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LA Times Feature Article, Makeup for Redheads

Makeup for Redheads, The Natural Look

Naturally red hair is a rare commodity. Some scientists believe natural redheads account for less than 2% of the world's population, and geneticist Barry Starr, director of Stanford University's Stanford at the Tech Museum of Innovation, says that although Ireland and Scotland probably have the highest percentage of natural redheads, "The United States most likely has the highest number of redheads, but that's still just 2% to 5% of the population."

Paula Pennypacker founded the makeup company Just for Redheads in 1993. "I ran for mayor of Toledo, and when I saw myself on TV wearing black mascara, I thought that it looked too harsh and too garish. You want to look soft and approachable when you're out there shaking hands and greeting the public," she says. She says that redheads have special needs that weren't being met in the traditional market. So after the election she started Just for Redheads as a mail-order company with an auburn mascara. "And the rest is history," she says. Pennypacker says she wasn't sure whether she was the only one who didn't like black mascara. "Was I the only one who thought that it made us look like a hooker or a raccoon? I wanted to look natural in makeup. You know what my husband said when he met me? "Why do you have all of that beautiful red hair and those black lashes?'"

The resounding answer was that she wasn't the only redhead who preferred natural-looking makeup. Not only does Just for Redheads have 150 products and ship all over the world, but Pennypacker says her products have been requested for Sex and the City, the movie Bounce (for Gwyneth Paltrow) and a Harry Potter movie.

Her No. 1 seller is Ginger Henna colored mascara. Brow products and hair hennas are also top sellers. "You know Lucille Ball used to color her hair with henna," she says, adding that henna is great for covering gray.

Pennypacker grew up a natural redhead and says that it wasn't always easy. "I always thought of myself as this flat-chested, skinny redhead," she says. "I had very low self-esteem, and it wasn't until I graduated from college that I really started to look at the red hair as an asset. So I took a negative aspect of my youth and turned it into a company."



Testimonials
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Love your mascara. I will NEVER buy anything else. All my life I have searched for a product that would look natural with my hair. Now I have you. - Sandra Stanger, MO
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Thank you very much for your products. JFR products are gradually replacing everything else in my makeup bag. This is truly the greatest gift a redhead could possibly find for herself, the colors are perfect for the skin tone and hair color. - Lena, New York
JFR Mascara is wonderful. Please please please keep making it forever. - Maggie Koerth, MD
I love JFR mascara, I would not use any other kind. And the customer service is great, they are polite and quick to answer any questions - Sandy Denison, London