How to pull off sparkle this festive season

Pearlescent finishes used to be a nemesis to olive skin – not anymore!

As the big day approaches there seems less and less reason to hold back on the sparkle. From sequined clothes to glitter nails, we are officially in shimmer season – and our make-up is no different!

For those of us with olive skin, the mere mention of pearlescent can evoke memories of noughties-style pearl liquid shimmer and still send shivers down the spine. And who can forget the metallic white, baby blue and pale pink eyeshadow that worked against our yellow and green undertones making skin appear ashen.

But, fear not. Pearlescent finishes now come in a range of hues and some of them can not only be worn if you have olive skin, they can actually enhance it too.

Ask the experts

We chatted to make-up artist Jessica Bass, who has recently worked on the new Tim Burton Wonka movie, “The key is to avoid cool, blue-based tones. So that’s anything that appears silver or grey. Instead look for a metallic shimmer that has a warm, golden undertone instead,” explains Jessica.  “This will work with olive skin to enhance the natural highlight, rather than work against it.”

Add a touch of highlight

When it comes to highlighters, Hourglass has a huge range of high-end highlighter powders that work for olive skin and can be built up to add a shimmer perfect for the festive season. Try Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Incadescent, £38  to achieve a much coveted glow.

Opt for the eyes instead

A brilliant way to bring this finish into your make-up look is by applying it to your eyes. But, before you reach for those ghostly pale tones work with your olive skin and pick a palette filled with bronze, peach and gold instead. Nars Unwrapped Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Laguna, £26, contains three metallic shades and three matte – ideal to take you through into 2022 when you might not be feeling the sparkle!

All in the pout

Want to add a touch of sumthing’ sumthin’ when you remove your mask? Then go for a lip gloss rather than a lipstick as it can be applied without a liner or any lip prep and its perfect for adding a touch of shimmer. Lipstick Queen Universe Lip Gloss in Meteor Shower, £20 this golden bronze metallic lip gloss is quite sheer so you won’t look like metal mouth but has enough pigment to really add a touch of glamour this party season. The warm golden hue will also work perfectly with your olive undertones. Pucker up!


“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.