You’ve been having fun in the sun all summer long, which means your olive undertones are positively glowing. Good for you!

The last thing you want to do now is cover up your hard-earned tan with the wrong makeup application. So as fall approaches, keep this makeup guide handy. Below you’ll find the best makeup for olive skin tones.

Understanding Your Undertones 

This is key, because no matter what your dominant skin tone is, what really makes foundation work is how well it complements your undertones. And to make things more confusing, many brands offer two or more colors that look nearly identical. For instance, Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H comes in Bisque W and Bisque N—warm and neutral.

Fortunately, product lines like Maybelline Fit Me offer a helping hand with their skin tone and texture matching system. Even still, we realize additional guidance can be helpful, so here’s a good place to start. 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


Foundation for Tan Skin

Standouts include the Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation and L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup, which have “true-match” technology to accurately match your unique skin tone. A lightweight formula or a BB or CC cream will also 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 local beauty counter help you solve the mystery!


Blush for Tan Skin

A little blush can add that touch of color that brightens an olive complexion. We’d recommend going with either a rosy pink (like Lancôme Blush Subtil in Rose Fresque) warm peach (we love NYX High Definition Blush in Bright Lights) or even a bronze-tinged blush like YSL Blush Volupté in Bohemian. Anything too light and the color won’t even show up on your skin, but if it’s too dark, it will cause your tan to look muddy.

Bronzer for Tan Skin

To keep it looking natural (and not orange!), choose a copper or earthy-brown shade for gleaming skin. Try Lancôme Star Bronzer in Sunkiss or NYX Tango With Bronzer in Confessions of a Tanaholic for a sun-kissed glow that will enhance any olive complexion. Tread lightly, though. If you go overboard with the bronzer, your faux-glow will look a little too intentional.

Eye Shadow for Tan Skin

Whether you play it safe or sultry is up to you. You could 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 gleam with brighter 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 lest we forget, a smoldering smoky eye.


Lipstick for Tan Skin

Product Recommendations: Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bloom in Power Peony, L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Balm Pop in Caring Coral, NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Chaos, Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani Lipstick in #400, Lancôme Color Design in Hit List

Shopping for the Right Makeup

Bonus round! A plan is only as good as your willingness to put it into action. So if this guide has inspired you to get your glow on, then we’ve got another strategy to help you feel confident in finding the right makeup online.

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