The past few years have been great for redheads: The gorgeous Julianne Moore won her first Oscar for
Still Alice, Joan Holloway made her grand exit on the finale of Mad Men, and the Titian-haired sisters Adrienne Vendetti Hodges (pictured left) and Stephanie Vendetti (right), founders of the website How to Be A Redhead, nabbed a book deal of the same name. As these women prove, the redhead is almost always the most striking woman in the room, yet the beauty industry doesn't typically cater to her. Finding makeup that complements her often fair, freckled, and sensitive skin, as well as her strawberry to copper-hued tresses, is not an easy task. So, in 2011, these sisters decided to change that.
“We felt like there wasn’t an outlet for [redhead] women to go to and feel like they’re trendy and beautiful, and get really great advice," Adrienne tells us. "I’m two years older than Stephanie, so we’re very close and as kids we used to joke that we knew how to be redheads because we were so into beauty products. We used to joke that we were going to come out with a book on how to be a redhead, and it was always on the backs of our minds. So, after college we were like, ‘You know what? We’re going to do it!’ We started it as a little blog, and in just two weeks' time we were overwhelmed with so many people writing in and all the people who are passionate about being redheads.”
Clearly, there was a gaping hole in the market, but since How to Be A Redhead’s inception (or was it its influence?) many makeup companies have started carrying shades that flatter more than just blondes and brunettes. We asked the sisters, who have since added L’Oréal brand ambassador titles to their résumés, to recommend the “redhead-friendly” (their term) products they swear by, including a brow gel they developed with Billion Dollar Brows. Plus, they've got tips on everything from wearing the right blush to making your freckles pop. Read on, redheads: You’re in for a treat.
“We apply this right after we cleanse and apply oils or face lotion. SPF is the first step in our makeup process because we always want to protect our redhead skin. We burn so easily. It comes in a pump tube, and the product itself is clear. It literally disappears into the skin and feels, almost, like a powder. We don't even realize we have SPF 30 on our faces. It’s a miracle!” — Stephanie
Invisiblur Perfecting Shield, $65, available at
Mineral makeup lovers will flip for this lightweight primer-meets-sunscreen. It's formulated with SPF 30, reduces redness, and stamps out uneven tones — all without masking your skin.
Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30, $42, available at
If you're prone to forgetting SPF, invest in a sunscreen powder like this one from Colorscience. All you have to do is dust it on and go.
Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50, $64, available at
This primer is perfect for those with freckles because it illuminates and evens, but won't cover your complexion.
Foundation Primer - Radiance, $38, available at
Powder “You hardly feel like you have makeup on, and it gives great, natural coverage. Usually, redheads have noticeable veins on their eyelids and underneath the eyes. With a few swipes of this powder all over the face, the skin looks perfect. It’s a wonderful base.” — Adrienne
Make Up For Ever
Super Matte Loose Powder,
Not feeling loose powder? Try a translucent pressed version instead. This one leaves our skin feeling smooth and matte.
Make Up For Ever
HD Powder, $37, available at
Would you ever believe a mineral formula could feel just as creamy on the skin as a liquid? Us either — but this Tarte foundation is just that.
Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation, $36, available at
“It’s very rare for redheads with fair skin to find the perfect foundation. The pigments are either too red or too gray, but these are the perfect shades. And, there are up to five different shades for fair skin. I love it because it doesn’t cover my freckles.” — Stephanie
The sisters actually recently did a
YouTube video with Clinique
about this product because they love it so much. Adrienne uses "Alabaster" and Stephanie uses "Fair."
Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer,
"A great tip is if you want your freckles to pop, apply the foundation. Then, dip a Q-tip in water and gently dot on your face to expose your freckles. That way, you have coverage and expose your beautiful ‘sun kisses.’” — Adrienne
Custom Cover Drops, $44, available
Not a fan of foundation? Try a BB cream or tinted moisturizer, like this one from Dr. Jart+. The formula will even your complexion and conceal discoloration, but thanks to the sheer coverage, your skin (and freckles!) will still shine through.
BB Black Label Detox Beauty Balm, $36, available at
Concealer “Redheads usually have very sensitive skin, so when it comes to concealer, it’s essential to find one that doesn’t irritate the eye area and gives good coverage. This is definitely one of the best we’ve tried, and believe me, we’ve tried hundreds. We love Tarte, and the founder is a redhead! So, we’re always partial to the line.” — Stephanie
Maracuja Creaseless Concealer,
The Glossier stretch concealer is a great option for redheads looking for light dewy coverage, but don't want something super heavy that'll hide their freckles.
Katie Jane Hughes
, makeup artist and a friend of Glossier, tells
that "this concealer covers, but it's glowy and has a gorgeous sheen." And the shade light is a good fit for fair skin.
Stretch Concealer, $18, available at
This paraben-, fragrance-, phthalate-, and mineral oil-free concealer is another excellent option for those with sensitive skin. Plus, it seriously covers redness and discoloration without looking dry or cakey on skin.
Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer, $22.99, available at
Eyebrows "The best part about this product is every type of redhead, whether strawberry-blonde or auburn, can use it. The color is universal among redheads.” — Stephanie
Billion Dollar Brows
Hint Of Tint,
Any brow pencil or gel that's straight-up red will always look too obvious. Although your brow hair might appear to be that shade, most redheads have brown and blonde mixed in there, too. Dark blonde is a safe bet, and this formula from Lashfood is one of our favorites.
BrowFood Tinted Brow Enhancing Gelfix in Dark Blonde, $24, available at
Mascara “Redheads [often] have coarse hair, so eyebrows and lashes are similar. It’s our personal preference, but we don’t use an eyelash curler, and that’s why we love this mascara. It curls our redhead eyebrows and adds color!” — Stephanie “We have this mascara in brown and black. We love to apply black to the top and brown to the bottom, so our eyes don’t look too harsh.” — Adrienne
Full Lash Bloom Mascara By LashBlast,
Eyeliner “We love a gel liner! The look is so classic. We have this eyeliner in almost every shade and have fun with it. We love expressing our fun, redhead personalities! If you’re a redhead without green or blue eyes, use Emerald Seductive or Downtown Blue to line the top lid of the eye.” — Adrienne
Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel EyeLiner in Emerald Seductive,
This gel pencil delivers gorgeous emerald-teal color that doesn't budge once it sets. You have about 15 seconds.
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Deep Evergreen, $24, available at
“For some reason, society has told redheads not to wear
. Don’t listen! The trick is to find the right shade for you. MAC has a great redhead-friendly shade called Gingerly. We think MAC must have chosen the name for a reason. The color has hints of pink, but its base color is almost the shade of a bronzer. It’s gorgeous with fair skin and any shade of red hair.” — Adrienne
Powder Blush in Gingerly,
Bronzer “This may sound crazy, but it’s the best kept secret. It can be difficult to find a bronzer for redheads, because most are too dark or too shimmery. You don’t want to cover your porcelain skin or freckles with a harsh bronzer. That’s why we love using Maybelline’s Fit Me Pressed Powder in one of its darkest shades, Soft Honey. Because it’s actually a pressed powder, it doesn’t have shimmer and it’s really natural-looking. We lightly apply it to the apples of our cheeks and our temples.” — Stephanie
Fit Me Pressed Powder in Soft Honey,
This bronzer is a bit pricey — but it's worth the investment if you're in the market for a bronze glow with a matte finish that flatters fair skin and freckles. Sweep this fine powder on with a fluffy brush for an instant flush that lasts all day, without any muddiness or streaking.
Terracotta Bronzing Powder, $53, available at
Highlighter "This is the dewiest, most natural highlight," R29 production assistant Megan Decker says. "It never comes off glittery on super-fair skin."
Red Lipstick “Many redheads think they can’t wear red lipstick, and that couldn’t be more false. Find a shade like Jungle Red with blue undertones. The warmth is beautiful with every shade of red hair and skin tone.” — Stephanie "If we could choose one red lipstick for every redhead to wear, it would be this brand and shade. It’s beautiful." — Adrienne
Lipstick In Jungle Red,
“We also love the NARS Velvet Matte Dragon Girl Lip Pencil. We apply the liner before the Jungle Red lipstick.” — Adrienne
Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, $26, available at
Orange Lipstick “This was one of the first lipsticks we experimented with. Actually, NYC designer Dana-Maxx [Pomerantz] — a beautiful redhead — wears this color all the time. We first met her in 2011, and loved the contrast with her red hair. We’ve worn it ourselves ever since. If we see a redhead and we love her makeup or bold lip, we always ask what color she’s wearing. And, we are always asked by others about our lip colors, too. We’ve had plenty of people approach us and say, 'I can’t wear a lipstick like you.' We always recommend to start with Lady Danger — it’s the perfect amount of bold, no matter the season.” — Adrienne
Lipstick in Lady Danger,
Pink Lipstick “Not only does it apply like silk, but the color is so vibrant! The shade is deep but cheerful, and looks stunning with fair skin and red hair. Jessica Chastain wears a color similar to this, and we love it on her!” — Adrienne
Yves Saint Laurent
Rouge Volupté Shine in Pink in Devotion,
Berry Lipstick “This is the definition of a redhead-friendly color, and it also smells, subtly, like berries. It is a lip glaze, but the color matches a redhead’s skin tone beautifully and can be worn casually or when going out.” — Adrienne
Nourish-Mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Spiced Plum,
Or, if you want to go deeper, this comfortable cream finishes beautifully and is
Infinite Lip Cloud in Violent Magenta, $16, available at
Nude Lipstick “Julianne Moore has a line with L’Oréal Paris [that includes] a gorgeous shade called Julianne’s Nude. It’s so stunning with red hair, and we’re guessing it was made specifically to flatter Julianne’s red hair and fair skin. It’s in our purses at all times!” — Adrienne
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