How to freshen up your make-up if you’ve changed your hair colour during lockdown

Tara Breathnach
·9-min read
<p>Is a new foundation, blusher or lippy in order? We find out</p> (iStock/The Independent)

Is a new foundation, blusher or lippy in order? We find out

(iStock/The Independent)

With a third lockdown in full swing, a regular beauty appointment that many of us are missing is the one with our hairdresser.

But it hasn’t stopped people from changing the colour of their locks at home.

A report from the first lockdown by the British Beauty Council revealed that among the top 20 beauty searches on Google were “how to make hair dye” and “how to bleach hair”.

Those who have been using home-dye kits to get their usual salon results will most likely have found their hair’s not quite the same colour.

Potentially, too, people have been using lockdown as a way to experiment with completely different hair colours that they otherwise wouldn’t be so brave to try.

And anyone who’s decided to leave the home dye or bleach alone entirely, and wait until hairdressers are open again, will have seen their natural colour coming through.

In fact, whichever hair route (pun intended) you’ve taken during the pandemic, there’s a fair chance you’ve gone through some colour alterations.

Changing your hair colour in any way can affect how your make-up looks. So whether you’ve revamped your locks or gone back to your natural shade, some fresh make-up could be on the cards as well.

Don’t just take our word for it though. London-based make-up artist Kristina Gasperas is an expert in colour theory. She teaches it to students in her make-up lessons, and confirms: “If you dye your hair a very different colour from your natural hair colour, you will definitely need to adjust your make-up.

“For example, if your hair is light and you dye it a dark brown or black, you'll need to wear stronger make-up to bring out your features, as much darker hair than you have naturally can overpower your facial features and potentially make you look drawn.

“Someone who is blonde with a lighter complexion will need much less make-up on their cheeks and lips for a beautiful natural look than someone who has a contrasting colour type, for example, dark or black hair with lighter skin.

“Colours can bring out or cancel other colours, so if we are dyeing our hair we have to be aware of the undertones on our faces. If someone who dyes their hair bright red has natural red undertones, the red hair colour will bring the undertones out making them very visible. If this happens, it means that a fuller coverage foundation is needed to neutralise and cover.”

With all this in mind, we’ve had a look at some of our favourite cosmetics and picked out options that will work for your new look. Plus, Gasperas has offered a few expert recommendations of her own (you can also check out her Instagram for some make-up inspiration).

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.


One thing you shouldn't actually change if you dye your hair is the colour of the foundation you use, but you do want to make sure it’s “as close a match to the neck/décolleté area as possible”, says Gasperas.

Fenty’s pro filt’r hydrating longwear (£27, Harvey Nichols) was named our foundation best buy and offers an impressive range of 50 shades. Our tester noted it provided medium coverage that easily covered redness and minor scarring, with a “natural, glowy finish”.

Fenty Beauty
Fenty Beauty

However, if you’ve gone for a hair colour with red tones, this could bring out any redness in your skin, so you might want to opt for a foundation with fuller coverage.

Hourglass’s full-cover vanish seamless foundation stick (£45 Feelunique) is in a stick formula, making it seriously handy for daytime touch-ups.


“We loved how slim this triangular stick was, which allows for precise application, especially in areas such as the nose or under the eye,” noted our reviewer of the best stick foundations.

“The texture is lightweight but evens out skin tone and conceals spots and redness well, so even on days where you feel like wearing a little less, dabbing a dot of product under your eyes makes you look instantly more awake.

"It’s very full coverage, so a little goes a long way, but be careful not to overapply – three short stripes on the cheeks is enough to ensure you never look cakey.”


Gasperas advises that if you’ve switched to a darker hair colour, but have pale skin, you might just need to use a blusher with a little more colour.

Testing out the best cream blushers, our reviewer liked this Nars liquid blush (£25, Nars).


Trying out the “luster” shade – a pale apricot – they said: “A very versatile blush, we loved how this looked on bare skin on minimal make-up days as well as how easily it blended over base products, including powder, without disturbing the make-up underneath.”

If you think something brighter might work, you might want to try the same blusher in a more vivid, warm coral shade such as “torrid”.


