Featured Strawberry: Elizabeth

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This month’s Featured Strawberry is Australian model Elizabeth. When she’s not modelling, she’s working on a law degree whilst continuing her passion by working as a paralegal in a law firm. Additionally, Elizabeth is two months off launching a non-for-profit organization specifically aimed at supporting those in the modelling industry (more on that in the interview!).

Elizabeth says she is, “constantly exhausted and overwhelmed. Haha. I am always on the go and always have a coffee in hand. I am a huge music fan, I love a classic Blink 182, Smith Street Band, the Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball. Business, fashion and education are very important to me. As the Oscar Wilde saying goes, “you can never be too overdressed or overeducated.” It’s something to strive for.”

Thank you for being willing to be featured this month! I was struck by your photos on Instagram, which are all so lovely, and you have a sense of class about you. So I ask everyone this first: Any other redheads in your family? 

Yes, red hair does run in my family. My little sister and mother have red hair. My father has black hair, but obviously carries the gene as his mother (my grandmother) has Scottish roots. My sister, Emily, has the exact same shade of red as me. Emily and I share a love for fashion. She is studying fashion design and currently making a sustainable fashion collection. I am modelling her look book, which is very exciting.

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What was your experience growing up as a redhead? Some girls out there (and, hey, let’s include boys too!) feel uncomfortable with how they look, and occasionally wished they looked more like everyone else. Do you have any advice for them?

Well I’ve had an interesting experience. I hated my height and hair growing up. I was always a head and shoulders taller than the other children (and I didn’t stop growing until I was twenty years old). As a consequence, I was bullied in primary school. And I was never ever considered ‘cool’. Now these two things – height and hair colour – are the reason I am a model.

“I think it’s really difficult to embrace your quirks but you manage to love them over time.”

I think you do come into your own as you get older. I was such a shy and quiet child too, and when people from my childhood meet me now, they are taken back by how assertive I am. I am a completely different person because I genuinely think you just grow into yourself over time. Also, things external to your image become less important. I think intelligence, elegance and how you treat others, at the end of the day, is the more important thing.

How did you get started with modelling?

I actually got my start in the Miss Universe Australia competition. I’ve always been tall and have had people approach me to model, but I was so focused on my studies I never really gave it a second thought. However, one night I was going for a jog and a lady who lived down the hill from my house approached me. She worked for Miss Universe Australia in their accounting team and suggested that I enter. She said they don’t get enough redheads entering, (Australia has too many blonde models haha). I had actually just broken up with my boyfriend and had more time on my hands. So I thought why not, life is short right? I was already twenty one years old at this point, which is older to start modelling, I knew I had a very small window to give this a go.

I entered and made it to the State finals (much to my surprise). After the competition, I didn’t think much would happen but within three months, I was walking in five runway shows in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. My career grew from there. I genuinely owe my career to my natural red hair. It’s definitely my point of difference and calling card.

What’s been the best (or a few of the best) experience(s) you’ve had in modelling?

I’d have to say walking in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. They are the two big fashion festivals in Melbourne and it was exciting to be a part of it. But as cliché as it sounds, the other people that I have met along the way have been the ultimate best experiences. Photographers, make-up artists and other creatives have made working in the modelling industry an absolute pleasure. I’ve made some amazing friends with other models who are genuinely lovely and down to earth girls. If I have a week of working hard at the law firm or studying at law school, I look forward to a runway show or shoot and consider it a creative outlet in what is a busy week. It has definitely made law school a lot easier, when I have something to look forward to.

You’re the founder of the Model Association Australia. How’d that start?

Model Association Australia will be launching in about two months. It is a non-for-profit organization and a way for me to combine my interests. I am three subjects off completing my Juris Doctor (yay) and also have a BA in International Relations with a focus on women’s rights. So the Model Association is a way for me to combine my legal knowledge with what I’ve experienced in the modelling industry. I felt that having had the two experiences, I have a unique perspective on how matters should and shouldn’t be handled.

Illegal and questionable practices are sadly a reality for the modelling industry. The Model Association enables its members to report and seek assistance for inappropriate conduct or work related issues. This is something I am truly passionate about. I love that I can combine my unique experience of legal skills of tort, privacy and defamatory law with my experiences as a model in the fashion industry to support other creatives in an attempt to make the industry a safer place for young women.

What’s the future look like for you?

I think as I get older, I will move away from modelling and into law/business. Most models end their career around twenty-five years of age because the next generation of seventeen year olds come through haha. I’m not quite at that age yet, (and having a round childlike face helps a lot) but I imagine when I hit around twenty-five, I’ll probably be working full time in the legal field. I am also planning on moving to London. But I will definitely continue to develop the Model Association and carry that forward with me. As I grow in legal expertise, I hope that the Model Association will benefit from that too. Also, for the immediate future, I have three subjects left of law school, so finally graduating will be an absolute thrill.

Time for beauty stuff! Have you picked up any tips from makeup artists on photoshoots?

I have a baby face, it’s so round!!! So to anyone else who has a childlike face, I’ve learnt how to contour by asking the make-up artists what to do! I use a bit of the brown Models Prefer Contour Stick Cream under the cheekbone and blend. Then using a really great brush, apply a bit of rose blush to really soften the roundness in my face shape. (Editor’s note: a couple good options might be Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso or MAC Desert Rose.) I also use brown bronzer around my jaw line to make it stronger, which I find also helps remove some of the roundness.

I’ve learnt to do my eye make-up first. Make-up artists tend to do eye make-up before the foundation so no residue from the eye shadow falls onto the cheekbones, ruining the contouring.

I’ve learnt to slightly over-line the top of my natural lip line for fuller lips. Then fill the lips with lipliner before you add lipstick and lipgloss.

