For Redheads Only: The H2BAR Beauty Box

A monthly subscription beauty box created for redheads by redheads.

Photo courtesy of How to be a Redhead.

As a natural redhead, I’ve always struggled with making the right beauty decisions. What color mascara should I wear: brown or black? Do I stencil in my bleach blonde eyebrows or leave them as they naturally are? If I do color them in, what shade do I use? Can I pull off a red lip, or will it clash with the similar hues in my hair? Should I hide my freckles behind a heavy application of foundation, or use a lighter powder that doesn’t completely drown them out?

When I first started wearing makeup in middle school, there weren’t many options for redheads. Why would there be? Natural redheads make up less than two percent of the world’s population, and what beauty company would create a product that would only appeal to such a small margin of the market? So I chose the closest available color to my bright-hued auburn hair: brown mascara and eyeliner. I experimented with different shades of eye shadows—favoring silver and purple hues over natural ones—and always bought foundation in the lightest, fairest color available

Somewhere along the way, I switched to black mascara and eyeliner, which complemented my pastel-colored eye shadows more than brown did. But I still struggled with other make-up choices. I’ve only stenciled in my eyebrows once in my life, using the Superfine Liner for Brows from Clinique in a soft auburn shade that I had been gifted for Christmas. My sister helped draw them on my face for our cousin’s wedding, and I was almost unrecognizable when I looked at myself in the mirror. Though I got plenty of compliments from my family that night, I haven’t felt confident enough to color them in again myself

I recently discovered a monthly subscription beauty box created by redheads for redheads: the How to be a Redhead (H2BAR) Box. Red-haired sisters Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti started the How to be a Redhead brand in 2011, and launched the first-ever redhead subscription box in 2015.

In 2016, they co-authored the beauty book, How to Be a Redhead: A Guide to Beauty, Skincare, Hair Care, Fashion and Confidence From the Sisters Who Started the Red Hair Revolution. The book is packed with beauty tips and hair product suggestions to help redheads embrace their fiery manes and freckles, which the sisters declare as “the best accessory” and “seasoning for your face.”

I was excited to receive my first H2BAR Box in the mail, eagerly awaiting the redhead-friendly beauty products I hadn’t been able to find on my own. The first box I received was in September, which, if I’m being honest, underwhelmed me a bit. It included items that didn’t seem redhead-specific, like the fiery orange Londontown Windsor Garden Nail Polish and the DermaE Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil—neither of which I’ve tried. But I did love the chestnut-colored Zuii Organics Eye Shadow and Akar Ruby Tint Lip Butter, both of which I’ve used nearly every day since receiving my box. I also loved the Beauty & Pin Ups Linger Style & Sculpting Spray Gel, which holds curl and hides frizz without making my hair too crunchy.

The “Pumpkin Head” themed October box had more of the kinds of products I expected to be included, like a Just for Redheads Eyebrow Pencil and Redhead Revolution Mascara in a “Genuine Ginger” shade. I haven’t worn either of them in public yet, but another cousin is getting married in a few weeks and I trust my sister will encourage me to embrace my brows again. I also loved the June Jacobs On-the-Go Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Masque Pouch and Evelyn Iona Green Tea Primer that came in my October box. I’ll be sad when I run out of both samples.

With National Love Your Red Hair Day fast approaching on November 5, there’s never been a better time to celebrate your ginger locks—or gift a box to a friend or loved one. Slots for the December H2BAR Box are now open. Boxes cost $18.98/month and ship by the third day of each month. The products in each box range from samples to full sizes.

If you are redhead who has struggled with finding the right beauty products, or if you know someone who fits this description, the H2BAR Box is a great way to discover new brands and escape the makeup and beauty rut. Plus, it never hurts to treat yourself.

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  1. UUDancer

    Does it count if I am a natural redhead who let her gray grow in? My skintone hasn’t changed.