Welcome to the Starter Pack series, a Who What Wear column that dives deep into the seasonal trends everyone's talking about.
Decoding which makeup products and trends are actually worth paying attention to is no small challenge. With so many beauty influencers, celebrity makeup artists, and new product launches in the mix, trends are more micro and faster-moving than ever. That's why, in an effort to make things really simple, we tapped three of our favorite makeup artists in the industry. We asked them to break down, in the most straightforward, no-BS terms possible, the five coolest, on-the-rise makeup looks for 2019 that are actually worth trying out.
Taking their insights into consideration, we've put together your ultimate makeup starter pack for 2019: the face, eye, lip, and brow looks you should explore this year—and the best products to help you do that.
Expect simple but bright monochromatic eye makeup looks to have a major moment in 2019. Think a wash of shamrock-green cream shadow all over the lid or winged eyeliner in bright orange instead of black. "Using Milk Makeup's Eye Pigments ($24) in Rave, Sesh, or Mermaid Parade all over the lid with minimal blending is one of my favorite moves for an instant high-fashion vibe, even if you are in sweatpants and trainers," comments Milk Makeup's studio artist, Sara Wren.
While smoky eyes will ostensibly always be in style, the 2019 version is simpler (as in, using one smudged-out eye shadow stick instead of six shades of powder from a palette) and more colorful than your classic blacks, blues, and grays. Laura Mercier's artistry executive, Jerry Johnson, recommends applying a stick eye shadow in a fun color (like lilac or magenta) straight from the tube to your lash line and then blending upward with your fingers "to achieve that classic smoky look with a playful and colorful twist."
Four years ago, all anyone could talk about were liquid lipsticks. They were super pigmented, budge-proof, but also ran the risk of turning your lips into the Sahara desert. This year's lip makeup vibes could not be more different. The trend on the rise? Clear gloss. "The pendulum swing away from heavy makeup includes the lips," says Wren. Try wearing your gloss all by itself or layer it on top of a sheer lipstick for what Wren calls "a 1970s Popsicle-stained lip look."
"Hooray for the death of the overly defined Insta-brow and the return of fluffy, wild brows," says Wren. Feathered, brushed-up, bushy brows instead of the overly sculpted, fake-looking arches of two or three years ago are the look to master in 2019. To achieve, try brushing up your brows, filling in any sparse areas with a fine-tipped pencil, and then using a tinted brow gel with built-in fibers to achieve what Wren describes as "realistic brow texture and density."
"I find that the desire for matte skin is fading," says Johnson. "My clients have been requesting that beautifully radiant and lit-from-within complexion." It's no coincidence that more and more beauty brands are coming out with face glosses, dewy cream highlighters, and luminous foundations as opposed to chalky powders. Mattifying just the T-zone while keeping the rest of the face looking glowy and glazed is the skin trend to try this year.
Long and fluttery lashes that don't look like they're caked in mascara is the go-to look for 2019, says celebrity makeup artist Molly R. Stern. "Whether it's lash extensions (not a huge fan, since it can damage your natural lash) or falsies, long, full lashes are here to stay," comments Stern, adding that she is "madly in love" with a new product called Lashify—a DIY lash extensions system. "They can be worn temporarily, like for the night, or, used with their sealer, they can last up to a week," she says. "They are seamless and weightless and look flawless when they are on."