The last tip that I’ve learnt from make-up artists is to lightly spray your face with hairspray before leaving the house, so your makeup stays on longer.

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What are your favourite foundations, mascara, and eyebrow products? I know I’m always searching for all of those and many redheads are as well!

A good foundation match is always hard for me. I don’t have the classic redhead peaches and cream skin tone, I actually have a yellow undertone that I inherited from my father, who can tan. So I have absolutely no freckles, just white skin. So trying to match white skin with a yellow undertone is really difficult. At present, I am using Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation. This is pretty good as it is thick. So if I have to do my own make-up for a test shoot or casting, I can do so (and not look like a ghost under the lights).

My favourite mascara is Too Faced Better Than Sex, and it truly is haha. It is fabulous. It gives you full and long lashes. I highly recommend it. I actually use the black one very day.

I have really hard eyebrows for a natural redhead. They are naturally brown, it’s so strange. So I don’t touch them at all. But my sister has the typical redhead light eyebrows. She uses a classic brown pencil to fill them in.

What are your 5 favorite things right now?

  1. I am obsessed with this face mask called Quick Fix Facials – Anti-Blemish Mud Mask. It is amazing for clearing your skin. I find that after a day of shooting or being on the runway, you have heavy stage make-up on and it can damage your skin. The anti-blemish mud mask gives your skin a really deep and thorough clean. I have noticed a difference after I’ve used the mask.
  2. I love Sukin’s Hydrating Mist Toner. It combines chamomile and rosewater to soothe and tone the skin. It really leaves your face feeling fresh. I usually take it on planes with me.
  3. Benefit’s High Beam Highlighter is great for under your eyes. It makes under your eyes glow – and covers those bags when you have had a late night of study.
  4. I am in love with green tea and coffee. I have about three cups of green tea a day. But I am also a coffee lover. Living in Melbourne it’s hard not to be. So I genuinely drink a lot of Nescafe Green Blend which combines roasted and unroasted coffee beans which has more anti-oxidants than green tea itself.
  5. I modelled for an online store called ‘We Dash Love’. I highly recommend you check it out. It’s run by a fantastic lady who only sells sustainable fashion – check out their Instagram page here.

Thanks again to Elizabeth for taking the time to chat with me, and I encourage you all to follow her on Instagram @eliz_abeth_h to keep up with her, as well as checking out her non-for-profit organization @modelassociation_au!

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Featured Strawberry: Hannah Sabus


This month’s Featured Strawberry is a small-town girl from Nebraska, Hannah Sabus. She describes herself a classic introvert who likes to curl up with some books and a cup of tea, but she’s always up for adventures around town with her friends. She loves her family, thrift store shopping (who doesn’t?), and has a green thumb. In her own words, “I’m only 18 so I have lots to learn, but I’m just trying to grow into the best version of me!”

Enjoy the interview, and take note of Hannah’s experience with henna, because there are many redheads out there interested!

I’m excited to have you as this month’s Featured Strawberry, Hannah! So the first question I usually ask: does red hair run in your family? 

Yes! On both sides actually. My mother was a curly redhead when she was young. My father’s father had red hair as well. So my parents were blessed with two redhead babies haha.

Have you ever been teased for it?

I actually don’t remember being teased about it at all. Expect for when South Park decided it would be nice to come out with an episode calling Ginger Kids DayWalkers…but that was thankfully very brief.

I’ve also never been teased so it restores some faith in humanity that not everyone wants to poke fun at redheads! 😛 Have you always liked your own hair or did it take time to appreciate your unique coloring?

I have always been celebrated for my red hair. Always been stopped in the streets and told how beautiful it was. So, in turn, I have always celebrated it right along with them – no reason not to!

Tell me about your experience with henna. Why did you decide to try it out? What was your hair like before, and what did you hope to accomplish with it?

I have been searching for ways to make my red hair more red for awhile now. I tried hibiscus tea soaks and color depositing treatments galore. Being a ginger is part of who I am so I never wish to give it up. (SR’s note: I felt exactly the same way and so many of us do!) Growing up my hair was always undeniably red. But my family and I have lived in Florida for ten years now, and this sun has given my red a blonde beating.

I was in denial for awhile that my locks had turned more blonde than red. I knew I wanted more of a strong red/ginger color rather than strawberry blonde. I was just so nervous to use anything permanent to disrupt my natural color.

My close friend actually sent me a brand of henna online that in the reviews natural redheads had used and loved. If anyone’s interested, I used the Hannah Natural brand. I researched a lot (came across your amazing blog series) and finally decided to take the plunge.

Was it easy to mix and apply? What recipe did you use?

I used 50/50 henna and cassia. I also added a half part sulfate-free conditioner to make it into a henna gloss. I just used hot water and lemon juice until the consistency was right. It was very easy to mix for me. You just have to make sure you get the lumps out. I applied it in the shower for easy cleanup. I also had a towel around my neck and used my fingers to work it in.

I would recommend gloves because it did stain my hands for a week or so. I put a shower cap on and kept it in for 2 hours. It wasn’t hard for me to rinse either. The henna smell did stay for a little over a week when I got my hair wet.

What do you think of the results? 

I absolutely love it!! It looks like my hair still, just enhanced. Brighter and better.

Would you do it again? Any tips for other natural redheads?

YES. I’m sad I didn’t do it earlier. I know how nerve-wracking it can be but I would recommend starting with a gloss like I did.

Red hair is much harder to dye than any other hair color so you do need something a little more powerful, yet gentle, to give you a good change like henna. I plan on doing another gloss treatment soon!

So, what are your favorite makeup products?

