As summer approaches in our collective review (*sigh*) and fall makes its debut, fashion and beauty trends continue to move in step with the seasons. While warm weather is synonymous with the moisture-resistant, less is more aesthetic, fall is a little bit fancier, and that’s predictable. Still, there are certain factors that cannot be assumed and depend entirely on current consumer supply and demand, inescapable cultural moments, social media behavior and even fashion craze.
Online especially, it can often seem like beauty trends are only tailored for Gen-Zs and celebs. But on the contrary! What makes beauty trends so fun is their versatility. Whether you’re a teenager, an elder, or somewhere in between, each moment’s “It” look is yours to capture…and shapeshift. For example, approaching makeup trends as a mid-thirty can be just as fun as it can be nerve-wracking. That greenness a beginner’s is mostly worn out, but you don’t want to throw all the 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 in vogue — including how to pull off any look with confidence, whether it’s Halloween or a date night.
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Romance is in the air and what’s old is new. Thanks shows like Bridgeton and The greatHer Renaissance-inspired makeup is more than just a companion to your Halloween powder wig. Blair encourages everyone to “exercise their inner Jane Austen character” by adorning their eyes with gold, silver and bronzed metallics.
“It’s such a fun and easy makeup to do, and it can actually look beautiful on almost anyone,” says Blair. Not sure where to start? We give you cover:
1. To create a polished metallic effect on the eyes, use a soft brush or your finger to apply paint – like MAC Paint Pot in Born to Beam or DazzleShadow Liquid in Rayon Rays. Apply around the entire eye, focusing on the inner and outer corners of the eyelid. Loose pigments also work.
2. Give your cheeks a picture-perfect blush — something like MAC GLOW PLAY Blush in shades like Groovy or Heat Index — by applying to cheekbones and blending with a wet BeautyBlender.
3. Create a smack of raspberry lips by applying and then dabbing. Finally, gently blend the edges with a small soft brush or cotton swab.
From Valentino’s Valentino Pink collection to the upcoming Barbie flick starring Margot Robbie – Pink – or Barbiecore – is having a big moment. If you consider this your signature shade or want a break from the monotony of no-makeup makeup, Blair recommends focusing on the lips and cheeks. It will brighten things up without going overboard:
1. Start with a layer of medium to full coverage foundation such as MAC Studio Fix Fluid.
2. Next, focus on your lips. Apply a coat of an eye-catching, long-wearing shade like MAC’s Candy Yum Yum and top with a clear shine. Start applying in the center of the lips and work your way to the corners and edges 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-tinted blush to blush cheeks and apply in circular motions with a soft fluffy brush.
4. Condition and fill in the brows if necessary.
5. Finish the look with black liner on the upper lashes and white eyeliner on the lower waterline of the eye. Add a pair of fluffy lashes when the mood kicks in, and don’t forget to groom and fill in those brows when needed.
Decades-themed makeup always seems to be in fashion. There’s ’60s-inspired pastel eyeshadow and the comeback of disco-inspired glam (thanks beyonce and Lizzo!). And now we have the totally imperfect appeal of makeup inspired by the grunge era of the ’90s.
“Rough skin, deconstructed smoky eyes, and glossy clear highlights are the keys to bringing this makeup look to life,” says Blair. Here’s how to bring out your inner rock star with the help of liner… lots of liner.
1. First, moisturize your skin but keep the texture raw. Use little to no primer and only conceal where necessary.
2. Take a black kohl or kohl pencil, such as MAC Eye Kohl in Feline, and apply to the lash line and waterline of the eye. Blink your eyes a few times. You can also use your ring finger to gently rub the liner into a smeary smokey look.
3. Use a gel liner like Blacktrack Fluidline and a soft fluffy brush to buff the black onto the inner and outer corners of the eye. This adds a bit more dimension to the eyes in this deconstructed look.
4. Apply mascara to upper and lower lashes. You can also press the lashes against the skin with your fingers to add even more texture to your eyes. (This is a time when mascara mishaps are celebrated.)
5. Highlight cheekbones with a balm or product like Aquaphor and dab onto cheekbones, bridge of nose and lips.
6. Optional: Finish with a deep wine matte lipstick.
Clean and minimal
According to Blair, skin always wins when it comes to 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 show off your best face is paramount, especially when you’re looking for ways to wear a clean and minimal look.”
Begin your routine with clean skin first. Weekly exfoliation is also important, although daily makeup wearers may benefit more if they do it daily. However, here are some suggestions if you don’t already have a place to go.
Try a MAC Gently Off Wipe sprayed with copious amounts of Prep + Prime Fix+. Wrap the cloth around your index finger and gently massage around your nose, mouth, cheeks and forehead in circular motions. This helps smooth the surface texture of the skin. Next, hydrate with a generous mist of Fix +.
Apply a hydrating moisturizer, starting under the chin in upward motions, until you reach the hairline. Massage the moisturizer into the skin to stimulate blood flow and circulation. Don’t forget to prep the delicate eye area with eye cream as well.
Follow your moisturizer and eye cream with a coat of primer. This is a great way to improve skin texture, set the intention of your makeup and keep it looking fresh all day long.
Once your foundation is applied, follow with foundation, starting at the center of the face and working towards the jawline and hairline. If you feel you have areas that need extra coverage, use a self-curing concealer in specific areas based on your skin’s needs.
While all of this is settling and settling into the skin, groom your brows with a pencil or eyeshadow if needed. Bonus points if you top them off with brow gel. Next, apply an even layer of mascara to the upper and lower lashes. (We recommend Extended Play in GigiBlack. The small brush makes it easy to separate, define, and fluff lashes.) Next, pat some highlighter on the lip arch and into the inner corner of the eye for a subtle but fresh look. And if you want a light pop of color, use your fingers to pat some blush on the apple of the cheeks. Finish styling with setting spray to set 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 harsh, tough and dismissive. 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 necessary. It’s good if some of your natural skin shows through. Sculpt your cheekbones, eyes and jawline with your favorite contour (try the MAC Studio Fix Sculpt and Shape Palette). Pro tip: Warmer tones look great with a black lip.
Next, highlight either warm tones or a glossy balsamic product on the top of the cheekbones and eyelids or in the inner corner of the eye. Draw even more attention to the eyes with black mascara.
Before applying your black lipstick, prep the lips with a gentle exfoliation and conditioner – Prep + Prime Lip is great for this. This step ensures a more comfortable fit and an even application. You can then apply the lipstick like any other color. If you’re worried about color bleeding outside the lip line, use a lip liner before applying color. One of Blair’s favorite products for this trend is MAC’s Retro Matte Liquid Lip Color in Caviar.
Alternatively, try giving a clear shine over it for a super patent leather finish. Another option is to dust some of your powder highlighter directly onto the black to create a metallic sheen.
Last but not least, if the black lip trend seems intriguing but you want to ease yourself into getting started, try a black lip color. Sheer it out with a lip balm or lip gloss to create a glossy blackberry stain.