Like our clothes and skincare ritual, our lip color approach shifts with the summer-to-fall transition. Many people use the start of a new season as an opportunity to experiment with different hues and try trends. “Moving into fall, it’s common to see darker, deeper colors coming out to play. Summer was all about the Hailey Bieber-esque, glossy/shiny lip, but fall is the perfect time to move back into the classic autumn lip colors,” says Manuel Espinoza, a StyleSeat and celebrity makeup artist.
In addition, your lips have different needs in drier, cooler weather. Drier lips can tend to lose color more quickly than hydrated, moisturized lips, and the cold weather can also play a role in your natural lip color changing, he says.
Plus, however you feel about mask mandates being lifted, at least it gives us an opportunity to show off our lipsticks again. And it seems like many of us are already participating in the lipstick resurgence: As mask guidances get lifted, lipstick sales have been leading the way, and we’re here for how a swipe of lip color always manages to give us a confidence boost.
Meet the Experts
Manuel Espinoza is a StyleSeat and celebrity makeup artist.
Nicole Cudzilo is the national makeup artist for Vapour Beauty.
Natasha Moor is a global makeup artist and entrepreneur.
Below is your essential guide to lip color this season with the top trends for fall 2022.
Clean and minimal.
While fall is the time to move into bolder colors, Espinoza says we’ll likely still see some remnants of the simple glossy look that took over spring and summer.
“A good way to transition this look into fall is with a gloss that still has a bit of pigment,” he recommends. “This lip oil adds a hint of color, but also moisturizes and protects the lips, a bonus we should always be looking for in the fall/winter months as the temps get colder and the air gets dryer.”
The tonal or gradient lip.
Nicole Cudzilo, the national makeup artist for Vapour Beauty, says the tonal or gradient lip is coming back into style this fall season. So what does it look like? Just like it sounds: the outer lip line is a bit deeper in color and fades gradually to a brighter or bolder shade towards the center of the lips.
“It looks great in a matte formula, but it looks exceptionally striking when done in high gloss,” she says. “To make a glossy lip wear all day, use a lip liner under your lipstick and a gloss specifically formulated as a topcoat for a high shine finish that won’t smear your underlying products.”
This 90s-inspired look will make a comeback this fall season, according to Espinoza. We’ve seen remnants of grunge throughout 2022, with spring and summer seasons bringing us winged liners, clean skin, and bold eyes. “Because brown is a warm, universal earth tone, it can suit anyone looking for a retro look,” he says. But, of course, your best bet is a long-lasting, natural-looking formula that stays on all day, but doesn’t dry out lips.
Extremes in texture.
Like the political climate, lip trends have no middle ground this season. Cudzilo says these extremes can be vinyl-like shine or petal-soft cushiony velvet mattes for stand-out lips. “Let your pout be the focal point and keep the rest of your makeup dialed down for a modern approach with super-natural skin using just a touch of concealer where needed, brushed-up brows, and curled lashes,” she recommends.
Classic bold red.
Every fall, without a doubt, the classic bold red lip comes back. And 2022 is no exception since this tried-and-true trend offers different variations of red to compliment every skin tone, Espinoza says. So whether you go bright, firetruck red, or deep burgundy, the idea is to allow your lips to pop, and the rest of your makeup approach focuses on warm colors and hues.
How to find your perfect fall lip color
You want to try what’s trending on Instagram and TikTok — but you also want to look like yourself. That’s why it’s important to follow some master tips and tricks from makeup artists who work with various skin tones and skin needs.
- Search for a shade that compliments your skin tone. Rather than going extremely out of the box, stick to what you already know — but take it in the autumn direction. As Espinoza recommends, if you have a spring or summer shade that works well for you, try going a few shades warmer for fall. For example, try a deep, orange-toned red if you have warmer undertones. For cooler undertones, I’d recommend looking for shades with blue hues like mauve or plum, he suggests.
- Think in terms of tone, texture, and shine for your lips — just like your clothes. Global makeup artist and entrepreneur Natasha Moor says color goes warmer in the fall, reflecting the golden, red, and brown hues in the leaves. And darker clothes with more textured fabrics come into style, as well as a personalized amount of bling. So as you research the lip color that works for you, Moor says to keep the natural transition of fall in mind — as well as your natural beauty. “Even if you opt for a natural shade that matches or complements your natural lip tone, line your lips with a shade that matches your natural lip color, swipe on a creamy lipstick in the same shade, then add natural shine with a gloss or an oil to give a textured, polish finish,” she says. Depending on your preference and the rest of your look, you can also pick a creamy, shiny, or matte finish for your lips. “To place the focus on your lips, line them and fill them in, then glaze them up to the max while providing softening benefits,” she adds.
A change in seasons is a great time to try something new — or experiment with shades you already know look great.
- Test colors without applying. To figure out if a shade is right for your lips, you need to apply it, right? Nope, Cudzilo says. Suppose you’re in a store searching for your perfect shade but don’t want to try colors on physically. In that case, she recommends skipping swatching on the back of your hand and trying this trick instead.“Twist up the bullet, so most of the lipstick is exposed and hold it sideways — approximately six inches in front of your mouth — so that it obscures your lips entirely when looking in the mirror,” she says. “Squint or gently close one eye to quickly and easily determine how the color will look against your complexion.”
- Experiment — but stay true to yourself, too. A change in seasons is a great time to try something new — or experiment with shades you already know look great, Espinoza says. “If a darker, bolder lip isn’t your vibe, then try going for a subtle lip tint or balm that will give you a pop of color without overpowering your look,” he says. “These products will keep your lips moisturized and protected against cooling temperatures.”
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