All my favorite beauty products come from my HowToBeARedhead subscription box!! I have so many but here are some of my favorites so far:

EyebrowsJust for Redheads Brow Stick in GingerAuburn, or for something more subtle the Damōne Roberts Eyebrow Pencil in Ginger.

Foundation: At the moment, I’m using Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation in Light 44. Their foundation has such a great range of colors and has amazing coverage!! My favorite powder for us pale ladies would have to be Amanda Blakley Mineral Powder in Light.

Concealer: Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics

Mascara: My favorite mascara would have to be Just for Redheads in Ginger Auburn.

Lips: My favorite everyday lipstick is Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lipstick in Blush Basin.

And what are your 5 favorite things right now?

  1. Book: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice by Tom Vanderbilt.
  2. My favorite face oil is rosehip seed oil. Smells yummy and super moisturizing! (SR recommends Radha.)
  3. Favorite healthy snack, plantain chips!
  4. Weird but I’m in love with my new Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Hand Sanitizer hand sanitizer!
  5. Clothing item: overalls!!

Thank you to Hannah for taking the time to chat with me. I hope that reading someone else’s henna experience in addition to mine will help some of you out there! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram! ❤

Featured Strawberry: Jasmine Brown

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Jasmine, like previous Featured Strawberries Mounia and Soteria, is a natural black redhead who breaks the stereotypical mold. She agreed to share her experiences and give us a little insight into herself!

Thank you for being this month’s Featured Strawberry! What’s it been like for you growing up?

I’m a natural black redhead which is unique to some. As a kid I didn’t think anything of it, but I noticed people would come up to me and say, “Is that your natural color?”. As an adult most people assume I dye it, but some know it’s natural. I think people think my hair isn’t natural because my eyebrows and eyelashes are black.

Are there any redheads in your family?

As of now I would say there are no redheads in my family that I know of. My dad was a redhead when he was little, but his hair is black now. I’m the youngest in the family and I’m the only one out of five kids that has red hair. Some of my brothers and sisters have a little bit of red in their hair mixed with brown. I find it kind of crazy being the last born and the only one with all red hair. I also have a twin sister but she does not have red hair. I did not have any negative experiences growing up.

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It’s great that you never had any negative experiences. I didn’t have any either, so it’s encouraging to know that there are plenty of people who like the unique shade of red hair!

Is there any particular makeup you like? What sort of goals do you have? I know you have some possible interest in modeling, and there are plenty of successful ginger models, such as my previous interviewee Cat Carney.

The only make up I wear is black eyeliner. I have considered modeling but it’s kind of hard to get into when you live in a small town. I would love to be a model one day but it’s hard not knowing where to begin. I’ve always wanted to model since I was young, and now. Many people have told me I should be a model, which inspired me even more, but as I said I live in a small town and I’ve only been to three states.

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Finally, what are your five favorite things right now?

My five favorite things as of right now are:

  1. My two rabbits.
  2. Orange Gatorade.
  3. Sour Patch Kids.
  4. Nexxus hair products.
  5. And fishing.
Thanks again for taking time to talk with me! If you’re a reader who’d like to be featured, feel free to send me a message through the contact form!

Featured Strawberry: Soteria Brown

September’s Featured Strawberry is Soteria Brown, an African-American natural redhead who has some wonderful advice to give all redheads, regardless of their skin color or ethnicity. This was one of my favorite interviews, and I hope all of you enjoy it!

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I’m excited to feature you this month! Just like July’s Featured Strawberry Mounia, you have coloring that many don’t expect goes with a natural redhead. Was it difficult growing up? Do any of your family members have red hair as well?

Thanks for the opportunity! I liked Mounia’s interview. I related to her story and loved her advice.

Now, was it difficult to grow up as a redhead? One word – ABSOLUTELY! None of my immediate family has red hair – so everyone was always asking if I was the mailman’s baby or if I was adopted. I do have cousins whose hair started out as a reddish tint, but then faded to a sandy brown as they got older, but mine has not changed.

My mother tells me that shortly after I was born she found a scripture card that said, “And I will give you a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 1 Peter 5:4. I believe that God was foreshadowing that I would have task of going through life as an exterior example of how creative and unique he can be. But I didn’t always feel that way.

Growing up I just wanted to blend in. I’ve heard that less than 2% of people in the world have red hair and that African-Americans with red hair make up much less than that. As I shared earlier, no one in my family, and no one I knew, looked like me. My dad has freckles, so I knew where those came from. But I didn’t have an example or a common tie for the hair anywhere in my circle of influence, so I always felt like the oddball with red hair and freckles.

I always seemed to get a lot of attention from people who would say that my hair was beautiful, or that they wished that they had my hair or my freckles. But, honestly, I hated being singled out for my hair. And despite being told I was beautiful, I just couldn’t see it, and didn’t realize what the big deal was.

Were you teased for it? Do people assume you’ve dyed your hair?

Yes, I was teased about my hair color. Many people, when I told them that I was a natural redhead, didn’t believe it. I would literally have to show them the blonde hair on my arms to convince them that I hadn’t dyed my hair and eyebrows. Still today people ask me what I use to color my hair. lol! I even had a person ask me, “Are you an albino?” But I know that people don’t get to see black redheads often and that is one of the cool things about this: I get to show people something different.

At one point when I was younger, I even felt at times that my hair color drove a wedge between me and my sisters. When we were out and about, people would always remember “the one with the red hair” and try to single me out. My parents were always great at saying, “All of our daughters are beautiful,” but that didn’t stop kids from being kids and siblings from being siblings.

