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Newbie Makeup Guide for Redheads

Edited: November 1, 2021

Oh, to have had a fairy godmother who could have given tried-and-true, redhead makeup advice back when I was first learning how to use it! Unfortunately, no such “angel” ever materialized and my mom is an olive-skinned brunette. I was left to figure out what looked good with my coloring (and, more often than not, what didn’t). But after lots of experimentation, I realized that simpler is better when it comes to enhancing our ginger gorgeousness.

Here are five easy steps to a perfectly polished redhead look:

1. Foundation

Don’t even think of trying to cover up those freckles – embrace them! You probably don’t need to wear foundation on a daily basis, but if you want to even out your skin tone, go with a sheer formula that is the same shade as your skin. This will even out any redness while still letting your freckles shine through. Begin by dabbing it in the center of your face (your nose, forehead and chin) and blend out.

Favorite products: Chantecaille Future Skin FoundationBareMinerals Original Foundation & Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation


2. Blush

Because there’s nothing prettier than a healthy, happy glow! The key is to find a color that mimics your own natural flush (which for most of us is going to be a rosy pink or peach). Grab a large (but not too large) fluffy brush, tap the brush into the pot (this prevents picking up too much pigment. It’s so easy to use way more blush than you actually need), and gently sweep the color onto the apple of your cheek towards your temple.

Where is the apple of your cheek? Look in a mirror and smile. It’s the round, lifted part.

Start out using less than you think you’ll need and gradually build from there. This will keep you from overdoing it.

Favorite products: Bobbi Brown Blush ‘Sand Pink’ & NARS Blush ‘Deep Throat’


3. Mascara

The most important weapon in any redhead’s beauty arsenal! I never leave my house without it. It really does wonders for opening your eyes and “finishing” your look, even if that’s the only stitch of makeup you’re wearing. Some recommend that redheads use brown mascara, claiming that it will look less harsh, but I find that it doesn’t give my eyes enough pop and that it even enhances any redness in them. I’m all about black!

READ: Six Makeup 101 Tips for Redheads

The application is harder than you’d think for something so commonplace. Going from redhead blonde lashes to dark lashes means really having to take your time. Wiggle the wand as close to the base of your lashes as possible to coat every bit of it (a mascara with a spiky, not soft, wand will do this beautifully). Don’t forget your bottom lashes too, using the same technique only with a lighter touch so the coat isn’t as heavy.

Favorite products: CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara & Too Faced Better Than Sex


4. Eyebrows

Another important but often overlooked part of the redhead’s beauty routine. Like our lashes, our redhead eyebrows tend to be so pale that they’re all but invisible, but a touch of color is all you’ll need to bring them out. Redheads are raving about How to be a Redhead’s Finally Have Brows, and for a good reason. Simply use the applicator provided, gently brush the color onto the brow and it’s done. It’s in a Universal Red — so all redheads can use it.

Favorite products: Finally Have Brows by How to be a Redhead 

5. Natural Looking Lips

The finishing touch (and the easiest step)! The sky is really the limit with lipstick – from a tinted balm to a deep, matte red, it’s all about expressing yourself. I’ve found that it’s surprisingly hard to find a good, everyday neutral color for redheads though.

Favorite products: NARS Satin Lip Pencil in ‘Rikugien’Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in ‘Rose Petal’L’Oreal Color Riche Collection Exclusive in ‘Julianne‘ (made specifically for redhead Julianne Moore), Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colour in ‘Mademoiselle’


And voila! A simple yet perfectly polished look, without all the guesswork.


Your Ginger Fairy Godmother 😉

Rock it like a Redhead!