Olive/Khaki Eyeshadow Options

When it comes to makeup, I go through phases where I get obsessed with a colour, formula, product or combination of these. For the later half of 2015, it was all about olive/khaki/bronze eyeshadows. While my bank account is slightly damaged, you are in for a treat if this is your colour. Also, the line between blackened gold and olive is very thin and you’ll see a variation of these.

I could recognize the symptoms very well. Somehow I would end up watching tutorials or reading posts just about this colour. Wishlists grew in size and I had dreams where I was buying makeup! (Those are the best kind). Something needed to be done! So I hit up all my favourite bloggers for recommendations and viewed all possible swatches. I now have five eyeshadows that have (mostly) won me over. Also, writing this post has given me insight into how I rationalize purchases. It’s terribly self indulgent but hopefully it will lead to better (and less expensive) decision making in the future.

olive khaki eyeshadows-1 olive khaki eyeshadows-2So how did this all start? The usual suspect is YouTube. It was this tutorial by KaushalBeauty that lit the spark and made me go, ‘Oooooh, this colour looks amazing. Why don’t I have it?’. So all along what I really wanted was Stila’s Foil Eyeshadow in Vintage Black Gold. I thought this is easy! I went to BeautyBay, out of stock. My local Sephora, they don’t carry this product. It was even sold out on US Sephora and Nordstrom. So I decided to move on but it was always in the back of my mind. Don’t worry, it all ends well!

olive khaki eyeshadows-3

L-R : Nars Pasiphae, Mac Sumptuous Olive, Mac Sea Worship, Stila Vintage Black Gold, Colourpop Hammered

olive khaki eyeshadows-4

My first purchase was Mac Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Sea Worship. I had gone in for a simple no-cost Back 2 Mac purchase but my Mac SA knows me well and literally just took my arm and swatched this. How did she know it’s the colour I was looking for? It’s so pigmented and the shade is that perfect olive gold mix. Sold! My favourite way to wear this is with a black eyeshadow (from my Lorac Pro) on the outer corner and black winged liner. It’s definitely more of a night time look. Compared to the regular Mac eyeshadows, these are more pearlescent and have more shine.

Couple of months later I picked up Mac Sumptuous Olive. I remember swatching this a couple of times before but it was always sold out. This is definitely more olive with a darker brown base and slightly duochrome. It’s earthy and hence I feel it looks better with darker browns. Again, the pigmentation and staying powder is as good as it gets for Mac.

I wasn’t enticed with the Dual Intensity formulas when they came out but I was completely taken with the well timed release of Pasiphae. So glad it’s a permanent shade now! My initial thoughts about it being too similar to Mac Club or Blue Brown were put to rest when I saw a zillion swatches, it was definitely more green. In person, this eyeshadow is even better! Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Pasiphae has a red brown base with a bright green duochrome shift. As amazing as this looks when applied wet, I feel it’s a bit too green that way and I personally prefer wearing this as a sheer layer. The brown base keeps it slightly neutral and as the light hits it right, you get that pop of green. It’s my go to lazy duochrome look. I have no complaints about the formula either, it’s pigmented and long wearing. It’s a bit expensive for what it is though, I wouldn’t really go out and buy any other shades in this range.

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Months later, Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Vintage Black Gold was back in stock at Nordstrom and I got it shipped to my hotel! At $32 it’s very expensive but it comes with a liquid primer and mixing palette. Also, this eyeshadow is basically pressed chunky glitter which really gives a more intense foil and sparkly look compared to pigments. I wore this on NYE and on my birthday, it’s definitely one for special occasions when you want to go all out! You have to be careful using this as there can be some fallout. I like applying it in a patting motion with my finger over a cream eyeshadow which works well.

I had come full circle but before I bought Stila, I had already placed a Colourpop order. Colourpop Eyeshadow in Hammered has a very odd texture when it comes to eyeshadows. First off you notice the excessively bulky packaging, the actual eyeshadow quantity is much less. It’s also very squishy! The colour payoff is amazing though! Very opaque and even but only when you apply it with fingers. I love how shimmery it is but I do feel like the base is a little too black and it can look muddy and dull on the eyes. These eyeshadows are great for a pop of colour or halo effect when applied with fingers but they don’t really blend well with other powder eyeshadows. The colours I picked out are all bright shades so it’s not a problem but I don’t think I would like any of the neutral shades unless I was wearing them alone. So yea, I’m a bit underwhelmed with Colourpop eyeshadows and this shade.

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All swatches above are dry with one swipe! You can see just how intense Stila is, it makes the Mac eyeshadows look average, which they aren’t! So yea, my olive eyeshadow obsession is done with and I’m grateful that I managed to stay away from a couple of Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Eyeshadows! They were always in consideration.

