Thanks to a little thing called Instagram, it's so much easier in this day and age to feel in the know when it comes to noteworthy beauty trends. We have HD photos of stars like Zendaya and Margot Robbie at the beck and call of our tap-thirsty fingertips and the very cool ability to basically stalk the pros who prep our favorite celebrities with the hairstyles, hair colors, and makeup looks we lust over via our five-inch screens. It's neat, right?!
Still, we occasionally experience trend and sensory overload thanks to the sheer number of products and beauty looks dominating our feeds, and a season-specific guiding hand straight from the makeup artists we love can be helpful if you make it your life's work to navigate (and try!) fall's biggest makeup trends.
Since we're consuming the best beauty trends at the same rate as we're indulging our pumpkin-spice coffee habit (alarmingly fast), we reached out to four top makeup artists based in four different locales—New York, London, Los Angeles, and Paris—to unveil the most important fall makeup trends of 2020. From their top eight trend predictions to product recommendations and how-tos, we have it all waiting for you just up ahead. Keep scrolling!
Trend 1: Matte, Smoky Eyes
As NYC-based celebrity makeup artist Quinn Murphy points out, fall is the quintessential time for transition. It's often when we look to add some extra polish or sophistication to our beauty MO compared to the more laissez-faire approach we adopt throughout spring and summer.
"The smoky eye is a classic makeup look that exudes power, confidence, and mystery," he shares. "Shimmer has been stealing the spotlight lately as the element that jumps out and catches the eye, but a matte smoke finish is more alluring, cozy, velvety, and all-around cool for fall. When done right, a matte eye is moody yet luxurious like a wool cashmere sweater."
Using a pencil liner, Murphy says to line the top and bottom of your lash line before smudging the whole thing so it's not too perfect looking. For fall, he recommends opting for a dark rich hue—think variations of brown, emerald green, midnight blue, and the more obvious choice, black. As far as specifics, Murphy cites pencils from Marc Jacobs Beauty, Jillian Dempsey, and Armani as some of his favorites—the above in particular!
Next, Murphy instructs, take a matte eye shadow in the same color family as the liner, slightly lighter in tone, and blend it into and away from the liner.
Then, take a lighter, neutral matte color, like say a taupe, and blend that color from the second color, outward. Keep layering the shadow and adding more until you have your desired intensity of color.
Trend 2: Delicate Brows
"As everything '90s continues to trend, another huge makeup trend for fall is a soft, understated brow," Murphy tells us. "However, unlike the '90s, there will be no overplucking in 2020!"
"Fall's brow trend is all about embracing the natural shape and fullness of your brows—filling in only where necessary, which creates a softer, more elegant outcome that still frames the face. It's also just a nice change from the heavy, overdone brows that have been taking over."
According to Murphy, you can actually use either a powder or pencil to create your delicate brow for fall. He suggests using short strokes in the same direction the hairs are growing and, this is key, using a lighter color than your natural brow tone. (This adds depth and contour to your eyes without looking heavy, overdone, or, let's be honest, fake.)
"You may just accentuate the arch and tail and leave it at that," Murphy says. "Or if you have a full brow, simply use a clear brow gel to hold them in place." Murphy also says the above pencil from MAC Cosmetics in the shade Lingering (a medium brown) is practically universal, and the below powder from Clé de Peau Beauté (shade #2!) is fab for blondes.
Trend 3: Gleaming Skin
"A firm favorite of mine, and more of a relentless and aspirational trend, is glowing, healthy-looking skin," London-based celebrity makeup artist Naoko Scintu tells us. "This type of makeup is my ethos, so I will never get bored with a complexion oozing wellness and radiance. Who doesn't want to look healthy at all times?"
"Japanese skincare is the way forward, and recently I've been using Clé de Peau Beauté's skincare to re-create gorgeous glowing skin," Scintu shares. "The brand is incredible, and the products just exude a radiant finish."
