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/ September 18, 2017

Makeup for Strawberry Blondes | My Favorite Products and Shades

I’m so excited to put together my list of makeup products I use everyday as a Strawberry Blonde.  It’s always nice to find shades and formulas that work with my light reddish blonde hair and I wanted to share these with you.

Quick note on eyebrows, I’m not a natural redhead and don’t color my brows.  I have a whole post on how I coordinate my brows here. If you have naturally red hair, then just skip the ashy shade I use first and just use the caramel shades.


One thing I recommend to do, especially if you are just starting your makeup collection, is to pick up an empty magnetic palette that holds “refill” pans. A refill pan contains only the makeup product, without the outside compact.  

This used to be a way for makeup artists to carry more products while saving space and weight in their kit. More mainstream beauty brands have been offering refills as a sustainable shopping option, as you aren’t throwing out an entire compact every time you need a new product. I’m really happy to see brands heading this direction!

You can pop in eyeshadows, but also: blushes, bronzers, and contour powders.  Refills generally are powder products, but there are some cream formulas available as refills.

A curated palette: saves you space, it’s faster to do your makeup with everything in one spot, and refills generally cost about half the price of buying a product with a compact. They are perfect for someone who wants to have a smaller, curated makeup collection of only shades they love and regularly use.

Using refills and a magnetic palette is also a more sustainable way to shop, as you aren’t throwing out an entire compact every time you need a new product.


1 | Fenty Beauty Match Stix

shade: Amber | $28

available online at | fenty beauty . sephora

This is the perfect cream contour shade and the formula is also perfect.

The stick applicator is just perfect. I swipe it on and it blends out easily, without losing a ton of pigment.

2 | Missha Cotton Contour

shade: Smoked Hazel | $12 (with shipping)

shop Missha contour | YesStyle . Stylevana

This is a very natural looking powder contour, it never looks overdone or fills in pores. It’s super silky, I can’t believe how finely milled it is, especially at this price point.

The size is compact and perfect for travel. This is a terrific K-Beauty product and amazing price!

3 | Surratt Beauty Contour Powder

shade: Grisaille | $32

shop Surratt | sephora . beautylish . nordstrom

This Surratt beauty contour powder is also exceptional, I’ve never felt a powder so silky.

It completely melts into the skin, but leaves the most natural look, yet defined contour. This was an instant favorite product for me.

You can either leave it with the cover it comes with, or pop it into a magnetic palette. Both options make it perfect for traveling.

Related Post | How to Contour in 60 Seconds


1 | Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter

shade: 2 or 3 | $15

available online at | charlotte tilbury official . sephora

The Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter really took over as my go-to highlighter. It can be applied under or over foundation.

It never accentuates the fine lines around my eyes. I like how natural it looks, but still adds a glow to my skin.

You can see swatches of more shades in this video.

2 | Benefit Watt’s Up Cream Stick 

shade: universal | $30

available online at | ulta beauty

I love this cream highlighter.  This has been one of my go-to highlighters for years!  

It’s SO pigmented, the tiniest swipe on each cheekbone is all you need.  

It’s a gorgeous champagne shade and looks really natural on the skin. I can wear this over or under foundation, but usually apply in under foundation for the most subtle glow.



1 | Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Shine

shade: Honey Bare | $8

available online at | ebay . amazon

Revlon’s Honey Bare is the best drugstore lipstick shade ever created. And sadly, it’s been discontinued. I buy multi packs from amazon and ebay and only open one tube at a time, to keep the others fresh. I have searched for a similar shade in Revlon’s current lineup and nothing comes close.

Honey Bare checks every box with what I’m searching for in a nude lipstick. It has a sheer finish, the color is the perfect nude with a touch of honey, and the formula wears comfortably on my lips for hours.

2 | Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick

shade: Penelope Pink | $34

available online at | Charlotte Tilbury official . sephora . beautylish

I adore the satin finish of the K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula from Charlotte Tilbury. Both formulas, the satin and matte finish, are spectacular. I prefer the satin finish for the nudes.

