Redhead Makeup Tips From A Genuine Ginger

Lipstick, mascara, shadow, and eyebrow pointers for the 2%.
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Kate L.
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Lipstick, mascara, shadow, and eyebrow pointers for the 2%.

If you Google "redhead makeup tips," you’ll find numerous posts all claiming to have the answer. Some of the advice matches up, while the rest is often contradictory and consequently frustrating. So, my fellow redheads, this post will address, debunk, clarify, and put a cherry on top of the most common redhead makeup tips.

The Black/Brown Mascara Dilemma

red hair pulled back

What's a ginger to do for a mascara color?

I thought we’d start with the most contested beauty tip out there: should a redhead wear black or brown mascara? 

Well, a redhead can wear whatever she wants, so I suppose the real issue is which mascara will look best. Generally the mascara camp has been divided between those who prefer the classic black mascara look and those who believe brown looks more natural. Let's shake things up a bit and add a third option: auburn. I suggest an auburn mascara for two reasons: first, this reddish brown color offers a more intense look than a light brown, while also keeping it natural. Second, most redheads have green or blue eyes. When framed with an auburn tint, they pop in the most beautiful way. Give Redhead Revolution Gingerlash Redhead Mascara in Honest Auburn a try.

The Myth Of The Bright Lip

red eye makeup

If you're going for coral lips, it's important to choose the right coral. 

Bright lips are in! So how does a redhead get in on the action? First, let’s dispel some of the generalized advice: I should “just choose a coral,” you say? 

Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that it’s not that simple. The color "coral" describes a whole spectrum of colors. This means that a coral lipstick can range from a bright pinkish-orange to a nude pink or a red. The first step in determining which color in this broad range will work best is to find what I call your "color Kryptonite" (welcome to makeup nerd-dom). I have orange, coppery hair, so when my friend chose an orange coral for my lips, it clashed horribly. Rule #1: never match your lipstick to your hair. Once I discovered that orange was my color Kryptonite, I tried a pink coral and it looked great.

"Green And Blue Look So Good on You"

It’s time we created some boundaries for this generic statement, especially where eye shadow is concerned. 

When it comes to choosing an eye shadow, we need to refer to some basic color theory. First, shadow is meant to compliment your eye color--not just your hair. So while that blue dress makes your hair pop, your blue shadow does the opposite for your eyes. The right shadow is a color that falls on the opposite side of the color spectrum from your eye color. Green eyes look best when matched with warm purples, browns, and rose golds, while blues are complemented best by golds, coppers, and apricots. The same theory applied when I recommended an auburn mascara. Now, this doesn’t mean that blues and greens are never to enter your makeup kit. A hint of turquoise or green liner to your eyes can look fantastic--just remember this little bit of basic color theory.

Embrace Your Blonde Brows 

long red hair

Tackling the issue of blonde brows. 

Here’s where I tell you to love yourself just the way you are… well, sort of. 

If you are a redhead of the freckly/fair variety, then you’ve contemplated what to do with those blonde brows. Everybody has their own opinion and, unfortunately, most of it isn’t helpful. Telling me, a ginger with practically non-existent fair brows, to aim for Cara Delevingne’s defining feature just sets me up for a bummer of an evening. So once you stop trying to achieve the impossible, what can you do with those fair brows? Find a brow tint or pencil that is one to two shades lighter than your natural brow color. You don’t necessarily need to look for one with a reddish tint just because you are a redhead, a light brown or auburn will add natural color and definition. Then, keep it light. Remember, you are trying to enhance your features, not paint on new ones.

I hope you found this sundae of tips helpful. Now for the cherry! Remember, you are one of the 2%. You’re already unique and with the right kind of makeup, you’ll be unstoppable.

  • Redheads, speak up! Have you found the above issues to ring true? 
  • What is your makeup advice pet peeve?