Scintu likes to start the process off with The Serum (shown above), which she says absorbs perfectly into the skin, for instant softness. She follows this with the brand's Hydro-Softening Lotion ($115) to instantly hydrate, plump, and smooth the complexion pre-makeup.
To wrap everything together, Scinut recommends adding a touch of concealer underneath the eyes or anywhere else you need a bit more coverage, and a light pop of lip. She loves the above balm formula for a slick, natural-looking result that still amps up a glowing skin look with a punch of color, moisture, and polish.
Trend 4: Playful Eyeliner
Bright, exuberant eyeliner has had a slow and promising burn all year long, but, according to Scintu, the trend is set to truly ignite this fall.
"Forget your standard black eyeliner this season because it’s all about creating a look with a flash of colour," she elaborates. "Neon is in, and I also love a strategic flick of eyeliner in white or red to add some interest to the face while still emanating that feline vibe, which I personally love."
"I love to do a colored liner close to the lash line in a feline flick before curling the lashes and adding black mascara for definition," shares Scintu. Additionally, she prefers to keep the rest of the face quite bare to keep the eyeliner center stage. Add little lip balm, and she says you'll have the perfect fall/winter makeup trend for 2020. And as far as specific colored liner formulas, Scinto loves options from Dior, Suqqu, and Shiseido.
"Dior's Diorshow On Stage Liners (shown above) have a felt tip, are so easy to use, and come in an array of brilliant colors, from matte yellow to matte pink," she says. "They have great staying power and once they've dried, they don't budge."
"This one from Shiseido is an amazing multi-purpose product," Scintu gushes. "You can use it as an eye shadow, all over the eyelid, or as an eyeliner—they are so versatile. I love the color Gunjo Blue—it's so vibrant as an eyeliner, and it's super easy to use as the product glides on to the skin and has brilliant staying power."
Trend 5: Fudge & Charcoal-Hued Lids
We've already featured a matte and smoky shadow finish as one of the biggest makeup trends on our radar for fall, but as L.A.-based celebrity makeup artist Ash K Holm points out, certain colors are especially amazing this time of year. The best shades from her pro makeup artist perspective? Variations of brown and gray in lieu of your basic black.
"Instead of a black smoky eye this fall, it’s more about creating a softer iteration," confirms Holm. "I suggest using fudge-y browns or charcoal grays on the eyes. Buxom's Smoke and Violet Eyeshadow Palette ($40) and Grey-Eyed Glamazon Eyeshadow Palette ($40) are all you need for soft, sultry eyes."
"Next, apply a black eye shadow from your palette as eyeliner to take it to the next level. Complete the look with mascara—I love to pair Covergirl's Exhibitionist Mascara Primer and Mascara for long and thick lashes."
Additionally, Holm recommends playing the lip down with a lighter shade to really make the eyes stand out.
Trend 6: Bold, Graphic Liner
The graphic liner trend isn't going anywhere this fall, and in tandem with that other fall makeup trend we mentioned above (ahem, color!) prepare for all the major eye looks this season.
"Bold, graphic takes on liner will really make a statement this fall," elaborates Holm. "Play up your liner by creating different shapes with a matte black or add hints of color to give your makeup some edge."
This eyeliner from CoverGirl is a retractable eyeliner that comes in six shades to give your eyes a pop of color—think stunning hues like metallic gold, silver, purple, green, deep blue, and, of course, black.
Follow Holm's lead by lining the lid—both top and bottom—or creating lines in the inner or outer crease to create cool, subtle shapes on the eyes as a graphic.
Trend 7: Super-Separated Lashes
In addition to fresh, glowing skin (almost every makeup artist we spoke to mentioned the no-makeup-makeup look as enduringly important for fall), Parisian makeup artist Aurélie Payen says a certain lash look—ultra-fanned and separated—will also have major legs this season.
Trend 8: Deep, Brown-Toned Lips
Forget your berries and burgundies and get ready for spectrums of brown. "This fall we will also see a deeper, brown-toned lip trend," predicts Payen. "I think we'll see a focus on brown hues throughout fall and winter for an intense-looking lip that really pops."