As summer inches toward our collective rearview (*sigh*) and fall makes its debut, fashion and beauty trends continue to move in lock-step with the seasons. Whereas warm weather is synonymous with the humidity-proof, “less is more” aesthetic, fall is a bit more dressed up, and predictably so. Still, there are certain factors that can’t be assumed and depend entirely on the current supply and demand of consumers, inescapable cultural moments, social media behavior and even fashion crazes.
More often than not, especially online, it can look as though beauty trends are only tailormade for Gen-Zers and celebrities. But au contraire! What makes beauty trends so much fun is their versatility. Whether you’re a teenager, an elder or something in-between, the “it” look of any moment is yours for the taking… and shapeshifting. For example, approaching makeup trends as a thirty-something can be just as fun as it is nerve wracking. The naiveté of a novice is mostly worn off but you don’t want to throw all fun out the window either.
We enlisted the help of Senior M•A•C makeup artist Keri Blair to demystify fall’s biggest beauty trends. Blair shared what’s en vogue — including how to pull off each look with confidence whether it’s Halloween or date night.
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Romance is in the air and what’s old is new. Thanks to shows like Bridgerton and The Great, renaissance-inspired makeup is more than just a companion for your Halloween powder wig. Blair encourages everyone to “exercise their inner Jane Austen character” by donning the eyes with gold, silver and bronzed up metallics.
“It’s such a fun and easy makeup to recreate and actually can look beautiful on almost everyone,” says Blair. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered:
1. To create a burnished metallic effect on the eyes, use a soft brush or your finger to apply color — like MAC Paint Pot in Born to Beam or DazzleShadow Liquid in Rayon Rays. Apply around the entire eye with an emphasis on the inner and outer corner of the eyelids. Loose pigments work as well.
2. Give your cheeks a picture-perfect flush – something like MAC GLOW PLAY Blush in colors like Groovy or Heat Index – by applying to the apples of the cheeks and blending down with a damp BeautyBlender.
3. Create a whisper of a raspberry lip by applying and then blotting off. Finally, softly blur out the edges with a small soft brush or cotton bud.
From Valentino’s “Valentino Pink” collection to the upcoming Barbie flick starring Margot Robbie, pink — or “Barbiecore” — is having a major moment. If you consider this your signature shade, or want to take a break from the monotony of no-makeup makeup, Blair recommends focusing on the lips and cheeks. It’ll brighten things up without going overboard:
1. Start with a layer of medium to full coverage foundation, like MAC Studio Fix Fluid.
2. Next, focus on your lips. Apply a layer of a bold longwear shade, like MAC’s Candy Yum Yum, and layer with a clear gloss. Start with the application in the center of the lip and work out to the edges and corners of the mouth. This will help keep the gloss in place – too much on the edges will cause your lips to drip.
3. Use a pink toned blush to create a flush on the cheeks, applying in a circular motion with a soft fluffy brush.
4. Groom and fill in brows where needed.
5. Finish the look with a black liner on the top lash and white eyeliner on the bottom water line of the eye. Add a pair of fluffy lashes if the mood strikes and don’t forget to groom and fill in the brows if needed.
Decade-themed makeup always seems to be in style. There’s 60s-inspired pastel eyeshadow and the comeback of disco-inspired glamour (thanks Beyoncé and Lizzo!). And now, we have the perfectly imperfect appeal of makeup inspired by the 90s grunge era.
“Raw skin, deconstructed smoky eyes and glossy clear highlights are the keys to making this makeup look come to life,” says Blair. Here’s how to bring out your inner rockstar with the help of liner… lots of liner.
1. First, moisturize your skin but keep the texture raw. Use little to no foundation and just conceal where needed.
2. Grab a black eye kohl or eye pencil, like MAC Eye Kohl in Feline, and apply into the lash line and the waterline of the eye. Blink your eye a few times. You can also use your ring finger to gently rub the liner into a smudgy smokey look.
3. Use a gel liner, like Blacktrack Fluidline, and a soft fluffy brush, to burnish the black onto the inner and outer corners of the eye. This will give the eyes a bit more dimension within this deconstructed look.
4. Add mascara to the top and bottom lashes. You can also use your fingers to press the lashes against the skin to create even more texture to your eyes. (This is one time when mascara mishaps are celebrated.)
6. Optional: Finish with a matte lip in a deep wine shade.
Clean & Minimal
According to Blair, skin always wins when it comes to having fresh long-lasting makeup. Simply put, there are days when your complexion can just speak for itself. That being said, she says “knowing how to bring your best face forward is paramount especially when exploring ways to wear a clean and minimal look.”
For starters, begin your routine with clean skin. Weekly exfoliation is also key, though daily makeup wearers may benefit more if they do it everyday. However, here are some suggestions if you don’t already have a go-to.
Try using a MAC Gently Off Wipe misted with an ample amount of Prep + Prime Fix+. Wrap the wipe around your index finger and gently massage in circular motions around the nose, mouth, cheeks and forehead. This will help to smooth the surface texture of the skin. Next, hydrate with a generous mist of Fix +.
Apply a hydrating moisturizer, starting under the jawline with upward strokes until you reach the hairline. Massage the moisturizer into the skin to help increase circulation and blood flow. Don’t forget to prep the sensitive eye area with eye cream too.
Follow up your moisturizer and eye cream with a layer of primer. This is a great way to improve skin texture, set the intention of your makeup and keep it looking fresh all day.
Once your primer is applied, follow with foundation, starting in the center of the face and working out toward the jaw and hairline. If you feel like you have areas that need additional coverage, use a self-setting concealer in specific areas depending on your skin’s needs.
While all of that is setting and settling into the skin, groom your brows with pencil or shadow where needed. Bonus points if you finish them off with brow gel. Next, apply an even coat of mascara to top and bottom lashes. (We recommend Extended Play in GigiBlack. The small brush makes creating separation, definition and fluffiness to the lash easy.) Next, tap a bit of highlighter on the cupid’s bow of the lips and in the inner corner of the eyes for a subtle but fresh look. And if you want a slight pop of color, tap a bit of blush onto the apple of the cheeks with your fingers. Finish with setting spray to lock in your look.
When it comes to makeup, black lipstick can feel very niche, or in Blair’s words, “so intriguing and yet so polarizing.” Too often, it can be read as hard, harsh, and unwelcoming. However, when paired with a beautifully sculpted and highlighted face, black lipstick can exude sophistication and fierceness. Here’s how to pull it off.
Prep your skin with a light to medium coverage foundation. Conceal only where needed. It’s good to have some of your natural skin coming through. Sculpt your cheekbones, eyes and jawline using your favorite contour (try the MAC Studio Fix Sculpt and Shape Palette). Pro-tip: Warmer tones look amazing with a black lip.
Next, highlight using either warm tones or a shiny balmy product on the top of cheekbones and eyelids or inner corner of eyes. Bring even more attention to the eyes with black mascara.
Before applying your black lipstick, prep the lips with some gentle exfoliation and conditioning — Prep + Prime Lip is great for this. This step will ensure a more comfortable wear and even application. Then you can apply the lipstick just as you would any other color. If you’re worried about the color bleeding outside the lip line, use a lip liner before applying the color. One of Blair’s favorite products for this trend is MAC’s Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour in Caviar.
As an alternative, try adding a clear gloss on top for a super patent leather finish. Another option is to dust a bit of your powder highlighter right on top of the black to create a metallic shine.
Lastly, if the black lip trend seems intriguing but you want to ease your way in, try a bit of a black lip color. Sheer it out with a lip balm or gloss to create a wash of a glossy blackberry stain.