Penelope Pink looked at first as though it might be slightly too pink for me, but it quickly became my most reached for nude lip shade. It’s just perfect and looks especially nice with darker smokey eye looks.

It’s one of the few lipsticks where I have a second tube exclusively for my purse, so that I am never without the shade.

3 | YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Balm

shade: 123 Nude Transparent | $38

available online at | sephora . ysl official . neiman marcus . nordstrom

It took me forever to finally spend the money on this lipstick + balm hybrid and I am so glad I did. It’s a gorgeous sheer shade that provides the absolute perfect wash of color.

It’s comfortable on the lips. The only downside (besides the luxury price point) is that it does need to be reapplied every few hours.

It is truly a gem of a product and shade, I highly recommend this one!

4 | Buxom Full Force Plumping Lipstick

shade: Goddess | $20

available online at | buxom official . ulta beauty . amazon . nordstrom

I absolutely love the flattering, rich nude shade and the hydrating formula of this lipstick.

Buxom puts out some really high quality products (I love their mascara!), but doesn’t get enough hype, in my opinion.

They have great price points for their quality level of makeup and this lipstick formula is a winner.

5 | Sephora Collection #Lipstories Lip Balm

shade: Date Prep | $8

available online at | sephora

This tinted lip balm from Sephora’s in-house collection really surprised me. The shade is the perfect “my lips” natural rosy shade, the formula leaves my lips feeling better as I wear it (instead of drier!) and the sheer formula is gorgeous on.

I didn’t expect to wear it as much as I do, but this is a lip product I reach for constantly. I prefer the Date Prep shade, as it doesn’t have any glitter and is just a smooth, sheer formula.

6 | MAC Lustreglass Sheer-Shine Lipstick

shade: Thanks, It’s Mac | $24

available online at | ulta beauty . mac cosmetics

MAC Lustreglass is one of my all-time favorite lipstick formulas. It has slightly more pigment than a tinted balm, can be worn with or without a full face of makeup (rare for lipsticks!) and wears on me for a few hours before needing a touch-up.

Thanks, It’s Mac is described as a taupey pink nude with silver pearl. I find that it’s just slightly deeper than my natural lip color and the pearl reflect makes my lips look bigger. The sheer formula is honestly perfect.


1 | Beautypie Wondergloss Collagen Lip Oil+

shade: Nude Nectar | $9.50

shop BP Wondergloss | beautypie

Nude Nectar is one of those shades that is super easy to wear and goes with a range of makeup looks. It’s just slightly deeper than my natural lip color, so it evens my lips out and adds shine.

The formula is so soft, not sticky, and adds a ton of hydration to my lips. They feel better after wearing this gloss.

2 | Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumper

shade: Champagne | $10

shop Milani Gloss | amazon . ulta beauty . milani official

“The perfect drugstore lipgloss doesn’t exis—.” Friends, this is it. The best affordable lipgloss formula and shade.

Champagne is a peachy nude shade with micro gold sparkles that brightens up my face. It’s the perfect nude shade, in my opinion. The formula is not sticky and has a fresh minty scent.

3 | Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Gloss 

shade: Child | $32  

shop Hourglass lipgloss | sephora

I never thought I’d spend $30+ on a lip gloss.  But I also never thought I’d find a lip gloss formula like this in my life.  

This feels like a rich, hydrating balm once you apply.  Not sticky or heavy at al

The shade, Child, is the most perfect nude gloss I’ve ever worn, it brightens my whole face.  I will swipe it on over lipsticks, but more often than not I wear it on it’s own.  It’s just an unreal level of pretty.  


1 | Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick

shade: 96 Red Velvet | $14

shop SC Red Velvet Lip Stain | sephora

This shade, Red Velvet, is a gorgeous berry based red. Berry based reds are one of the easiest red shades for a ton of skin and undertones.

The formula is smooth, feels fairly lightweight on my lips, and truly lasts hours and hours. Sephora really nailed this lip formula and it’s a great price!

I generally will wipe the excess product off the wand and use the wand to lightly outline my lips, instead of using a separate lip liner, but it does look nice with a liner as well.

