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Sultry Makeup for Red Hair: Spice Up Your Everyday Look

Whether you were born with Little Mermaid–like tresses or have a fabulous colorist who bestowed them upon you, makeup for red hair is extraspecial. With its warm, rich color, your makeup can follow suit, creating a perfectly polished fall look. Meet Sondra, whose day-to-day look is very matte: powdered skin, eyeliner but no shadow, and no brow definition. It definitely works for her, but she was curious about trying some new things, so that's exactly what we did!

Makeup for Red Hair

Sondra described her daily look to me as something she has down to a science. She can even do it at stoplights! Her skin is always a powdered finish, something she describes as "a very Southern thing." She never wears eyeshadow or highlighter or fills in her brows, and she has always wanted to try some bolder lip choices. So, we tried a few new techniques to spice up Sondra's routine for fall. After all, makeup for red hair should be as warm, sultry, and rich as the upcoming season.

Makeup for Red Hair: Steps 1-2

1. Since Sondra typically uses a powder foundation, we wanted to create a more dewy finish to her skin. We did this by first applying a cream foundation with a damp beautyblender.

2. Next, we brightened up her undereye area with my favorite concealer, Urban Decay's Naked Skin, and blended it out with the beautyblender.

Makeup for Red Hair: Steps 3-4

3. For a healthy glow, we applied a cream blush to the apples of her cheeks and blended it back toward her hairline. Stila's Convertible Color in Peony is the perfect shade—not too pink. Many redheads avoid pink, which isn't always necessary, but you're in the clear with this blush!

4. Sondra said that she doesn't use a highlighter but would love to try one. Benefit's Watts Up adds the perfect amount of glow to the tops of her cheekbones. We used all cream products on the skin to create a luminous look versus a powdered finish.

Makeup for Red Hair: Steps 5-6

5. Using a loose powder like Ben Nye's Luxury Powder in Cameo and a tapered brush, we selectively set the undereye area to prevent creasing and highlight particular points only, like the center of the chin, the nose, and between the brows.

6. Since Sondra has never filled in her brows, we did so subtly with a brow powder. One of my go-to colors for redheads is TheBalm's Brow Pow in Light Brown. It's just warm enough without being too much so.

Makeup for Red Hair: Steps 7-8

7. Since Sondra doesn't usually wear eyeshadow, we started her out small with a warm, matte brown color swept into and just above her natural crease.

8. We placed a matte ivory shadow on the center of the lid, then up to meet the crease color.

Makeup for Red Hair: Steps 9-10

9. Since Sondra typically uses a black liquid liner, we thought we'd shake up her routine with a coppery bronze pencil liner like Stila Stay All Day Smudgestick in Lionfish. The metallic quality picks up the light and brings eyes forward. The pencil creates a softer, less severe feel. You can apply any mascara you love—no need for brown! I believe any skin tone and hair color can wear black mascara.

10. Just because you have red hair, doesn't mean you can't also rock red lips! We love the idea of a rich, spiced wine lip on Sondra. But first, we lined her lips with MAC's Half Red.

Makeup for Red Hair: Step 11

11. Finally, we finished the look with an application of bareMinerals' Marvelous Moxie lipstick in Raise the Bar. Metallic lips are on trend for fall, and this lip color has just the right amount. If you're worried that it's too matchy-matchy to wear a lip color so close to your hair color, have no fear! It adds cohesiveness and warmth to your look.

Ivy Boyd

I have a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, but it's creating works of art on faces that I love most. By day, I am a Senior Education Consultant for Sephora as well as a freelance makeup artist. The rest of the time, I'm creating content for my makeup and beauty blog, Wake Up for Makeup, reading product reviews, watching tutorial videos and reading makeup artist books. I live and breathe this stuff and if you could eat makeup, I'd probably do that too. I also love painting abstracts, running, attending music festivals and acting weird with my husband and our two awesome cats. I'm here to tell you what products are legit, how to better use the ones you have, give you ideas to shake up your routine and guide you through some fun tutorials I know you can dominate.

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