As you start transitioning from a dyed hair colour to your natural greys, you may find you need to make some adjustments to your make up to help brighten up your complexion.
I am by no means a make up artist, but I do have an interest in colour and I am passionate about finding the best ways to compliment grey hair. Make up helps give the complexion a lift, but to do this effectively and subtely, it helps to know which colours compliment you the most.
When choosing make- up, find out what your skin’s undetone is, which will either be cool or warm. My post ‘What Colours to Wear when you decide to Go Grey’ goes into this in more detail and I highly recommend you give it a read.
A good ‘rule of thumb’ is to consider if the veins on the inside of your wrist are blue, in which case you are likely to be a cool undertone. If they are yellow, you are warm undertone.
Saying this, there is actually no better gift you can give to yourself, in my opinion, than to get your colours analysed. This time of transitioning to your grey hair, is a great opportunity and it will give you a ‘pick me up’.
It is really interesting and so much fun! You can find businesses all over the world that do this! I used Its My Colour in the UK and I would highly recommend them, however they are only located in certain parts of the country.
Back to makeup. Be careful at make up counters! They have often only been sales trained and not necessarily colour trained. Don’t be talked into buying anything that does not compliment your skin tone. If you are warm toned, you will not suit cool toned colours and vice versa.
Cool toned people will go for makeup with blue undertones and those with warm toned skins will go for a yellow undertone. Make sure you understand this and you know which one you are before you go shopping.
EYE MAKE UP
I recommend buying a palette of eyeshadows for your particular colouring. I highly recommend Mac’s palettes that are specifically for cool tones or warm tones. They either come in a cool neutral or a warm neutral palette. The one I have is below and includes 15 different colours from light to dark.
Prices fluctuate on amazon, so check with Mac online to compare the price first before you purchase.
Purchasing this palette or a similar one will save you so much time and energy in the long term, because you know that all the colours will look incredible on you if you choose the correct one for your skintone. It’s a terrific starting point!
Apply a light, highlighting shade of eyeshadow to the entire lid area up to the eyebrow line. It is flattering to then use a darker colour in the crease because this helps to open up the eye. In the centre of the lid, use a colour that is a medium shade and then blend the three shades together together.
I use eye brushes from either Mac, Bobbi Brown or Benefit. All these brands are good quality but not too expensive. Ask at these makeup counters for advice as to what brushes to use for application or check out Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro for a handy make up manual, which is discounted at the moment on amazon, so a great time to buy.
After applying your eyeshadow, it is nice to then use a really fine eyeliner to apply just above the top lash line. This is very flattering and helps to make the eye look bigger and eyelashes thicker.
My choice is the Maybelline Master Precise Skinny eye pencil, available on the High Street. I bought mine from Superdrug. Hourglass do one as well but it is much more expensive.
If you are going for a ‘heavier eye’, then I use Bobbi Browns eyeliners. I have it in black and a dark grey called ‘Smoke’. It literally glides on like silk. Those with warm toned skins, may prefer a dark warm brown pencil and they have colours to suit everyone.
I then use an eye brush to soften the eyeliner for a smoky look. I will also blend it to the bottom of my eyelash line from the outer corner to about the centre.
An eyelash curler and a good mascara really ‘opens’ up the eye even further. I like the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler N . If I am not too pressed for time then I’ll heat them up by blasting with my hairdryer very briefly.
I think 3 layers of mascara is ample to give the eye a really nice open and flattering appearance.
I apply one layer of YSL Babydolls in Black and then for the top two layers, I use YSL Shocking in Black, which really gives my lashes fullness. This is if I am going for more of a focus with my eye make up.
If you don’t like to have a big and full eyelash look or if you are going for a bolder lip so you want to pair down your eye makeup, then all you would need is the Babydolls or your favourite mascara and just one or two layers would be fine.
For warm tones, perhaps a very dark brown mascara would be the better choice as an alternative to black.
It’s all about the eyebrows! There is so much to choose from for make up to enhance this important facial feature. My choice for those with grey hair is Urban Decay Brow Beater Microfine Brow Pencil and Brush 0.05g TAUPE. It is neutral so could be warn for warm and cool toned people but it is a little on the lighter side, so may not suit women with darker skin. It neatens the eyebrows and fills in any sparce areas.
What you need for Eyes;
- Three choices of eyeshadow from your colour palette. An all over colour, a darker colour for the crease and a medium shade for the middle.
- Eyeshadow brush for application to the entire lid, one for the crease and for smudging your eyeliner for a smoky look and another one for applying to the centre of the eye and blending.
- A good quality eyeliner that glides on (Maybelleine for a very fine eyeline or Bobbi Brown are my recommendations.)
- A good quality mascara (make sure you replace it regularly as recommended on the packaging).
Jane Iredale PurePressed Base SPF 20 Refill, Radiant 9.9 g is my choice. It’s a light neutral colour. I prefer to go neutral for foundation. I have very pale skin and a cool toned base is too ‘pinky’ and can make me look too pale.
I love this foundation because it is great for sensitive skin and it gives a natural, flawless finish. Use a brush to buff it in and my choice is the Precision Brush by Bare Minerals. I layer for more coverage at night or if my skin needs it.
It’s not always easy to find a good foundation that matches your skintone, but when you find it, you will be rewarded with an even complexion which really lifts you. Never buy foundation, unless you have looked at the colour in natural light.
