This fall was shaping up to be an exciting season for beauty. We were prepared to reenter the world, thinking about our office and back-to-school beauty looks. In a survey conducted with 784 Byrdie Beauty Collective members, 47% said they'd be wearing makeup often as social restrictions ease and daily life returns to "normal." That said, it's not happening quite yet. With the variant swirling around and mask mandates coming back—we're not necessarily getting back to our pre-pandemic lifestyles for a while.
That begs the question: Where is beauty headed this fall? The answer is two-fold, according to experts. "There will always be two camps," editorial makeup artist Kenneth Cho says. "Some will want to apply everything and be super creative and expressive. However, I think there will be a focus on a much more honed-down regimen." With that in mind, this season's trends run the gamut from subtle to over-the-top.
Sheer-stained lips, vibrant red tresses, and color-blocked nails are just a few things in the beauty forecast for the fall. So, needless to say, there's plenty of inspiration to infuse into your looks in the coming months. Keep scrolling to see 11 of the makeup, hair, and nail trends we're excited to see this fall.
Chocolate Brown Lips
Chocolate brown lipstick had a major moment in the '90s, being sported by all of our favorite beauty icons from Naomi Campbell to Jennifer Lopez. The warm-toned shade is making a splash yet again this season. In the last few months, we've spotted it on the likes of celebrities and influencers galore. "From fair to deeper skin tones, a chocolate liner and lipstick can make a bold, powerful statement," celebrity makeup artist AJ Crimson says. If you want to stick with a mask-proof matte formula, opt for AJ Crimson's S+M Sultry and Matte Liquid Lipstick in Boy Bye ($22). For those who prefer a glossier finish, you'll find your match in The Lip Bar's Lip Gloss in Heartbreaker ($8).
Sheer Stained Lips
We'll not only be playing around with lip colors this season but finishes as well. Editorial makeup artist and Byrdie beauty and wellness review board member Kenneth Soh thinks sheer stains and tints will see a rise in popularity. "I believe the lip tints coming up will be dewy but also have more of an underlying staining quality, so even when the glossiness wears off, you will still be left with a gorgeous colored stain," he says. We recommend adding Clinique's Almost Lipstick ($20) or Uoma by Sharon C's It's Complicated Lip Tint ($7) to your makeup bag.
There will still be a heavy emphasis on eye makeup in the months to come, because masks are still a thing. We're predicting a rise in unexpected and intense eyeliner looks. "I’m looking forward to seeing liners in various colors like deep berry reds and purples, rich vine greens to be used alongside the traditional black liners," Soh says. Models graced the runway with deep blue eyeliner for the Dior Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 2021-2022 show. Dior Makeup's creative and image director Peter Phillips focused the product on the lower lash line, creating a stunning reverse cat-eye. Replicating the look is simple—all you need is a pigmented, creamy liner. Try Dior's Diorshow 24H Stylo ($33) or Kulfi Beauty's Kajal Eyeliner ($20).
The eyeshadow trends for fall prove one thing: there are no rules when it comes to makeup. The looks that we've recently seen on runways and social media all exude an essence of playfulness and joy, which captures our mood for the fall. For Georgio Armani Prive's presentation, models were clad in color-blocked shadow in pastel hues. The Off-White show saw washes of bright blue and yellow eyeshadow draped across the inner and outer corners of the eye.
While bright hues are taking center stage, Crimson predicts deeper tones (like smokey green, burnt rusty orange, cranberry, and khaki) will also have their moment this season. "I think there is a lot of room to play here," he says. "The greens can be deep or bright. The shades of burnt orange will play well with fall clothing color palettes. I have been trying [khaki eyeshadows] on clients as an alternative to a dark shade and it adds a touch of depth for my natural, neutral clients."
All About Bangs
Bangs became a pandemic phenomenon, with many of us cutting our own while we were at home. So, it's not surprising that "How to Style Curtain Bangs" was one of the most searched phrases on Google in 2020. A year later, there's no sign of our collective affinity for bangs slowing down anytime soon. "One haircut trend we’ll continue to see throughout the fall is bangs," hairstylist and founder of Boho Locs Lulu Pierre says. "Bangs are arguably one of the easiest ways to refresh and update your cut. Curtain bangs especially have been huge this year, and I don’t see that going away anytime soon. Blunt bangs have also been having a moment, and I think that this look will continue to gain momentum throughout the fall season."
Vibrant Red Tresses
Copper has been the hair color of the summer, as proven by celebrities including Ciara and Arlo Parks. Not only will the color be sticking around a bit longer, but the fall will also see more types of red tresses. "Variations of reds are sweeping through the mood boards," Byrdie beauty and wellness review board member and hairstylist Sky Kim says. "From bright, vivid red to natural reds, people are embracing warmer tones rather than ashy tones now."
Protective styles are a go-to, no matter the season. Pierre says braids of all styles and sizes will be in demand during the fall. They were a mainstay in the hair looks for Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week shows, including Pyer Moss, Off-White, and Christian Dior. "Braids are so classic and versatile—and not to mention, fun," Pierre adds. " When it comes to achieving a braid look, my top tip is to mist your hair with a light hairspray before starting to style it. That way, you’ll prevent any loose pieces from falling out and causing frizz."
Color-Treated Cuts for Men
For men's hair cuts, Kim can see them leaning into looks that are "short all over or just having a fade on the sides with just a little bit of hair on top." She also sees the fall being a period of color experimentation for men, noting many will likely play around with bold colors or bleach their hair.
Celebrity manicurist and Smith & Cult brand ambassador Jessica Tong says that maximalist nails have maintained steady popularity throughout the pandemic and will continue to. "People want to use fun colors, patterns, textures, and sparkles, which is so exciting for me," Kim says. "The vibe is definitely extra." One of the over-the-top fall nail trends Kim is excited about is metallic polishes. The intense, reflective shimmer creates an eye-catching manicure moment. Our metallic nail polish recommendations? Smith & Cult's Nail Lacquer in Unscene ($18) or Pear Nova's Classic Nail Lacquer in Night Fades, Morning Haze ($14).
Bold Color Blocking
Color blocking doesn't just look cool on clothing. It makes for Instagram-worthy nail art, too. "I think we will be leaving behind wavy psychedelic abstract [nails] for more graphic color block looks in bold colors and metallics," Kim says. Celebrity manicurist Chaun Legend recently created a vibrant multi-colored nail set for singer H.E.R. Color block nails were also spotted on models in the
Jacquemus Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear show.
Nail shapes are a matter of personal preference. But, almond has dominated for some time now. "Almond will still be the most popular nail shape going into the fall season," Pearnova founder Rachel James says. Kim seconds this sentiment, saying it's been her go-to shape for 20 years. Tying back to the idea of nail maximalism, she thinks people will be inclined to wear their nails in longer lengths in the months to come. "Nail lengths are definitely extending," Kim says.