How All Pink Hair and Makeup Is Cheering Me Up

It’s been a while since I’ve felt pretty, which probably sounds strange coming from someone who writes about beauty on the regular, but it’s true. I’ve lost the confidence I built up a few years ago, where I truly felt OK with my body and my whole “look.” I walked around with a DGAF attitude and didn’t realize how great that was until it all sort of fell away. 

I think a lot of it has had to do with hugely important factors in my life being up in the air for a decent chunk of time — one of them being that I’ve moved a lot the past year, and even now, I am not even remotely settled. I’m at a crossroads in many ways and have sort of neglected the parts of myself that made me me. 

I’m talking about the girl who showed up for work with different hair every week, the one who spent hours curling her hair and wore long, fancy dresses to the office just because. I’ve turned into a girl who throws on leggings more often than not and stopped wearing eye makeup almost altogether (though a lot of that has had to do with 6 a.m, wake-ups and serious dry eye). 

To sum it up? I haven’t felt like myself in a long time. 

In order to get myself out of this rut, I’ve decided to take some parts of my past — read: pink hair — and decided to go one step further and go all out with the pink, makeup-wise. I mean, what happier, more flattering colour is there? Especially in beauty products. 

I dug into some of my favourite old products, caught up with my favourite brands and threw in a new palette from a company I am forever loyal to (what’s up, Benefit?), creating a lovely little collection of pink and coral hues to really liven my look up.

First up? My hair. I’ve had my standard white/platinum hair for going on five years now, and I used to toss in various colours from Manic Panic on a monthly basis, including pink.

#tbt hey, remember when I had pink hair?

A photo posted by Samantha Johnston (@btwsam) on Feb 7, 2013 at 8:24pm PST

I think the past six or seven months have been the longest stretch of just platinum hair I’ve had in years, So to help me get back to my old self, Manic Panic was kind enough to send over their super gorgeous hair color in Pretty Flamingo. I’d never used this particular shade before — usually I’d pick up a tub of Cotton Candy Pink, Hot Hot Pink or Red Passion — so I was excited to try Pretty Flamingo because it’s more of an orangey pink that, when diluted, turns into this gorgeous coral shade. 

I think because I’m so used to using suuuuper-vibrant colors (I’m looking at you, Red Passion) that I diluted this one a bit too much for my first go (I used maybe ¾ of the jar and should have probably used the whole thing). But that’s the joy of playing with colour: figuring out what works! All in all, I loved how it turned out anyway.



Now for my face! First I consulted with the gorgeous Rachael Meckling, an illustrator and pink lipstick connoisseur if there ever was one, and asked her what her favourite pink lipsticks were. MAC Amplified Lipstick in Impassioned was on her must-have list, and lucky for me, it’s also the only pink lipstick I own. 

It’s this bright, vivid pink that can be worn as opaque as you want, but can be tapped on lightly with a finger to create this gorgeous, pink balm effect. Pretty much you can’t screw it up is what I’m telling you, and that probably also explains why it is currently my only pink lipstick.


For my cheeks I was lucky enough to play with the new Benefit Cheekathon palette. If you’re a fan of Benefit blush and bronzers (and duh, how are you not?), this is a H-U-G-E deal. You get five full-size blushes and bronzers in one palette for $58, which if bought individually would cost you nearly $150. It includes Hoola, Dandelion, Dallas, CORALista, and Rockateur, and I still can’t get over it.



For this look I used (as always) Hoola to sculpt my cheeks with my favorite dual-fiber brush, and a mix of CORALista and Dandelion to the apples of my cheeks because GUESS WHAT GUYS when you have them both you can do whatever you waaaaant! As always, I topped it all off with a few swipes of Benefit Watt’s Up highlighter on my cheekbones and cupid’s bow.


The mix of pink hair, pink lips, and peachy-pink cheeks really lifted my spirits and started to make me feel like myself again. It brought me out of my dull, winter-worsened sadness and reminded me that tolerable weather is on the way and it’s wise for me to actually venture outside (Toronto is forever cold). 

I know it’s a bit strange to go through old photos of yourself when you were *~at your happiest~*, but I did, and it actually helped me dig up some relics (hi, Impassioned) and try out some new products that reminded me of the old me. I think I’d like to call this little experiment a success!

Have you ever gone through rough times and tried to get back to the “old you”? Did it help? What are you looking forward to the most when it actually warms up outside? Patio sangria? How many hair colors have you tried?