What I love best about this colour is that it’s very close to a neutral. It’s not a cobalt blue or purple which will overshadow rest of the makeup. If you’re someone who always wears neutral colours, you might find this a good addition within your comfort zone. Let me know some of your favourite olive eyeshadows!


Mac Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Sea Worship ($20) – Mac, Nordstrom

Mac Sumptuous Olive ($6/$16) – Mac, Nordstrom

Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Pasiphae ($29) – Sephora, Nordstrom

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Vintage Black Gold ($32) – Sephora, Nordstrom

Colourpop Eyeshadow in Hammered ($5) – Colourpop

(some of the links are affiliate links)

  • So 1. I really love how you photographed these pictures! 2. You are seriously making me adore these olive toned eyeshadows! I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Sumptuous Olive when I saw your MAC collection swatches, but MAN I am seriously oogling at that one. And also Sea Worship. Goodness – those seem like such beautiful one-wash shades that would be easy to incorporate into my day-to-day makeup. Definitely adding at least one of them to my wishlist haha

    Cindy | http://www.cindyhyue.com

    • Thanks Cindy, that’s so kind! Sea Worship is great but on an everyday basis I feel like Sumptuous Olive is more wearable because the sheen isn’t as strong. Lol, I’m so mad Mac reduced eyeshadow prices AFTER I bought them! Sumptuous Olive at $6 is a bargain now!

      • Hahah seriously though, when I heard they were $6 it took all the restraint not to go out immediately and make a palette.

  • Of course Sumptuous Olive HAS to be in there! Love that one, it’s one of my favorite eyeshadows ever.

    • True! I’ve never seen a swatch comparison without it! x

  • Olive is one of the colors I love, but never end up wearing, so I gave most of them away. Each I obviously regret after seeing your swatches… But they don’t look good against my skin.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Aww no! I wonder if you might like something like Chanel Epatant then, it’s silver but with a very subtle olive tint.

  • So many amazing shades, I have Sumptuous Olive but I honestly never wear it, which is a travesty, I will most certainly be pulling it out. Both the Stila and Colourpop colours are beautiful!
    xxx Claire

    • Thanks Claire! I know I just wrote this post but I’ve been getting into a neutrals only rut. I need to whip these out myself! 😉

  • I adore Sumptuous Olive! The Nars & Stila are both right up my street! xx


    • I think majority of the people do like Sumptuous Olive and now with the price reduction it’s even more attractive! xx

  • Love me a good khaki shadow! Sumptuous Olive is one of my faves; I must try these others!
    Emma | http://www.fluffandfripperies.com

    • Thanks Emma! I’d love to know which other ones you like! x

  • The stila one is so perfect for parties. Loved it !


    • For weddings and other functions too! And it’ll pretty much go with any kind of jewellry/outfit combo. xx

  • hey these are so pretty… Love the NARS and MAC one the most

  • `Dang, ColorPop swatch is looking way too pretty! I must be a touch colour blind though because most of the swatches look bronze/gold to me. LOL! I think I might have a couple of olive green in my stash but I must have overlooked them as bronze instead of what they really are. Time to go through my stash.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Lol, you’re not! They all do lean it a bit bronzy but I prefer these over straight up olive green which would look kinda dull without it! I’d love to know which ones you like from your stash! xx

  • The Stila and NARs shades are my favs! I absolutely love wearing this colour it’s so pretty!

    Abigail Alice x | Check out my Carli Bybel Giveaway!

  • UGH these are gorgeous!! I don’t have many olive eyeshadows, but I do have Stila Vintage Black Gold and I’m obsessed!! I will definitely have to check out the rest of these 😉

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

  • I LOVE olive shadows, I love all that you’ve chosen xx

  • Such beautiful colours!
    I LOVE the Nars shade 🙂

    Screen Nine
    Working Girl Wanders

  • can i please have all of them? i never looked much into olive eyeshadows but every single color is beautiful. the stila one looks perfect.


  • I think I only have the Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant that would fall into this color family. It’s a silver with a hint of olive.
    I love your pictures!

    • Thanks Carol! I have Epatant as well and is gorgeous as it is, it looks plain silver on me!

  • Oh my god. Those swatches. I think I just changed up half of my VIB order seeing that. The Stila one is UNREAL!

  • The Colorpop shade is just gorgeous, I need Hammered in my life. I really hope they ship to the UK soon! x

    Jodie // jodieloue.com

    • They really should start intl shipping soon, it’s been way too long!