When my sisters would get mad at me, as siblings do, they would tease me and say that I was adopted and that I really belonged to the Cherry Head family and that they were coming back to get me. That coupled with being called the mailman’s baby and other teasing, and weird stares from people who were trying to figure out if I was really a black girl with red hair, was enough for me to try my hardest to forget that I was a redhead by trying to blend into the background. In fact, when people would acknowledge my red hair and freckles I would say, “Oh, yeah I forget that I have it until someone mentions it to me.” I didn’t forget, but I wanted to.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad, but for some reason my younger experiences were enough for me to say that I didn’t want to be seen as a redhead.

It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized how great of a blessing God had given me. I went to Grambling State University, a historically black university in Grambling, Louisiana. People there celebrated my unique look. Instead of staring at me as if I didn’t belong, they seemed to stare in amazement. I even gained the nickname of “Red,” and for the first time I appreciated it and wore it proud. Till this day, I believe a few of my peers from college don’t know me by anything but Red, and I’m ok with that.

(Note from Rachelle: this story brought tears to my eyes. I loved this experience.)

One of my proudest moments as a redhead happened while I was in college. I was in the marching band, and one Saturday at a football game in Alabama, one of the band directors called me down out of the stands and said, “I have someone I want you to meet.” Mind you, it was burning hot outside and I just knew my hair looked a hot mess, so I kept my hat on. We walked up to an African-American family sitting in the stands. With them was a little girl who looked to be about eight years old, and had a big, messy, fiery red ponytail like I used to wear when I was little. The band director said to the girl, “I’d like you to meet my friend,” and he pointed to me.

At that moment I knew exactly what he was doing. I introduced myself to the little girl and said, “Your hair is so beautiful.” For a moment she winced, and then I took off my hat so she could see my hair. The little girl flashed the biggest smile, then looked at her mother and grabbed her arm. She didn’t say it, but I knew that she was thinking, “She looks like me!” I walked back to my seat thinking that I will never forget that day.

Today, I wear my crown of glory proudly. I no longer try to forget that it is there. I love the blonde hairs on my arms and my natural honey-blonde highlights that come out in the sun. I love how when I get a tan my hair seems to turn a bright orange and looks like a majestic lion’s mane when I blow it out. And I love how in the fall it seems to match the crisp autumn leaves.

Many people still stare at me and try to figure out if I’m really an African-American with red hair, or a black ginger as some call me, and now I just laugh and smile because I’m grateful that I get the opportunity to show people just how creative God is.

Do you have any advice for those like yourself who stand out even from the redhead community?

If I could go back and talk to the 14 or 15-year-old me I would say…the Bible says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. In other words, your uniqueness was not a mistake. You were entrusted with a huge responsibility of being a light. Don’t squander your time trying to change that or trying to blend in because I got news for you, you never will be able to blend in – because you were never meant to. So, that would be my advice to any other person trying to tone down their uniqueness or even bury it behind other people’s questions or insecurities – whether it be a different personality or hair color. Go ahead and shine! That is what you were made to do and someone needs to see your light.

Do you have favorite makeup products that flatter your beautiful natural coloring?

You know, I never really got into makeup. It’s usually just me, my sunkisses (freckles) and a little bit of Carmex. I tried rocking that bold red lip that everyone is doing today, but it wasn’t me. I do have favorite colors that I like to wear that I feel flatter my hair and natural orangey/brown skin tone. Blues, greens, and lately I have really been getting into corals and pinks.

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I also think you have gorgeous hair texture. What are your favorite styles? What products do you like?

Thank you! Actually, as you probably saw from my Instagram account, I LOVE to switch my hair up and try different styles. In the summer, I like to wear braids because my hair is natural, meaning I don’t use a chemical relaxer to straighten my hair. So the heat and moisture absolutely annihilates any attempt to style my hair. But, most recently, I have really gotten into crochet braids. They allow me to protect the natural texture of my hair with cornrows and then I add pre-twisted extensions to my hair on top of the cornrows. The fun part is trying to find hair that matches my natural color. But in recent years that has become easier. The color of the extensions is never exact, but I can get pretty close.

I love it when fall, winter, and spring come around because I get to experiment with so many different styles – all different types of curls, halos, and occasionally a silk press. If I had to choose a favorite style, I think it would be big curls. I absolutely LOVE big hair! Again, over the last three years I’ve gone natural, so I get to see the natural fullness of my hair, and so the curls are even bigger. I get all the Annie jokes when I wear them, especially when I post pics on social media, but I just love it. It’s part of being a redhead. 🙂

As for products, my hair is really particular. She, as I like to call my hair, likes anything that adds moisture because my hair is naturally coarse and thick. My hair really responds to a mixture of water, coconut oil, and this product called Care Free Curl by SoftSheen Carson. I mix that in a spray bottle and try to moisturize my hair every night when I’m wearing a protective style. When my hair is flat ironed, I rub coconut oil through my hair and scalp before I wrap it at night.

And just for fun: what are your 5 favorite things right now?

Five favorite things right now…hmmm….I would say my top five at the moment are:

  1. Lemon Ginger Tea – or anything with ginger in it for that matter.
  2. Video editing – I love visual storytelling.
  3. My new “Treat Yo Self” mug. I LOVE collecting mugs. If they ever create a hoarders show for people with mugs, I’ll probably be on the first episode.
  4. The television show Married at First Sight – I would never do it, but I love that show.
  5. My new fireplace – I’m getting into DIY and I just built an entertainment center/fireplace. Also, I love my house. I just made the transition from apartment to my first home. Ok, #5 is technically two, but I couldn’t leave them out. 🙂

Follow Soteria on Instagram and check out her Youtube channel, Red’s Tips!

