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A Guide to Foundation for Olive Skin Tones

Olive skin is a unique and beautiful skin tone – but with that also comes the challenge of finding the perfect shade match. When it comes to olive skin tones and undertones, it's essential to find a foundation that complements the undertones and natural color of olive skin, as the wrong shade can make the skin appear too yellow or orange, or even washed out. We sat down with Jasmine Ferreira, National Director of Makeup Artistry & Education at Lancôme (who coincidentally has an Olive skin tone and wears shade 340W in our new Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation).

How should someone with olive skin select their ideal shade of foundation shade?

Olive skin tones are considered a subset of neutral undertone skin — but they can also have warm undertones, so it can be tricky to find a foundation match. Olive skin will land within a neutral / warm undertone in foundation. Someone with an olive undertone would still need to know their skin intensity, which is the skin’s surface color. For example, at Lancôme, shades are organized by the following 5 skin intensities (shade groupings to match your skin tone) : Fair, Light, Medium, Medium-Deep, and Deep. Your skin intensity and undertone are all you need to know to find your foundation shade match. Trying foundation on your skin will also help you to decide which undertone you prefer.

How important are undertones when selecting a foundation for an olive skin tone?

Undertones are especially important for olive skin because wearing the wrong undertone can work against the skin’s natural complexion. However, there are moments where someone with a warm undertone has too much yellow in the skin and prefers to neutralize the yellow, in which case it may be suitable to opt for a neutral undertone within their skin intensity. This is what we call a preferred match as opposed to a perfect match — which still works well! For a perfect shade match, skin intensity and undertone need to match.

Green pigment blended into foundation for olive skin to balance out orange, yellow and ashy tones

What are the biggest problems someone with olive skin are likely to encounter with their foundation?

The biggest problem with olive skin tones is that they are in between warm and neutral undertones. Most olive skin tones appear to have a warmer undertone and end up using a warm undertone that can be too yellow or even ashy. The truth is olive skin tones have way more options available to them which is great news. They can find certain colors within different undertones that suit their skin – but it may just take a little more time to experiment with undertones in order to find the perfect foundation match.

Our Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation now has a selection of shades with a pigment called Chromium Oxide Green in the mix of the traditional black, white, red, and yellow. This green pigment was added for olive skin tones to ensure their foundation shades weren’t too orange, yellow, or ashy.

What are some foundation tips for olive skin?

· When you find a shade within your intensity that you like, try on a warm undertone and a neutral undertone to see which you prefer.
· If you find you are wearing a foundation shade that is making you look yellow, or even green, try a neutral undertone within the same color. This could add the touch of color you may be missing

Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation for Olive Skin

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Foundation for Dry Skin

How to Prime Skin for Foundation

How to Find The Right Shade of Foundation

How to Pick The Best Foundation Formula for You

How to Use Foundation for a Glowing Finish

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