Destination Grey: clothes and make-up - adapting to the new look

I consider my grey as a new colour – not the absence of colour


Once I had grown out my dyed colour, I quickly learned that it is not enough to go grey and expect to wear the same colours in clothing and make-up. I discovered that I can no longer wear warm autumnal colours like brown, cream, beige, green, orange and yellow because these simply do not go with my grey hair. I had to re-stock my wardrobe with cool colours to match my new look. Now I focus on black, red, charcoal, grey, blue, aubergine, purple, pink and white. Rich jewel colours are perfect with grey. The bottom line for me is to avoid colours that contain any warm yellowy tones. Having said all that, I can wear beiges and browny tones as long they constitute the bottom half of my outfit and away from my face, with one of the flattering colours on top.

Here is a very helpful website about colour palettes:

Photographer: Gert van der Ende
Photographer: Gert van der Ende
Photographer: Alan Wells  MUA/Hair: Julia Clements
Photographer: Gavin Byrne (Red River Studios)

I had to look at my make-up and learned to highlight my face so that it did not look washed out. I now use a slightly lighter foundation both in colour and texture, some natural blusher, smokey/taupey/silvery eye shadows, charcoal grey eyeliner, black mascara, and pink/natural lipstick. I vamp it up sometimes by wearing a red lipstick for special occasions. I learned to define my eyes and lips so that they stand out but in a natural way to complement the lighter hair around my face. For me, make-up is an absolute must – but less is definitely more.

Less is definitely More


I discovered that I could no longer wear gold jewellery as it did not go with my new appearance. I now wear silver and it looks stunning with grey/silver hair or coloured beads to match my clothing.


  1. Hi Denise, I know what is a guy doing commenting on a site for women? Perhaps its the Irish family background or the fact I'm 55 with grey/snow white hair. A few weeks ago I stumbled across an american color stylist Jill Kirsh just thought I'd pass it on to you as there's some useful information on there. Cheers from Sydney, Australia. Paul x

  2. Awww thanks Paul - I came across that site ages ago. I must post a link to it now that you have prompted me. Take care :)

  3. I had my colours done years ago by a woman with beautiful grey hair and she said I was a Soft Summer (cool, soft) and that my hair colour was too warm. I find that even when I dye my hair ash brown, it sun-bleaches or fade to orangey red. So I am looking forward to actually having cool silvery hair which goes with my colour palette for a change.

  4. Hi Denise. I have a couple inches of outgrowth and have a question regarding clothing colors. In the link you give to Jill Kirsh Color, she seems to be recommending lighter (cool) colors for gray hair and yet you are looking gorgeous in black and other colors that I don't see there. I too have brown eyes and have always worn gold. Are you using the gray/platinum palette and adding other colors that work? Trying to figure this out. Thank you.

  5. Hi Anonymous - I tend to stick to non-autumnal colours and wear black, grey, navy, white, pink, and deep reds, blues, purples, aubergines. I find the colours with yellowy tones make my grey look dirty and drab. I don't refer to professional colour wheels - I look in the mirror and I know what feels and looks right on me. Thanks x

  6. Denise, you went from a pretty girl to a WOW Woman! I joined the gray club a couple of years ago and have never looked back.

  7. I have been looking for a post like this for two years! Thank you so much!
    I just wrote about my own grey journey if you are interested...

  8. Hello. I found you through Gray is the New Blonde. You are lovely. Could you possibly share the names and brand of your eye shadow colors you mentioned?

  9. I just noticed it looks like you did that in the picture. Thank you.

    1. Glad you found it Trudy - and thanks x

  10. All the women dresses and women accessories are so good.
    All images are very nice