Do you know someone who would make an awesome Featured Strawberry? Send me a message and let me know!

Featured Strawberry: Eleanor Murphy

August’s Featured Strawberry is Eleanor (Elle) Murphy, a 21 year old natural redhead from Oxfordshire, England. She’s currently at University studying Diagnostic Radiography and hopes to work in the NHS when she graduates. She shares that she has 2 great loves in her life: one being her horse Athie, whom she’s had for nearly 10 years now, and the second being pizza!

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Elle’s been playing around with makeup since before she was 10 years old and would always try and take her mum’s whilst she wasn’t looking! She started her YouTube channel about 4 months ago because she thought it would be something fun and creative to do. Since she started making videos, she’s been getting more and more into it.She says, “I’m always trying to come up with ideas for videos. I love being a redhead and it’s gone from being something I hated to being my favourite feature.” Read on to learn more about her and her beauty routines!

I’m so glad to have the opportunity to feature you this month! I love all your looks on Instagram. Can you share your experience of growing up as a natural redhead?

Thank you so much for featuring me this month, I’m really honoured and flattered! Aw thanks, I just started uploading them because I thought it was fun and now I’m addicted. Growing up as a redhead wasn’t brilliant for me. Up to the age of about 15/16, I was bullied a lot at school and singled out very easily simply because my hair colour was different. At my secondary school, in a year of 180 students, there were only 2 redheaded girls – so I stuck out like a sore thumb! It used to make me feel so bad. I tried to dye it brown, and as a result I had a huge allergic reaction to normal hair dye. (It must have been a sign! :P) Then at 15 I fell in love with my hair and started dyeing it even redder with henna. And I have never looked back.

It’s so wonderful that you came not only to a place of acceptance but to a place of love! Are there other redheads in your family?

Yes, there are a lot of redheads in my family. Most of my mum’s entire side of the family are redheads, and so is my older brother. We are all slightly different shades of red – my aunt’s is dark and auburn-like, whilst my mum’s has become lighter and lighter.

IMG_4837Many struggle to accept being so different. Do you have any advice for them?

It was really hard for me to accept that I was different. When I was younger, I used to hate my hair and freckles. As I got into my mid-teens I saw more girls trying to dye their hair red (and it not looking natural at all) and it made me realise being naturally red wasn’t a bad thing. People were trying to copy it. I know it’s a corny phrase that bullying comes from jealousy and being insecure, but in my case it was so true. Because girls who used to make fun of my hair were then trying to copy its colour, and boys who used to make me feel bad for it then tried to start flirting with me (awkward as hell!).

Natural red hair is so beautiful and unique. Everyone’s hair is a different colour, and in my opinion nothing looks as good as red hair in the sun! I always think that if someone doesn’t like the colour of my hair or makes comments about it, that is their problem, not mine. You may not like it right now but one day you will come to love it, trust me.

I know that you (like myself!) have experimented with dyeing your hair and using henna. Can you share what led up to that? What henna do you use?

I can’t really put my finger on what made me change my opinion of my hair as it did take over a year for me to do. I think it was a combination of my self-confidence growing in general, and not taking the snide comments from others about my hair so seriously. What helped me was that my mum never wanted me to dye my hair brown. She wanted me to learn to love being red, so when I turned round one day and said that I wanted to henna my hair red she was on board!

The henna I use is from Lush and it’s called Caca Rouge. It gives a beautiful colour to my hair so that it still looks like it could be natural. Because it’s plant-based, it nourishes your hair amazingly, whilst normal boxed dyes (which I can’t use due to allergies) can dry it out. Also something brilliant I have found with henna is that the colour doesn’t fade, so I only do root touch-ups every 2 months.

Speaking of hair, I adore yours. It’s so thick and voluminous! What products do you use, and how do you style it?

Thank you! It can be a bit of a nightmare at times. The shampoo and conditioner I use are from the Garnier Ultimate Blends Weightless Nourisher line, with an occasional hair mask from the same line. Honestly, in terms of styling I don’t really do anything. I always wash my hair before bed and sleep with it towel-dried, then wake up and give it a gentle brush. Sometimes if I need it to be a bit tamer I use some Moroccan Argan Oil from Avon, but that’s it.

The best thing I have done for my hair is switch from a normal hair brush to a Tangle Teezer, as it doesn’t pull out as much hair during brushing, and it doesn’t get brittle at the ends as bad. The condition of my hair has improved so much since I started using it.

You always have such perfect skin. What skin care products do you use?

The biggest thing for me when it comes to skin care is moisturising. I have really dry skin and constantly have to battle it to stop it drying out. I’ve been using Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for years, that’s my old favourite. 2 more recent additions have also really helped and those are the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Power Serum and also the Eye Balm from the same collection. I’m 21 so don’t need anti-aging skin care but I want to always keep my skin’s hydration up.

Something else that keeps my skin looking healthy is exfoliation. I use the St. Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Cleanser. It really helps clean out my pores and remove dead skin. I do it 2-3 times a week. A tip I picked up and always follow is to make sure you take off all your makeup before you go to bed every night, as it gives your skin time to breathe.

Many redheads are focused on their foundation, eyebrows, and mascara. What are your favorites?

For foundation is hands down the Laura Geller Balance-N-Brighten Foundation in Porcelain. It’s a powder that doesn’t dry my skin out, it lasts all day, and can go from light to heavy coverage whilst still looking like skin. It doesn’t look like you are wearing makeup, I love it. It can also be applied more heavily under the eyes and red spots as a concealer!

For mascara, if I want a more natural look I use the Max Factor Masterpiece MAX Mascara in Black/Brown. I find it softer on redheads because of our super fair complexion. And for a more dramatic look I love the Laura Geller Stylelash Mascara in Black. It makes my lashes look super long and curled but you can build up volume with it really easily.

