What Color Eyeshadow For Brown Eyes And Olive Skin?

If you have dark olive skin and brown eyes, you might be wondering which eyeshadow colors best complement your unique complexion.  There are a few options, and we have researched so that you don't have to keep searching.  Keep reading to find out more.

If you have olive skin and brown eyes, not every eye shadow complements your unique complexion.  Avoid cool tones, whites, and grays.  For olive skin, it is best to stick with eyeshadow shades from the following color palettes:

  • Brown
  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Gold
  • Orange
  • Reds
  • Jewel Tones

This list may contain colors that you haven't considered, but don't be afraid to try something new.  Rest assured, these colors complement olive skin tones. You might be surprised to discover how well something you never considered looks on you.

An up close photo of a woman applying brown eyeshadow, What Color Eyeshadow For Brown Eyes And Olive Skin?

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What eyeshadow goes with olive skin?

Many shades complement olive skin tones, whether it's the light or medium to dark range of the skin tone.  Keep reading to find out more about the different color families.  Then, experiment to find out which ones best suit your style.


Everyone should have an eye palette of browns, and for a good reason. Browns are neutral, and there is a vast range of hues, so there are shades that look good on everyone.  The browns can be used alone or in combination with other colors. Browns work well as a neutral base for bolder colors. Those with olive skin and brown eyes especially love browns.

Check out this basic palette of browns by Vodisa.

Find it on Amazon. 

Copper and Bronze

While these shades could be considered part of the brown palette, they deserve their own accolades due to the vibrant shimmer and impact they can make on the eyes. These colors tend to be metallic with a shimmer. The copper shades will have more orange, while the bronze shades will be darker.  Wear them together or solely paired with shades of brown. Both complement olive skin and can be used to dress up your eyeshadow.

Check out the Maverick ColorStay palette by Revlon.

Find it on Amazon. 


Gold eye shadow can be impactful, but it needs to be matched to skin tone. If not, the results will disappoint.  Those with an olive skin tone want to stick with rich shades of gold like saffron, antique, or white gold.  Don't be afraid of the metallic shimmer; just make sure you are using the right shade.

Check out this Gold eye palette by Bernecy.

Find it on Amazon.


Orange may, at first, seem like a strange color for eyeshadow, but several shades within the orange palette beautifully complement olive skin.  When choosing a base, pick from the lighter end of orange shades sticking with colors like peach or beige. Colors such as burnt orange are bolder and work well for those with darker olive skin.

Check out this highly-rated  Peach Please palette by Tintark.

Find it on Amazon.


Those with dark olive skin should definitely explore the red palettes.  Vogue make-up experts agree that scarlet, siennas, burnt reds, and reddish browns produce a look unlike any other on olive skin.

Check out this Huda Beauty palette full of beautiful red shades.

Find it on Amazon. 

 Jewel Tones

Jewel tones are shades that symbolize precious gemstones such as Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Amethyst, and Citrine. These are deep colors meant to catch your attention. For this reason, using dark eyeshadows like deep purples and blues from these colors can make a powerful impact on dark eyes. However, some with olive skin are better off avoiding green shades because it can give skin an unhealthy yellow cast.

For an eye palette full of purple and blue jewel tones, check out this You're the Starlet palette by  Shany.

Find it here on Amazon. 

What eyeshadow goes with dark brown eyes?A woman applying brown eyeshadow by her makeup artist

You can't go wrong with earthy and neutral shades of brown when you have brown eyes. Blending a light, medium, and dark shade can give dark eyes the seductive look brown eyes are known for.

However, when you want to add color, one expert from Glamour insists that deep hues of purple are the only way to go. Purple brings out the brown in the eye's iris and contrasts the whiteness of the eye, making the eye look bigger.  Wear it over a base of mauve, or pair it with beiges and browns to create a blended look that suits you.

What Color Make Brown Eyes Pop?

Neutral colors always complement brown eyes, but even neutral colors can make your eyes stand out when done correctly.  For intensity, use shades of bronze, copper, and gold.  The shimmer will draw the attention you desire to your eyes—however, application matters.

The correct placement and combination are essential to make your eyes pop. You want to have a light to medium shade on the lid with the darkest shade in the crease. Make sure your eyebrows aren't too bold. Otherwise, the focus is drawn to the brows, not the eyes where you want it.

If you prefer color, brown eyes pop best when accompanied by purple, blue, green, and pink shades.  However, the pink and green palettes might be less complimentary if you have olive skin, depending on your specific undertone.

Remember, you can add color without the look being overwhelming. Add a  pop of color on the lower lid line, or use dark shades in the crease. Stick with a neutral base, and remember that blending allows you to control the intensity of any shade.

When working with bold colors, be sure to eliminate darkness under the eyes with concealer and a color corrector.  Otherwise, the dark eyeshadow colors will draw unwanted attention to undereye circles, especially if they have heavy traces of blue.

What makeup is best for olive skin?

An up close photo of a woman wearing a brown eyeshadow

To understand what eyeshadow and make-up colors go best with olive skin, it is best to understand a few basics about the unique olive skin tone. Olive skin is so misunderstood that even the experts disagree on the undertone components of this skin tone.  It is obvious, as the name indicates, olive skin has green pigment.

What makes olive skin so unique is that it has an undertone that doesn't fit into the typical cool, warm or neutral categories. Rather, those with olive skin may find a combination from all three undertones.

Light and dark olive tones are based on different ethnic backgrounds originating from European regions, middle eastern regions, and Latin American regions.

Olive skin is uncommon, which leads to it often being improperly categorized as golden tan. This mistake can lead women to purchase the wrong make-up shades. The differences between tan and olive may seem slight, but they make a noticeable difference in cosmetics.

Finding foundations for olive skin can be frustrating because the cosmetic industry often does not recognize this skin tone. The one-size-fits-all make-up model makes it difficult to find shades formulated specifically to match olive skin. Therefore, women with olive skin have to compromise and find close- enough products, leaving them with disappointing results.

There are specific traits that come with olive skin that must be considered when building a make-up kit. Olive skin tends to be oily, which is an advantage and disadvantage.  The oil keeps the skin from premature aging and excessive dryness but means that the skin may have large pores.  Those with oily skin need to choose a make-up that counters the oil like a powder or mattifying foundation.

Olive skin is prone to hyperpigmentation and other forms of discoloration, so even coverage is important. Olive skin tans easily, but sunscreen is still essential to avoid wrinkles.  Multiple makeup shades may be needed to accommodate tanned skin, depending on the season and level of tan.

If you have olive skin and struggle to find the perfect makeup products for your unique complexion, check out the makeup line Huda Beauty created by Huda Kattan, an expert makeup artist specializing in olive skin.

In Closing

Olive skin is unique and quite beautiful. There are many shades of eyeshadow that accentuate that beauty, especially when it accompanies brown eyes.  If you are lucky enough to have this combination, don't be afraid to try a new eye color combination to bring out your natural features.

For more tips about eyeshadow, read, Does Eyeliner Go On Before Eyeshadow?

Also, consider reading, Should Eyeshadow Be Applied Before Foundation?

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