AskCara Beauty Basics Hair Makeup Tips & Tricks

Don’t be a brunette with blonde hair.

One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a radical hair color change is the makeup update. Drastically different hair calls for different makeup as well. Which is actually (in my eyes) one of the most exciting things about it! A whole new world of colors and intensities are opened up to you. Forgetting to update  your makeup when you change your hair is like going to the chain restaurant you always go to at home when you’re on vacation.  TRY SOMETHING NEW WHILE YOU HAVE THE CHANCE! Even if you don’t love the new do, get the most out of it you can. You might find you like it a whole lot more than you think and instead of being brunette with blonde hair, you can actually just be a blonde for a while!

change your hair? Updated your makeup to match.


(BTW which hair do you prefer on JLaw?)

I’ve gone back and forth a bit and people are always so surprised that I look kind of natural in both colors.  Let me tell you, this is not because I have any born in gene that makes me into some sort of bionic hair transformer. It’s just that I change my look to fit the new locks. Everyone is different so no matter what it will take some experimenting on your part but, I’ll show you some of my tricks to give you a head start.

If you are naturally dark but going lighter:
You have options:
One: Rock the dark brows light hair. It’s actually pretty stylish.

Two: Fill them with a shade that is slightly lighter thank you natural brows. Like THIS one.
It will soften them up nicely and create a more natural looking brow.

Three: If you are really dead set on getting them to blend you can bleach them and then dye them the correct color BUT unless you are an old veteran at this you’ll probably want to get a professional to do it.

If you are natural light and going darker:
Those brows are probably gonna need some fillin’ baby!
Start with eye shadow primer (make one: recipe HERE or buy one HERE) use an angled shadow brush and a brow filler like THIS one. If you’re not sure how to fill them I have a video you can check out HERE.

This is interesting because I have seen it work the exact opposite but in my experience the farther the color is from your natural shade the more makeup you’ll need to make it work. For instance, if you are naturally very dark by nature and you go much lighter  it’s likely to wash you out. You’ll want up your intensity of eye makeup and bronzer or blush. It works the same way if you are the opposite. I’m naturally blonde so I have found since I went back to my roots I haven’t needed nearly as much color on my face, where I used to look half dead without a heavy dose of bronzer. I am also naturally very ashy and at times I have gone to a warmer red brown shade, in this case I needed probably twice the makeup just to look normal. Although, like I said some people have a much different experience. The best way to test this is to go too far. Add too much makeup so you know what too much is, if you are always erring on the side of too little you may never reach the sweet spot. If you make yourself look like a street walker wash that gunk off and start over. Now you know when to stop next time. No harm done.

It’s mostly about getting in there and doing some exploration. Try some new looks that before never looked right.  Get to that makeup at the bottom of the drawer that you bought and decided wasn’t for you and give it a shot. Try rocking paler skin or a darker tan. Have fun with it!

I’m doing that right now. I’ve been really surprised with some of the things that look better and some things that don’t look good anymore. I’ll share some more of that in my upcoming tutorials:)


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  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 1:45 am

    I just want to say how much I enjoy your posts 🙂 The info you give is fantastic and when mixed with your humour it makes for a very enjoyable read !!! As a working mum who just loves loves makeup ( would never leave the house without it) I find your tips so interesting.. love it 🙂

  • Reply
    Maddy Cane
    April 2, 2013 at 3:47 am

    So clever how changing your makeup will make you look completely different. I have never changed my whole head of hair at once (only dip dyed) but I will keep this in min because I am thinking of going blonde for summer! xxx

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 4:09 am

    I’m a cosmetology instructor and I definitely think this will be a link on our website. Always a pleasure……

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I have naturally “stylish” eyebrows then. I am a natural sandy/strawberry blonde and I have super dark eyebrows. My boyfriend thought that I died my hair when he first met me (haven’t died it once). I just suck at styling my eyebrows. Do you have tips for styling?

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 8:30 am

    You do not even know how excited all your new posts have been! Because I had dyed my hair blonde from being dark brown all my life like a week before you posted that you did! So I am reallllly excited for your upcoming tutorials!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I recently went light from being dark so I love this post. I’ve been learning some of these lessons the hard way, but this just helps everything make more sense.

    You always have such fantastic advice and tutorials, and I love it when I open my email and see that you have a new post!

  • Reply
    Liza Lu
    April 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Great post! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Love JLaw regardless, but I think the blonde suits her better.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 11:39 am

    i’m naturally light and went very dark. how would i do my makeup then?

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Do you ever like eyebrow pencils instead of the compacts? I’ve tried the eyebrow pencils and they seem like they would be easier than using a brush/powder.

    By the way… I love your blog!

  • Reply
    Melissa Kay
    April 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I’m loving JLaw blonde!!

  • Reply
    Christy G
    April 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Hey Cara,
    I just went dark after being blonde my whole life…
    Please do a post in reverse. Light to dark.

    • Reply
      April 3, 2013 at 7:23 am


  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Jennifer Lawrence looks great with dark hair. Love her.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Love JLaw with the sultry brown!! She’s fabulous!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I often find that when I do my makeup at home, I feel that it looks nice, however, sometimes when I catch myself in a mirror at a department store, etc. I tend to look sickly or pale. I’m sure it’s do to the lighting, but what do you suggest as far as bathroom lighting (wattage or lighted makeup mirrors) so I can achieve the most universally flattering look with my makeup?

