Best Makeup for Redheads

Hollywood beauty gurus reveal what makeup looks go best with fiery locks


Rachel Goodwin, a celebrity makeup artist for Chanel, says that lipstick isn't what it used to be-and that's a good thing: "In the 1960s, it was somewhat chalky and colors were overly pigmented. Since then, formulations have gotten friendlier. Textures are more sheer and natural-looking."

But unforgiving formulas didn't stop women in the '60s from wearing bursts of color-a well-documented fact on the hit shot Mad Men where Christina Hendricks' character, Joan, has perfected the poppy-red lip. "There's something so optimistic about seeing a bright cherry pucker on a fair-skinned girl with red hair," says Goodwin.

Not that you need to wear a "bold opaque statement" on your pout every time-Goodwin says that stained lips like Hendricks' at the Directors' Guild Awards (see photo above) are fair game too. And, she says, redheads can pull off pink as well as anyone: "You don't have to be harmonious with color. Seeing a beautiful pink or plum against red hair is surprising and beautiful."

To achieve Hendricks' sumptuous pink stain, Goodwin, who works with the actress, suggests using a Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick like Cambon or Orchidée. "The Rouge Cocos are a bit matte, so they work well as stains," she explains. "For Christina, I'll put some on and buff it with a Q-tip to create an amazing stain-she has perfectly shaped lips and a boost of pink on them looks gorgeous."

"Dabbing balm over a stain will make it last for hours," says Goodwin. "I go through lip balm like crazy and have a ton of them, but I usually use La Mer or By Terry ones on my clients. A natural beeswax salve, like one by Burt's Bees, is also great."


"If pink is present in the skin, red hair can enhance it," says Kate Lee, also a celebrity makeup artist for Chanel. "And bluish undertones can stand out more on redheads since their skin tends to be fair. Blue is naturally occurring in any skin tone, particularly under the eyes, but is especially prominent in red-headed folk."

Light concealer can help cover any hints of blue around the eye area. But for blue or pink undertones in the face, Goodwin says to avoid heavy foundation and opt for a sheer tinted moisturizer instead. To give Easy A actress Emma Stone a creamy glow at the Vanity Fair Oscars party earlier this year (see photo above), Goodwin smoothed yellow-based lotion on her skin and dusted bronzer on her cheeks.

"A tinted moisturizer with a yellow undertone will cut any redness while also evening out the appearance of your skin," says Goodwin. One to try: M.A.C Studio Moisture Tint SPF 15.

It's hard to use bronzer on pale skin-you have to be delicate with your application or else it might look streaky and heavy," says Goodwin. "But when used correctly, a tiny bit of sheer-colored bronzer can tone down redness. I'm a big fan of Josie Maran's Argan Bronzing Powder because it's superlight and made from natural ingredients."


"I love a sharp and crisp black line next to the lashes," says Lee, who crafted Bryce Dallas Howard's perfect cat-eye for the Eclipse premiere in June (see photo above). "A classic cat-eye goes great with a bold hair color like red."

"Between Dita Von Teese and the ladies on Mad Men, the cat-eye is back," says Goodwin. "It's flirty and fun but doesn't overpower the rest of the face-you can wear it with little or no other makeup and it works."

Black eyeliner's ability to stand on its own and still look "polished" makes it an excellent look for redheads, adds Goodwin, since "makeup has an intensity on fair skin that it doesn't have on warmer, deeper skin tones-dark colors look darker, and bright colors look brighter."

Whether you go thick or thin along the upper lash line, staying power is a must for black liner. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner glides over the lid and doesn't budge.


Though Julianne Moore's lashes are naturally light, when Goodwin works with the actress she uses dark mascara on her. "Redheads should stick with black mascara," says the makeup guru. "Even if you're wearing the slightest bit of eye shadow, define the lashes because it gives your eyes a refined appearance without looking overly done."

Sensai 38°C Volumizing Mascara pumps up lashes and yields long-lasting jet-black color. To fully tint lighter fringe, Goodwin wedges the mascara brush all the way to the root ("you really have to get down there") and uses more than one coat if necessary.

For everyday wear, Goodwin suggests complementing bold fringe with a neutral lip. "Beige-y lip glosses look really good on redheads," she says. "I love Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick in Honey. It looks warm and natural."


Reddish-brown eyes are amplified by auburn highlights, as evidenced by Julia Roberts' latest hair hue. To further accentuate warm brown eyes, Goodwin says a muted plum shadow (like the one Roberts wore to the New York premiere of Eat Pray Love, above) can work wonders. "Cool aubergine tones against reddish-brown eyes make the warmth of the eye appear even warmer," she explains.

Estée Lauder Pure Color Eye Shadow Palette in Surreal Violet includes a vibrant range of purple hues to make brown (and hazel) eyes pop.


"Peachy corals illuminate fair skin and pick up soft tones in red hair," says Goodwin, who gave Stone a monochromatic peach-pink makeup look this past spring (see photo above). "Frosted peaches and corals scared people off for years but now that makeup textures are better, there's renewed interest in these colors. Today, it's really about wearing sheer and see-through versions."

" RMS Beauty's Lip2Cheek is a multi-purpose cream that's awesome," says Goodwin, who recommends redheads use the Smile shade for the "perfect coral-peach color." Though she notes that it looks radiant on non-redheads too, she says it's especially complementary on ginger-haired clients like Stone. For dewy lips and cheekbones, simply dab the product on and add "a little bit of Vaseline to the lips for extra gloss."


When doing a dramatic or smoky eye, traditional charcoal-gray tones are fine for redheads, so long as the rest of the face contains warmer colors, says Goodwin ("otherwise the eye shadow can be jarring-almost too dramatic").

Instead, Goodwin prefers making statements with chocolate-brown shadow (see Hendricks, above). "It brings the eyes and hair together, integrating them," she says, adding that, "brown goes better with the natural tones of the skin."

To go for the drama, Goodwin recommends pairing liquid black liner with rich brown shadow. One she likes: Nars Single Eye Shadow in Coconut Grove or Ashes to Ashes.

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