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Best makeup for grey hair

Tricia Cusden / 11 August 2015 ( 25 February 2020 )

Does your make-up need to change as you age, especially if your hair has gone grey? Learn how to enhance a mature face with grey hair.

Woman with grey hair using makeup
Knowing which skin tone you have will make it easier to choose the right make-up

Grey hair is very fashionable at the moment; there is no doubt that beautifully cut grey hair, styled in in a modern way can look  amazing. 'Embracing the grey' also frees you from the constant battle to cover those pesky roots, saving you lots of time and money  at the hairdresser. 

However a head of full grey hair is not for everyone, so here are some guidelines to help you to decide which make-up colours work best for you, your skin tone and your hair colour - whether dyed to blend in with the grey or naturally grey.

Hairstyles to look younger

How make-up helps an older face

The key difference between a young face and an older one is not the number of wrinkles as everyone assumes, but the loss of something called 'the luminance of contrast.'  

Skin tone becomes more uneven and eyebrows, eyes, lips and cheeks all lose colour and become less well defined. 

If you add the loss of hair colour to this fading of all our features you can see why so many women are keen to  avoid grey. 

You may think that the obvious solution to this is to slap on lots of make-up and to dye your hair back to its original colour, but that may look harsh and unforgiving on a paler, older face. 

Much better to adjust your make-up and hair colour to create a flattering and subtly enhanced effect.

How to get rid of wrinkles naturally

Eyebrow colour and grey hair

As the hair on your head goes grey, so too do the hairs in your eyebrows, which can lead to an uneven look you're probably not very enamoured with. 

Many people ask me "What's the best eyebrow colour for grey hair?', which is why I formulated my Fabulous Brow Shape (£19) to suit all colourings. 

Going grey: to dye or not to dye?

Freshen up your beauty regime: Get a 10% discount on makeup that suits the more mature face at Look Fabulous Forever.

Knowing your skin tone

All white (caucasian) skins have an undertone which is either warm (yellow) or cool (blue). 

This is not about hair and eye colour but  about which colours suit you best next to and on your face. Knowing your skin tone makes choosing eye, face and lip colours very  much easier.

Try our eye make-up masterclass

Cool skin tones

Women with cool toned skin look best wearing pure whites, hot pinks, purplish blues, cherry reds, turquoise blue, grey and black.  

Grey hair looks especially fabulous because it is the perfect compliment to this skin tone.

Best make-up colours for cool skin 


Soft greys, taupe, mauve and purple and charcoal all work brilliantly as shadows either on the eyelid or around the eye.

Avoid hard eye liners, so using a small wedge brush push a darker shadow into the base of the lashes to make them look thicker. 

Finish with black mascara on curled eyelashes.


Rosy pink or plummy toned blusher is best. 

Avoid anything orange or bronze as this will look harsh and unflattering.


 You can get away with any blue toned lip colour, from the palest pink to the most vibrant dark red. Avoid browns, as they can dull the complexion. 

Applying a primer to the edges of the lips first stops any feathering or bleeding of the lip colour into tiny lines around the mouth. 

Primers for the prime of your life

Warm skin tones

Women with warm toned skin look best wearing creams, rusts, orangey-reds, browns, yellowish greens and peachy-pinks. 

Grey hair, being  a cool tone, may not suit them and they may instinctively have light blonde or caramel coloured high or lowlights added to grey hair to soften the contrast of their hair and skin tone. 

Best make-up colours for warm skin


Use creams, pale browns and greens on the eyelid with darker browns and greens for the eye socket area. 

To make the eyelashes look thicker, try adding a smudgy line of darker brown shadow along the lash line. This won't look as hard and unforgiving as a black eye liner. 

Add a sweep of black or brown mascara to curled eyelashes.

Smoky eye make-up masterclass


Avoid pinky-pink blushers and choose ones with coral tones. 

All older faces come to life when the blusher is applied and cream  to powder formulations work best as you can build up the right level of colour and then smooth with a blusher brush.


You will look best in yellow toned lip colours. Choose from pale nudes through to coral pinks and darker browny-orange colours.  You too can wear red as long as it is an orangey-red - avoid 'berry' shades at all costs.

I love adding make-up to an older face - the luminance of contrast is restored and the face is immediately softer, prettier and the  features are more defined.

About Tricia Cusden

Tricia Cusden is the founder of beauty brand Look Fabulous Forever. Find out more about her products and get a great discount.

Next article: Make-up and the older woman >>>


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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