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Best Beauty Products for Redheads

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Use makeup products that compliment your pale skin and fiery hair.

Use makeup products that compliment your pale skin and fiery hair.

Tried-and-true makeup and beauty favorites from one redhead to all the others.

Redheads are a different breed. What's different about us? Obviously, our hair color. However, it's more than just hair color. Red heads also tend to have porcelain skin, a smattering or an avalanche of freckles and, in general, "autumn" coloring. Because redheads have unique coloring, beauty products that work for blondes and brunettes often does not work for us. Whether you're a natural redhead or get a little help from the bottle, it pays to seek out the products that play up and bring out the best of your unique coloring.

I have been a redhead all my life, and over these many years I've collected a short list of beauty propducts that work well with may hair color, skin tone and freckles. I found these products through trial and error, throwing out or giving away what doesn't work while stocking up on the "keepers" that do work. I can recommend these products as I use most of them daily. Perhaps they'll become your favorites as well.

Nars Blush in Deep Throat

Nars Blush in Deep Throat

Nars, probably best known for the often-recommended blush that goes by the descriptive name of "Orgasm," tends to give its powder blushers risque names. You are probably familiar with Nars Orgasm blush, as it is the award-winning darling that has found its way onto list after list of both magazine editors' and readers' beauty favorites. One reason for this is that Orgasm is flattering on just about everyone, from the pale to the dark complected, and just about everyone in between.

However, when it comes to redheads, a lesser known Nars color, Deep Throat, is more flattering on many of us. While Orgasm is a bit more orange-red and glittery, Deep Throat is a soft, subtle, gold-flecked peachy-pink that looks lovely on pale, golden-toned skin. Not only does this subtly golden, peachy-pink shade look beautiful on pale skin, it complements freckles and golden-flecked red hair of all shades.

I am a big believer in drugstore brands. I believe that for the most part, you can find quality beauty products that work just as well as department store or boutique products, but for much less money. However, Nars Deep Throat blush is one of the few beauty items I buy that does not come from the drugstore. It is worth the extra money and there's no doubt in my mind why this brand of blusher is so wildly popular. The powder is very fine milled, the color looks intense in the package but goes on sheer, and the sparkle is very subtle.

Maybelline Marbleized Eye Shadow in Khaki Craze

Maybelline Marbleized Eye Shadow in Khaki Craze

This one little eyeshadow offers so much. First of all, the colors are a mash-up of shimmery deep olive green and gold, both of which are gorgeous on us redheads. A few speckles of brown and a brighter green are sprinkled in, also. The colors look lovely either separately or together. Use the gold for highlighting your brow bone or adding that subtle dewy look at the inner corners of your eyes. The olive green is a deep, shimmery shade that works well in the crease of your eyelid. You can also mix the two together to create any umber of greenish-goldish shades. The powder texture is fine and smooth, not dry and cakey. The shadow glides on easily and lasts all day.

Almay Intense i-color Liquid Liner in Brown Topaz

Almay Intense i-color Liquid Liner in Brown Topaz

I just love everything about this eyeliner. The Brown Topaz color is redhead perfection. It's dark enough to make an impact, yet adds that bit of color that black does not. It is slightly metallic, but not so much that it looks like teenage eye glitter. It's a beautiful bronzey brown and looks terrific with red locks of all shades. It has a fine-point felt-tip applicator, but unlike felt-tip eyeliner pens that seem to constantly run dry, you dip the applicator into the eyeliner. This allows you to get plenty of product on the applicator, but still have the control of a felt-tip pen as opposed to a floppy brush. The applicator is tapered so you can draw in a fine, thick, or tapered line.

