Ginger Problems

So it turns out I have a huge Ginger following on Instagram which I think is incredible and bizarre all rolled into one. I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve received similar to this ‘’ I’m so happy I found you, you understand ginger problems’’ or ”finally a redhead that’s not masked with fake tan and makeup’’ With makeup, as women we are drawn to other women who have similar complexions or colouring to ourselves, for guidance and familiarity.

I created a ginger friendly makeup tutorial on my Instagram page recently, explaining my hair and skin tone, what works for me, what doesn’t and the problems I’ve come across with tan and makeup. I received an incredible amount of positive messages afterwards which leads me here writing this blog!

Like everything this isn’t one rule fits all but I’m hoping if you’re ginger or maybe you just have pale skin, know that you’re not alone and embrace your beautiful skin… there no need to wear layers of fake tan and have to match foundation in that’s 5 times too dark for you! Be individual, I wish I had of done that earlier on in my life.

I’m 38 now so when I was growing up there wasn’t all the options with tans or makeup shades that there is now so when I started wearing makeup I wore a foundation 10 times too dark for my face ( yes with a ghost white neck) Then I thought, If I wear fake tan on my body it will match my face.. the horror! So moving onto my ginger hair, I always HATED my hair growing up, in school I was called everything from carrot top, ginge, orange top.. others I can’t write here 😊 😊 I never got away with anything, I was always spotted from miles away like a beacon. In my late Teens I started getting awful Ginger spice stripe blonde highlights to conceal the colour but the roots would always glow through!!

Anyway after YEARS of all that messing, I finally embraced my pale skin and ginger hair. Do you remember Nicola Roberts from Girls aloud?! She was the ginger band member who also dyed her hair and wore dark fake tan to blend in with the other band members. She was always considered the ugly one, the odd one out until she stopped dying her hair and wearing tan… She’s like a porcelain doll now, so unique and individual and I LOVE THAT.


Tan for me has been a DIASTER over the years, I’ve tried them all! I have to keep reminding myself that tans that look great on other women ( that aren’t as deathly pale as me) WON’T look the same on me. I always look too dark or orange. After years I finally found a tan I LOVE, the brand is called HE-Shi and it’s a face and body tanning gel. It’s lightweight and hydrating on the skin and gives me such a natural soft glow to my skin. If they ever discontinue this I don’t know what I would do!!


Right moving on to hair, I get something called a semi permanent colour in my hair twice a year just to richen the colour up because it can get very light. I’ve had a disaster with trying to richen my hair up and not change the colour too much. You will have to go to someone who has experience and knowledge with red hair and don’t be afraid to ask. Luckily I don’t have any grey hairs YET ( this is supposed to be a perk of being ginger 😉) in-between my salon visits I use a colour boost product myself that washes out after a few washes but gives me an injection of colour and warmth.

It’s called Wella Perfecton and the shade is /43, you mix the liquid with water in a pourer bottle and literally throw it into your hair after you’ve washed it. Now it’s only available in Trade beauty and hair shops so if you know anyone that can grab one for you, have a look online too. This will not cover greys and washes out after 2-3 washes. Be warned your bath will look like you’ve murdered someone in it but it washes out.


Something else I’ve learned over my 38 years of being a redhead is that however much I try I will NEVER tan naturally in the sun. I’ve done summers of blistering in the sun wearing SPF 10 or lower like my friends, convincing myself that I will go brown…. Only to burn myself to a crisp, then go white again! 😊 Through my beauty training and makeup background I now realise how damaging the sun can be on your skin, especially being a redhead or anyone pale skinned. SPF is so important, I sound like my mum but you’ll thank me when your older. WEAR YOUR SPF, everyday even if it’s not sunny, on cloudy days the UVA rays ( the aging rays) are still there so protect your skin. We are supposed to apply a full teaspoon of SPF on our faces to get the full effects.