For brows, there are 3 I use. One is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel because it’s so fine you can outline brows really well with it (but it’s a bit too cool-toned for me), 2nd is the MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in Redhead, as it is so warm-toned and pigmented that it actually gives you eyebrows that look red, not brown. And a cheaper alternative to those 2 is the NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in 01 Light Brown (it’s not brown, it’s red).

And just for fun: what are your 5 favorite things right now?

  1. Smoked salmon and avocado on toast
  2. Whittard’s Loose Leaf English Breakfast Tea
  3. Pokémon GO
  4. Ardell Baby Wispies
  5. Once Upon A Time on Netflix

Be sure to follow Elle on Instagram and YouTube, and check out her blog!

Featured Strawberry: Mounia Cummings

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This month I’m excited to introduce Mounia as July’s Featured Strawberry. She’s a natural redhead who doesn’t fit most people’s stereotypical image of a ginger. I’m happy to share the diversity that exists amongst redheads.

Thank you for being this month’s Strawberry! As a natural redhead, what was it like growing up? Are there a lot of other redheads in your family?

First, I would like to say thank you so much for having me as this month’s Featured Strawberry. As a child, I remember the way my mom would jokingly tell this story over and over about my hair as a baby. People would always ask her if my hair was naturally red and she would tell them, “No, it’s naturally blue. I got tired of it being that way so I dyed it red.” She’d then laugh and tell the truth. Going to school was a little tough. I used to get teased a lot for my hair color. Children would call me names like cockroach, treasure troll, carrot head, coppertop, Duracell and lots more. I would even get asked & told that I was albino. I would say all of the time how I’d dye my hair black once I’m old enough because I thought I was weird.

Funny thing now, I would run into some of the same people that teased me and their hair would be colored or have highlights similar to my hair color. As far as I know, there’s only one cousin of mine who’s also a red. There are some that came close with only sandy hair.

What makeup do you like to use to enhance your natural coloring?

I usually don’t wear makeup too often, but when I do, I like to mix my foundations to match my skin tone perfectly. The products I like to use are Maybelline, Covergirl, and Sephora’s Makeup Forever. With my lips, I like to use NYX & I love the ombre look. I’m always looking for different ideas to try.

mounia2You have fantastic skin! I’m jealous. 😉 What products do you use to keep it looking so healthy?

Thank you. I really don’t use much on my skin being that it is so sensitive. A friend of mine recommended that I try using pure African black soap as well as the Shea Butter, and I’ve been using it ever since. The soap is used on my entire body. Even as a facial wash. After washing my face I use just a very small amount of tea tree oil with the Shea Butter. I also use it as my moisturizer. Although the Shea Butter is thick, it still maintains the moisture on my skin even until the next day.

I adore your pixie cut. I had one myself for a long time. How do you style it? What do you like to use on it?

Thank you. I love the cut on you as well. When I don’t go to my beautician (who does a wonderful job styling my hair), I would usually very loosely flat iron my hair. I don’t have the pixie anymore. I now have a mohawk or (fauxhawk as some may call it). I love the sassy, fun, funky styles, but still have a classy look. My favorite product for my hair is Creme of Nature’s Argan Oil line. I love how silky it makes my hair feel as well as it’s pleasant aroma.

So many people assume that natural redheads are all pale with light eyes. For those like  yourself who don’t fit the mold, what advice do you have?

Being a redhead of African descent is very rare. I can recall seeing about five others like myself, including my cousin. Being different can be a bit difficult because others tend to stare & strangers will approach asking the color of my hair or who dyed it. My advice to other reds would be to embrace your difference even when it may seem challenging. Not only are we different, but we are apart of a unique group of individuals. You were made to stand out. So many want what you’ve got. So if you see a Red, greet a Red, no matter their genetic background.

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And just for fun: what are your 5 favorite things right now?

Right now my five favorites would be:

  1. Watching movies. I love action as well as comedy. One of my favorite actors is Liam Neeson. Any movie he’s in, I will love.
  2. Photography. Being able to capture memories is one of the best things in the world. I usually snap pictures of my children, but I love to capture my environment as well as nature photos.
  3. Football. As a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana being a Saints fan is a must. I love a few other teams, but my Saints are number one.
  4. Being able to travel is one of the most therapeutic things ever. Some of the places I’ve gone were to the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and a few other places.
  5. My most favorite thing of all (drum roll please) is being a mother. I have twin boys and they are the most wonderful gift a person could ever receive. They keep me going with the most outgoing personalities.

Once again I want to thank you for having me as a feature for this month. It was an honor.

Featured Strawberry: Miss Hero Holliday

June’s Featured Strawberry is the lovely Miss Hero Holliday. I had a chance to chat with her about her hair, favorite vintage stores, and more! Let me allow her to introduce herself.

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I’m Amy, or Miss Hero Holliday, and I’m a pinup blogger from New Zealand. I started blogging and sharing my daily outfit photos on Instagram just over a year ago, and since then I have been so inspired by many fabulous ladies and gents! By day I’m an auditor at a Big 4 accounting firm, where I’m lucky enough to have bosses and clients who support the way I dress. I have degrees in commerce and music (the latter of which comes in very handy at my weekly pub quiz), and I’m currently studying for my chartered accountancy qualification.

I’m also very involved in my local theatre community; I had to cut back when I started work full time, but at the moment I sit on the board of two theatre committees and perform in an outdoor Shakespeare season each summer. I have a huge passion for vintage fashion and styling and love getting dressed up everyday and forever hunting for those vintage gems. And I love pizza!

