Dyeing My Hair Red Forced Me to Try On Every Lipstick I Own

The results were kind of surprising.
Publish date:
June 3, 2016
nars, mac, hair color, nyx, Revlon, red hair, lipstick, Sigma Beauty

The best and worst part of changing your hair color is the necessity of figuring out how to do your makeup all over again. Most people stick to certain colors and techniques that they know go well with their coloring, thanks to trial and error over the years. Then there's me, the person who just changed her hair color four times in six weeks (and now there's a fifth color in the mix, but that's for another day). As you can probably imagine, I experience a bit of whiplash every time I look in the mirror these days.

When my hair was blonde, I shied away from really bold lipstick colors (well, for the most part). I mostly stuck to a dewy, natural look. When my hair was pink and then purple, I had fun wearing pastels and jewel tones on my eyes. Then I went and dyed my hair orangey-red and ended up having NO idea what to do with my face — other than being sure to use foundation every day since my naturally ruddy complexion did not go well with red hair.

In the end, I decided to just sit down and try on ALL of my lipsticks in an attempt to see what I liked as a redhead. I photographed a few of the colors that I thought were particularly good — or particularly bad. Of course, I want to stress that I'm not saying redheads shouldn't wear this or that color — this is just my own experience and preferences.

OK, with that said... I feel like this color was a disaster:

This was MAC Toledo Lipstick in Barbecue, a lipstick I mostly just bought for the cute packaging. I've never loved orange-red lipsticks on me, and I liked it even less with this hair color. Too bad, because I hoped that maybe having a warmer hair color would make this warm lipstick work for me.

I changed tack and applied my favorite blue-red lipstick ever, NARS Cruella:

Turns out that sometimes you have to go with what looks best against your skin, no matter what your hair color is. This lipstick has always worked for me, whether my hair is an icy blonde or a warm orange shade. Here's to sticking with what works!

With the most essential lipstick shade figured out, I moved on to the rest. I don't usually wear a lot of purple lipstick so I was surprised by how much I was into this look:

I layered NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Transylvania over Sigma Power Crayon in Own It. My hair is a whole lot of color on its own, so I wasn't sure if I'd be feeling a bold lipstick shade, but it was actually a lot of fun.

Next up: hot pink. This was one shade that I was certain I would not like as a redhead, but surprisingly, I was wrong.

I loved wearing hot pink lipstick along with orange hair. This is actually a lip liner: Sigma Power Liner in Sigma Pink.

At least I was right about one thing: I figured that a very '90s brown-red lisptick would go well with this hair, and I think it did.

This was Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Rum Raisin, and I was very into how it paired with red hair.

Of course, if you tend to change your hair color a lot it's important to have a go-to MLBB shade that you can wear every day when you're not feeling up to experimenting. I tried NYX Lip Lingerie in Exotic and it looked just as good with this hair color as it did with my previous three hair colors.

As frustrating as it can be to feel like a favorite makeup look or color no longer looks right when you change your hair color, it quickly became apparent to me that this whole process can be a blessing in disguise. It forced me to get out of my makeup rut and to try on a ton of lipstick colors that had been collecting dust, and by the end of it I felt a lot more confident about a hair color that I was feeling unsure about.

So, seriously: the best advice I can give you if you're struggling with a new hair color is to sit down and try on every lipstick shade you own. Take pictures, too. You probably won't love how every one of them looks but a lot of them may surprise you. Besides, it's a lot of fun.

  • Do you do your makeup differently when you change your hair color?
  • If you have red or orange hair, what's your favorite lipstick shade to wear?