7 Great Products for People With Pale Skin and/or Red Hair

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Because I know my fellow pale-skinned and/or redheaded peeps are always on the lookout for products that are going to work for them, rather than against them, here’s a quick roundup of some of the things I’ve been loving lately…
Colour depositing shampoo and conditioner for redheads


Towards the end of last year, I started to notice that my natural red hair was suddenly looking quite a bit lighter than usual: to the extent that a few people actually asked me if I’d dyed it or something. (I wrote a bit about this over on Patreon at the time, because it was honestly a bit of a mystery to me, and I really wasn’t into the idea of going blonde all of a sudden…) Well, I hadn’t dyed my ginger hair: but I was definitely going to be giving it a go after that, so I bought myself a box of dye, and… yeah. It did NOT work out. By which I mean, “The dye only seemed to adhere to the top of my head, so I ended up looking like I was wearing a small ginger skullcap over strawberry-blonde hair.” GOD.

The good news, however, was that it didn’t last very long, and, although the dye claimed to be semi-permanent, it had washed out within a couple of weeks, leaving me back at square one. Now, I might not know much about auburn hair dye, but one thing I DO know is that I don’t have either the time or the patience to have to apply it every two weeks. I want something, quick, easy, and that could ideally be applied in the shower … I wanted a colour infusing shampoo/conditioner, in other words: which is where Joico Color Infuse comes in.

I want something, quick, easy, and that could ideally be applied in the shower

This is a shampoo and conditioner duo (You can buy them separately, obviously, but they’ll be more effective if used together), and, like the many other colour depositing products I’ve used over the years, they work by depositing small amounts of colour each time you wash your hair with them.So, it’s super-simple, really: just use them as you’d use any regular shampoo or conditioner, make sure you leave them on for at least three minutes (This goes for the shampoo as well as conditioner), then rinse and style as normal.

The product is a deep burgundy shade when it comes out of the tube (And, yes, it WILL stain, so make sure you rinse thoroughly, and I’d also avoid using your best white towels with this, just in case…), but the colour it deposits is much more subtle than that, you’ll be glad to know.

I did actually notice a difference from the very first wash with this, but, as you’d expect from products of this nature, it’s the kind of difference you really have to be looking for: so, it’ll boost your colour (And help stop it fading, in the case of dyed hair…) but it won’t – or shouldn’t – radically change it.

Unlike some of the other colour-depositing products I’ve tried, I actually rate this as a shampoo/conditioner, too: as well as making my hair look a little brighter, it also leaves it feeling softer and smoother than usual, so it gets a thumbs-up for that reason, too.

BB cream for pale skinLa Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Tinted Hydrating Cream SPF 20

Can you believe this is the first BB cream I’ve ever tried? I get a lot of questions about BB creams from pale skinned people looking for a good alternative to foundation, but, while I’ve always been curious about them, I was reluctant to actually try one, assuming the coverage just wouldn’t be good enough for me – and also that I’d struggle to find a good colour match, given that most BB creams seem to come in just a handful of different shades.

As I’ve gotten older and tireder, though, I’ve found myself leaning more towards a ‘less is more’ approach to makeup in general, and foundation in particular. (Yes, I know this isn’t a foundation: bear with me…) These days, I actually find lighter coverage a bit more flattering than the caked-on foundation I used to prefer: and, since becoming a mum, I’ve been much more interested in finding products that can multi-task, and shave some precious time off my morning routine.

Enter La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Creme. La Roche Posay is one of my favourite skincare brands (Some of you might recall me raving about their sunscreen last summer …) This is a moisturiser and lightweight foundation in one tube, and it also contains SPF 20, so you don’t need a separate sunscreen either. (Or not at this time of year, anyway: in the summer, or on holiday, I’d generally go for a higher factor, but this is perfect for… well, most of the year here in not-so-sunny Scotland, really…) The lightest shade (Imaginatively named ‘light’) is the EXACT colour of my skin (Seriously, it’s almost creepy how good a match it is…), and it just kind of melts into it without any effort whatsoever.

Obviously the coverage you get from a BB cream isn’t going to compare to what you’d get from a full-coverage foundation (And I do need a separate concealer with this, because it doesn’t do much to touch the dark circles under my eyes…), but it does even out the skin, whilst looking totally natural, so it’s quickly become an essential, as far as I’m concerned.