I’m so excited to have you as this month’s Featured Strawberry! I’ve been following you on Instagram for a while and I look forward to your daily posts. First things first: when did you feel a desire to be a ginger?

I had wanted to be a ginger for a really long time, since my teenage years I guess, but I was always scared of dyeing my hair because it seemed like so much maintenance. But I finally took the plunge a bit over four years ago and I’m so glad I did!

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Has it been hard to find the right shade? Do you go to a colorist, or do it yourself?

Not hard at all; I knew I didn’t want to go to a salon (couldn’t afford), and I wasn’t confident buying hair dye online. I could actually only find one type in stores here in New Zealand that looked like it would be a ‘natural’ red (as opposed to the fire-engine reds and purple-reds that I saw a lot of) – so I got that one and I’ve been using the same one ever since! It’s a semi-permanent: L’Oreal Paris Casting Creme Gloss in the shade of Amber.

Red hair dye is notoriously hard to maintain. I’ve had auburn shades fade to strawberry blonde within 2 weeks! How do you keep it vibrant?

I’m probably fairly lazy when it comes to dying my hair, and I only do it every 2 months. I think because the dye I use is semi-permanent that it fades really well, and I find that regrowth isn’t too noticeable. I then use colour shampoo and conditioner to keep the colour as bright as possible in between times.

I’m a huge fan of vintage hairstyles. Do you use pin curls? What’s your method?

I do use pin curls! I couldn’t stand to sleep with curlers in my hair and I haven’t had a good history with heated rollers, so I have stuck with pin curls since I started doing vintage styles. I only wash my hair once a week so they last really well as the week goes on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs for your style – I have no words for how gorgeous all your outfits are! When did you get into vintage style? What are your favorite clothing stores?

Thank you! I have been buying vintage from a range of eras for over a decade but it’s been more recently that I realised that it’s the late 40s to early 60s I identify most strongly with so I’ve focused my wardrobe on that. I don’t wear black, but basically anything in bright colours and/or fun prints catches my eye. I love to buy true vintage, so I browse op shops in my hometown as well as when I’m travelling, and regularly check out Etsy and the Ooh La La Facebook page to see what’s out there. There’s also a lot of great repro out there so I frequently find myself getting Jenny skirts from Pinup Girl Clothing and buying up large whenever Lindy Bop have a sale!

Now for makeup! Red lips are a quintessential part of a vintage look. What do you like to use?

I have tried a lot of red lipsticks in a lot of different shades, but my favourite and staple is Besame Cosmetics lipstick in Red Hot Red. It’s the perfect vibrant red, goes with everything, and lasts for ages. I have a lip routine of foundation, powder, full coverage with lipliner, and then lipstick so that I only need to touch it up after lunch.

Your eyebrows are awesome. What products do you use and do you have a method for the shape?

I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Auburn. I find it’s more brown than red but blends well enough so it’s not too noticable. I have never plucked my eyebrows (aside from the REALLY odd stray hair – again this is down to laziness!), so I just use a brush with the pomade to draw them in a bit darker, and the pomade is really good at smoothing them over.

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What’s your favorite foundation(s) for creating that smooth porcelain look? Are there 
skin care products that help keep your skin so nice?

Like lipsticks, I have tried the palest shade of just about every foundation, but I’ve found that brand that actually makes the right shade of pale at the most reasonable price is Rimmel, and I use their Lasting Finish foundation in Light Porcelain, and then use their powder (in the flattering shade of ‘Transluscent’) over the top. For skin care products, I just use standard face wash, moisturisor and makeup remover from Neutrogena, and make sure to keep hydrated with 1.5-2L of water a day.

And just for fun: what are your 5 favorite things right now?

Ooh so many! But I’ll narrow it down:

  1. Cardigans from Review Australia – they’re cropped to the perfect length, come in all sorts of colours, fit really well – basically the best cardigans ever and I can’t stop buying them!
  2. Jenny skirts from Pinup Girl Clothing – I bought one of these last year and loved it but wasn’t super keen on buying any more at the time; this year however they’ve released a heap of prints that I HAD to have, all of which are so versatile and full, so they’ve become staples in my wardrobe. This elephant print is my absolute favourite and I’m eagerly anticipating this boat print.
  3. Relaxing on a Friday night in front of Gilmore Girls (or any day of the week really). I’m re-watching the entire series for the umpteenth time in preparating for the mini-series coming soon.
  4. My hair and makeup staples, including the Sculpture Pin Curl Tool (it’s been a favourite for a while but I couldn’t live without it, it’s so vital for my pin curls), Besame lipstick (mentioned above), and my new favourite eyeliner from Rimmel.
  5. My new phone – after only ever buying really cheap phones, trading in or getting generous friends to give me their old ones, I got a really large iPhone a couple of weeks ago to celebrate my birthday and a payrise at work, and I shamelessly love it way too much.

Be sure to follow her on Instagram and read her blog!

All photo credits go to @cmjsnz.

Featured Strawberry: Carrie the Happiest Ginger!

Every month, I’ll sit down and chat with a fellow Strawberry to learn about their experience as a redhead, their favorite beauty products, and more! This month, I got to talk with the lovely Carrie, a natural redhead who has come a long way since a childhood of name-calling and trying to change her hair color. Now she has some awesome advice for any others out there struggling with the same issues, as well as some great beauty recommendations.

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Thank you for being our first Featured Strawberry! Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Carrie, aka @happiestginger on Instagram. I am a Minnesota girl. I have a very deep love for animals and I have two dogs, a cat and a parrot. My hobbies include playing the piano, drawing, painting and pyrography (wood burning).

