How to pick the best red nail polish to suit your olive skin…

Nothing says festive tips like a red manicure – here’s how to find your go-to shade

Is there anything more classic than freshly manicured red tips? We think not. But, when it comes to picking the right hue for your olive skin it can be a minefield. 

That’s why we sought the expertise of celebrity manicurist Jenni Draper, who has worked on some of the hottest hands in the business. From Felicity Jones to Cate Blanchett, Jenni has treated the top of the tips with her expertise and eye for fine details.

How to understand your relationship with red

As we are all aware, olive skin can come in a multitude of varieties, due to the balance of yellow and green undertones in the skin. So, it is certainly not a one fits all solution. 

“Pale olive skin can look slightly beige thanks to the yellow undertones,” explains Jenni. “Which is why I recommended warm-toned oranges and tomato-y reds for this skin type. These will both enhance olive complexions and offset green hues.”

“However, olive-dark skin looks great in earthy red tones and darker reds that are veering towards chocolate browns. Some reds, russet, for example, work well, anything with a metallic shimmer.” 

What are the shades to avoid if you have olive skin: 

According to Jenni, you want to ditch any blue-based red hues as this cooler undertone will clash with the green in your skin – making your hands appear a bit ashen.


“Avoid paler, pastel shades too, which can also you washed out,” she states. 

Jenni’s recommendations -

Shades that will flatter pale olive skin include -

Essie in Russian Roulette (RRP £7.99,

Morgan Taylor in Get Sporty With It (RRP £5.95,

Red Carpet Beauty in Box Office Hit (RRP £9.95,

Shades that will flatter medium and deep olive skin –

Morgan Taylor in Rosy Rosita (RRP £10.95,

Jessica Nails in Passionate Kisses (RRP £11,

Rimmel London Rock N Sparkle (RRP £6.99,


“If you want a flawless finish then you need to try EX1 Cosmetics. I use it on all my clients and always have a bottle in my personal make-up too. It looks so good on camera, doesn’t give any flashback, and gives skin a golden glow.”


“I have olive skin so I really wanted to try EX1 Cosmetics, as I had no idea what shade I would be. I tried the match me tool, thinking it was a bit of a gimmick, but it got my shade spot on. For someone will yellow or green undertones these products are amazing!”


“Before I used EX1 Cosmetics I tried EVERY premium foundation on the market. Some were ok, but most left me feeling disappointed and underwhelmed. I didn’t have much hope for a foundation costing £12.50, but I was SO wrong. The medium coverage looks like your skin but better and it doesn’t oxidise.”


“I’ve always been told I have warm or medium skin tone, but every foundation I ever tried was either too pink or too orange. After trying the skin classification tool and realising I have warm skin with green undertones – everything makes sense! Now, I look for make-up aimed at olive skin – like EX1 Cosmetics – and I have never looked back!”


“I used to mix at least two different foundations to create the right shade for my skin – until I found EX1 Cosmetics. The shade match is spot on and the formula blends perfectly into my skin. I love it.”


“I had seen that loads of celebrities using EX1 Cosmetics Foundation and I was intrigued to see if it lived up to the hyp e. It blew me away. The formula feels so premium for £12.50. I recommend it to everyone.