  • “The usual suspect is YouTube” hahaha isn’t it always! well, that and instagram! i’m looking at olive eyeshadows so differently after reading your post, the bronze tint definitely makes them more wearable and the stila one is gorgeous!

    btw i really enjoyed reading this post – starting with “recognizing the symptoms” (haha!) to the in-depth review of each shade, it was really well written! x

    The Quaffle and the Snitch

    • I’m so glad you liked it Aditi! I think we’re all influenced being part of the community to some degree. Yep, straight up olive is so dull but with a bit of bronze, it really suits dark eyes and our skintones. xx

  • Oooh I definitely went through a phase of being obsessed with black gold shades last year, and I do love me a good olive green/gold as well although I don’t wear green all that often, but I do love Sumptuous Olive! I so badly wanted that Stila metallic eyeshadow because my black gold thing coincided with intense glitter and that is absolutely perfect but I never managed to justify the expense to myself. But luckily for me an Australian brand called Australis release dupe products called Metallix eyeshadows and I picked up four of them for less than the price of the Stila one! There’s a gold, a rose-gold, a champagne and a green/black gold called Jay Zed that I think you’d love! I also got Makeup Geek’s pigment in Utopia and MAC’s glitter in reflects antique gold. They’re definitely more black/gold rather than olive but just in case you needed more products to potentially obsess over, those are my picks, haha.

    Jessica – littlehenrylee.net

    • It’s so nice to have drugstore dupes for the Stila one! I contemplated buying Make Up Geek Utopia (it’s pretty close) as well but I really wanted that chunky reflect that this glitter has! I think after neutrals, black gold is the next best thing for me!

  • Wow, both the MAC ones look incredible. They look so pigmented and rich in colour 🙂 Have a lovely weekend ♥


    • Thanks Trishna! Now that Mac has dropped prices, Sumptuous Olive is definitely worth it!

  • The Sunday Mode

    That MAC extra dimension shadow looks stunning! Love the look of Sumptuous Olive as well, I’ve really been wanting to try out some khaki or olive green shadows.


    • I highly recommend both! They looks great on anyone! xx

  • I’ve never really thought of using these shades before but they look stunning! I especially love the look of Sea Worship and Pasiphae! Waaaaant
    Mikayla | thatluckieone.com

    • Yea the duochrome on Pasiphae is insane! So pretty! xx

  • I’m pretty much drooling over these shades. I really love the differences in each. Colourpop in Hammered is stunning & so affordable. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • I know, the prices make them even more attractive! xx

  • i really want to try the colourpop one! it looks so pigmented and I can’t forget that they’re cruelty-free and so affordable! might get some for myself heehw


    • Haha, I had a hard time just narrowing down which eyeshadows I wanted!

  • :O :O that Stila one! Would be perfect for a night out.

    • Indeed! I almost always reach for it if I have enough time to get ready for a night out. 😉

  • I used to be obsessed with khaki/olive years ago, they were the only colours I was wearing (I think they are really pretty colours for brown eyes). Now when I think about it, I don’t have a single one! I really like your collection, I know which colours to check now!

    Ela BellaWorld

    • It would look amazing on you! Which were your favourites back then? (Not that I need any more)

  • I love olive shades too!! I have a palette borghese I really like! That stila shade is super pretty!

  • The shades are all very pretty! Defenitely can’t choose a favorite. 🙂
    Isabella xx http://isafashionebella.blogspot.com

  • You definitely love olive shades a lot
    In still stuck to brown n bronze ??

  • Such beautiful shades! I really enjoy a good olive shade, it is really flattering on most eyes. It is a shade not many people gravitate towards but when its on the eyes it gives such nice dimension. I have the Stila foil eyeshadow in vintage black gold and it is stunning! I want to pick up a few of the MAC shades as well as colour pop! I would love to see some of these shadows on your eyes and what types of looks you would create with them! 🙂

    Jennifer | Amour JNFR

    • I find olive the easiest way to wear colour because I usually just stick to neutral bronze tones. I’m into pink/mauve eyeshadows at the moment though! New obsession!

  • Your collection is absolutely stunning! I am in love with the colour khaki, so I literally jumped at the chance to read this post. I’m not a fan of MAC at all and I don’t think from the swatches they’re worth the £10 price tag here in the UK either tbh. However that Stila is gorgeous! The colourpop one swatches beautifully too, although I agree with you that there’s little point buying the matte neutral shades. I have a brown one and it’s nice to use now and again but I just find applying it to be a bit of a faff. I love the shade get lucky, which is a true gold and either used all over the lid, or patted in the centre it looks beautiful. I’ve also ordered a couple of shades, which are bronzes and more sparkly ones, but won’t be ordering matte ones in a hurry.

    Iqra | The Blushing Giraffe x

  • These shades are so preety 🙂 Olive shades are mine favourite too.