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Peach

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Peach

The orange-y hue of this lipstick might look a little scary in the tube, but this lipcolor goes on softly and creates a lovely, peachy-nude lip -- nude, but with a small dose of peach to brighten the lip a bit. It is just barely shimmery, not too pink, not too brown, not too orange, and it looks lovely, subtle and natural on pale skin and complements all shades of red hair. It's the perfect lipcolor when you want something natural, subtle and conservative. Layer with Golden Splendor (below) to add a bit of golden sparkle. This is a top-drawer lipstick with a smooth, creamy feel, and you can't beat the price for the professional quality Revlon delivers.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Toast of New York

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Toast of New York

As you can probably tell by my recommendations here, I love a hint of subtle gold sparkle, especially on a redhead. However, if you prefer a creamy lip (meaning no sparkle), this is a terrific shade in a darker tone than the other two lipcolors I recommend. Toast of New York is a nice brownish red with a hint of terra cotta. It's neither too brown, too red nor too orange. It works well on both cool and warm complexions. Dab it on with balm or gloss for a lighter, more subtle shade, or apply in two or three layers for more intense color saturation. If you prefer a bit of sparkle on your lip, Toast of New York looks lovely with a topcoat of Golden Splendor, below.

Revlon makes a wonderful, high-quality lipstick for the price. Super Lustrous lipstick glides on smoothly, has staying power and does not have a perfumey taste or smell.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour in Golden Splendor

L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour in Golden Splendor

This is a sheer gold-flecked lipstick that can work on its own or layered over more intense colors. On its own, Golden Splendor offers a hint of golden color and a subtle gold sparkle. It looks great at the beach for a "no-makeup" natural look, or any time you just want a hint of sparkle without lots of color, and without that silvery frost that makes us redheads look sallow.

This lipstick also works really well as a sheer golden gloss over deeper lipstick shades. It goes on very moist and sheer like a gloss, but because it is not a gloppy gloss it is cleaner, not sticky and has more staying power. You can use Golden Splendor to punch up matte shades with a little golden sparkle, or to tone down dark or intense colors. Apply a layer on top of any intense lipcolor, and the tiny golden flecks automatically lighten it and neutralize some of the intensity to create the perfect shade you're in the mood for at that moment.

One thing to note is that L'Oreal scents their lipsticks. It really doesn't bother me, in fact I kind of like it. However, many people apparently just hate scented lipsticks. It's a sweet, perfumey/fruity/candy-type smell. It does seem to be stronger when you first open the tube, and fades away a bit but never completely.

L'oreal Foundations and Powders

L'Oreal Foundations and Powders

If you've seen another of my hubs, The Top 10 Best Drugstore Beauty Products, you know that I like to purchase most of my beauty products from the drugstore, as opposed to the more expensive brands from beauty boutiques and department stores. When it comes to foundation, however, many of the drugstore brands are too orange, too pink or too brown for my pale skin. But L'Oreal foundations are always available in a least two good shades for me: shades that are only slightly golden, barely pink, yet not chalky white.

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L'Oreal formulas are top quality, go on smoothly, and their powders are fine-milled. L'Oreal offers various foundations and powders from sheer to full coverage; the choice is yours. Look for shades with "ivory," "fair," or "light" in their names. The L'Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Make-Up, above, comes in more pale shades than any foundation I've ever seen. Most brands usually offer one or two, but this one features five: Classic Ivory, Natural Ivory, Soft Ivory, Porcelain, Alabaster and Light Ivory.

Maybelline "The Colossal" Mascara

Dark Brown Mascara... or black.

If you're a redhead, you've probably heard all your life (or at least since you were old enough to wear makeup) to stay away from black mascara because it is too harsh for your pale coloring. I believe in many cases this is true. However, the purpose of mascara is to make lashes look thicker, longer, darker and more prominent, so in my opinion it's fine to make them dark. If you are very pale, with pale eyes and bright red or light red hair, brown or brown/black mascara is probably the best choice. However, if you have very dark eyes or very dark red hair, a true black probably makes the most sense.

I was on the brown mascara bandwagon for awhile, because it was generic redhead beauty advice I had heard for years. However, I have very dark brown eyes and as I have gotten older my hair has come to be dark auburn instead of the more orange-y color it was in my youth. One day it occurred to me that my eyes and hair were darker than my brown mascara. I think lashes should be at least as dark if not darker than your hair and eyes, so I switched over to black. Use what works for you.

