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With this new guide to the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin tones, I wanted to keep up the series of MAC Cosmetics guides I started writing a few months ago.
I’ve written those complete guides from the knowledge I gathered from my experience working at MAC Cosmetics, both in Paris and in one of the makeup stores in London.
I thought that actually, this time spent trying out MAC lipstick shades on every skin tone should definitely be helpful even if I’m not a retail makeup artist for the brand anymore.
So today, we’re going to talk about the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin tones, from fair to medium and dark olive skin.
It’s going to be pretty easy for me to write this guide, I’m going to be honest, because I myself have an olive skin tone.
I am half French and half Moroccan, and something between an NW15 and Nw20 depending on the weather.
And whether you’re looking for the best nude MAC lipsticks for olive skin or a stunning red lipstick to really compliment your olive skin, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for today.
16 Best MAC Lipsticks for Olive Skin from Whirl to Mehr
Before we get started with this guide to the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin tones, I feel like it would be interesting to remind whoever might not know it, of what olive skin actually is.
Also called type 5 pigmentation, olive skin tones are very common among people who come from around the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
You’ll also find olive skin in people from South America and South Asia.
It’s a skin tone that almost looks greenish, on which you’re going to want to avoid colors that are too purely pink or orange.
Muted colors and dark colors look much better on olive skin tones than really bright colors.
For instance, if you’re looking for something like a pink MAC lipstick for olive skin, I’d definitely go for D for Danger rather than Candy Yum-Yum, if that makes sense.
Sometimes, you might not even know you have an olive skin tone.
That was my case when I started makeup school.
I thought I needed a warm undertone for my foundation and didn’t understand why I would look orange, even if I used the equivalent of a MAC NC20 for my foundation.
When I tried the NW15 and saw I barely needed blending down my neck, that’s when I understood that I indeed have an olive skin tone.
Very fair, that’s true, but olive all the same.
So today, we’re going to be talking about all the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin, whether you’re fair or very dark.
I will be sharing my favorite MAC lipstick shades, those I have applied on countless women with olive skin while working at MAC Cosmetics, and those that look utterly special on my own skin.
Best MAC Lipsticks for Olive Skin: The Best Nude MAC Lipsticks
I told you in another guide to the best MAC lipstick shades that Whirl was one of my very first MAC lipsticks.
In my opinion, it is perfect if you’re looking for a nude lipstick for a fair to medium olive skin tone.
Whirl is creamy enough that you can apply it onto your lips without dragging, and it also has its own matching MAC lip liner in the shade Whirl, perfect to clean up the edges.
And while MAC Cosmetics describes the Whirl lipstick shade as a dirty rose, what I see is a very cool brown color.
It’s perfect for whoever is looking for the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin tones, fair or medium.
If you’re planning to wear the Whirl lipstick and have a dark olive skin tone, make sure you redefine the edges of your lips with a darker lip liner.
That could be Mahogany, Chestnut, or even a deep purple like Vino or Nightmoth.
Soft muted brownish-pink
Twig is probably one of the best MAC lipsticks for cool understones.
It is perfect if you have a fair olive skin tone and want to find a cute pink nude MAC lipstick shade.
You’ve got a perfect mix of brown, mauve and pink in the Twig lipstick.
That’s why it is one of the most popular MAC lipstick colors for everyone in the whole wide world, except very dark skin tones unless you have pink lips/create an ombre lip look.
With my NW15 skin tone, I have always found that the MAC Twig lipstick was a really beautiful winter lipstick, or a ‘My lips but better’ shade if you want to find a cute every day lipstick.
One of the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin, especially if you come from around the Mediterranean and are really on the fair side.
Another one of the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin – especially if you have very light olive skin, is Velvet Teddy.
It actually took me a good few months to discover this nude MAC lipstick.
While it is probably the most popular MAC lipstick color when you’re looking for something nude and really wearable for every day, I was too busy looking at the bright red and pink lipsticks.
Although Velvet Teddy is described as a deep-tone beige, what I see is a light nude MAC lipstick with a dash of brown and pink thrown into the mix.
After I wore Velvet Teddy a few times, I was sold – this is one of the best MAC lipsticks for light olive skin.
If you’re medium to dark-skinned, you might make it work, but you’re going to have to redefine your lips with a darker lip liner.
For a good MAC lipstick and lipliner combo using Velvet Teddy, I’d go for Chestnut, Cork, or Soar.
I’ve honestly never really liked the MAC Kinda Sexy lipstick – but that’s just because on me, it doesn’t look that good.
It is however the best nude MAC lipstick for a lot of people, from light olive skin to very blonde girls, but I felt like Kinda Sexy was overall way too bright coral for me.
This really goes to show how the skin tone changes the way you see lipstick; from seeing it stunning in the tube to feeling you look awful with it on the lips.
Kinda Sexy is one of the most popular MAC lipstick shades for fair skin.
If you have an olive skin tone, I would only suggest it if you’re really light and would definitely recommend wearing a bronzer with it just to match the orange undertone a bit more.
