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MAKEUP: 5 How-To Tips for Redheads

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I’m a redhead — have been since I was born. Like most women with two copies of a recessive gene on their 16th chromosome, I’m constantly overwhelmed by all the redhead makeup dos and don’ts. I’ve been advised, at different times in my life, that the following will make me look like a ghost: black mascara, anything orange, anything yellow, red lipstick, dark eye shadow.

Who created these rules? Because of them, my makeup bag is a sea of greens, purples, and blues. How can I change up my makeup without looking like Casper (or anybody else that evokes death)? For help, I went to the experts on all things redhead: Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti of the popular (among at least 1-2 percent of the population) beauty and style blog How to Be a Redhead. — AL

Owned by How to be a Redhead (c) and Courtesy of Kara Kochalko

When we were growing up as natural redheads and went to a department store with our friends to get our makeup done for prom, we always left feeling like we could have done a better job at home. Most of the makeup artists would flee from us because they were afraid of applying cosmetics that would work with our redhead features: Blonde eyelashes, light eyebrows, rosy cheeks. Or worse, they would apply what they thought redheads should wear and it turned out to be a nightmare.

We have met many amazing makeup artists, and they all agree that you must be experienced to work on a redhead. Funny enough, makeup tips for redheads (natural or bottled) are extremely easy.

1. COVER UP REDNESS
Ladies with pale skin typically have reddish skin tones and it’s a good idea to consider covering it up. We recommend using a green-based concealer; if you don’t want to use it on your entire face, then opt for an eye zone-specific product.

THE SISTERS’ PICK: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral CorrectingPrimer SPF 15 in green ($10.95) at fine mass-market and drugstores nationwide

2. OPT FOR POWDER FOUNDATIONS
Redheads often have very sensitive skin. Powder foundations are a great pick because they give a fresh, no-makeup look with a lower risk of irritation.

THE SISTERS’ PICK: Wild Rose Compact Powder ($28) by Korres

3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ROCK A STRONG LIPSTICK
Contrary to popular myth, redheads can look smokin’ hot in orange-reddish lipstick or soft-pink pastel.

THE SISTERS’ PICK: True Red Lipstick ($26) by Susan Ciminelli

4. LAYER ON THE MASCARA
If we could only have one makeup product on us at all times, it would be mascara. We love black mascara because it gives a pop to our eyes and complements our red hair, but brown works wonders, too.

THE SISTERS’ PICK: Volum’ Express Falsies Mascara ($7.77) by Maybelline

5. DEFINE BROWS
Redheads generally have light-to-practically-invisible eyebrows. We would never change this natural feature, but there is nothing wrong with coloring in the brow to better define the face. An easy trick is to dot a cotton swab in water, lightly dab into a very light brown eyeshadow, and fill in the eyebrow. Take an eyebrow brush and brush eyebrows upward; this will blend in the color and leave your eyebrows looking gorgeous.

THE SISTERS’ PICK: Khaki Eyeshadow ($21) by Bobbi Brown

Do you have any redhead makeup advice? We’d love to hear what you would add to Adrienne and Stephanie’s tips!

Comments (3)

  • Love this! Helpful for those of us that weren’t redheads when we were born but saw the light! ;) Wonder if the PF primer come SPF free…unfortunately super sensitive to most sunscreen :(

  • I don’t think there is anything wrong with a bit of black eyeliner to really bring out a redhead’s eyes. Some say it is too dark, butit can be a powerful way to draw focus to the eyes. I recently had a magazine photo shoot where the make-up artist chose dark colors for my eyes and it worked wonders!

    I also find that some colors of browns look great (clothing-wise on me).

  • Nice article! I’m a strawberry-red and I personally love modeling my make-up after the ultimate natural red-head: Marilyn Monroe. Even though she dyed her hair blonde (like everyone else, sigh…) It calls for natural foundation, slight contouring with blush and bronzer, winged black liner, tons of lashes and beautiful red lips. To die for!

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