We asked the experts what looks are fresh for faces this season.
Just as we look to the fashion week runways for direction on how to freshen our fall wardrobe, so do makeup trends flow from there. These days social media is another source of influence for how we come to present ourselves. From runway to social media platforms and back to the runway and then to the street, it’s a symbiotic flow of style inspiration for celebs and the masses alike.
“Both social media and fashion week influence trends now,” says Elizabeth Layton, regional education trainer for M·A·C Cosmetics. “We instantly see runway trends brought to life on social, and social trends influencing the key makeup artists backstage. Even the celebrity looks from the front row can instantly become new trends. At M·A·C, we have a rich history of setting the trends backstage, and now our M·A·C artists are creating them on social. So it’s become so much more accessible to find trends that resonate with you and your makeup goals.”
Shannon Calvert, Benefit Cosmetics’ national brow and beauty authority, concurs that social media complements what happens on the runway but that it also launches new looks.
“I think with the growth of TikTok being used as a search engine, we will continue to see beauty trends being very influential on there while taking inspiration from fashion week, being widely shared on social media, with TikTok taking the lead to influence the biggest beauty trends,” Calvert observes.
The biggest shift this fall season Layton says is a throwback to the 1990s.
“Makeup today is more effortless, skin-like but with impact,” she explains. “We have seen a massive resurgence of ‘90s and early ‘00s influence on both makeup and fashion this fall, making its way into streetwear, makeup and aesthetic. It has a realness to it that is hugely appealing, not intimidating.”
Darpan asked Layton and Calvert to breakdown some of the dominant trends for this autumn.
Skin as a canvas
The finished complexion, Calvert notes, is still very natural and all about skincare. “Glass skin will be taking a back seat as we’re now seeing a soft matte finish to the skin.” This look can be achieved by prepping the skin with a mask like Benefit’s Deep Retreat Pore Clearing Clay Mask which she says has a 12-hour mattifying effect. Follow up with a primer to minimize pores so skin is left with a matte yet smooth finish.
Layton uses the term the skinification of makeup when it comes the complexion. Celebrity makeup artists and influencers emphasize the importance of skin care and priming the skin for makeup, she says. Newer formulations for foundations have skincare benefits—both immediate and others that work overtime.
“The skin trends for fall are luxurious, plump and hydrated skin that looks effortless – and this always begins with skin care,” Layton explains. “We are seeing the M·A·C Hyper Real Serumizer shining beneath foundations like the new M·A·C Studio Radiance Serum-Powered Foundation for skin that looks youthful and glowing. Whether you want your skin to look sunglazed or steamy, radiance is key.”
Calvert see a return to a bold lip, adding that matte lips are here to stay but with strong colour and are effortless to create with lip tints as they require minimal touch ups. “Ombre lips can be created by using a water based lip stain such as Benetint in the centre of the lip and blending softly around the outer corner,” she says.
Layton says the return of the ‘90s lip looks is evident with the visible lip liner made famous by M·A·C. “Ombre is a more structured version of the ‘90s lip trend, and a great option for those who like a more glam lip look,” she explains. “Matte will always be part of this trend, and formulas have evolved to give a more modern, lightweight look and feel – like M·A·C Powder Kiss Lipstick in Teddy 2.0, which we are seeing paired with M·A·C Lip Pencil in Chestnut for an instantly iconic, structured matte lip.”
Graphic liner and metallic shadows are in the forefront for fall. Layton sees graphic liner as the natural evolution of the traditional wing liner. “We’ve seen pop- and celebrity-culture really bring graphic liner into the mainstream. “Products like Brushstroke Liner are making it easier for anyone to achieve impactful and graphic liner looks. For even more creative expression, gel-pencil formulas like M·A·C Colour Excess Gel Pencil Eyeliner come in a multitude of colours and wear all day,” she says.
Calvert says that graphic liner remains on trend owing to its modern yet simple look. This season, she sees a more natural sharp wing trending on TikTok. “For a graphic liner, I would suggest They’re real! Xtreme Precision Eye Liner as it easily glides on to create a perfectly bold look with the tapered 0.1 mm brush tip. For a more subtle yet sharp winged liner I would recommend Roller Liner, the felt tip gives control to create a precise sharp wing.”
Metallic shadows have returned but are being used in more casual daytime makeup looks, says Layton. “A sweep of a single metallic shade is a modern and easy approach – think of it as jewelry for the eye – and textures like M·A·C Extra Dimension Eyeshadows and M·A·C Dazzleshadow Extreme are finger-friendly, can be used wet or dry to customize and come in a range of metallics to enhance any complexion.”
Brow shape up
Brow expert Calvert notes there have been a lot of recent brow trends — from bleached brows to Y2K thin brows— but that straight brows are easily becoming the biggest brow trend of 2023. She advises against following the viral TikTok video that mapped brows out to a straight shape and then people would shave off the tails of their brows to achieve it. “A straight brow is a beautiful shape but isn’t for everyone,” she explains. “You can easily fake it with Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer and Precisely My Brow Pencil to see if the shape suits your facial features, if you like it then I’d recommend going to a Benefit Brow Bar to get them professionally mapped and shaped.”
Layton acknowledges the range of brow trends but says the only constant in brows is that they’re always integral to setting the tone for the overall makeup look. “Even if the look is a skin-focused trend like sunglazed, the brows are made fluffy and natural using Eye Brows Big Boost Fibre Gel to add colour, volume and hold,” she says.
Get the look
One trend that is simple to integrate into any beauty routine is Soft Goth, says Layton. “We are seeing this wearable take on deep lips coming back for fall and the essentials to recreate this trend couldn’t be more simple: M·A·C Lip Pencil in Nightmoth pushed into the lip and topped with M·A·C Glow Play Lip Balm in Halo at Me for moisture and shine. You can really choose your own depth with this combination, and it looks great on everyone.”
Calvert suggests the monochromatic makeup look which she says is evident in both the strawberry makeup (pinks and reds) and latte makeup (browns and nudes) trends. “I’m all about a one-tone look as it is simple to create and looks well put together. I always use my Hoola Bronzer on my eyelids to complete my makeup.”