2 | MAC Matte Lipstick

shade: Chili | $21

shop MAC Chili | mac cosmetics official . ulta beauty . nordstrom

MAC’s Chili lipstick has become my go-to shade when I need a red lip. The color is perfect.

I noticed sometimes with cooler blue-red lipsticks that they can end up looking a little too “bright” on my face. This warmer orange red is just right. It’s vibrant without overwhelming my face or the rest of my makeup.

3 | 3CE Matte Lip Color

shade: Red Seventies | $20

shop 3CE Red Seventies | YesStyle

This color really pulled me in when when I was shopping for Korean beauty products. I couldn’t stop coming back to the page and am happy to say that the shade is stunning in person. It’s one of the most flattering red shades I have tried.

It’s an easy-to-wear, muted brick red. The formula is comfortable on my lips and wears well. It’s such a unique red lipstick shade.


1 | Buxom Full Force Lipstick

shade: Influencer | $20

shop Buxom | buxom official . ulta beauty

I love this lipstick formula so much and the Influencer shade is so easy to wear. It’s a great mid tone mauve. I find it so flattering on, especially in photos!

2 | Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick

shade: Fresh | $30

shop LM Matte | laura mercier official . sephora . saks 5th ave . cult beauty (international shipping)

If you are looking for major pigment, this Laura Mercier lipstick is a great find. There is full coverage in one swipe and the smaller lipstick bullet makes it easy to get precise application.

This shade is a gorgeous subtle berry shade.

3 | Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain

shade: 38 Sweet Raspberry | $15

shop SC Cream Lip Stain | sephora

This is the most full coverage and pigmented shade out of all the berries. The Sephora Collection stains wear really nicely and don’t dry out my lips.

This shade is a true berry.

4 | Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

shade: Secret Selma | $34

shop CT Matte Revolution | charlotte tilbury official . sephora

If you are looking for a more subtle berry, the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Secret Selma is a good choice. It’s a more subdued berry.

The formula is comfortable on the lips and wears on me for around 4 hours before needing a touch up.

5 | Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

shade: Damned | $27

shop Nars Velvet Matte | nars official . saks 5th ave . sephora

This is a deeper berry tone, for a more dramatic lip. This particular formula from Nars lasts a half a day or longer before requiring a touch up. I love the intensity of this deep berry shade.


1 | Nars Iconic Lipstick

shade: Niagara | $26

shop Nars Lipstick | nars official . saks 5th ave

The perfect coral shade! It’s a mix of coral with a flattering hint of pink.  The finish is slightly sheer and satin, with no frost.

This formula is slightly sheer, which is great for fair skin.  It brightens my face.

2 | Lord & Berry Sheer Lipstick

shade: Sweet Talk | $25

shop Lord & Berry lipstick | amazon . macys

It’s rare for me to find a pink shade I like, but “Sweet Talk” really is flattering. The formula feels nice on my lips and as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I love a sheer lipstick formula (ha!).


1 | MAC Lip Pencil

shade: Whirl | $21

available online at | MAC official . ulta beauty . nordstrom

MAC Cosmetics is a brand that has launched countless “must-have” shades. For some reason, I’ve just starting to use more MAC products in the past two years and I wished I had started sooner!

Their Whirl lip liner became iconic when Kylie Jenner said it was her favorite lip liner. I always thought it would be a bit too dark for me and it’s actually the perfect taupe-rose-nude liner shade.

This is the only color of liner that I’ve been able to successfully use to over line my lips for a fuller lip look, but keep it looking natural. I’m so impressed with this shade.

It’s become my go-to lip liner shade this past year!

1 | MAC Lip Pencil

shade: Soar | $21

available online at | MAC official . ulta beauty . nordstrom

Soar is a fantastic color to use with berry and mauve lip shades. The tone is so perfect, not overpowering.


1 | Chanel Joues Contraste Blush

shade: Jersey | $45

shop Chanel blush | Chanel website (free shipping and samples)

In the pan, this shade looks like it’s going to be a bit brown and dull, then on the cheeks it transforms into the most stunning shade that also sculpts my cheekbones.

The formula also looks really natural on. The Chanel blush in Jersey is one the of the few beauty products that I have purchased a second time once I ran out.

2 | Laura Mercier Blush

shade: Chai | $32

shop Laura Mercier | sephora

This is a shade that really resembles my cheeks when they naturally blush. It has just enough brown in this shade to keep the shade toned down and not too reddish on my cheeks.

3 | Buxom Wanderlust Blush

shade: Seychelles | $23

shop Seychelles at | sephora . ulta beauty . buxom official

This blush has a really unique formula that has a sheen (not glittery) that moves with the skin.

I love how it looks on my cheeks and I can always skip highlighter if I’m wearing it, it provides all the glow I need!

The Seychelles shade can look really brown online, but’s it’s a perfect dusty neutral rose shade in real life.

Related Post | How to Apply Blush Perfectly Every Time


1 | Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer

shade: Caramel | $23

shop ABH Brow Definer ($23) | sephora . ulta beauty

The tip on this brow pencil is a triangle, the thin point makes its easy to carve out the edges of my brows and the wider ends fill in brows quickly.  

I love the Caramel shade, it looks so natural for redheads! If you are a natural Strawberry Blonde with warmer brows, try shade Strawburn. More swatches of Caramel and Strawburn here.

2 | Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow

shade: Medium Brown | $21

shop ABH dip brow | sephora . ulta beauty

I like to fill in any gaps in my brows with this pomade, because the cool shade perfectly matches my natural brow hair color.

A little brow pomade goes a long way, I think dip brow is one of the best values in beauty!

3 | Rose Inc Brow Gel

shade: Fill 02 | $26

shop Rose Inc Brow Gel | sephora . rose inc

This is my new favorite brow gel! I have already bought 3 shades to try: clear, Fill 02 and Fill 04. The tinted shades are both cool and the clear provides natural grip.

The brush pulls out the perfect amount of product and brows stay where you put them.  This builds volume like soap brows, without the mess or itch.  My brows look perfect, super natural but defined and clean.

The best part is that the formula makes my brow hairs grow! The ingredients promote hair growth, so the sparse bits have actually filled in a bit.

Related Post | The Best Brow Tutorial You’ll Ever Watch


1 | Tom Ford Soleil Bronzer

shade: Gold Dust | $70

shop Tom Ford Bronzer | violet grey . saks

This bronzer is the cream-de-la-cream of bronzers.  It’s light and gives a natural skin finish.

It never looks like I’m wearing “bronzer”, no matter how much I pile on.  It just looks like I’m back from a vacation.

This bronzer is 100% worth the splurge.

2 | Beautypie Awesome Bronze Bronzer

shade: Sunny Side | $15

shop Beautypie Awesome Bronze | beautypie

Beautypie has their powder formula dialed in.  This bronzer is so creamy and melts into my skin.

The formula has the perfect satin skin finish, with no glitter. It’s was an instant hit for me and has became one of my most used bronzers.

I bough the refill pan only and put it into my z-palette. I love the sustainability aspect of this bronzer as well.

3 | La Bouche Rouge Bronzer

shade: Intense | $35

shop La Bouche Rouge | detox market

La Bouche Rouge is a luxury brand (think Tom Ford or Dior beauty) that focuses on sustainability and using responsible ingredients. I’m really glad brands are focusing in on creating less waste.

The brand’s formulas are high-end, but because you can just buy the refills, the price is about half of a similar luxury bronzer that would come in a case. I popped this in my z-palette and use it tons.

The formula melts into the skin and never looks too heavy! I tried Brune and Intense and prefer the slightly reddish tones of the Intense shade. It looks most like a natural tan on me.

4 | L’oreal Infallible Soft Matte Bronzer

shade: Fair | $15

shop L’Oreal Infallible Bronzer | amazon . ulta beauty

This bronzer completely took me by surprise. The formula is buttery smooth, blends perfectly with skin, and comes in an impressive range of shades for a bronzer.