If you’re darker, I’m talking roughly NW20 and upwards, I feel like it would look way too bright, and I would honestly go for a pink version of Kinda Sexy, like Velvet Teddy, or even Mehr.
Del Rio is another one of your best options if you’re looking for nude MAC lipsticks for olive skin, especially medium and dark skin tones.
The mix of plum and brown lipstick shades is always a good way to go for olive skin or skin with cool undertones, in my opinion.
That’s why the Whirl lipstick looks so good on olive skin, or why the Soar lipstick looks made for us!
The Del Rio lipstick, however, is a Satin lipstick finish, which is the perfect finish to get if you’re looking for MAC lipsticks for grey hair and mature skin, too.
That means it’s more comfortable than the classic matte lipsticks from MAC, but also that it provides the teensiest bit of shine, only to become more matte as the day goes by.
Best MAC Lipsticks for Olive Skin: The Best Pink MAC Lipsticks
Bright pinkish coral matte
I wrote a complete MAC All Fired Up review a few days ago, and to this day, it’s one of my favorite pink MAC lipsticks.
It’s part of the Retro Matte lipstick range, which means it’s utterly drying if you don’t wear the Prep + Prime for lips underneath.
Not lip balm – lip primer.
The MAC Prep + Prime for lips is one of the best MAC products ever created, so if you’re still wondering whether to get it or not, just know it’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
I have actually started using the 3ina lip primer much more lately than the Prep + Prime for lips because I love the consistency more.
Indeed, while you apply the MAC Prep + Prime for lips as you would a lip balm, the 3ina Lip Primer is more of a liquid texture that dries on the lips.
That all works out to make the MAC All Fired Up lipstick look smoother on the lips – and since it’s that kind of bright berry lipstick, it just looks fabulous on olive skin tones!
Really muted lipstick shades look incredible on olive skin and skin with neutral undertones, and one of the best mauve MAC lipsticks for olive skin is You Wouldn’t Get It.
I’ve actually written a full review comparing MAC You Wouldn’t Get It and Mehr, and I do prefer the former.
It’s lighter, a bit brighter than Mehr, and in my opinion, if you don’t want an extremely blue-toned lipstick, you’re going to love You Wouldn’t Get It.
Mid-tone cool mauve
You Wouldn’t Get It and Mehr are some of the most wearable MAC lipsticks for olive skin that tends to be either fair or medium.
However, if you have medium or tan skin up to really dark skin, you’re going to love the MAC Soar lipstick.
It’s another one of my absolute favorites when I want to go all out on the eyes; you can definitely pair it with some strong, metallic eyeshadow in any hue or tone.
Some really cool eyeshadow shades to pair with the MAC Soar lipstick would be some silver eyeshadow, to really play on that cool undertone.
However, if you want to go for something more pink, or something of roughly the same color, mauve eyeshadow also looks incredible with the Soar lipstick on a daily basis.
Bright plum matte
Now, it’s true I would rather apply a beautiful MAC berry lipstick than a bright pink shade on olive skin.
Still, there’s one lipstick that has always tugged at my heart: the Retro Matte lipstick in the shade Flat Out Fabulous.
I might have to write about my own favorite MAC lipstick shades of all time at some point.
And since it seems like the liquid matte Tailored to Tease has been discontinued (it was my absolute favorite), the second best is indeed Flat Out Fabulous.
If you’re looking for the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin, I would recommend you consider Flat Out Fabulous if you have light olive skin up to medium.
Anything darker, and Flat Out Fabulous won’t look good on its own – I might be mistaken, depends on the person.
That’s where you’ll have to couple it with something like the Nightmoth or the Chestnut lip liner in an ombre lip look.
It’s not only the perfect MAC lipstick shade for light olive skin tones, but if you’re looking for a really different winter MAC lipstick, Flat Out Fabulous is it.
Mid-toned berry shade
D for Danger is not the most popular MAC lipstick color, but to be honest, I feel like it deserves every bit of the spotlight it can get.
When I was working at MAC Cosmetics in Paris, almost all I would wear was the matte lipstick in D for Danger, or the MAC lip pencils in Beet or Nightingale…
Which are basically just other versions of the berry lipstick I love so much.
If you’re looking for something different and the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin tones, I don’t feel like you can do better than D for Danger.
It’s the kind of winter MAC lipstick that looks a little bit frightening in the tube.
Especially if you’re only used to nude MAC lipsticks, but once it’s on, you just look like a bombshell!
Cosmo is one of the most popular MAC lipstick shades for people who wants a beautiful nude pink color.
It’s part of the Amplified range, alongside some of the best MAC lipsticks for Asian skins like Brick-o-La or Vegas Volt.
And while I would not apply any type of Vegas Volt lipstick on olive skin (way too bright and orange!), Cosmo is that type of creamy pink MAC lipstick shade that just looks stunning whether you have light olive skin or a medium skin tone.
If you’re looking to wear Cosmo and have a dark skin tone, do wear a darker lip liner around the edges – otherwise, Cosmo just looks very light and very, very pink.
Another good option for a pink MAC lipstick for light olive skin would also be Modesty.
