published Friday, February 20th, 2009

ALL FIRED UP

BORN WITH IT: CRYSTAL JOYNER MAKES THE MOST OF HER COLOR

Growing up redheaded, Crystal Joyner idolized movie actress Molly Ringwald.

“I’m a child of the ’80s,” she said. “(When I was young), I hated it. But as an adult, people are always complimenting me.”

When it comes to makeup, Mrs. Joyner sticks to neutral, warm tones.

“If I do anything really heavy, I’m so pale that it looks kind of crazy,” she said.

India Anderson-Cox, retail director at Natural Body Spa downtown, said the right makeup for redheads depends on the shade of red as well as skin tone.

Fair-skinned Nicole Kidman types with lighter red hair are suited for soft, cooler tones, she said. More vibrant redheads (think Debra Messing) glow with autumnal gold tones, browns and eggplants.

Of course, rules are made to be broken.

“I hate those rules,” Mrs. Joyner complained. “When I was growing up, it was always like ‘you can’t wear orange or pink.’ I don’t like that.”

She said someone remarked on the bright red lipstick she sported to an event last year, expressing surprise that a redhead would make such a choice. “I’ll wear bright red,” she said, defiantly. SPA

MORRELL STYLIST DANIEL DEVRIES TELLS HOW TO GO RED

Auburn, copper or orange (think Rene Russo) — fair to olive complexion.

Darker reds (think Anjelica Huston) — best for young skin.

Strawberry blond (think Nicole Kidman) — best suited for pale, fair people with freckles.

Violet reds (think Ashlee Simpson or Emma Stone) — only for the very young. “If you’re over 35,” he said, “don’t go dark because it’s going to look harsh.”

“I wanted to see what it would be like to try something different,” she said. “Red is a good color. It’s kind of unusual. I think it will look good on me.” She said her inspiration was Marcia Cross, an actress on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” television series.

Ms. Sartin, 28, went to Elizabeth Tate, owner of Hair A Go-Go on the North Shore, to have her coloring done. Ms. Tate used a blend of shades to transform Ms. Sartin’s tresses.

The problem with athome hair color, Ms. Tate said, is that it’s hard to find a perfect singular shade.

“Almost every time you go to a salon, there’s a really good chance they’re not just using one bottle of color, because everyone has different undertones to their hair and everyone has different issues,” she said.

“Sometimes you see something on a box, and it’ll look gorgeous. Then you use it on your hair, and you’re like ‘what happened?’ ”

As the hair color oxidized and the redness came out, Ms. Sartin’s head began to look as if she’d suffered a severe scalp wound. Soon it was time for a wash.

Ms. Tate emphasized the importance of “babying” red hair, using gentle, natural products to preserve the color.

“This looks good,” Ms. Sartin said when her coloring was complete, fluffing her new red hair in a mirror. “It’s totally different.” She had a great first weekend as a redhead, receiving many compliments. “It was a pretty unanimous thumbsup. People at work kept joking about ‘who’s the new girl?’ ” She said she’s looking at colors differently, leaning toward greens and yellows to contrast with her new red hair. “I’m happy with the change.”

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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