If you had to sum up this fall’s makeup trends in just one word, it would be color (with drama as a close runner-up). With looks like jewel-toned eyes, bright cherry lips, and gold everything, this season isn’t the time to be a beauty wallflower. But thankfully, these rainbow-bright updates on classic looks are totally wearable (and totally affordable, too!). Here’s a rundown of the trends this fall, and how to try them—for less!
Gold is the easiest way to infuse new life into tried-and-true looks like the neutral or smoky eye. Whether you pick a shadow that’s shimmery or matte, the warm flecks in a gold shade will brighten up every eye color. To keep the color looking modern and chic, skip shadows with chunky glitter and go for a more sophisticated sheen.
Buy it: mark I-Mark Metallics Custom Pick Eye Shadow in Goldi Luxe, $6.00
Wear it: For daytime, use your fingertip to smooth shadow onto the inner corner of your eyes, where it’ll create a pretty, brightening effect. Skip eyeliner entirely, and put on two coats of black mascara. Dab a bit of the same gold shadow over your favorite lipstick, and you’re ready to go.
For after-hours, a bit of gold shadow takes smoky eyes from sooty to smoldering. Start by rimming your eyes with black liner (I love L’Oreal Le Kohl Pencil Smooth Defining Eyeliner in Onyx, $8.49). Brush a matte charcoal shadow lightly over your lids and into the creases. Finish by dusting gold shadow over and above the charcoal for a rich, shimmery effect.
Red lips never go out of style, but what makes them fresh and fun this fall is the amped-up color. Hues range from neon cherry to souped-up scarlet—definitely not your grandmother’s red lipstick.
Buy it: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Burn, $6.99
Wear it: For a modern, stain-like effect perfect for daytime, apply lipstick directly from the tube to the center of your lips only, then lightly pat the color out toward your lip line using your fingers.
For a more polished, dramatic pop of color, start by priming lips with a light layer of foundation. Allow it to dry for a few seconds, then line your lips with a nude-colored liner to prevent bleeding (never use red liner—you’ll be stuck with a scarlet outline when your lipstick fades). Next, apply color using a lip brush, starting at the center of your lips and working your way out. Blot with a tissue and apply again in the same way. Remember, the goal is a light, smooth wash of moist color—not a thick, matte mask.
If dark, muted liners are the little black dress of your makeup collection, the new crop of brights—purple, blue, green, and teal—are the sexy stilettos that steal the show (and they’re surprisingly a lot easier to wear). Just keep the pop of color at your eyes only—pair them with barely-there, nude-toned lips.
Wear it: The most subtle, forgiving way to wear a bright eye color is a soft, sheer smudge on your lids. Just run eyeliner from your inner to outer lash line, then smudge it with your finger. Apply mascara to upper lashes only to really accentuate the look.
For a more dramatic, saturated effect, use shadow instead of liner. Using a brush, apply the color from your lash line to crease, adding layers until it’s as bright as you want to go. Then, run the brush along your lower lash line so the color surrounds your eye. Skip eyeliner so the look doesn’t get too heavy.
Once the leaves start to turn colors, so do our manicures. This season, trade classic burgundies and deep reds for rich blue tones, especially a shimmery, deep indigo.
Wear it: Yes, darker polish shows every nick and smudge, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself. First, prep your nails with a coat of clear base so the color won’t stain them. Before applying the dark shade, remove excess polish from the brush by swiping it against the inner rim of the bottle. Start with one swipe in the middle of the nail, pulling the brush from the bottom of your nail up to the tip, then paint each side using the same technique. Clean up any smudges with a polish corrector pen and finish with a top coat.
For extra long wear, pick up OPI Chip Skip ($3.99), and apply it to the very tips of your nails.
So go for it! At less than $15 a look, you can definitely afford to experiment with each of these fun, bold trends. And you just might love them for seasons to come!