Makeup Tips to Compliment Red Hair

Today I want to share with you some makeup tips for red hair. I seriously thought that Rachel Lauren Baker, the actress featured above, was a natural red head. The tone flatters her skin tone and features so much. I was amazed when she told me that her natural colour is actually blonde. My sister also recently moved over to the red side and it looks ever as amazing. I'm feeling a trend here.

So, if you were born a red head the chances are you already have your beauty routine down pat, but, if you have recently ventured over to a new hair colour, often the makeup that suited previously needs to be adapted slightly. What needs to be taken into consideration are not the colours chosen, but the TONES of the colours chosen. I'm a firm believer that anyone can wear any colour but there are specific shades of a colour that will compliment us and other shades that will make us look ill. Literally all you need to do is hold the colour next to your skin - does it pop (appear vibrant) next to your skin? If it does then your onto a winner. If it looks ashy or dull avoid it. Its that simple - not as complicated as some people make it out to be.

I remember when I went brunette (not a good look for me) I suddenly felt like I needed to wear way more makeup to compensate for the fact that the shade I had chosen made me look incredibly washed out. I'm pretty sure I could pull it off if I found the right shade but I like being blonde :) So step 1 - chose the correct shade of the colour you want to go with your hair. The correct shade will make you look radiant. That will differ from person to person - as you can see Rachel suits a copper tone, whilst my sister actually went for a mahogany tone.

After speaking to Rachel we established that playing up her eyeliner really compliments the vibrancy of her hair. However being actor head shots we wanted to keep the look quite simple. So I focused on really smudging and layering eyeliner and eye shadow along her upper and lower lash line to give an understated but defining smokey eye effect. In the socket line I used a neutral contour shade to give the eye shape more definition without making the eye makeup too bold. I find that neutral and mahogany or bronze tones look amazing against red hair. Chose lipstick shades that compliment the undertone of the red - in this case we chose a bronze / copper based red.

Top Tip

If you want to warm your skin up and you have naturally fair skin, keep the bronzer very subtle, if you only own a dark shade of bronzer thats fine but use it very sparingly on the brush and really work it into the skin well, you can build it up a little more step by step. Layering is key.


Step 1: Prime the skin, whether that be with a sunscreen, a moisturiser or a foundation primer. Really work that into the skin using a massaging motion to wake the skin up.

Step 2: Apply a light layer of foundation and then build up in areas that need more coverage.Avoid using the foundation to try and cover spots - concealer will do this. You merely want to focus on evening out the skin tone at this stage.

Step 3: Line the upper and lower lash line with dark brown kohl pencil. Smudge to create a smokey effect. Smudge some dark brown smokey eye shadow over the top to soften it.

Step 4: Sweep a neutral contour shadow into the socket line.

Step 5: Smudge a black kohl liner into the outer corners of the upper and lower lash line. Apply mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Step 6: Tap a soft liquid highlighter along the top of the cheekbone - liquid will settle into the skin and look more soft and natural. Contour below the cheekbone lightly with a fawn shade contour powder. Less is more!

Step 7: Sweep a light coat of peachy pink blush over the cheekbone (not quite the apple of the cheek because this would look too rosy and glowy, we want to keep this look less girly girly).

Step 8: Fill in brows as desired. I used a pencil and a brush to soften it.

Step 3: Prep the under eye area with a hydrating eye cream, or, mix a little of it into your concealer to correct any under-eye darkness, we do this last to erase any trace of fall out from eye shadow.

Step 10: Complete the look with a lipstick that flatters the undertone of your hair colour, whether that be copper, mahogany, bronze, orange or pillar box red. You could also chose nude shades of lipstick but for the purpose of this look I am talking about red.

To style Rachel’s hair I use a MUK styling wand to curl the hair in two directions alternating each piece. (I  used heat protector cream first)  I then shook the curls out and once cool teased through it with some Schwarzkopf texturising powder and finish with a spritz of shine spray. 

Emily-Rose :)

Headshot Photographer: Rose May Photography


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