Swiping on our favorite lipstick has the power to make us feel our best. In a recent survey of 784 Byrdie Beauty Collective members, 61% said they wear makeup like lipstick to feel more confident. 37% described their makeup application as an act of self-care. And there's further research that supports this line of thought. According to a study conducted by LVMH, "Makeup application can be considered as a daily routine to decrease negative affects and/or increase positive affects related to self-image and one's relation to the social environment."
This theory proved to be especially true throughout the pandemic. At the onset, many people pared down their daily makeup application rituals because we no longer had to venture out of the house every day for work or school. Mask mandates also stifled our ability to publicly wear and showcase the sheeny lip glosses and bold lipsticks we'd typically apply. "At the height of the pandemic, I noticed that people were more concerned with skincare and less interested in makeup," TLB creative director Rosco Spears says. "It was rare that I saw anyone in a bright and bold lip."
But as time wore on, there was a noticeable shift in our pandemic approach to beauty. Many of us began wanting to wear some makeup again—particularly lipstick—to help us feel and look good at home. 23% of Byrdie Beauty Collective members surveyed reported they currently wear makeup as frequently as they did before the pandemic.
"During the pandemic, we actually saw our lip product sales increase, because suddenly all anyone could focus on [during virtual] work was your face, and a pop of lip color was an easy way to stand out on Zoom," Mented Cosmetics co-founder KJ Miller adds. "A great lippie always puts me in a good mood, and I know a lot of people feel similarly. It can help perk up your day and increase your confidence."
With many offices and schools resuming in-person operations this fall, people will be heading out into the world wearing lipsticks and glosses once again. And that brings endless possibilities of what lip makeup will look like in the coming months. "This fall will definitely be the return of a statement lip, be it a bold, bright color or sultry nude," Spears points out. Ahead, beauty experts share their thoughts on the lip colors and finishes that will dominate the season.
Chocolate brown lips 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 Fenty Beauty's Stunna Lip Paint in Unveil ($25). For those who prefer a glossier finish, you'll find your match in The Lip Bar's Lip Gloss in Heartbreaker ($8).
As much as this fall will be a season of beauty experimentation, there are some lip colors that will always remain a staple like nude. "Nudes are always in, and I think we'll continue seeing nudes in all finishes this fall," Miller says. Spears seconds the sentiment that nude lip colors will be a favorite amongst beauty lovers. Flesh-toned lip products may be subtle but they still add some oomph to your look. Mented Cosmetics is known for its inclusive nude lip products, offering shades that work for all complexions. You'll find your perfect nude in the brand's matte and semi-matte lipstick offerings.
Dark purple hues are another lip color poised to take center stage in the coming months. The vampy shade feels right on time as we tend to pull out our darker pigments during the season. "Eggplant is a shade I have been dreaming of lately and can see more in the fall," Crimson says. "It’s rich purple tone topped with a slight touch of gloss on barely-there skin and bold lashes is a look that will turn heads." Try AJ Crimson's S+M Sultry and Matte Lipstick in No Explanation ($20) or e.l.f. Cosmetics' Liquid Matte Lipstick in Vampy Violet ($6).
When Pat McGrath is heading up the makeup for a runway show, we pay attention to every last detail. For Alaia's W/S 22 presentation, the legendary makeup artist adorned the models with deep rose-stained lips. It's a shade that feels sophisticated yet wearable for every day, so we can see it gaining popularity this season. To emulate the look, use the Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Flesh 3 ($38). Achieve the subtle, stained effect by using your finger to dab the product onto your lips.
We'll not only be playing around with lip colors this season but finishes as well. And whether worn alone or on top of lipstick, there's nothing quite like a slick, glossy pout. During the pandemic, we quickly learned glosses and masks don't mix. But now it's time to pull your lip glosses out of retirement. "I especially think glosses will be big, because who doesn't want to add a bit of glam to their routine?" Miller says. A shiny lip can instantly elevate any look. And today's lip gloss options run the gamut—from clear to ultra-pigmented colors. Looking for a few new picks to try? No.7's High Shine Lip Gloss ($10) and Tower28's ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss ($14) are worth adding to your collection.
Sheer Stains and Tints
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.