We noticed two major themes that were part of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends: anger and exhaustion. This was represented in two makeup elements that overwhelmingly dominated the runways for next season: skipped makeup steps, and messy, unblended darker colors.
Designers and artists take inspiration from the world around them, and the recent political climate has certainly not been an uplifting one, especially when you consider that most people in the fashion world are liberal in their political beliefs.
It seems as though, at least as far as the fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends go, some makeup artists wanted to showcase their fatigue, and say to women, “You are allowed to be tired, so just take a step back, nurse your wounds. You don’t have to work as hard to pretend that you’re well put together.” This was represented with an abundance of quick makeup looks, and very few full faces of makeup.
Almost every possible makeup step had been skipped on one runway or another: eyebrows, mascara, eyeshadows, contour, lipstick, and even foundation. The traditional eye makeup look, blended and classy, with three or four shades of eyeshadow, was almost nowhere to be seen (with just a few, messy exceptions).
What stood out to me was that there weren’t as many no-makeup makeup looks as there had been the previous season, with makeup artists instead opting for just skipping the makeup altogether.
The other theme – of anger – was represented in smudgy makeup, heavy and unblended lines, and a lot of smokey, black eye makeup looks. These looks were decidedly unpretty and unapologetic. They were the makeup looks of someone who couldn’t be bothered to take their makeup off, and redo it the next morning, and more importantly, they were the makeup looks of a woman who was not going to apologize for it.
While this represents fatigue to a certain extent, the harsh unblended lines also represented the edges women must cultivate in order to face an uncertain future. The distinctly kiss-smudged lipstick and day-old smoky eyes reminded me of a morning after – a look women are normally ashamed of, which designers decided instead to celebrate, in an affirmation of women’s sexuality, promiscuity, and perhaps in connection with the reproductive rights that are currently under attack.
Now, of course, not all the fall/ winter 2017-2018 beauty trends could be read as political. We saw some lovely feminine looks, and lots of colorful choices. We’ve compiled all of them, for you to enjoy!
#1. Naked Beauty, Naked Skin
If you’re only hiring models with perfect skin anyway, why waste time and money on their foundation? That seemed to be the logic at quite a few of the runways this upcoming season, which brought forth one of the most natural makeup trends for fall 2017.
Makeup artist Lisa Butler for Isabel Marant decided that the best foundation for the models to sport was naturally gorgeous skin, so instead of face makeup, the models received a luxurious facial using Pai skincare. A pale berry colored tinted lip balm was applied to both their lips and cheeks, brows were groomed upwards, mascara was applied, and that’s it. Simple and easy!
At Dries Van Noten, the decision to eschew foundation stood out even more because the cast of models ranged in age quite a bit, with some models sporting beautiful wrinkles. All the models wore was a bit of highlight in the inner corner of the eye, and some mascara.
Artists also skipped the foundation at Rochas and Loewe, opting instead for a look that focused on strobing techniques.
#2. Matte, Velvety Skin
I don’t know that I could give up my strobing, but some makeup artists were quite willing! Matte, heavily powdered faces are back, much to the joy of anyone with textured skin that just couldn’t handle all of the strobing and highlighting.
The models at Coach 1941 had adequately (and obviously) powdered skin that didn’t let even a hint of shine reflect. Some of the models sported a matte highlight, in order to give their face a bit of dimension.
We also saw a velvety skin finish as a major fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trend at J.W. Anderson, Fendi, Balmain, MSGM, and more.
#3. No More Contour
In a continuation from last season, extreme contouring is still out. In fact, a lot of the runway shows we saw also skipped the highlighting, opting instead for clean skin covered with a thin layer of foundation (or sometimes even without that).
Of course, the models gracing the runway and rocking these fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends have the kind of flawless bone structures that don’t require any contouring, but I think the rest of us could still afford to take it easy, choose softer contour shades, and blend, blend, blend.
One such runway where contour was nowhere in sight was Prada, where Pat McGrath relied on the models’ naturally striking bone structure to stand out on its own. Other runways where makeup artists ditched the contour include Arthur Arbesser, Creatures of the Wind, Lanvin and Roland Mouret.
#4. Cool Pink Blush
Normally we choose either neutral or warm toned blushes, since these colors tend to look a little more natural and flattering. For the fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends, however, I think a cooler toned pink blush makes sense.
It looks a bit more like cheeks that had been teased pink by a cold wind, and it gives a lovely softness and doll-like effect. Just make sure not to over apply it, or you risk looking like a little girl who got into her mother’s makeup stash.
Gucci Westman was the makeup artist at Marchesa, and he created a flawless and extremely wearable look, with soft pink cheeks, glowing eyes, and a natural, glossy lip. At Mary Katrantzou, the blush was also decidedly cool toned, fitting well with the pink on the lids.
#5. Looking Down the Nose Highlight
A dewy finish on the apples of the cheeks was a big trend last season, so makeup artists decided to focus on a different feature for the fall/ winter 2017-2018 beauty trends. The one area that seemed to be highlighted more than any other this season was the bridge of the nose, creating a slim look and a glowy effect.
At Rochas, a dewy primer was applied gently to the center of the forehead, and in a clear line down the bridge of the nose. On the Christopher Kane catwalk, the highlight was down the nose and just above the cupid’s bow.
#6. Statement Lines Across the Lid
There is nothing more effortless, yet oh so high fashion than a few carefully placed lines. They stand out starkly as an eye makeup choice in their refusal to be blended away into nothingness. That is why it is unsurprising to see statement lines drawn across the lids as one of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends.
From Chanel we saw a decidedly ‘60s take on this trend. Artist Tom Pecheux had a graphic line drawn just above the crease in a long arch spanning the whole length of the lid, which was paired with false bottom lashes, and pale eyeshadow on the lid. You could definitely echo this look with a cut crease, and thick mascara on the lower lashes.
At Mugler, the look was understated and futuristic, like a space age CEO. Makeup artist Lisa Butler had the models’ lids adorned with just a straight black line right above the crease, that broke off on an angle right above their tear ducts. The rest of their faces looked flawless, with natural looking makeup, groomed brows, and a natural lip with a satin finish.
We saw a thick black line above the crease on some of the models at Emilio de la Morena, and a thin white line on the models at Tome.
#7. Pumpkin Orange Eyes or Lips
The quintessential color of autumn successfully echoes what we see when we look outside: pumpkins on doorsteps and orange leaves, while also reflecting the pleasant warmth and coziness of being indoors. Naturally, orange is a must eyeshadow color for the fall 2017 makeup trends.
There are all kinds of takes on this eyeshadow, from the circle of grungy orange shadow surrounding the eyes of models at Fenty x Puma, to the matte orange lipstick at Eudon Choi.
At Junya Watanabe, it was a crazy take, with orange shadow applied liberally all the way up into the models’ bleached brows and into their temples.
#8. Eyebrows Not Filled In
Forget bold eyebrows that are heavily penciled in. A lot of makeup artists decided they were over the trend, and left models’ eyebrows totally bare. This is another one of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends perfectly crafted for the lazy ladies, who would rather wear less than more.
The unfilled in eyebrows at Alexander Wang were a clever choice, because they drew a lot of attention to the ‘90s style eyeliner the models were sporting. At Emilia Wickstead, makeup artist Florrie White also opted to keep things soft, with bare brows as well as bare lips.
Artists skipped filling in the eyebrows also at Issey Miyake, J.W. Anderson, Temperley London, and many more.
#9. Return of the Bleached Eyebrow
A few years passed, and we are ready and willing for bleached eyebrows to be a part of fall 2017 beauty trends. There were a few models that had their brows bleached, and they just rocked the look across a few different runways.
Bleached brows were combined with an artistic white eyeshadow and black eyeliner look at Maison Margiela, as well as with no-makeup makeup looks. Quite a few of the models at Mary Katrantzou also had bleached brows, along with splashes of pastel eyeshadow below the brow close to the bridge of the nose.
Lia Pavlova, walking for Emilia Wickstead, was rocking this trend with dark hair, while for Leah Rodi at Proenza Schouler it meshed seamlessly with her platinum locks. We also saw models with bleached brows at Coach, Junya Watanabe, Marc Jacobs, and Altuzarra.
#10. Gleaming Gold Eyeshadow
I’m happy to see gold eyeshadow as one of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends, because I truly believe there is no other color that is as glamorous. Gold shadow is bright, seductive, and ensures that one always looks appropriately expensive.
On the Alexis Mabille runway, gold eyeshadow made perfect sense, when combined with all of the fun statement gold boots and jewelry the models were wearing. A bright gold was applied from lid to crease, with a darker shade in the outer corner of the eye.
At Laura Biagiotti’s show, the bright gold eyeshadow was on the casual side, messily applied from lid to crease. It paired nicely with graphic nails in black and gold. The rest of the face was clean, without even a hint of color or contour.
#11. Luxurious Bronze Eyeshadow
Bronze is a wonderfully luxurious shade that is absolutely perfect for autumn. It is oh so warm, but a metallic sheen keeps it looking expensive. It is certainly no surprise that makeup artists loved it for the fall/ winter 2017 makeup trends. It is the kind of color that flatters almost any eye color or skin tone, and it can work for both day and evening.
At Carolina Herrera, the talented Diane Kendal kept the look simple, with a sweep of a glossy bronze across the eyelids, thick eyebrows, and clean and hydrated skin. On the Balmain runway, we saw an edgier take on this color, where it was combined with a smudgy smokey circle of black shadow, and negative space where a winged liner could have gone.
The bronze eye makeup look at Bottega Veneta was possibly the most wearable of them all – a bronze shadow was applied to the inner half of the eyelid, while a taupe extended from the outer corner of the eye into the crease.
At Christian Siriano, the bronze look received an avant-garde twist, with a bronze and red smokey eye, and a long triangle extending from the outer end of the lower lash line in a way that reminded me of a sad clown Pierrot. There was also beautiful bronze shadow on the catwalk for The Blonds.
#12. Negative Space Eye Makeup
As far as more avant-garde fall 2017 makeup choices go, I think negative space is my favorite. It is never stale, but instead always surprising and fascinating. And true to any high fashion trend, it never looks like the artist tried too much.
At Balmain, we saw a smudgy eye makeup look, with a single spot of cleanliness where normally a winged liner would have gone. It helped keep the eyeshadow from looking too wild, and showed that a lot of thought went into putting the face together.
On the Vivienne Westwood runway, the models wearing two different looks echoed each other. A neon smokey eye on one model was reflected by a thin circle of neon around the eyes of another and a totally blank lid.
At Maison Margiela, a literal wing was drawn in a thin line around a single eye, with the other eye left bare on many of the models at the show. We also saw clever uses of negative space eye makeup at Prabal Gurung.
#13. Blushingly Pink Eyeshadow
Colored eyeshadows were not a clean nor soft thing this season, for the most part, with the exception of a few designers that opted for romantic looks with pink and blush toned eyeshadows. This was likely the softest of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends, with some really lovely and feminine looks, although some takes on it fell in line with the edge and roughness of some of the other eye makeup looks.
At the Bora Aksu, soft pink hues surrounded the models’ eyes, and paired well with rose-colored lips and cheeks. At Altuzarra, we saw the lightest hint of pink blended into the crease.
The look was equally soft at Delpozo, where a few other of the minimalist fall 2017 makeup trends were also utilized. At Trussardi, a pale but warm pink was blended into the lids and up into the crease.
#14. Sunset Eyes
Perhaps this trend is a variation on the pink eye makeup or tricolor makeup fall 2017 beauty trends, but it deserves its own entry because it showed up so beautifully this season.
On the Carmen Marc Valvo catwalk, the eye makeup was truly stunning. Yellow eyeshadow was applied to the inner corner on the eye, and was well blended into an orange on the lid, and dark pinkish red in the outer corner. It was a fun way to interject a little summer into the fall 2017 makeup trends.
At Vanessa Seward, we saw similar colors utilized, but following the angry, messy theme of the season, they were applied in harsh strokes, and with a lot of dark, smokey eyeliner.
At Fyodor Golan, it was an early and tropical sunset look, with a hint of pink in the inner corner representing the beginning of a setting sun, with a brighter aquamarine representing the sky reflected in the ocean.
#15. Black Eyeliner Fun
Black is technically not a color; it is the absence of color. People who only wear black are often accused of being boring or overly severe, when in reality, this one restriction can force a person into showing their creativity in a different way. This was done with black eyeliner at a few shows, where different makeup artists experimented with different shapes.
At Marni, the goddess herself, Pat McGrath, created a variety of super fun eyeliner shapes, some of which I will definitely be stealing. My favorite was a slightly downturned triple wing look, with one wing on the top lash line, and two on the bottom lash line. Another frequent look was bottom eyeliner extended into a wing.
The models at Versace had the angriest, most extreme black winged liner look. It arguably toed the line between liner and shadow, since it was extended from the lash line all the way into the lid, and then winged out thickly in a shape that almost reminded me of a more Goth black swan. The angry eyes stood out even more since the rest of the face lacked color and definition.
At Fenty x Puma, in addition to orange eyeshadow, thin flicks of black eyeliner were drawn below the eye, right along the top of the cheekbone, which had a bohemian effect that nicely offset the sporty collection.
#16. Breaking The Rules With Dark Eyes and Lips
If you are not digging all of the nude looks this season, or if you don’t want to skip any makeup step, you can actually choose to go all out. One of the more rule-breaking things we saw in the fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends was models gracing the runway with both dark eyes and dark lips.
At Valentino, this dark look was fairly monochrome, with winged eyeliner and lips both in dark wine red shades and a deep bronze lid.
For Ana Sui, the look was straight out of a makeup hater’s crazed imagination of what a woman wearing makeup looked like: dark blue on the lids, black in the outer corner, and a deep burgundy lip. A glossy take on the dark eyes and lips look was showcased at Philipp Plein.
#17. Fun With False Lashes
We saw some really wild and creative looks that were all about the false eyelashes. Lots of it came with a ‘60s flare, with a lot of cluster lashes, and a focus on large bottom lashes. However, some of the looks were simply avant-garde, with really unique, custom made falsies. Take these fall 2017 beauty trends as a chance to try out falsies, and also to go heavy with that bottom eyelash mascara.
At MSGM, spidery cluster lashes were applied to the models’ lower lash line, creating a somewhat sinister look.
For the Junya Watanabe runway, there was an attempt made to nail a few of these fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends, but the one that stood out the most was the massive, spiky falsies applied both to the top and bottom lash lines. The focus was on statement bottom lashes at Jeremy Scott, as well.
The false lashes were super wild at Ryan Lo, where the models looked a little clownish, even, with colorful rainbow eyeshadow and false lashes applied at their crease and lower lash line to make their eyes seems massive.
#18. Colorful Mascara
Do you miss your youth? So did the makeup artists this season. One of the things they brought back was colorful mascara, which I’ll be honest, I thought was a relic of the past. Mascara was much brighter and more in your face than the dark purple and blue mascara of the ‘90s, and honestly, if it hadn’t been so colorful, we might not have noticed.
At Emilio Pucci, models walked the show with bright lashes in shades of orange, green, pink, and even white, in some cases receiving a thin line of shadow along the lower lash line in a matching shade.
At Jason Wu, the colored mascara stood out less. Royal blue mascara donned the lashes of all of the models. It was an interesting look, especially because it was paired with warm orange lips.
#19. Or Skip Mascara and Forget About the Lashes Altogether
So let’s be real, backstage at fashion shows is an ultra hectic place, with dressers, models, makeup artists, hair artists, and journalists running all over the place. This means that makeup artists need to work super quick, and any look that cuts out is welcomed.
This season, a few makeup artists decided that the step to cut out was the mascara, which allowed them to instead focus on the skin or lips, and with very fair models, it drew attention to their delicate features and had an ethereal effect.
Peter Phillips for Fendi kept things really simple, creating a base of flawless skin, and adorning it with very little, including, you guessed it, absolutely no mascara on the models. The look at Christopher Kane was similar, but more sculpted.
We saw a similar look at Stella McCartney, where some of the models’ lashes were left bare, while others received a token single coat of what seemed like dark brown. We saw an overall bare faced look at Erdem, which had a very striking effect especially with the models with pale hair.
#20. Can’t Miss the Neon Eyes
Stand out during the otherwise drab winter season with a pop of neon on your lids! We saw pops of neon studded throughout so many of the runways, that it stands out as one of the most ubiquitous fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends.
At the Oscar de la Renta show, the models sported bright eyeshadow over the lid, and a loud neon pink stripe as a clashing eyeliner.
At Byblos, the bright neon shades were applied below the lower lash line, and in the inner corner of the eye. All models sported two colors: perhaps a blue on the lash line and a yellow in the inner corner, an orange and lime green, hot pink and yellow… there were so many takes on this fun theme.
About half the models at Vivienne Westwood rocked what I can only describe as a neon smokey eye – thick, blended circles of neon orange, purple, electric blue, and magenta surrounding the eye all around.
Other runways, where makeup artists played with neon eye makeup, include Versace, Maison Margiela and Emilio Pucci.
#21. I’m Blue Daba Dee Daba Da
A few brave souls always try to make blue eyeshadow happen, so it is also landing in the fall/ winter 2017-2018 beauty trends list. This year, however, the focus was on either darker blues, or blues blended with black in a devil may care kind of way.
At Antonio Marras, for example, we saw both regular smokey eyes, and smokey eyes around the lid, which were then surrounded from brow to top of the cheekbone in a pale blue – on just one eye, though.
At both Anna Sui and Zang Toi, the dark blue eyes were paired with dark lips. At Anna Sui, dark blue jewel toned eyeshadow was applied to the lid with black in the outer corner and crease, while it was a thick blue winged liner look making the splash at Zang Toi, along with dark red lips.
At Stella Jean, in keeping with the unblended theme of the fall/ winter season, a matte blue eyeshadow was applied in a circular shape on the models’ lid, up to just above the crease.
#22. Smokey, Messy, F*** Off Eyes
Smokey eyeliner is nothing new, but as part of the fall/ winter 2017-18 makeup trends, there was something about more aggressive about it. It looked aggressively smudgy, paired with an angry pout and an “I’m not apologizing for sleeping in my makeup” attitude. Being a little messy, myself, I’m all about this look that refuses to apologize.
At Prada, most models sported nude eyes, but a few rocked ultra smudgy eyeliner on the bottom lid, while the top lid was adorned with an equally smudgy pastel.
At Elie Saab, we saw my favorite smokey eye. There was a silvery highlight in the inner corner of the eye, which was lightly blended into the lid, and the dark shadow was applied all over the rest of the lid and crease in a beautiful traditional smokey eye shape.
Other shows where we saw no holds barred dark and smokey looks include Chloe, Antonio Marras, Alberta Ferretti, Giorgio Armani, and a ton more.
#23. One-Tone Lid With Harsh, Unblended Edges
A look I became quickly enamored with was the graphic one-tone lid. These looks utilized a single shade, applied in a thick shape without any blending. The effect was graphic, unique, and high fashion to a fault.
At Desigual, this eye makeup look was achieved with a simple sweep of blood red just above the crease, towards the end of the lid, with the rest of the eye left bare. On the Prabal Gurung runway, a similar look concentrated on the area above the crease, but in shades of yellow, blue, red and green. This shape framed the eyelid, and extended out in a point.
At Zadig et Voltaire, it looked as though a splash of paint had been swiped over the models’ lids in a hurry – it was very pigmented, and unapologetically messy. Similar but even messier was the look at Dion Lee.
Lastly, at the Versus Versace show, the models walked the runway with a colorful, graphic look, in shades of dark blue, light blue, or orange. From the top of the crease the shadow was starkly squared off, but as it came downwards it became a bit more blended, achieving a smokey effect along the lower lash line.
#24. Tricolor Lids
Graphic color is in this season, much more than the heavily blended looks. The color blocked eyeshadow looks we saw were unforgettable, with colors that really stood out against one another, in a variety of combinations that were less about harmony and more about intentional clashing.
For House of Holland, in addition to a hint of colorful mascara, the look consisted of lavender glitter in the inner corner, green on the lid, and orange in the crease and outer corner. It wasn’t beautiful, but it certainly made a statement. At Leitmotiv, the eyeshadows had a metallic finish, and were applied in a thick, unblended manner.
My favorite was a matte, brightly colored version of this trend, at Emilio de La Morena, where stripes of shadow were applied stacked on top of each other, reminding me of world flags.
#25. Messy Lipstick
I’ve been known to fuss for up to 15-20 minutes with my lipstick, trying to get that perfect clean lip line, and smooth yet opaque application. More often than not, I just opt for an easy to apply lip-gloss. That’s why this is one of my favorite fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends – it’s such a relief, not having to worry about my lipstick smudging!
At Giambattista Valli, the smudged lips some of the models sported were punk rock meets K-beauty. The color chosen was a dark burgundy red that faded into a softer berry red along the lip line – some models sported a matte version of this lip, while others received a glossy treatment. It was paired with nude eyes and thick, groomed eyebrows.
At Nicole Miller, there was a bitten lip effect, with a deep magenta applied messily only to the center of the lip, while at Temperley London, a similar effect was achieved but in a somewhat more blended manner.
The messy red lipstick was extremely conspicuous on the Preen by Thornton Bregazzi catwalk, where the smudgy red made it nearly up to the models’ noses. We also saw messy lips at Monse, MSGM, Gypsy Sport, and Topshop Unique.
#26. Skip the Lipstick Altogether
If messy lipstick isn’t your cup of tea, you can just skip lipstick altogether this season. Many models strolled on the runway this season with neither a gloss nor stain adorning their lips. It worked well with the overall bare themes of the season, and the eternal trend of no-makeup makeup looks. It also helped that many of the models had naturally lush and pigmented lips.
The models for Victoria Beckham had their lips left totally bare, while their eyes were graced with the softest sweep of grey eyeshadow. At J.W. Anderson and Emilia Wickstead, along with matte skin, most models had their natural lip color do the work of a lipstick.
At Michael Kors, the only makeup focal point was a highlighted and contoured cheek, but lips and eyes were left mostly nude.
#27. Maroon Lips, Soft Eyes
This is the lazy girl’s instant jump from soft and demure to glamorously high fashion. A simple sweep of a dark maroon lipstick is the easiest way to transform a no-makeup makeup look, so it was no surprise it occurred on so many runways. It’s another one of those easy yet high impact fall/ winter 2017-2018 makeup trends.
On the Arthur Arbesser runway, it was a matte maroon lip, perfectly applied with clean, overdrawn lines. The rest of the face was matte, well covered in foundation, and without a hint of contour in sight.
At Au Jour Le Jour, we saw a similar look, but the lipstick was applied in a softer manner, and the lip line was not so stark or overdrawn. At Badgley Mischka, the maroon lipstick was applied very messily, fitting in with another one of the fall 2017 makeup trends, and was paired with soft, glossy eyes, lots of mascara, and a light pink blush.
#28. Art with Makeup Appliques
I can’t think of an easy way to apply all of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 beauty trends to real life, and this is one of those. Appliques, especially on the lips, were a fun way for makeup artists to play around and be creative. Some went really wild, while other appliques were only noticeable from up close.
Thom Browne is one of those runways, where the appliques were well thought out, and echoed the rest of the collection well. It was simple – fabric scraps from the fall collection were cut in the shape of large, pouty lips, and fierce eyebrows, and then glued to the models’ faces. The effect was fierce, angry faces, and a totally unforgettable look.
For Gucci, Pat McGrath created a variety of looks, primarily no-makeup makeup looks, but a few of the models wore darker lips, with jewels of similar colors glued to them – much more understated, and wearable.
At Manish Arora, pearls were glued in beautiful patterns to forehead, around the eyes, and along the cheekbones.
Which of the fall/ winter 2017-18 makeup trends will you be adopting? Are there any that you absolutely hate? Comment, and let us know what you think!
Photos via Livingly