Ideally, I would take a few samples away with you and try them all out. Perhaps a couple of different brands and colour options. It will take you longer, but it will save you time and money in the long term. Most good brands are happy to give you samples. If they don’t, then I would go somewhere else.
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Original for under the eye is generally a safe choice if you are pale but they have other colours for darker complexions. Apply under the eye and up to the outer edge of the eye in an upside down triangle shape.
Using a BeautyBlender Classic Makeup Sponge, 1 Applicator gives a lovely, natural finish once blended in. It is a tear shaped sponge which is gentle to use under the eye. They are much cheaper from amazon, see link above. I paid quite a bit more for mine at Boots.
I don’t go too heavy handed on the amount of under eye concealer I use, otherwise it works its way into fine lines. If you need to use any concealer to cover any blemishes, now is a good time.
I like Nars concealers for covering blemishes and for any red areas, such as the nose and chin areas. I have just bought the concealer in the colour ‘Vanilla’, which is a neutral but light colour, but they have many shades to choose from.
BLUSH. A flushed healthy glow looks nice with grey hair. I think it is really important not to skip blush when you have silver hair because it brightens up the skin.
I start off going in pretty ‘heavy handed’ with my BECCA Cosmetics – Luminous Blush Snapdragon on my cheek bones. I then use a buffing brush together with my mineral foundation compact powder and really buff it into the skin. This gives a really lovely subtle and glowy finish. I use the hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush (£42) for buffing into my skin.
I think it looks nice to add an Illuminating cream to cheeks after blush. I use Barry M’s Strobe Cream and mix it with a little bit of Vaseline and then pat it into my skin with my fingers. I then seal it in with using my Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish brush and Hourglass’ Incandescent Strobe light, which gives a subtle dewy finish.
What you need for base and cheeks;
A suitable brush for applying foundation either liquid or powder. I use Benefits Precision Brush for applying my compact foundation but it can be used for liquid foundation too.
I can’t recommend any liquid foundation because my skin doesn’t like it but a make up artist told me that Nars have a lovely tinted moisturiser, which you can layer for more coverage because it is quite light. You may need an extra brush for applying setting powder after liquid foundation.
A good loose powder is by Terry, called Hyaluronic Hydra Powder but it is a little expensive. There are loads of other options for a translucent powder for setting foundation such as Nars, Bobbi Brown and I like Benefit products too.
A brush for applying blush to the cheeks.
A buffing brush to buff in cheek colour and to blend in for a natural finish. For this job I use Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish foundation brush, which you can get from Space NK online or instore.
If I have gone quite heavy on the eyes, then I would just use a tinted lip balm or gloss. I like my Chanel Gloss in 119 for a mild colour and shine to the lips. I do find a lip gloss really makes your eyes shine. Find your favourite and remember to use shades that suit your skin tone.
Lipstick really lifts the complexion against grey hair. My favourite lipsticks are mostly from Mac and I also wear Charlotte Tilbury’s Electric Poppy (cool toned) quite often too.
A great natural one that is nicely pigmented is Burt’s Bees 100% Natural, Matte Lip Crayon, Niagara Overlook, 3.11 g. They have a range of colours to suit.
Find a colour that is good next to your skin tone. Again, if you have warm skin tones go for colours with a warm yellow under tone and for cooler skin tones go for a blue undertone.
Makeup Routine Order’
- Eye makeup including mascara
- Foundation and concealer including under eye concealer.
- Lipstick or similar
I recommend checking out Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro for tips and tricks for makeup ‘know how’ .
Here is my ’round up’ of all the make up essentials needed to brighten up your complexion against your beautiful grey hair.
- A good, sound cleanse and moisturising routine for the face to adhere to morning and night.
- A good base. Try mineral foundation.
- A flattering eyeshadow trio. The lighter shade for all over the eyelid, a darker shade in the crease and a medium shade that suits the colour of your eyes for the eyelid.
- A nice blush to give you a healthy glow. A ‘must have’ against grey hair to give your face some brightening.
- A fine eyeliner to open up the eyes and help the appearance of thicker eyelashes. One that glides on easily.
- Lips to give your eyes that sparkle, either a gloss or for a heavier lip then I choose a darker colour.
- An eyelash curler and a non cakey mascara to enhance the eyelashes
Below are some links to some products that I can’t live without and that I hightly recommend.
Great for grey haired ladies. It’s not too dark and heavy.
My favourite mineral foudation. This gives a flawless finish. This is ‘Radiant’ and it is a neutral tone and a light foundation but they have many colours to choose from.
A beauty blender. Great for blending in under ey concealer because it is soft and gentle for this delicate area.
A wonderful eyelash curler and one I have been using for years!
A good blush to give you a glow before you buff it in with your powder.
A natural lip balm which is well pigmented.
A great book to inspire you with your makeup.
Now you are going grey, it is the perfect time to charge up your makeup routine, so you leave the house looking and feeling confident and looking your very best with your grey hair colour. Whether you are transitioning or already showcasing your beautiful hair colour, it doesn’t matter, what is important is how you step out and feel!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest, where I actively post all things grey hair and anything related. See you there!!!
Disclaimer: The opinions and recommendations on this blog are entirely my own. I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, for links to products from this website. I only link to products that I believe are of good value for you and for which I use myself, otherwise I do not include them. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you information with the intention to help, support and inspire.