I had my eyebrows microbladed a couple of years ago, so I don’t need much in the way of brow products: in fact, this is the only one I own. It’s the only one I really NEED too, though: while my microblading is still going strong it is currently in need of a bit of a touch-up, and, until I get around to booking in for that, this pencil does the job of filling in and shaping, where needed.

Brow products can be particularly tricky for redheads, because very, very few brands cater to us. My top tip here, though, is to go for products targeted at blondes instead: no, they might not be a perfect match (Depending on how red your brows are), but they’re generally light enough to be blend in pretty seamlessly. I use this pencil in ‘Blonde’, and I particularly love the slanted tip of the retractable pencil: it’s the perfect shape to allow you to draw in your brows if you need to, and it’s also small enough to fill in any gaps, too.

This is one of those products I repurchase constantly (In fact, because I have a bad habit of breaking eye pencils, I like to have one on standby at all time, in case of accidents…): I think I’m onto at least my fourth or fifth one now, and while there are cheaper products on the market, this is the one I always go back to.

On the subject of NYX pencils meanwhile, here’s another one I use most days…
the best makeup for pale skin


My lips are so pale that I’ve always struggled to find a lip liner that was truly “nude” on me. This one isn’t exactly the same colour as my natural lips (And I guess it would be a bit pointless if it was, right?), but it’s the closest I’ve found to it, and, because of that, it’s become a real staple. The colour is called ‘Soft Spoken’, and, had I just been going by the colour on the pencil itself, I’d have assumed it was going to be much too dark for me. Looks are definitely deceiving in this case, though: once it’s on, it actually looks quite natural, and allows me to define my lips (And make myself look like I actually HAVE lips: without makeup they’re so pale they basically just blend into my face…) without looking overly ‘made up’.

If I want to add a little more colour, meanwhile, but without the hassle of lipstick, I’ll also sometimes add a swipe of…


This is a product I’ve mentioned before , and this is my second tube of it: I actually got rid of what remained of the first one during one of my over-enthusiastic house-purges last year, and immediately regretted it, so I’m glad to have it back in my makeup bag again!

This is a fairly bright red, but, as it’s a balm, rather than a lipstick, it goes on fairly sheer, so it’s really easy to wear. While it’s not too intense for day-to-day use, though, the reason I like this in spite of the relatively high cost, is that, unlike some other tinted balms I’ve tried the colour is definitely noticeable, so you’re not left feeling like you’ve wasted your money on it.

Perricone MD No Makeup Blush: review



Perricone MD is a brand I’ve been curious about for a while now. They specialise in ‘no makeup’ makeup, and I guess the first thing to say about that is that, YES, IT’S STILL MAKEUP. Actually, the ‘no makeup’ blush is much more obvious on my pale skin than I’d expected it to be, going by the name alone, but it IS still very natural: certainly more so than some other brands I’ve tried, anyway.

When it comes to blush, my preference is for cream or liquid formulas, rather than powders – I’m not really sure why, but I think they just look more natural, somehow, and, unlike lipstick, say, blush is one of those products that you don’t want drawing too much attention to itself. This one is applied using a sponge applicator attached to the lid, and I just need a tiny dot of product on each cheek, which I then blend out with my fingers. Once on, it looks like flushed cheeks rather than makeup, so, again, if you are going for a very ‘made up’ look, or enjoy doing complicated things with contour, etc, this might not . I like it a lot, though, and, as I don’t need much of it to get the full effect, I can see it lasting for a long time, too.


All of the above products are available to buy from Notino: and, if you’ve tried any of them, I’d love to know what you thought!

The best makeup for pale skin and red hair, reviewed by a pale redhead

How to enhance natural red hair

Related: Why am i so pale?

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  • Brenda


    I love LaRoche Posay products. They generally work well on my sensitive skin, particularly if I buy their fragrance-free line-up. I’ll have to check out their BB cream.

    February 10, 2020
  • Sarah Cervantes


    This was incredibly helpful for me. Pale, freckled red-head from the States and it has always been a struggle to find things that work. So happy to have stumbled onto your blog today.

    October 27, 2021