation for olive complexion

 Foundation for olive complexion
Foundation evens out the complexion

Foundation, as we all know, is applied on the face to even out the complexion and grant a uniform consistency to the face.

The deal with choosing the best foundation is to know your undertone because it needs to match with it rather than the skin color.

Although, most of the olive skins have a neutral undertone for which neutral shades of foundation will suit you best but it doesn’t mean you can’t have warm or cold undertones.

Generally speaking, if you have:

  • Olive undertone: Choose very subtle foundations that are a bit goldish like Bisque, Camel and Sable.
  • Neutral undertone: Choose subtle foundations like Pearl, Sunset and Sable.
  • Warm undertone: Choose a foundation with yellow undertones like Ivory, Tan, Sand, Caramel, Amber and Honey
  • Cold undertone: Choose a foundation with cold undertones like Cameo, Clay and Shell.

It is just a general distribution. We recommend swatching 2-3 colors on the face and checking which one is the most suitable.

2. Eye makeup for olive skin tone

How to do makeup for olive skin
A good eye make-up uplifts your beauty quotient

It’s all about the look you want really, but here are some suggestions that might work like magic for you.

i. Eyeshadow for olive skin

If you want a gentle, formal look, you can go for an orange, deep plum, bronze or golden eyeshadow.

If you are in a hurry, apply the color with an eyeshadow applicator which gives the same consistency that you get after “minutes” of manual stroking. These are the safest options.

Easy Eyeshadow Applicator
Quick eye shadow applicator


If you want your eyes to make an immediate impression or going for a sultry look, colors like blue, emerald green and purple should be your right away options.

Eye makeup for olive skin tone
Bright eye shadow for a sizzling look

ii. Eyebrows makeup

Olive skin complexion can make your brows look faded. If that is the case with you, you should always fill them up with a brow pencil or an eyebrow microblading pen.

This is an excellent hack to emphasize your eyes even if you are not wearing any eye shadow.

You can also go for a permanent solution like microblading however, do not forget to take care of your brows after the process, sensitively for some time.

iii. Eyeliner makeup for olive skin tone

Multifunctional Travel Makeup Pen
The eyeliner highlights your eyes

Most probably your eye colors are brown and green if you have this skin tone and the best color to jazz those colors of eyes is the old-fashioned black one.

Don’t go for any other color. If you have brown, make it quite deep with a makeup pen.

iv. Eyelashes

Magnetic Eyelashes
Magnetic eyelashes make your eyes look stunning

It’s not just for olive skin color but for all skin colors. There are no second thoughts about how stunning long eyelashes make your eyes look.

Now instead of using glue-based eyelashes, you can enjoy the magnetic eyelashes that will magically stick to your existing eyelashes. Or you can opt for a Silk Fiber Mascara which will give you the same lengthening effect.

3. Blush for olive skin

Blush for olive skin
Blush-on for a bright face

In order to brighten up the tone of your face, you would definitely need a blush. Now if we talk about the best colors for you, it would be peach, rosy pink or mauve or even bronze for an edgy look.

An edgy look is the customary high, emphasized cheekbone look you often see the actresses and models flaunting while posing a side view on the Red Carpet or Catwalks.

If you choose anything lighter than this, it won’t show up on the skin. Conversely, anything dark and your face would appear grimy.

4. Best lipstick colors for olive skin tone

Best lipstick colors for olive skin tone
Beautify yourself with variable colors of lipstick

This is where the olive-toned skins get the most advantage because they can beautify themselves with a wide variety of lipstick colors.

Remember to consider your undertones while choosing your go-to color.

One clear-cut rule: Go for the hues that make the green hints of your skin less prominent.

Here are some options:

  • Dark shades: Caramel and coffee on light olive skin. Taupe on dark olive skin. These colors provide a graceful composedness to the face.
  • Bright shades: Orange, coral and red for lighter skin tones while peach and magenta for dark olive skin. These shades will emphasize your natural undertones.
  • Nude shades: Choose a lip shade that is more towards the brown end of the color spectrum.
  • Don’ts: Purple as they blanch the natural grace of the olive-green skin

5. Best bronzer for olive skin:

Best bronzer for olive skin
Bronzer for a toned look

You would want to be careful with a bronzer on this skin color. It sure imitates a sun-kissed luster to the face but it can also make you look muddy if utilized improperly.

Choose a light brown, golden or copper bronzer but apply it lightly or otherwise, it would look artificial and overemphasized.

Which is the best hair color for olive skin tone?

Say hi to the undertones again!

Unless you have a matching hair color with the undertones of your olive complexion, things are not going to work out and all your money invested on dying or streaking the hair could go well in the drain.

So, here we go with the hair color options you can try out with your olive tone:

1. Dirty blonde

Dirty Blond
Image Source Pexels

Many ladies with this skin color think they can’t impress with blonde hair. While it could be true for the true blonde shade, it isn’t if you opt for a dirty blonde color.