I picked up shade Fair and love how soft it looks on my skin. It gently warms up my skin with zero orange tint. This shade is a winner!


1 | Kjaer Weis

shade: Grace | $20

shop Kjaer Weis eyeshadows | detox market

This is a lovely taupe crease and transition shade or all-over eyeshadow for lighter skin tones.  

The formula literally melts into the skin and the finish is slightly satin, without being overly shimmery.  

See my swatches here of all the Kjaer Weis shades I own (and love!)

2 | MAC Cosmetics

shade Wedge | $9

shop MAC Wedge | mac official . ulta beauty

This is the eyeshadow shade I use every single day.  

It’s the perfect crease shade for my skin tone. This is one of the few shades that I truly love through and through!

The refills are very affordable and I love keeping eyeshadows in a magnetic palette so that I can plan out my whole eye look easily and quickly.

3 | MAC Cosmetics

shade: Saddle | $9

shop MAC Saddle | mac official . nordstrom

This shade totally surprised me.  It seemed way too dark and warm for me at first, just looking at in the pan.  

But when I blend this shade into the crease of my eye, it makes my eyes look bigger and enhances the blue color.

I use this shade almost every single time I do makeup now!

4 | Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow

shade: Oyster Pearl | $34

shop CT Oyster Pearl | sephora . charlotte tilbury official

This is one of my all-time favorite eye shadows.  It is pricey (in my opinion), but I have not been able to find anything close to it, it’s truly a unicorn. I will say, the shadow pot lasts forever.

I love using this shade across my lids for eye catching shimmer. You can see my full tutorial on how I use this shadow in this eyeshadow tutorial.

It’s also stunning under the eyes. I use a pointed synthetic brush (my favorite is only $6) to draw a little under my eyes at my lower lash line and it gives me eyes the best twinkle.  

I do recommend using an eye primer and setting spray with these, as they will fade without one.

5 | Stila Eyeshadow

shade: Kitten | $20

shop Stila Kitten | ulta beauty

I swear this pan will last you a lifetime.  

I take the tiniest dab on a small pointed brush and blend it into the inner corner of my eyes.  There is no other shade that compares for a shimmery inner eye shade.  

It brightens the whole look of my eye.


1 | Urban Decay Naked Palette 

shade: Naked 3 (mauves + bronzes) | $54

shop Urban Decay Naked 3 | ulta beauty . sephora

These mauve tones are ideal for a redhead and the bronze-mauve tones are so unique.  The shades coordinate so well with reddish hair tones.

They seem pricey up front, but you do get 12 eyeshadows per palette.  The quality of Urban Decay eye shadows is always beautiful and long wearing.  Their eyeshadow formula is a personal favorite.

2 | Ilia The Necessary Palette

shade: Cool Nude | $38

shop Ilia | ilia official . detox market . detox canada

The middle row of the Cool Nude palette is my most used, between the cool mauve shade and the deep taupe. The top row provides easy-to-wear lighter shades (peach and bronze) and the bottom row has a cranberry shade that surprises me every time I wear it.

Overall, I was surprised how much I use this palette and it’s become a daily staple for me.

3 | Dior Backstage Eye Palette

shades: Cool Neutrals (mauves) + Warm Neutral (browns) | $49

shop Dior Backstage Palette | dior beauty . sephora . selfridges (international shipping)

These palettes come with one cream primer and eight powder shades. The formula is a very creamy powder, with minimal fall out. Blends so easily and is just a 10/10 palette.

The Cool Neutrals is my most used palette, I love the mauve shades and range from light to dark. I just recently purchased the Warm Neutrals palette, because I am such a fan of this formula. It leans more neutral than warm, in my opinion, and has some beautiful brown staple shades.


1 | Julep Gel Eye Color Pencil

shade: Smokey Taupe Shimmer | $12

shop Julep | amazon

I love how natural the taupe shimmer shade looks once applied. It adds the perfect sheen and dimension around my eyes.  It’s never harsh looking or too dark.  I especially love this shade at my lower lash line.

The formula is so smooth, gentle on my eyes, and long lasting.

