the best makeup looks for newly lightened hair

September 14, 2017  |  Makeup Tutorials

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I recently went lighter in the hair department, thanks to Avan at Blow+Bar Singapore. I have been raving about him to everyone because I’m so genuinely impressed: I have really, really thick hair and it takes forever to balayage, but he was so patient and meticulous throughout the painstaking process. I think his effort really shows in how well all the different shades blended together, and I love how it all turned out. So if you want to change things up with your hair colour, you know where to go!

The best/trickiest thing about going light is that it can really shift your needs in terms of makeup. I say “best” because I love trying out new looks and enjoy the challenge or figuring out how my new hair colour affects my overall colouring, but it can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. If you feel like light hair really washes you out, then here’s some advice from a girl who’s really been around the hair colour block.

blow + bar bronde balayage

I naturally have jet-black hair, pale freckly skin and light eyes so there’s a huge shift in my colour balance when I lighten my hair. It’s contast that keeps me from looking ill, and when that contrast doesn’t come from my dark hair it needs to come from my makeup. Bolder makeup is a necessity when I go light, which means – at the very least – filled-in-brows and a punchy lip colour.

This is a quick everyday look that I do now, when I’m in a rush. When I have a few more minutes I’ll use eyeliner as well, however this is the bare minimum I can get away with. It’s not a lot of makeup and it’s no hardship to put on quickly, but wearing a bold lip casually can take some getting used to if you’re usually a sheer tinted balm kind of girl like me. My Cle de Peau Beauté Lipstick in Dragon Red has been making this transition really easy on me though – while the colours are very rich and pigmented, the formula is balmy and comfortable. Like a tinted balm, it wears off very evenly too so I never have to worry about being left with a cakey, matte ring of colour around my lips if I forget to reapply.

Cle de Peau Lipstick Dragon Red

Another good trick to looking healthy is to go heavy on the blush. Well, heavier than you’d normally go but hopefully still well away from scary clown territory. Picking a colour that works for you is going to require testing, but I personally like blushes that are on the warm side and have a bit of a sheen to them so my skin has a healthy, radiant glow.

One that I’ve been loving lately is Make Up For Ever Artist Face Colour Blush in B302, which is billed as being a universally-flattering shade. It’s a very inoffensive pink that has a touch of gold in it, which I find really compliments the gold tones in my hair. I predict there will be a lot of comparisons made to NARS Orgasm, but the Make Up For Ever one is less orange to me, which makes it easier to wear…and more believably universal in my opinion. I need to make a mental note to do a comparison swatch post with this soon!

make up for ever blush 302

So what happens when one gets bored of bold colours, or just NEEDS to wear a nude lip? It’s harder to pull off for sure, but not impossible. The trick is – again – introducing points of contrast. I try not to go too light on the eyes if I want to do a nude lip, so even though I’m not going all the way smokey I still aim for a filled-in lashline and some dark brown shadow in my outer Vs to make my eyes pop.

Speaking of pop, shimmer and shine are your friends with a look like this. Sheen = alive, whereas matte nudes (if your natural colouring is anything like mine) are just going to suck the life out of your face. Fenty Glow Lipgloss has become my #1 for a nude lip lately because it’s got enough colour to it for my lips to look healthy. I’ve also been using Stila Magnificent Metals eyeshadow in Kitten quite a bit to oomph up any neutral or nude eye look.

fenty glow gloss 1

Last but not least, being tan is always a good way to look healthier and less washed-out. That said, I’m not a fan of blatant tanning and honestly struggle a little with bronzer. I’m so pale that it either looks natural i.e. subtle to the point of nonexistence, or actually bronze-y which usually reads as orange on my skin. So I don’t have a good photo example of this yet, but I’m sure I’ll be able to remedy that soon since we’re leaving tomorrow for Bali and then LA.

In the meantime, I hope this was helpful for any of you out there struggling with similar colouring issues!

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1 Comment


  1. Great post! I have similar coloring as you except I have light medium golden eyes. When I had extremely light hair, I just felt washed out most of the time and always wore my blush a little darker. I favor contrast, so i usually wore my hair purple or dark rose. I also don’t wear bronzers because they just look artificial or way too orange on me.

    I’ve since gone back to dark hair, and it just suits me better. Make-up colors look at more balanced on me and I don’t have to try as hard to look alive.

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