This light brown hue matches exactly with the skin tone and gives a balanced, composed look.

2. Auburn

Image Source Pinterest

Auburn is best for olive skins that don’t have orange or red undertones, which occurs very rarely.

But to be on the safer side, opt for a light or muted auburn hair color because you wouldn’t want to go entirely against the green hint specific to your skin.

If you have short hair, you can add different scarves to your dress for a pleasing “lengthening” effect.

3. Strawberry brown

Strawberry brown
Image Source Pexels

Red or golden might be a little “far-ahead” for your skin tone, so why not choose something which is subtle and stylish at the same time.

This strawberry brown color blends well with the skin type under discussion but you shouldn’t wear blue dresses with it as it would result in a poor composition.

4. Gray Blonde

We all loved the Smokey-gray hair color of Kim Kardashian and guess what, she has an olive skin tone. So if she can rock that look, why not you.

We know, that’s a lot of pressure and there are chances that you couldn’t pull it as stylishly as she did but think for a second if you can.

Wouldn’t it be just perfect? There is no need to go all smokey, rather go for a combination of blonde and gray, as shown above.

5. Ombre

Ombre is the two-toned hair color

This is another outstanding hair color for people with olive complexion.

The dark-colored portion at the top could yield a flattering and assertive look but at the same time, the lighter hue downwards would balance that effect.

If you have a long height, we highly recommend this hair color.

6. Caramel or Light Brown

Caramel or Light Brown
Image Source Pexels

This is somewhat closer to the strawberry brown color, but more on the lighter side. What you can do is to opt for dark eye makeup to flaunt just the perfect equilibrium between dark and light.

You can wear dress of any color with this hair color as opposed to strawberry brown and Gray Blonde.

7. Mocha

Mocha hair color is near to black

Mocha is a very safe option because its close to all-black.

It is a dark brown shade that goes with all olive skin undertones and can pair well with anything from stylish leggings and shirt to bodycon, halter dress, slip dress and off-the-shoulder tops.

How to take care of the skin – Olive skin care tips

How to take care of the skin
Taking care of olive skin is important

We discussed the cons of having olive skin tone earlier. Here, we will discuss the “Must skin care tips” for your elegant skin.

  • Cleanse your face twice or at least once a day. When you go out or are even in the house, the skin is always in contact with bacteria, dirt and other pollutants. Also, the excess oil needs to be removed from the skin surface.
Choose a cleanser that suits your skin and one that contains salicylic acid which will get rid of the dead skin cells and acne.
  • To guard your skin against hyper-pigmentation and dark spots, use an anti-oxidant serum containing up to 15% vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to reduce the chances of dark circles forming under the eyes and protects against the UV rays.
  • As you can tan easily, you should also always carry sunscreen with you when going out in the sun.
  • Remove facial hair with the help of an IPL Handset, which destroys the hair follicles by weakening them from roots through light pulses. It’s absolutely safe and free of any chemicals.
  • You also need to moisturize your skin daily. It’s even more critical for dark olive tone because they can appear “ashy” otherwise. Use an aloe vera gel moisturizer but it should have a non-greasy texture. Also, find time for a blackhead mask every month to get rid of those unsightly blackheads.
Blackhead Removing Facial Mask
Black mask to remove blackheads

And NOW, to end the blog on a high:

Who are some olive skin celebrities?

1. Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba is an American actress that has ruled the hearts of people for over a decade now. She manages to complement her olive skin with light brown and strawberry brown hair.

2. Kim Kardashian

Ah, the ever-green Kardashian. Style quotient seems to reach a new height when she wears it. Over the years, this dark olive toned actress has managed to be a trendsetter, sometimes with her unique smoke hair and the other, with classic black.

3. Salma Hayek

This Mexican beauty has rocked the world with different looks from 1996 to now. And a big part of those ravishing photos goes to her natural, gleaming olive skin tone. She really brings out the color with her dark-colored hair.

4. Allesandra Ambrosio

She is a Brazilian model with a striking light olive tone. The Victoria Secret model loves to move around with blonde to dark brown hair.

5. Eva Mendes

She is also another dark olive skin American actress who began her career in 1990. She usually wears peach blush with dark eye makeup.

6. Adriana Lima

You could easily fall in the eyes of this Brazilian model but a big part of her beauty can be assigned to the olive color of her skin she so magnificently carries with her dark brown hair and green eyes.

7. Penelope Cruz

And then we have this light olive toned Spanish actress who always seems to find a perfect pose in her pictures, thanks to those dreamy eyes and naturally striking skin color.


So here is our guide on the olive skin tone. We hope you received everything you wanted to know after typing your query. Let us know if there is anything more related to the olive skin that needs to be discussed. Keep visiting our blog section for more informative articles.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *