Scott Barnes's Blog: Falling Into Fab Fall Makeup

10/10/2012 at 06:10 PM ET

Thanks for welcoming Scott Barnes to PEOPLE StyleWatch! The celebrity makeup artist has been hard at work lately, releasing his second book, Face to Face, and blogging for People.com. This week, he tells us how to translate red carpet looks into our own lives.

Here in L.A., we get something like 330 days of sunshine a year. That’s one difference from my longtime home of New York City (but certainly not the only difference — hello, Botox!). But that doesn’t mean we Angelenos ignore the summer-to-fall transition, nor should any of the rest of you who live in season-less locales. Fall is more than a season. It’s a mood.

While most of your day-to-day makeup should stay consistent from season to season — because presumably you’re wearing what works best for your skin tone and type, features and lifestyle — the change of seasons offers a great opportunity to experiment a bit. Makeup is an accessory, just like a new Givenchy tote or lace-up booties. It allows you to recognize trends, acknowledge fashion, and have a little fun.

Just always keep in mind the lesson you learned last week, and don’t overdo it. Like that infamous quote from Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless, you don’t want people thinking of you like a Monet: From far away it’s OK, but up close it’s a big old mess. And that concludes this week’s lesson in art history, kids.

Back to makeup. My favorite fall vibe is one that’s decidedly not summer. It’s a little smoky, greasy, dirty. You’re hunkering down for the long, dark winter ahead; you’re moody and mysterious. You’re a bit wild child bursting to get out, like Galliano before he went totally off the rails. Anything could happen. Here, based on a few things happening this season, I’ve assembled my ideal fall makeup war chest to help you channel your inner — and outer — seductress.

Bobbi Brown lipstick
Courtesy Bobbi Brown

Vampy lips. The bloodsucking trend ain’t over yet, ladies. For fall, try a dark, broody burgundy or black cherry lip color. You’ll want to pick up a matching lip pencil to prevent bleeding (no vampire pun intended) and fading. And I always prefer brushes to apply, so I’d suggest working with a lip brush, too. For shades, I like Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in “Sunset Boulevard” ($30), Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in “Crimson” (left, $24) and Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in “Plum Sapphire” ($30).

NARS Blush
Courtesy NARS

Statement cheeks. A dark red lip can make you look washed out, if you let it. Don’t. A little color on the cheeks will balance out heavy lips while giving a pleasant post-coital look (not that I’m saying you aren’t getting it just fine on your own!). I prefer cream blush for all seasons; because they’re generally a little sheer and translucent, creams are an easier way to create a look that’s dramatic, but still natural. I like YSL Crème de Blush in “Rouge Passion” ($37.78), Make Up For Ever HD Blush in “Fawn” and NARS blush in “Liberté” (left, $28).

A gold-toned highlighter also works well here to give an autumn-like, prancing-in-the-leaves glow. Use it on your cheeks, or take it to your lids or below your eyes. Try M.A.C Lustre Drops in “Sun Rush” ($20), Anastasia highlighting crème in “Aspen” ($26) and Make Up For Ever Star Powder in “Gold” ($20).

Dior Eye Shadow
Courtesy Dior

Smoky, dirty eyes. Blacks with a hint of sparkle can give that greasy, gothy sheen that makes people wonder about you. It’s super glamorous, but naughty, too. Opt for a cream shadow that won’t flake off. You’ll also need a good matte black shadow. Some of my favorites are CoverGirl Smoky ShadowBlast in “Onyx Smoke” ($11.90), Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow Crayon in “OE” and Dior 3 Couleurs Smoky Ready-to-Wear Smoky Eyes Palette in “Smoky Black” (left, $48). (And check out my latest book, Face to Face, for a how-to tutorial on creating the perfect cat eye.)

If you’re not a super dramatic girl, or have small eyes, you can skip the heavy-duty black and instead opt for eye color in the just-as-dramatic burgundy/mauve category. I’ve been loving Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in “Auto Expose” ($26.60), Make Up For Ever Diamond Shadow in “Diamond Burgundy” ($20.50) and Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in “Heather” ($24).

Fall nail polish
Courtesy Scott Barnes

Pirate nails. From my great friend and insanely talented nail artist Tracey Sutter (Tracey did all the nails for Face to Face, and they’re GORgeous), nails for fall are a pirate’s booty of jewels. What’s in: blues, greens, purples, oranges and, of course, grays, because you’re all so shamelessly obsessed with 50 Shades of Grey. Metallics are also hot, including the metallic- and glitter-tipped French manicure, or the reverse: glitter nails with a solid tip. For shades, Tracey likes Essie’s “Head Mistress” ($8, “My new go-to red,” she says), “Don’t Sweater It” ($8, gray), and “Stylenomics” ($8, dark green). She also loves the selection of colors from Pure Ice and Sinful Colors, which have a huge selection and are well-priced enough at Walmart and Walgreens that you can buy a bunch. Follow Tracey at @tlsutter1 for regular tips!

And, of course — in general, and as always — play around with it, find out what works for you. But do try using makeup to create a mood, rather than, necessarily, a look. Think: What do I want my fall to feel like? Then go make it happen.

–Scott Barnes 

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Showing 7 comments

My Pomp & Circumstance on

I think you did a perfect job with the makeup trends to try! A good burgundy, vampy lip is one of my favorites for fall. I’m surprised you chose a blue/green/gray palette for fall nails, but the unexpected is always preferred. Kudos to recommending NARS blush- the pigment is the best!

Jennifer Spadavecchia on

Great article! Not only great tips, but feels like a great and funny conversation we just had!! Thanks for the 411!

Dr. Rhys Branman on

Cute article! My wife loves the seasonal tips! Another seasonal Mecca is to repair that sun damage from summer! No, not Botox for the texture of your skin, but light peels, or light treatments, such as laser resurfacing. Make up cannot hide everything.

Dr. Rhys Branman

kathy on

liked the article. has anyone seen deborah lipmann’s “true blood” collection on hsn? the lipstick would be perfect for this trend and there’s a matching nail color.

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for everyone! Love this post.It is helpful.

Rose on

I suppose I’m killing the look bc this is all part of my regular day look for fall.

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Thanks so an excellent deal for creating all of the great information! Searching forward to checking out additional posts!

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