Ringing the Changes: New Hair Means New Makeup

This is a slightly tricky topic, because it's definitely true that all hair colours just do not suit all people. We've all gone for a big change at some point (see your teenage photos for evidence) that just looked awful. Just beyond awful. What were we THINKING!?

That said, there's a big connection between hair and self-expression for women. Sometimes, when you feel changed on the inside, you want to reflect that on the outside, and hair is the easiest way to do that. Many a hair makeover takes place after a breakup, the loss of a job, or at New Year. In other words, when you're going in a new direction in your life, your hair will often be used as a way of both coping with and expressing a new beginning.

I LOVE it, thanks a million

Regardless of any change in style, if you've gone for a total reboot (that's for you, Lucinda) in hair colour, don't be too quick to dismiss it if it doesn't look quite right straight away. The hair may not be the problem; it could be that your makeup is wrong for your new colouring.

Obviously, skin tone is so important when it comes to the shades and tones of makeup that you can wear, and some people can get away with more than others. But if you've been blonde for years, and gone dark (or vice versa), you'll unwittingly have collected makeup products which work for that colouring. Odds are they won't work any more with your new 'do.

Keeping in mind that everyone is an individual and there are always exceptions to the rule, here are some tones which generally work with certain hair colours:

  • If You've Gone From Blonde to Brunette...

This is a big change, and most people say that they feel they look flat and washed out after going from light to dark. With blonde hair, makeup needs to be subtler - against the contrast of fair hair, too much contouring or blush will look very strong.

Given that dark hair tends to pull some colour out of the face, feel free to explore deeper shades like plums and burgundies for lips, and wear a little more blush - deeper pinks are great - than you would have as a blonde. You can get away with it now! It also helps to introduce different brown tones through the hair with lowlights to prevent it from having that flat, unnatural block colour look.

hurr1 Left: Pinch o' Peach by Mac (€23), perfect for brunettes. Right: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (€5.49), provides that extra coverage for fair blondes
  • If You've Gone From Brunette to Blonde...

Unless you've bleached your hair (and even then in most cases), the transformation into a blonde will be gradual, and you'll have a chance to monitor how your skin is looking throughout the process.


If you have a warmer skin tone and have opted for golden blonde, then golden, shimmering hues, taupes and warm pink blushes will look great on you. If you are pale and have opted for a more ashy of silver blonde hue, then cool tones and soft pink blushes will look great.

Remember that regardless of which blonde you go for, you'll probably have to tone down the intensity of your makeup - heavy makeup on a person with blonde hair will look harsher than it will look on a brunette.

Also keep in mind that if you are bleaching your hair to white blonde, this will bring out every ounce of pink in your skin and highlight any blemishes, so switching to a slightly higher coverage foundation is advisable.

Left: Loreal Paris Collection Privée Julianne's Red (€10.49), the perfect intense clash for fair redheads (second from top), Right: Touch of Silver Shampoo (€2.99), to banish yellow tones from grey or ash blonde hair Left: Loreal Paris Collection Privée Julianne's Red (€10.49), the perfect intense clash for fair redheads (second from top), Right: Touch of Silver Shampoo (€2.99), to banish yellow tones from grey or ash blonde hair
  •  If You've Gone From Anything to Red...

If you've made this big change, your makeup bag will need a total revamp. The colours which worked before will look suddenly odd. If you have a warm skin tone and have opted for a deep auburn hue, look for dusky peach cheek colours. Greens, deep browns and autumnal shades will look fantastic.

If you're pale and have gone for a classic fiery red, be prepared for the same scenario as you'll have with bleached hair - blemishes and redness will be accentuated. This is easily tackled with a good concealer and foundation. Embrace the glorious clash of your hair with strong lip colours like reds and cerise pinks, and opt for soft peach hues on the cheeks.

  • Embracing Grey...

If you've decided to embrace grey, then good for you! There are as many grey hues as there are blonde, but regardless of whether you veer into the white grey, or the salt and pepper, your grey will need maintenance too.

Grey hair will yellow with exposure to the chemicals in water, the environment and various hair products. That yellow caste is not flattering, and gives grey hair a grubby look. A silverising shampoo - a blue-toned shampoo which counteracts yellowing in blonde and grey hair - will give hair back its clean silver (or white, depending on the natural colour and how long you leave it on the hair) hue.

There's more scope for makeup with grey hair than you might think. Keeping with the concept that those with light hair can't get away with as much makeup as brunettes, keep it soft. Grey or silvery lavender hues with pale skin look divine, and warm sandy browns with more tanned skin will keep definition in the face.


Have you had a colour change recently, or are you considering one? How are you feeling about it? Tell us in the comments!

Related Articles

More from Beauty