Step By Step Makeup For Olive Skin

Makeup artist Melissa van Zyl shows us the best shades for an olive-toned complexion – and how to quickly transform your day look for impromptu after-work drinks.

Step By Step Makeup For Olive Skin Photo Gallery



‘The great thing about an olive skin tone is you can get away with wearing a lot less makeup. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour. The everyday look is perfect for the office – it’s all about embracing your natural beauty, like freckles, and not concealing them. We were a bit more daring for evening, but it still looks fresh. Step out of your comfort zone – with olive skin, you can!’

‘My everyday essentials are sunscreen (I love the sun!), foundation, blush and mascara. I enjoy wearing quite a bit of makeup. My foundation is a medium coverage. I don’t usually wear concealer and I avoid powder, as I don’t like the way it feels on my skin. Filling in my brows is a must. On this shoot my skin felt so soft and dewy. I loved the colours Melissa used on my eyes for the evening look.’

This fresh, minimal-makeup look is easy to achieve and suitable for everyday wear – think dewy skin and lightweight formulas.

STEP ONE: Use a prepping spray to prime the skin. ‘This shrinks the appearance of pores, helps your makeup last and gives the skin a bit of a wake-up,’ says Melissa.

STEP TWO: Moisturise – and be sure to choose the right one for your skin type. ‘Don’t forget to apply eye cream to hydrate the eye area, and add a bit of moisture to your lips. The last thing you want to do is apply colour to dry, flaky lips.’

STEP THREE: Apply a creamy highlighter under your eyes to hide dark circles and use it on the edges of your brow bones for a natural-looking highlight. ‘This creates contours and refreshes the face, giving it an illuminated finish,’ says Melissa.

STEP FOUR: Apply the same highlighting product to your Cupid’s bow.

STEP FIVE: First apply concealer, then colour corrector and lastly, foundation. A stippling brush is an excellent blending tool to create a soft finish, so your foundation doesn’t look cakey or heavy.

STEP SIX: ‘Use an illuminating bronzing powder to put the contours back into the face, as you’ve now removed them with the foundation,’ says Melissa. Using a blush brush, start with a sweeping motion under the cheekbone, working the bronzer all around the hairline.’

STEP SEVEN: Apply blush to add a natural glow. ‘I chose a peachy coral colour for the apples of the cheeks, forehead and tip of the nose to give Janaina’s skin extra warmth,’ says Melissa. ‘There’s a slight shimmer in the blush to give her complexion a satiny finish.’

STEP EIGHT: Fill in your brows with brow powder and a brush. Stick to the natural shape – this is just to give them some definition.

STEP NINE: Eyeshadow primer will prevent creasing and really make the colours pop. ‘Apply taupe shadow over the primer as a base (it must be lighter than the natural colour of your eyelid) and then layer a champagne-coloured shadow over the taupe.’

STEP TEN: Define the eyes with a mixture of brickand chocolate-coloured eyeshadow. Focusing on the outer corner of the crease, blend outwards using a dome-shaped eyeshadow brush.

STEP ELEVEN: Use a black pencil eyeliner and gently smudge it around the corners of the eye. Apply a few coats of black mascara, then spice up a nude lippy with a slick of peach-coloured lipgloss.

PRO TIP: Choose a concealer with a warm orange undertone to disguise dark marks and pigmentation. Use your ring finger to lightly pat it onto your under-eye area.

PRO TIP: ‘Janaina has beautiful natural freckles, which is why I chose a foundation with sheer coverage,’ says Melissa. Embrace your natural beauty instead of hiding it, especially if you have an olive skin tone.

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