Flame-haired beauty? Here’s your essential guide to smokin’ hot makeup from the makeup artists in the know
From Jessica Chastain to Julianne Moore, Christina Hendricks to Nicole Kidman, red hair has fast become the red carpet staple of Hollywood’s superstars.
Whether strawberry-blonde, auburn or pillar box red, if you’re also lucky enough to be a member of this smokin’ hot club, the amount of makeup possibilities available to you makes for an incredibly exciting excuse to start experimenting. But where’s best to start? We asked top makeup artists Arabella Preston and Victoria Bond (herself also a redhead) for their top makeup tips and product recommendations to give your makeup bag one red hot makeover.
Makeup Tip 1: Opt for dewy bases that don’t hide your freckles
“Without wishing to generalise massively, most of the redheads I have met and worked with have the most gorgeous clear skin - but lots of them ending up wearing too much base to cover up freckles,” says Arabella Preston. “Too much base + freckles looks unnatural, so I would select a gorgeous, glowy light base, like NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer , £29.50, or even as light as Yves Saint Laurent All-in-One BB Crème , £40. Then use a concealer like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer , £22, to touch up any redness around the nose and eyes.”
If you don’t have freckles though, a cover-up that offers a greater level of coverage could prove to be your perfect match instead. “Redheads without freckles can take more of a base,” says Victoria Bond. “I really like Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation , £36. The skin should be creamy and dewy - think Jessica Chastain and Julianne Moore. I love Julianne Moore, to me she is the ultimate redhead. The coverage can be medium and should be super perfect.”
Makeup Tip 2: Have fun with blusher
“I love a dewy complexion on redheads and so a cream blush like Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks , £19.50 works brilliantly,” says Arabella. “You can choose a browner tone like Blushed Rose for a daytime neutrals look and a light pink like Pale Pink for balancing an evening smokey eye.”
Contrary to popular belief, more shades on the colour spectrum are available to you than most think, so don’t be afraid to try something brighter. “It's not true that redheads can't wear corals either. A sheer coral blush like By Terry Cellularose Blush Glace in Flower Sorbet , £38, gives a gorgeous sheer flush to the skin and is so pretty with a bright lip and bare eye or even on completely bare sun-kissed summer skin,” says Arabella.
Should you want something more powder-based should you have oilier skin, going matte needn’t mean going flat. “Peach and light brown blush works well. I love Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder SPF 15 , £39, as it’s super natural and tailored to your skin tone,” says Victoria.
Makeup Tip 3: Don’t go overboard with your brows
Feel the need to fill in fair eyebrows? Ditch the eye pencil and opt for subtlety instead for a more natural look, recommends Victoria. “I love blonde or red eyebrows and I suggest leaving them - just brush them up with brow gel, even if they are barely there. There's something refreshing and modern about a gentle brow. I hate over-shaped fake brows.”
Benefit Gimme Brow Gel in Light/Medium , £18.50, is one of our absolute favourites for providing subtle definition and a hint of colour. Its teeny brush and tinted fluid provides precision and wearable pigment in one fell swoop.
Makeup Tip 4: Showcase one statement feature
“With really freckly redheads I think it's nice to keep makeup to a minimum or go for one statement feature,” recommends Victoria. “I like a strong lip in red, orange or fuchsia - I find plum boring! This was always forced on me so I don't like it. I think redheads are much more versatile.”
Proving matte can also be moisturising, look no further than the new range of Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colours , £22. Providing conditioning ingredients and high colour payoff in equal measure, they make for the perfect pick for any flame-haired beauty’s pout.
“A graphic black flick is also nice on bare freckly skin,” advises Victoria. “Keep the lips nude and peachy if you opt for a strong eye.” From cat eye to winged wonder, the new Marc Jacobs Marc’er Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Black , £22, makes for an eye-catching beauty buy in our books - its super fine tip and super black finish will have you wanting to etch ‘n’ sketch all day long.
Makeup Tip 5: Get flashy with your colour
“I like flashes of colour on redheads particularly on the eye,” says Victoria. “It's striking and works really well on younger girls. Be brave and experiment. Try blues, greens and purples - chuck the rule book out.” For an eyeshadow palette that will get your experimental juices flowing, we love Urban Decay Vice 4 , £43, in terms of the choice and vibrancy it provides. For a new season serving of metallic daytime neutrals and pastels though, try the beautiful floral-inspired Dior 5 Couleurs Glowing Gardens Eyeshadow Palette in Blue Garden , £43.50 - as gorgeous to use as it is to look at.
“Redheads with blue eyes suit coppers, browns, golds and peaches,” says Victoria. “I like satin and metallic finishes as they’re much more exciting than matte. I love the Elizabeth Arden Smokey Eyes Powder Eye Pencil in Espresso , £17, for soft definition. Just a bit of the pencil blended in is gorgeous.”
And finally, what does redheaded makeup artist Victoria Bond pack in her makeup bag? She recalls her red hair beauty journey for us...
“When I was younger and before I became a makeup artist I wore a lot more makeup. I remember going out with a metallic blue eye. Which did look ok when I was young - I think it's fun to experiment with your look in your youth. I then moved onto a heavy bronzy cheek. I used to tint my brows too.
“These days I'm really natural. I use Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base , £34, with the BB Cream , £30 and Estée Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup , £30, on the under eye and on any blemishes. People assume I don't have any makeup on...but obviously I do - I'm the Queen of no makeup makeup! I do like to load up the mascara on my bottom and top lashes. I have a clean natural full brow that I just brush up with brow gel and if I go out, I opt for brown, bronzy colours. I very rarely wear a lip. As I have loads of freckles, I don't ever feel barefaced. When I was younger I hated being a redhead with freckles, but now I love it. I worry that they might fade as I get older like my hair has!”
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