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Does anybody know what an "olive skin tone" is?
I’ve heard this expression my entire life, but I’ve never really known what it means. I thought I could find a consistent, reliable description on the internet, but it turns out that there’s no consensus.
1) Olive skin = the complexions of people from around the Mediterranean, such as southern Italy, Greece, the Middle East, and northern Africa. Because olives grow in such climates, the term “olive tone” describes the physical appearance of people from those ethnicities.
2) Olive skin has greenish undertones. Anyone, with any ethnic background, can look “olive.” Greenish complexions can be found across the spectrum from very pale to very dark skin.
The first definition makes the most sense. Do any healthy people have olive-green skin? A greenish complexion is usually a symptom of anemia or internal organ failure.
When I was growing up, my mother frequently told me that I have an olive complexion. Actually, I have pale skin that sunburns easily and flushes pink, and I have chestnut hair. As a young adult, when I mentioned my “olive skin” to beauticians, they all looked at me as if I were crazy and told me that there was absolutely nothing olive about me.