That one is also beautiful and less opaque than the Cosmo lipstick, which means it will suit even more different olive skin tones.
Plum frosted with bronze
If you’re looking to try a MAC Frost lipstick for the first time (they are some of the most beautiful winter MAC lipsticks in my opinion), I would definitely recommend Plum Dandy for olive skin tones.
Whether you have light olive skin, medium or dark, I have found that the shade Plum Dandy works really well on all kinds of skin tones.
I did mention the Frost lipstick range in my guide to the best gold lipsticks.
The fact that most of the MAC Frost lipsticks are at least slightly duochrome makes them super easy to wear whether you have a fair skin tone or super dark.
What I love about Plum Dandy, and why I think it’s one of the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin, is the fact that the base plum shade is really wearable to start with.
It’s not too bright, not too muted, just a really nice berry lipstick color.
The bronze duochrome is definitely visible, but not too much that it will be too hard to wear on everyday errands or for work.
Just one of the best MAC lipsticks for cool undertones and olive skin tones who just want to amp up their makeup game a little bit.
Captive was my very first lipstick shade ever, gifted during a swap back when it was still super trendy to have swap unboxings on YouTube.
The Captive lipstick is in my opinion one of the best MAC lipstick shades for olive skin whether you’re very light-skinned, medium, or dark.
Its Satin finish makes it super easy to wear and comfortable all day long while providing a slightly matte finish after a few hours of wear time.
If you’re after a MAC lipstick for light olive skin and just want to try something a bit more statement than the classic nude MAC lipstick shades, Captive will forever be one of the best options.
For darker olive skin tones, I would wear Captive on its own or with a defined lip on the outer edges.
I’d couple this with black waterproof eyeliner (make sure it’s safe on the lips beforehand), or as an ombre lip with MAC lip pencils like Vino, Mahogany, Nightmoth, or Chestnut.
Mid-tone mauve pink
Mehr is one of the best MAC lipsticks for fair skin, there’s no doubt about it, and if you have a light olive skin tone, it’s definitely going to look stunning on you.
I used to have a few Inglot matte lipsticks that would remind me strongly of the MAC Mehr lipstick, and once I actually got Mehr in my makeup kit, I didn’t depart from it.
One might have thought that Mehr was a dupe for the Soar lip pencil, back when the MAC Soar lipstick didn’t exist yet.
And while Mehr is indeed a mauve lipstick, no, Soar and Mehr are not dupes – at all.
However, if you are looking for the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin and are on the medium to dark olive side, you’re definitely going to want to wear the Mehr lipstick with Soar all around it, in a kind of stunning mauve ombre lips.
Best MAC Lipsticks for Olive Skin: The Best Red MAC Lipsticks
Intense brownish blue-red
If you ever ask me which is the best MAC red lipstick for olive skin, Asian skin, Indian or dark skin, I will answer without a doubt: Viva Glam 1.
Part of the Viva Glam range, which also includes two other permanent shades, Viva Glam 1 is described as an ‘intense brownish blue-red’.
This just means it is one of the best MAC lipstick shades for olive skin, very fair skin, medium skin, and everyone in between.
I have worn the Viva Glam 1 lipstick countless times, and applied it on countless skin tones.
And well, if you’re looking for the best MAC lipsticks for cool undertones, it’s going to be really hard to find any red lipstick better suited to olive skin than Viva Glam 1.
And in my opinion – maybe unpopular, the Viva Glam 1 lipstick is much, much more beautiful than both Ruby Woo and Russian Red combined.
Very matte vivid blue-red
Ruby Woo is probably the most popular MAC lipstick color of all times; in my opinion, there are some better-suited MAC lipsticks for olive skin tones.
Ruby Woo is stunning, I can’t say the contrary.
The fact that it’s been around for decades makes it probably one of the most famous MAC lipsticks in the whole wide world.
Ruby Woo is the best MAC red lipstick for olive skin if you’re very fair-skinned – with my NW15 skin tone, I can definitely wear it and it’s going to look amazing.
Up to a Middle Eastern type of medium olive skin tone, I feel like Ruby Woo would do an amazing job at providing a bright type of red lips.
However, if you’re medium to dark olive-skinned, I would definitely recommend going for something different, like Viva Glam I.
Why? Because wearing Ruby Woo on a really darker type of olive skin, like an Indian or darker South American skin might make it look much too bright to be simply beautiful.
As usual, it really depends on your skin tone, so I’d still recommend trying out the lipstick in-store before actually making your decision!
16 Best MAC Lipsticks for Olive Skin from Whirl to Mehr
There you have them, all the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin to wear whether you’re looking for a nude lipstick, a famous MAC red lipstick, or something brighter like pink or berry lipstick!
Hopefully, you’ll have found here some new MAC lipstick shades for olive skin!
Especially shades you’d never come across before, like some of the lesser-advertised colors: D for Danger, Kinda Sexy, or Flat Out Fabulous!
Luckily, when you have an olive skin tone, finding the best winter MAC lipstick gets very easy as I feel like all kinds of shades actually look really good on us year-round – all that’s left to do is actually try them out!
Until next time!
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