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The Best Makeup Shades to Wear If You Have Gray Hair, Beauty Experts Say

It's not the time to shy away from color.

Have you recently decided to embrace your grays but are stumped on what eyeshadow shade will flatter your new hair color? Or maybe you have a blush collection of cool pink tones that just aren't working with your silver strands. When you opt for a new hue, it's true that your makeup might need a refresh—and going gray is no different. Read on to discover the most flattering makeup shades for those with gray hair, according to beauty experts.

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Bronzey tones.
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Emily Mason, who shares makeup and styling tips for women over 40 on social media, discusses how bronzer became a must in her makeup routine after she decided to grow out her grays in a recent TikTok video.

"I personally had to switch up my makeup routine when I let my hair go gray, so I wanted to share those tips with you," she says in the video. "First of all, going gray will definitely wash you out, so adding color back in is going to be very important. To do this, I recommend using bronzer. I use bronzer on the high points of my face where the sun would naturally kiss it and also use the same bronzer as eyeshadow."

Who doesn't want a sun-kissed face that looks like you just got back from a trip to Hawaii all year round?

Shades of Pink

Soft rose and pink eyeshadow tones
morrowlight / Shutterstock

When in doubt, choose a beautiful pink shade for your cheeks, lips, and even eyeshadow. This pretty in pink combo will be sure to accentuate your features and brighten up your face, especially if you've ditched the hair dye.

Makeup guru Bobbi Brown agrees. "With gray hair, nude tones will leave you looking washed out. You need pops of color, there's no question," she said in an interview with Good Morning America. "Pink is my favorite color because it truly works on everyone, and it adds the perfect pop of color while still looking natural—as if you've just come from a brisk walk outside."

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Champagne eyeshadow tones.
Nik Merkulov / Shutterstock

If you want to add some sparkle to your look, using champagne or beige-toned shades will not only warm up your face, but it will leave your skin looking fresh.

"Experimenting with different champagne tones will add a glare of warmth, whether you're going out in the afternoon or evening," says Harman Awal, a beauty and makeup expert at Your Girl Knows.

In a TikTok video by Miranda Parker she also discusses how she gravitates towards warmer tones now that she has gray hair. "I prefer warm tones on my face to contrast with the gray and silver hair," she says.

Warmer tones aren't just for your foundation and bronzer, you can dab this glamorous shade on your eyelids for a wash of color, as well as on the inner corners of your eyes to brighten up your whole look.

Bright Berries

Berry eyeshadow shades
Chursina Viktoriia / Shutterstock

If you have gray hair, you should try and embrace bold colors instead of shying away from them. Gray hair truly offers a neutral palette that will make these brighter hues pop. Plus, it's another way to avoid that washed out look, says makeup artist and beauty blogger Aisha Ashi, who recommends opting for purples.

"Different plum or mauve shades of eyeshadow looks good on individuals with gray hair," she says.

Brown also thinks shades like violet or blue go great with gray hair, reports The List, but if you just don't feel comfortable making such a statement, she suggests a "buffed out gray on the eye" to pair with silver strands.

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Bold Reds

Red lipstick tubes
PearlWinchester / Shutterstock

Makeup artist Laura Kay, loves a bold and vibrant red lip, especially for women with gray hair.

"It is normal to assume you should play down your lip color for fear they will intensify your look to the extreme, but the opposite is in fact true," she told the Daily Mail. "By choosing richer colors, such as, reds, deep pinks, berries, and striking plums, they will complement the cooler tones of your gray hair and also add balance to your features."

Ashi also recommends trying out more vivid shades. If red is not your thing, a bright pink will have the same effect. "For lipstick, go for bold shades such as a bright pink shade," she says. "Try not to go for light colors to avoid the dull, washed-out look."

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson
Lauren Jarvis-Gibson is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Her work has been published in Teen Vogue, Allure, HuffPost, and more. Read more
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