Birthday Girl Christina Hendricks Spills Her Beauty Secrets

“Go home, take a paper bag, cut some eye-holes out of it. Put it over your head, get undressed and look at yourself in the mirror. Really evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses are. And be honest,” candid, ruthless Joan Harris once told a newly hired Peggy Olsen. Contrary to her onscreen persona’s stark advice, though, Christina Hendricks has proven time and time again that a woman’s visage is one of her greatest strengths (apart from her intelligence, wit, and personality, of course).

The four-time Emmy nominee is something of a beauty icon to those of us with red—or even auburn—hair and porcelain skin. Like Ms. Harris, the stunning actress knows exactly what works for her Rubenesque figure and fiery tresses. Needless to say, we were thrilled when makeup artist Vanessa Scali, who has worked with Hendricks on various occasions, spilled the actress’s beauty secrets to Refinery29.

How does the actress pull off her signature bright makeup and bold hair combo? The trick is to avoid blush and lipstick with heavy blue undertones. “Blue occurs naturally in any skin tone, particularly under the eyes, but it’s especially prominent in redheads,” Scali explains. That said, blue eye shadows and liners are by no means verboten, and can actually complement red hair incredibly well, so long as they’re applied cleanly and precisely, according to the makeup guru.

Of course, when it comes to health as well as appearance, the star product of any makeup bag is the sunscreen. Especially for those with fair skin, protection is an absolute must. If you’re going to apply foundation and concealer over your SPF, though, it’s imperative that you choose a lightweight formula.

Other than that, it all comes down to finding the right hues and, like the trailblazing Ms. Harris, being a little fearless. On that note, tomorrow, in honor of Christina Hendricks’ birthday, we challenge all—redheads, brunettes, blondes and raven-haired gals alike—to give a new lip shade a shot!