Every year, once fall rolls around, I feel restless. I'm bored of sweating my makeup off in the subway, tired of wondering what the humidity will do to my curls, looking for a complete skincare overhaul, and, more than anything, jonesing for a new look. Perhaps it's the coziness that comes with a new cashmere sweater or finally slipping back into my leathers that brings about this need for change. The inevitable, but always welcome, crisp air comes blowing through NYC, and all I want is suede eye shadows, velvet lipsticks, and, essentially, a whole new me.
How do I choose who the fall me will be, you ask? Well, good question. This year, I reached out to the crème de la crème of hairstylists, makeup artists (yes, including Beyoncé's go-to guru), and dermatologists to give me some guidance. Below, they discuss what's in, what's out, and what grave mistakes clients often make during a season change. We're bringing you all the products you'll need and the techniques you'll want to employ as you apply. The best part? There are some drugstore goodies included along with some fancy favorites. What I'm saying is—this is a one-stop-shop for all things fall beauty. Ready to get started?
Do maintain your glow.
Don't overdo it with an unnatural color.
Sophie Evans, St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert, let us in on a few of her best-kept faux-glow secrets: "It can look a little unnatural if you are too dark during the fall and winter seasons. However, don't let the season change stop you from maintaining a full-body glow! Just because we are heading into fall does not mean that you have to have pale skin, but we do want to transition the color.
"If you are new to self-tanning, the new St. Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan ($25) allows you to gradually build up your tan to avoid looking fake or streaky. And the best part is you can apply in the shower! It's basically foolproof, just use it three consecutive days in the shower to achieve a flawless glow.
"If you are a self tanning pro, my favorite cold climate self-tanners are St. Tropez Luxe Dry Oil ($40) and St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil ($35). These two products are super hydrating and conditioning to the skin and a touch lighter in color than a traditional self-tanner. You only need to apply them every 10 days—these products are extremely hydrating, so the tan lasts longer. For an extra glow boost in-between, add a few drops of the Facial Oil to your regular moisturizer. If you have a party to attend, smooth the Dry Oil over any exposed limbs for truly illuminated, healthy-looking skin."
Do start utilizing pre-shampoo treatments and hair masks.
Don't nix texture and fly-aways.
Matt Fugate, Kérastase Paris Consulting Hairstylist, explains: "Pre-shampoo treatments like Kérastase Elixir Ultime Metamorph’Oil ($44) and Chronologiste The Gommage ($44) are great because they help with purifying, prepping, and priming the hair before styling. It is definitely important to incorporate this multi-step haircare routine during the dry fall and winter months. It will help revive hair and keep it looking healthy no matter what style you embrace.
"Embrace updos for fall. Load up the Kérastase VIP Volume in Powder Dry Volumizing and Texturizing Spray ($37) in your hair and wear hair up in messy Bridget Bardot–like style. I like to call this cotton candy texture. Try more airy styles and don’t do the harsh, over-worked ones."
Do update your routine to counteract environmental changes.
Don't remove sunscreen from your daily regimen.
Rachel Nazarian, my go-to derm at Schweiger Dermatology Group, says, "Everybody loves fall, but if you don't change certain parts of your skin care regimen, your skin health may pay the price. Environmental changes really affect the way your skin looks and feels. With the weather getting cooler and dryer, this is a good time to start changing both your cleansers and your moisturizers. For example, if you're using a harsher foaming cleanser, it's time to change to something gentler—my go-to is always Dove Beauty Bar because it's universally gentle. Just remember to stick to the unscented bar. I tend to phase out all gel-based cosmetics and skincare items. Gels can dry, and combined with the change in weather, cause scaling and cracking. Rather than using gel-based moisturizers, look for something more hydrating. I'm a big fan of Elta MD PM, or one of my all-time favorites is Vanicream.
"Don't make the common mistake of removing sunscreen from your daily regimen. Even though the temperature is cooler, there is still plenty of radiation to cause sun damage to your skin. The minimum should be SPF 30, always!
"This is also a good time of year to add a little TLC for your lips, which tend to crack and dry in the fall. Although Aquaphor has been a longtime favorite, CeraVe now has a healing ointment that works great for lips. Apply during the day and at night time when people tend to become mouth breathers as the weather dries and your lips are more prone to cracking."
Do focus on putting moisture back into the skin.
Don't forget to incorporate warm, rich tones in your makeup.
Min Min Ma, a Honey makeup artist, suggests: "Make sure to protect your skin from external stressors with products such as Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream ($24), Kate Somerville Nourish HydraGel Mask ($54), and Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Restorative Treatment ($54).
"Invest in eye shadows in shades like deep red, plum, and terra-cotta. My favorite for fall is the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow ($61). You can do a soft smoky eye by sweeping the shadows on your entire eyelid. Trace the inner rims with a black kohl pencil and finish the look with black mascara."
Do opt for matte, blue-based berry lips.
Don't choose bright pink lipstick.
Sir John, L’Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist, offers: "Matte, blue-based berry is my favorite lip color for fall because it not only helps brighten your smile and make your teeth look really white, but the matte finish makes your lips look fuller. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss ($8) has some great berry shades that any girl can rock. Also, I love to break out a cat eye with a berry lip. This is such an easy look to embrace for fall. Just flick on the Voluminous Liner Noir ($8) and Feline Mascara ($8) and your look is complete!
"I would have to say that pink lipstick is a don't for fall. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bright pink lip, but it feels very spring. Instead, opt for rosy nudes and cooler plums to add a little pop of color. L’Oréal Paris's Riche La Palette Lip Gloss ($15) in Nude and Plum is great for this. There are different shades that you can use to create your own hue."
Do mix up a skincare cocktail.
Don't over-highlight your skin.
Honey makeup artist Robert Greene recommends: "Prepare your makeup and skincare routine for the change of weather by adding a moisturizer that is rich and emollient. I like Avène Thermal Spring Water ($14) and Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream ($28) used together. Spritz your skin with thermal water and work the cream into your skin while it's still wet. This is the perfect moisturizing skin prep for foundation.
"Don't over-highlight with gold highlighters to warm your skin during the fall. As the weather changes, so will our skin color, and you don't want to highlight your face with a color that looks unnatural. Instead, try focusing on a good skincare routine before your makeup, and only powder and set areas you want to keep matte (the central part of the face or the T-zone). The trick here is to leave your highlighted areas powder-free, allowing the natural glow of your skin to shine through. I like the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($28) for its super-fine consistency."
Do a fall detox and cleanse.
Don't forget to exfoliate.
Honey makeup artist Azra Red advises: "As the weather changes, it's good to prep your body and skin for a new season. Start with a little detox to get your body and skin in balance. I am all about activated charcoal, it's a natural miracle for detoxing and flushing toxins out. Take Nature's Way Activated Charcoal Capsules ($8) and drink lots of water for three days. Get your skin exfoliated and use an activated charcoal mask (like Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, $26) to get rid of impurities.
"Make sure to add oils (I like Eminence Facial Recovery Oil, $60) to your skin routine—your skin needs a little more sealed moisture when it's exposed to wind and colder temperatures. And finally, try activated charcoal toothpaste (I like Terra & Co Charcoal Toothpaste, $30) that will whiten out teeth without chemicals."
Want more seasonal beauty? These are the best beauty products that smell like fall.