Find The Best Makeup Shades For Your Hair Color

You’ve heard about what makeup shades work best for your complexion, eye color or even which shades look great on everyone. But have you ever considered how your hair color should affect your makeup choices? “It’s important to consider both hair and eye color, especially if you are changing your hair color dramatically,” says MAC Senior Artist Neil Young. Read below for more tips on finding the lip, eye and complexion products that best suit your strands.


Rachel Weisz

Makeup For Brunettes

“Brunettes tend to need some basic makeup such as mascara and a little lip gloss to balance the complexion against the hair, although good brows always help deeper hair,” says Neil. ”The deeper the hair tone, the more washed out the complexion can appear.”

“Brown hair tones lend themselves well to bronze, peach and warm neutrals for eyes and cheeks,” Neil says. Use a golden bronzer, such as Sonia Kashuk Illuminating Bronzer ($12.99, soniakashuk.com), to warm up the complexion. Make eyes pop with metallic cream eyeshadows such as Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Barely Branded ($5.99, maybelline.com). Add color to the face with lipstick — choose from soft coral and apricot (perfect for spring) to brighter red or red-orange like L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Volcanic ($6, lorealparisusa.com).

Kerry Washington

Makeup For Black Hair

“Black hair can really play with any palette of color without hesitation, but I would always exercise caution with bright color and restrict it to one feature only,” Neil says.

If you dare, go bold on the eyes with colored eye liner, such as Tarte Skinny SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Amazonite Blue ($19, tartecosmetics.com). To create symmetry with the hair, layer on lots of black mascaraDiorshow Mascara ($25, dior.com) is a classic because it creates bold volume without clumping after multiple coats. Finish with a creamy pink or nude blush, such as Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Pinched ($12.99, revlon.com), and a soft pink gloss. We love Dolce & Gabbana Ultra-Shine Lipgloss in Shimmer ($29, dolcegabbanamakeup.com), which enhances the natural color of lips.

Naomi Watts

Makeup For Blondes

“Blonde hair or highlights have the ability to warm up the complexion, bringing out the skin’s natural undertones without having to use any makeup,” says Neil.

For eyes, you can go neutral with grays (like Beauty Addicts SolutionEYES in Seduce, $35, beautyaddicts.com) and gunmetal, or be a little more playful with plums and pastels. “Blondes tend to be fairer in complexion, and deep shades can look very dramatic against their coloring.” Shimmery champagnes and taupes enhance that natural glow, as opposed to bold, thick black liner, which can overpower. Compliment natural color with a peach blush, like RMS Lip2Cheek in Smile ($36, rmsbeauty.com). Neil suggests fuchsia, pure reds and pinks for lips. Try MAC Betty Lipstick in Girl Next Door ($16.50, maccosmetics.comand Estée Lauder Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick in Pink Riot ($25, esteelauder.com).

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Jessica Chastain

Makeup For Redheads

Because red hair is so vibrant, Neil suggests choosing neutral makeup shades that won’t compete with the hair. “This doesn’t mean natural, just color that lacks vibrancy,” he explains. Also, red undertones in the skin are more noticeable on redheads, but a sheer bronzer, such as Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Aruba ($38, bobbibrowncosmetics.com) can tone down redness. Use bronzer sparingly on fair skin.

“Pastels are also a great way to play with color on eyes, cheeks and lips.” Try light purples, such as MAC Paint Pot in Frozen Violet ($18.50, maccosmetics.com). And of course, if you have green eyes, make them pop with a soft sheer green shadow, such as L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Golden Sage ($7.95, lorealparisusa.com).

If you’re going bolder on the eyes, keep lips neutral with nudes or pinky browns, such as Fresh Sugar Honey Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50, fresh.com). But don’t think you can’t pull off colored lips: “For the daring, fuchsia and magenta lips look incredible. Redheads can definitely wear red lips successfully, but it’s important to consider the texture and the depth of red.”

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