Sorry for the delay between posts: I’m just recovering from a terrible, lingering end-of-summer cold. Don’t you hate those? Anyway, now that my nasal passages are clearing and I can begin to breathe (and think) more clearly, let’s talk about my favorite beauty season: fall.
I live in Columbia, S.C., a city in the southeastern United States that’s famously hot. Seriously, “famously hot” is the city’s official motto. It remains sultry here until mid-October or later: It’s not unusual for trick or treaters to head out on Halloween without jackets.
When it comes to fall beauty, sometimes you just have to ignore the temperature and go by the date. Mid-September means college football is underway (though let’s not dwell on that because my beloved USC Gamecocks are having yet another rebuilding year). It also means it’s time to shake off the pastels and tropical shades of summer in favor of the deeper, darker — and, in my view, sexier — colors of fall. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the beauty trends in store for autumn.
Bold eyes: There’s good news and bad news for those with shaky hands — dramatic eyes are the thing for fall. Intense, geometric eyeliner is one of the season’s most popular trends, and we all know getting sharp, even wings is one of the trickiest makeup tasks. (Tip: If you just can’t seem to pull off a respectable wing, try using clear tape, angled from oustide of your lower lid to the end of your eyebrow, as a guideline. Better yet, use a stencil like the one from Beth Blender Beauty.)
If wings are just not going to happen for you, another option is the smokey, smudgy, kohl-lined look. The key is imprecision. Pick up a soft, malleable kohl liner in black, brown — or even dark blue or purple — and smudge away. Kohl-rimmed eyes look better as the night goes on, because they become even smudgier and sexier as the minutes tick by.
While dark, kohl-rimmed eyes probably aren’t the best choice for work, another fall look most certainly is: a pop of color along the lower lash line. Amethysts, blues, golds … almost any shade will work.
Lip service: It’s time to put away the Barbie pinks and sweet-girl peaches in favor of darker hues. One of the hottest trends is vampy lips, or lips so dark they’re verging on black. I may be showing my age, but I think those extreme shades are best left to the young ‘uns. Women, and especially working women, would be better off sticking with deep berry and plum shades (and, of course, classic reds that never go out of style). On the other end of the spectrum are the nudes: Heavily lined or kohled eyes combined with intense lips can be too much. When that’s the case, opt for a classic nude or one of the “new nudes” — gray-beige lip shades, such as Truffle by Dose of Colors and Bow and Arrow by Kat von D, are making a stand.
Strobe light: Heavy contouring a la Kim and the other Kardashians has take the nation by storm, but the message for fall is, “Go toward the light.” Heavy contouring is being replaced by strobing, which involves using liquid, cream or powder luminizers to brighten the high planes of the face, such as cheekbones, browbones and noses. The goal is to create an angelic, lit-from-within glow. I most often reach for Kevin Aucoin’s Celestial Powder or Champagne Pop, which is a collaboration between Becca Beauty and Jaclyn Hill, a YouTuber who’s deservedly made it big. By the way, Champagne Pop is a limited edition luminizer, so don’t wait too long if you want to add it to your makeup bag.
Getting cheeky: The key for fall is flushed cheeks that look like you’ve just returned from a brisk walk in the chilly autumn air. Plums are a great choice and one of my favorites is Marc Jacobs’ Shameless Bold Blush in Tantalizing, which is a deep magenta. Another nice pick is Cabana Boy by the Balm. Other great options for fall — especially if you are fond of the earthy bronze, gold and orange eye shades that are all the rage — are Warm Soul and Love Joy from MAC Cosmetics.
As fall rushes in and ushers in cooler temperatures, don’t forget that no makeup looks its best without the foundation of good skin. Remember to exfoliate, tone, correct and moisturize every day, morning and night, to give your color products the right palette to work from.
Finally, if the weather has already turned chillier where you live, enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of fall. If not, light a Pumpkin Apple, Fall Leaves or Sweater Weather candle and pretend!