Just like you revamp your closet for fall, you should do the same with your makeup.
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For some, the seasons change slowly: You pluck one cardigan from your winter clothing bin, then dig out some boots from the back of your closet. For others, it’s a more dramatic closet shift, packing away the tank tops and resurfacing the sweaters from storage.
Every season comes with its own set of accessories and colors, not just for clothing, but for makeup and hair, too. This year, prep your vanity with makeup items that complement fall’s crisp air and berry-toned bliss by swapping out your summer-centric items for more autumnal ones.
You may prefer a matte look all year long, but summer’s humidity and heat (read: your sweat) make this harder to achieve. With fall’s cool temps, you can finally get an even skin tone that stays put. The Fenty Beauty Pro FIlt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, which comes in 50 shades, claims to be long-wearing and give medium coverage without feeling heavy.
One Sephora reviewer gushes: “This foundation is amazing! It looks so natural and it covers my acne scars. I also have oily skin and it stays matte all day! I love it!”
During lazy summer days, popping bronzer around the perimeter of your face, over your eyelids, and a little in the hollows of your cheeks is all you really need to give your face definition. During the fall, swap out your warm-toned, beachy bronzer for cool-toned, shimmer-free contour powder that’ll accentuate your natural face shape without adding that sun-kissed effect. The Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit is available in light/medium and medium/dark versions that each have three hues. Use the deeper shade wherever you want to cast a shadow, like in the hollows of your cheeks or on your temples, and apply the yellow-toned matte shade in areas you want to brighten, like under the eyes. Lightly dust the warm bronzer where you applied contour for a sunny glow, or save it for next summer when a fresh-tan look is back in style.
“I never was a big contour person,” one ULTA reviewer explains. “I was always intrigued and knew I needed to use it for my round face, but was scared and never found the right product. This is perfect. It comes with instructions for the shape of your face for one, and it blends so beautifully. It shapes my round face without looking clownish.”
Along with changing up the finish of your makeup from dewy to matte, mix up your color palette from warm to cool, beginning with your blush. Swap out a coral or peach blush for a true pink shade, like Milani’s Rose Powder Blush in Tea Rose, a matte option that the brand describes as “soft rose.”
One ULTA reviewer exclaims: “Such a nice blush!! This blush gives the perfect wash of color to your cheeks to give you that gorgeous and soft rosiness that makes you look healthy and angelic. It also lasts all day for me.”
If you’ve been dabbing a cream or jelly (yes, gelatin) highlighter onto your cheekbones to achieve that “effortless, no-makeup” makeup look all summer long, considering switching back to a powder formula for a similar-if-less-wet effect. Powder highlighter will mesh seamlessly with your other powder-based makeup, whereas a cream or liquid product will look patchy and even cause your foundation to wear away. The cult-favorite Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector comes in 12 different colors ranging from pearl to lavender to gold.
“This highlighter is a game-changer,” a Sephora reviewer writes. “Its way more blendable than any previous highlighter I've ever used. It's great for all events and looks flawless whether you wear a little or a lot. It's foolproof. Definitely recommend!”
Did you know that some facial sunscreens contain ingredients that absorb oil and sweat, making your complexion appear drier and less shiny during the hot summer months? Even if you didn't, now's the time to put down the "mattifying" sunscreen in favor of one that contains more moisturizing ingredients to combat the drying effects of cool fall air while still protecting your skin from the sun. (The UV rays don't go away simply because the sun doesn't feel as hot.) The Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion is lightweight and oil-free, and you can even use it in place of a normal moisturizer in the morning.
One Amazon reviewer writes: “I have been trying to find a sunscreen that feels and works like a good moisturizer. This is the best I have found so far. It soaks in fairly quickly, but leaves my skin nicely hydrated for the day.”
If you’ve been rocking pencil eyeliner in fun and bold colors for the summer months, switch it up and try out a liquid liner that creates a matte, sharp line on your eyelids for a dramatic and darker look. The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is our favorite, as it has a slightly flexible felt tip that makes application easy and is pigmented enough that you only need one layer.
One Sephora reviewer agrees: “Doesn't smudge, doesn't flake, dries super fast, thin line, thick line, the blackest pigment ever, and shaped like a pen so that anyone—beginner or not—can easily maneuver it. Stop even thinking about other eyeliners, this is the only one that matters. Go buy it!”
Now that you’re no longer jumping into pools, spritzing your face with rosewater to cool down, or sweating through your makeup, you can ditch the waterproof mascara (which, let’s face it, is a pain to get off). Our favorite drugstore mascara is the CoverGirl LashBlast Volumizing Mascara, which is easy to apply, flake- and clump-free, and gives noticeable volume in one coat.
“I have used this mascara for years now and have loved it since day one,” an ULTA reviewer writes. “It doesn't flake, it goes on clump-free, it lengthens and volumizes lashes and it's super affordable; what more could you ask for?!”
Natural-looking feathered brows grow in popularity over the summer, when everyone is going for the aforementioned “effortless” makeup look. In the fall, sculpted brows make their return. For this, grab a brow pencil, like the Fenty Beauty MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil & Styler, which features a skinny, retractable tip that allows you to fill in sparse areas with micro lines to create a thicker, fuller brow that doesn’t look too heavy-handed. It comes in 14 shades, more than most, for a better color match.
One Sephora reviewer raves: “I have never found a shade in eyebrow pencils that matches me until now. The formula is lightweight, buildable, and blends perfectly when applied. The brush tip works even better than any spoolie I’ve ever used, too. My brows have never looked better! Do your brows a favor and buy this immediately. You definitely won’t regret it.”
Yes, gloss is always in, but trade the sheer, high-shine look for a bold, matte liquid lipstick during fall. Our favorite from Wet n Wild comes in 20 colors, including ones that complement the fall season, like berry, caramel, and burgundy. The liquid lip is easy to apply, wears off naturally throughout the day (unless you reapply), and dries matte without drying out your lips.
“I've tried many high-end and drugstore liquid lipsticks, and this is my absolute favorite,” one ULTA reviewer agrees with us. “It has great pigment, it stays on, and it doesn't dry my lips out. I'd also like to add that I absolutely love the applicator.”
To top off your fall look, spritz your makeup into place with a setting spray, which keeps your skin looking flawless for longer. Instead of gravitating toward a glowy one like you may have over the summer, go with one that further enhances your matte look. This one from Milani claims micro-fine charcoal powder and silica set the makeup while also absorbing oil, reducing the appearance of pores, and mattifying the skin for up to 16 hours.
One ULTA reviewer writes: “I have oily skin that has always needed to be blotted and powdered to get rid of the greasy shine. I have finally found the cure and it's this amazing spray. My skin looks beautiful, clean, fresh, and matte.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.