SPF15 blocks 93% pf rays

SPF30 blocks 97% of rays

SPF50 blocks 98% of rays

Use minimum factor 50, here are two of my favourites

Makeup- Foundation

With foundation, I always lean towards a yellow based foundation, what this does for me is it cancels out any redness I have in my skin. If you are pale and a yellow based foundation looks REALLY yellow on you ( like a simpson) I would go for a pink based foundation. As I wear a little tan on my face and neck, I tend to look for the palest shade of foundation, swatch it and maybe go with the next colour up. Getting a sample of foundation is obviously to best way to really try it out. Here are 3 of my favourite foundations that are buildable in coverage.

pic 1-Sculpted Second Skin- This a beautiful buildable mineral foundation. I wear the dewy finish in shade light plus when I’m wearing tan, they offer a great online matching service. €27

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere, I’m not too familiar with the shades as they’ve changes recently, this is fantastic as a bridal option. It a little pricey at €49 but it’s a beautiful luxury product

Estee Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue- This is a lightweight breathable hydrating foundation with a beautiful finish. It contains SPF45 and retails at €42


In all the books and makeup blogs it’s always recommended to apply a Peachy toned blush tone on a redhead, this can work beautifully but personally I love a pink tone on me. You will know as soon as it goes on whether you like it or not. If you have a lot of redness in your skin already, maybe that you are trying to cover, opt for a more peach toned blush. Here’s a few of my favorites

MAC- Melba

Danessa Myricks colorfix- Latte or Creme Brulee

Charlotte Tilbury Wands- Pinkgasm and peachgasm

Eye Colours

Personally I love the earthy brown toned eyeshadows and eyeliners, these work so well and will naturally blend well with fair skinned colouring. With eyeshadows you can either choose matte or shimmer, I’ve listed some of my favourites below

Charlotte Tilbury Desert Haze Matte shadow pallet

Charlotte Tilbury Super nudes Easyy eyeshadow pallet

Mabeline do a dupe which is really fantastic for the price

Here are some beautiful satin finish eyeshadows that have a little colour but with an earthy undertone.

Pic 1- MAC eyeshadows

Pic 2- MAC eyeshadow Expensive Pink


Try avoid using black as it can tend to look a little harsh. Browns, Navy, Moss green, Charcoal and Plums are all alternatives to black. Heres a few I have in my kit

Pic 1- MAC costa Riche

Pic 2 Charlotte Tilbury Green Lights and Copper Charge

Pic 3- Pixi Kohl pencils in shades-Matte Mulberry/Sage Gold/Deep Plum/Copper Glow/Graphic Greige

Lip Colour

I feel like I could write an entire blog about just lipstick colours but I’m going to share with you the ones that I love and have worked for me. The tricky thing about lipsticks is that they look so different on every individual. Have you ever bought a lipstick that your friend wears and loves, just to find out that it doesn’t look the same on you?! This is because we all have natural tones in our lips which the lipstick sits on so it can look very different. How to get around this is to try it before you buy it which can often be difficult.

Here are a few of my favourite lipsticks

MAC Modesty- This is a balmy formula with a semi glossy finish. I use this a lot with Bridal makeup, it’s such a pretty pinky nude shade that suits most pale skinned ladies.

MAC Twig- The has a little more colour, it’s a soft muted brownish Pink with a satin finish.

Then moving onto the reds, Charlotte Tilbury Walk of no shame is the most beautiful Berry rose matte lipstick. Other beautiful Reds with blue undertones ( that won’t make your teeth look yellow) are MAC Russian Red, Dubonnet and Ruby Woo.


Generally speaking Pale skinned people have more delicate thin skin. Personally, what I’ve found is that any highlighter that contains large particulars or shimmer pieces ( like glitter partials) they sit on my skin and are very obvious. Unfortunately this tends to be the case in most cheaper highlighters, here are a few of my all time favourites that contain no chunky bits and will sit on your skin beautifully.

Hourglass have the most beautiful finely milled highlighters which will look so natural on the skin. They are pricey but well worth the money.

Finally Danessa Myricks Dew wet balm, this is a texture unlike most highlighters but it gives the most natural gorgeous shine to the skin. This brand is available in Ireland through Makeup by Claire