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    This blog has been my go-to when I want to try something new w/my looks, so thanks so much for all the tips! My natural hair color is an ashy blonde & I recently went to a darker brown. In my case I’ve found that darker eye make up compliments the change well. However, it seems that the hair color change caused my foundation/contouring to look patchy or dirty in natural light (I haven’t used diff. products). I often wash my make up off completely once I leave home & get to where I’m going because no make up is better than bad make up! Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I’m really looking forward to the upcoming tutorials! I’m naturally an ash blonde (with black brows–took a long time to embrace them) but the last few years I’ve been dyeing red, snd I never really changed my makeup colours because I’m so fair skinned I’m afraid to go too dark. If you could drop some tips for going red, I’d be grateful!

    Love your blog and your advice. 🙂 oh and, I think Jen looks better as a blonde, but she looks great with both.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 2:34 am

    What about red? I LOVE dying my hair red (from dark or light, I’ve done it both ways) how should I tailor makeup to fit a redhead (my fave look btw!)

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I am a blonde who is not a redhead. Any tips? Also, I vote for Jennifer Lawrence with dark hair.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Hey! So I’ve seen a lot of requests for going light to dark! If possible I would love to see a post about this. I have very fair skin if any color its red lol. But I’ve been wanting to become a dark burnette for years and years but I know with my red skin tone it would look funny …so I need help with self tanners or make up so I can live this dream of going dark. As a teen I tried black hair, and I just looked gothic from how pale I am! HELP!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I love you blog! It’s so personal and absolutely adorable! I just started my own and would love for you to check it out any advice is much appreciated!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

    This blog post is so necessary it’s not even funny. I tried going from blonde to red in early fall, and the moment I opened my closet after my hair appointment I knew it’d been a mistake. Not only were my clothes for a blonde but so was all of my make up. Luckily, or not so luckily actually, the red dye damaged my hair so badly that I had to go to brunette. But at least my skin coloring lent itself more to brunette and with a few new lipsticks (because really, who doesn’t love new lipstick?) I was good to go. I just discovered you through Pinterest (your fake tan post) and have read a few other posts. I love your style and your optimism (Nick) and your style. Will definitely be following you. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Rylee Kay
    April 6, 2013 at 3:40 am

    I had been blonde my entire life and could never get my makeup to look good. So when I finally decided to dye my hair a deep brown, I didn’t even think to change my makeup look and it looked 100x better with the new color. Turns out I was just doing the wrong makeup for the blonde but it was right for the brown. (:

  • Reply
    April 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Beautiful!!! What an inspiring story, it brought tears to my eyes 🙂

  • Reply
    Kalee Sorey (@KaleeSorey)
    April 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for the tips! 🙂 I went Zoeey Deschannel dark in the fall, and I was so washed out. It took new bronzer, blush, and a softer eye liner before really getting a feel for the dark shades. I’m back blonde though. I guess it’s just more me. 🙂

  • Reply
    Valeria Fugate
    April 15, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Hi Cara,
    I’ve got a questions and possibly a new theme? I have curly hair and I’ve been thinking about doing the whole “OMBER” thing. I’ve colored my hair a golden caramel color and my natural color is a dark brown. I’d like to do this process but I don’t want it to look like I just neglected my hair/color (neglecting my roots) & since I NEVER straighten my hair (or have interest in doing so, too hard on my hair.) I’m a afraid it won’t have the same effect as it does on straight or wavy hair. Any tips or suggestions? Thanks Cara.


  • Reply
    October 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I am a dark ashy blondish person who went bright red. The color suits me – I needed the warmth – but the biggest changes have been making my brows warmer too and that I now look better in peachier vs pinker blushes.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Cara I would love if you would do a post for us natural red haired, fair skinned freckled face girls 🙂 I know we are a small percent, but I would love some makeup advice for my specific coloring!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2014 at 4:59 am

    I love Jennifer Lawrence as both a blonde and a brunette! I would choose the brunette color for her, though. I never would have thought that she could look good with blonde being so dark haired and all, but wow she totally pulls it off. 🙂 I just got a copy of her in the “Catching Fire” dvd that is now out. Jennifer Lawrence is awesome and beautiful and real, she’s a total treasure. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 9, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Oh and also the girl with the pale blonde hair in the picture above with the dark eye brows looks amazing! I want her shade of blonde. My hair is light blonde, but I love her shade of blonde the best. Maybe I will dye my brows dark like the picture. 🙂 Now I will have a great picture to show a stylist!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I am naturally a brunette but always had sparse blonde eyebrows, I’ve been wearing my hair blonde for years now but just can’t get the eyebrow thing down. If I leave them as is I tend to “washout” but when I darken them with they seem to not look natural. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, I tend to just line, mascara, blush and gloss so the dark eyebrows almost make me look too “done up”. Do you have any suggestions. I thought leaving them as is was fine but a lot of people tell me I should do my eyebrows, that it would frame my face.

  • Reply
    June 24, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Love this post, I’m naturally a level 5 brunette so I’ve gone lighter and darker. I always was trying to be blonde and tan when I was younger and I would over pluck my dark eyebrows so the contrast wouldn’t be so harsh (now looking back in pictures I realize it wasn’t a good look lol).

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