I love Maybelline "The Colossal" mascara. It does triple duty, making my lashes dark, thick and long. It goes on smoothly and washes off easily at the end of the day. In between, it stays put and does not flake or bleed black spots under my eyes. Maybelline is known for their quality mascaras at great prices, and this one is no exception.

Maybelline Expert Eyes Eyebrow Pencil in Blonde

Maybelline Expert Eyes Eyebrow Pencil in Blonde

This eyebrow pencil is a great color. It's not too dark and not too light. The name of it is "Blonde," but it might as well be "Redhead" as it fills brows in with such a natural color. The color is definitely not black, but not exactly red or brown, either, although I guess it is closer to brown. It's somehow just "eyebrow" color. Brows look complete and substantial, but at the same time look natural and not too "done." The pencil has a great texture: it glides on easily but is not as soft as say, a kohl eyeliner pencil; at the same time it's just waxy enough not smear. The pencils are sold in packages of two for a terrific price.

Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiant Skin Self-Tanner in fair to medium

Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiant Skin Self-Tanner

I don't mind having freckles, and for the most part have embraced my pale skin. However, I live in Texas, which means I wear shorts about nine months out of the year. Although I will never be tan and in fact it would look silly, fake or weird if I was, I do like to take the edge off of my blinding white legs when I wear shorts.

I love this Nivea self tanner for a number of reasons. First, it's another excellent product with a very reasonable price. Second, it is for the most part a nice thick, body cream that works wonderfully to keep my dry skin soft and moisturized. Like its name says, Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiant Skin Self-Tanner does have a bit of self-tanner mixed in, but just a little, so that you gradually build up a shade or two of natural color over a few days, rather than turning you fake-bake orange in matter or hours. Another benefit to the gradual self tanners is that they are less likely to turn out blotchy or streaky, even if you don't rub them in as thoroughly as yout should.

Unlike many self-tanners, this one smells nice. It does have a hint of that self-tanner smell when the initial great-smelling fragrance wears off, but fortunately the self-tanner smell also wears off also and doesn't stick around for long.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer, SPF 50

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer, SPF 50

Although there are a few rare olive-skinned redheads, most of us have very pale skin. While people of every color should make a habit of wearing sunscreen every day, doing so is especially important for pale-skinned people who have very little natural protection from the sun. Not only does sunscreen protect your skin from sunburn, it also guards against skin cancer and the sun damage that causes wrinkles.

I love this Neutrogena facial moisturizer. It is SPF 50, which is nice and high to give full protection from ultraviolet rays. Many moisturizers with a high SPF are thick and gloppy, but not this one. It goes on sheer and light, is not oily, disappears quickly into the skin and doesn't "pill up" if you apply makeup over it.

Another thing I like about this sunscreen is the brand. Not only are Neutrogena products reasonably priced, they work well. I have had excellent results with Neutrogena products and find them to be top quality, with the latest ingredients and a plenty of research going into them. This particular sunscreen contains Helioplex, a UV-blocker which is stabilized, meaning that the ingredients that make it effective against the UV rays do not degrade during the course of the day while you are wearing the sunscreen. So, thanks to Helioplex, your SPF protection will be just as effective at four in the afternoon as it was when you first put it on at seven in the morning. That is, of course, unless you wash it off or go swmming. This product is a daily facial moisturizer as opposed to a water-proof sunscreen for the pool or beach.


lwzolayvar on February 12, 2016:

Really I have benefitted from this information thank you so much! Is there an update for 2016?

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on October 24, 2013:

Oooohh I would love to see a photo of your hair color! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, and for keeping everyone entertained on the forums! :P

Beth37 on October 23, 2013:

Oooh, thanks for all those good tips. My hair (currently) is the same color as the girl in the pic... I wish I could say it was as long and flowy as hers, but sadly not. Thanks Smart and Fun. :)

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