Some people are teased for standing out as a redhead. What was it like for you, growing up with such unique coloring?

It was definitely difficult. I didn’t enjoy being singled out and teased for something I couldn’t change about myself. I was called a rooster, a carrot, and a woodpecker. Kids would also tease me for my freckles by telling me I had a “dirty” face. I was ashamed. I grew up always questioning my appearance. Adults would be giddy over my hair and freckles, but some of my classmates were the complete opposite. It made it hard for me to decide how I felt about myself.

For some reason, a lot of Strawberries experience praise from adults and teasing from children. I’m sorry you went through that. I know you get this a lot, and have addressed it, but for those who haven’t seen your Instagram posts: everyone wants to know if that’s your natural eye color!

Yes! And I would love to elaborate on this. My eye color is blue/grey. Depending on lighting, my makeup, clothing, or natural sunlight, my eyes tend to shift a few shades. The sunlight will really bring out the blue, whereas my makeup vanity lights will subdue them a bit and bring out more grey. Brown, orange and rust colored eye shadows will bring out the blue. The biggest question I am asked is if I wear colored contacts. I do NOT. I do however, wear plain clear contacts for my wonky vision. I never really thought much of my eyes until I started Instagram!

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Speaking of eyes, I love how yours are upturned! What makeup techniques do you use to emphasize that?

Thank you! I usually draw a thin point in the inner corner of my eye with a felt tip liner and then follow the natural curvature to the outside corner and drag it upwards. Another great technique is wearing false lashes that flare out in the outer corner. It helps to achieve that feline, upturned look.

Most redheads have three main concerns: the right eyebrow products, mascara, and pale foundation! What are your favorites in these categories?

I have actually gotten my brows tattooed! I have extremely light and sparse brows. The procedure took a few visits, and the results are extremely subtle. The artist just added some hairline strokes to imitate the natural hair growth. It has saved me some time when it comes to grooming my brows. However, I tend to make them much darker with most of my makeup looks, so I like to use a tiny angled brush and some auburn shadow. I will often buy my brow brushes from the craft store! They have a great selection of tiny and angled brushes, used for painting. It works well with makeup too! My brows have been on quite a journey and I’m still learning new tips all the time!

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Wow! I have actually started to see a lot of people getting their brows tattooed and it’s definitely not the brows of the 90s’s! I would never have guessed, they look awesome.

Mascara time! Like my brows, my lashes are also super light and practically non existent. When I am sticking to my natural routine, I will usually use Great Lash by Maybelline (yes, the one in the pink bottle)! The brush is thin and tiny and it helps to coat my tiny lashes. When I am going for a more dramatic look, I apply fake lashes! It’s really fun to play around with fake lashes because I can achieve bold looks I can’t pull off with my natural lashes. My go-to lashes are the Ardell wispies or the demi wispies. It takes a steady hand to apply them and practice definitely makes it easier.

Ahhhh foundation for redheads, the struggle is real. Sometimes I want my freckles to take center stage, and sometimes I want them covered like a blank canvas. I adore using a BB Cream for a natural light coverage. Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in Light is a good one. For a little more coverage, Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream in #13 Milky Beige does the trick. For a full coverage look, I like to gravitate toward BareMinerals bareSkin in Bare Porcelain or Revlon ColorStay Foundation in Ivory.

A great trick is to try combining different shades to create your own custom shade. On the days I just can’t fuss with foundation, a few dabs of a color correcting concealer over my redness is a great option. Green hues will cancel out the redness.

No matter which of these options I use, I always follow up with a sheer loose powder to help my product stay put. And don’t forget- SUNSCREEN! Many foundation options contain SPF, which is super important to us pale berries! If I go without ANY product, I apply a facial sunscreen. I’ve been using Purlisse. I love it because it doesn’t clog my pores.

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Sunscreen is definitely vital to any Strawberry’s routine! So, have you ever dyed your hair in the past – if so, what was that like for you?

I started dyeing my hair in 8th grade after begging my Mom over and over again. She reluctantly finally let me do a temporary color and I dyed it brown. Since then I’ve had my hair nearly every color imaginable. I wanted every color except my own. My hair became so damaged! It was not pretty. I finally stopped dying my hair in 2012. It took a very long time to bring my hair back to it’s natural color, and regain it’s health and length. I am ashamed that it had taken me so long to start accepting my natural hair. And now I absolutely LOVE it. I care for it the best I can.

I totally get that. Dyeing my hair is one of the primary reasons I started this blog. Do you have any advice for girls who are still struggling to accept their rare hair color?

Girls, please realize how incredibly unique you are! You are part of the elite 1-2% of the human population that has naturally red hair.
Millions of people are desperately trying to dye their hair to achieve what you have. Yes, red hair is different. But different is GOOD! You are exotic. You are majestic. When you step outside into the sunshine, your hair practically turns to fire. And it’s amazing. YOU’RE amazing.

Aw that’s awesome, I’m sure our readers appreciate that! And finally, a question just for fun! What are your top 5 favorite things right now?

  1. My Yonanas dessert maker. It turns frozen bananas into a soft serve treat. It’s so yummy!
  2. Coconut oil: my holy grail for healthy hair and skin.
  3. Cuties, those little mandarin oranges!
  4. My “My Pillow”. Yes, the as seen on tv phenomenon. It really is as great as they say it is. It’s like sleeping on a cloud.
  5. Pepsi. My guilty pleasure.


    Be sure to follow Carrie on Instagram, where she shows off her fantastic makeup skills, as well as showcasing her natural, makeup-free beauty: something I think most of us want to see more of!  ❤

For your convenience, I’ve linked to products mentioned, in case you’d like to check them out.. None of them were sponsored or endorsed.