With any luck, you’ll discover that you’re favourite lipstick works well with any shade of hair you try.

But even if that’s the case, you might just fancy a change. Becca’s “dune” (£20, Cult Beauty) is a shade Gasperas particularly likes for the fact it’s “a lovely neutral soft peach”.


For something bolder, why not go full-on glam with a deep red? A brighter colour works nicely, especially if you’ve gone darker with your hair.

Beauty brand bareMinerals has lots of stunning shades, but “energy” (£20, bareMinerals) is the one that found its way into our round-up of the best red lipsticks.


“Not only will this lipstick leave your pout a fiery, orange-toned red,” said our tester, “but it’s designed to improve the look of lip lines, texture and dryness after one week of use.” Bonus.


When it comes to eyeshadows, if you’ve gone for a major change with your hair colour, will this mean seeking out new palettes?

That all depends on whether your new hair is a matching tone for your skin, says Gasperas.

This means, when dyeing your hair, “if you have warm skin ensure the hair colour is a warm shade” and if your complexion is cool-toned, stick to a cool-toned hair shade.

If you’re not sure if your new hair and skin are actually the same tone, though, Gasperas suggests that a neutral eye palette is “the safest if in doubt”.

One eye palette that will work for all is this new classics eyeshadow palette (£14, Elf) which could become your new best friend.


The 18 shades range from pale to pretty dark – perfect for a change to compliment your new hair.

“It’s a great palette for all skin tones – the website shows swatches of each shade on paler and darker skin, which is helpful for anyone buying online without testing first,” said our reviewer of the best eyeshadow palettes.

“From warm-toned golds through to cooler pinks and greys, there are plenty of looks you can create.” Just what we like to hear.


It’s fair to say that plenty of us like to swipe on a bronzer during winter months when there’s zero chance of catching any rays at home.

And hair shifts could mean you’ll need to reconsider it a little, though as a general rule, Gasperas says, you should absolutely go lighter with the bronzer if your hair has gone lighter and darker if it’s gone darker.

Benefit’s “hoola” bronzer (£27, Cult Beauty) comes in four shades and is both blendable and buildable.


So should you find you do need a bit more colour if your hair’s gone a few shades darker, you can add more until you’re happy with the look.

If you already have this bronzer, but it’s not working for you anymore and you’re not sure why, it could be that, if your hair’s gone lighter or darker, you’ll need to go a shade up or down accordingly.

“Be warned that this is very matte, so most likely isn't for you if you’re after a shimmery bronzer,” our tester of the best bronzers of 2020 noted, adding: "This shouldn’t put you off, as it works to lift the complexion rather than making the skin look flat.

“We love how failproof this is to use and that other products build beautifully on top of it, making it a great all-rounder for bronzing beginners.”

For a little more glow rather than a matte finish, Hourglass’s ambient lighting bronzer (£49, Cult Beauty) promises that coveted lit-from-within look.


While it’s on the pricier side, you won’t be disappointed if you spend on it. Hourglass is famed for its finely milled powders and our reviewer loved it despite being an avid matte bronze user. “This seriously impressed us – adding depth and definition to the skin while delivering a natural-looking glow,” they said.


If, in general, you stick to a black or dark brown mascara, you probably won’t need to change it with a new hair colour in the same way you might want to change a lippy or blusher.

But mascara adds the finishing touch to any make-up look, and if you happen to be on the hunt for a new one, this intense volume mascara (£29, Cosmetics à la Carte) is a favourite with Gasperas.

Cosmetics à la Carte
Cosmetics à la Carte

“If you want big lashes with just a few sweeps, this mascara is for you,” she says, adding that it's cruelty-free, vegan and made in London.

More colour tips

Should you want to go a bit more in-depth on colour theory, a final recommendation from Gasperas is The Little Book of Colour: How to Use the Psychology of Colour to Transform Your Life by Karen Haller (£9.99, Blackwell’s).


“Understanding colour theory by season is incredibly important if you want to get your make-up, hair and clothing colours right every time,” Gasperas advises. “Once you've read [this book] you'll wish you'd bought it sooner.”

You can find more make-up tips and reviews in our dedicated fashion and beauty section

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