2 | Pat McGrath PermaGel eyeliner

shade: SHADE | $29

shop Pat McGrath Shade | pat mcgrath official . sephora

Full disclosure, I wince a little bit every time I have to repurchase this liner. The price feels a bit steep, however, “shade” is the absolute most perfect taupe liner color I have ever found.

It makes my eye makeup look perfect every time. It makes my lash line look fuller, lifts my eyes. And it lasts all day without budging.

This Pat McGrath liner is one of the few luxury products that I have repurchased, I am now on my 6th pencil in Shade.

3 | Beautypie Gel Liner

shade: Molten Bronze | $8

shop Beautypie | beautypie official

Beautypie has become my go-to makeup line in the past year. It is a subscription based site (think Costco, but for makeup) but the prices are insane for the quality once you do. This liner is one of the best formulas I have ever used.

The Molten Bronze shade makes my eyes sparkle and has just the right amount of depth and richness, without being too dark against my lighter skin.

4 | Makeup By Mario Brightener

shade: Brightener | $20

This is a liner that you can use inside your lower eye on the inner rim to make your eyes look brighter and more awake.

I consider this liner my “concealer: for the inner rim of my eyes. It really brightens and it also lasts hours in my waterline.

shop Makeup By Mario | sephora


1 | Essie Nail Laquer in Spin The Bottle | $11  Pretty nude shade with a slight peachy pink tone.

2 | Zoya Professional Lacquer in Rue | $12  One of my favorite nail polish shades of all time.  The lightest, prettiest mauve.


This post contains my affiliate links and I really appreciate when you choose to use them.  It costs you nothing extra to use them, your prices stay the same.  Thank you for your support of the blog!



Thank you for reading and being a part of the blog! – Molly



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  1. Great post. I can tell you as someone w natural auburn/red hair——many redheads have brows that are not red! I was born w strawberry blonde hair ans my lashes and brows were very fair more blonde than red. As I got older my hair darkened to auburn and my brows light brown. Im in my early 40’s now and my res color is fading….I now color but never touch my brows to change color as they never matched my hair anyway. Similar tone but always a different shade. I usually mix an auburn and a warm/light brown pencil depending on the haircolor Im using. I am going to check out Anastasia Caramel for sure. Sounds like it could work in my arsenal 😉 One thing about redhair is it always looks diff depending on clothing, makeup, etc.

  2. Hi Molly, it’s been a while since you did this post and recently Dior came out with there Backstage range. I really love the colors of their two eyeshadow palettes. As a strawberry blond girl I am wondering which palette will suits us best? I haven’t bought one yet because I want to ask your opinion first. The cool tone palette has some purple/plum tones in it which look great with our eyes. The warm tone palette has the orange and brown shades which look great with our hair. So what to choose? Could you give some tips or even better review the palettes? Thank you so much for giving the world so much inspiration and a bit of yourself! 😉 Love, GonnieMarie, Netherlands

  3. What an awesome blog! You put so much work and heart into your site, and it’s one of the most fun and informative that I’ve ever seen! I’m a bottle strawberry blonde and love all your color shades. I agree, purple/plum for eyes looks amazing on redheads!

  4. Hi – I’ve just discovered your website and insta!! – you’re absolutely gorgeous and your tutorials are what i’ve been searching for…noone understands the pain of the eternal search for all things brown (mascara/eyeliner)when you’re fair! Have made a recent Sephora discovery that i thought i’d share with you after reading your fav mascaras list – after first trying Benefits ‘They’re Real’ mascara (which i thought was pretty average considering the hype online) I next bought their ‘They’re Real Tinted Eyelash Primer’ in brown – omg…it’s amazing!!! your lashes remain completely flexible…i can load this on at 7am and then reapply straight over the top at 5pm if i’m heading out after work and it applies like a dream…when normally i’d look like some demented spider if I tried to apply mascara over the top of my day-old mascara. Anyway, just thought you might be interested… look forward to your next tutorial! 🙂

    • Thank you, I’m so glad this post is helpful!! And great timing – I am testing the Fenty products now, review soon! xo Molly