For the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends we have a great variety of old and new looks, as well as subtle and bold elements to play with. Whether you’re ultra low maintenance, or into going all out with your makeup, you’ll find something in the spring/ summer 2018 beauty trends that will work for you.
We saw the return of all of last year’s no makeup makeup looks, but we also saw some middle of the road looks that are more representative of how regular women wear their makeup. Even so, very few makeup artists are willing to dignify any of the makeup looks emblematic of Instagram and beauty gurus on the runways, likely because they are simply too time consuming for the fast paced backstage of a fashion catwalk.
Instead, we saw a lot of quick eyeshadow looks, natural looks, or makeup looks where only one feature (especially the lips) was emphasized. It was an easy, flexible season, at least as far as the spring 2018 makeup trends are concerned, so go ahead and enjoy it!
#1. No Foundation Makeup
When models already have perfect skin, why waste time slathering them in thick foundation? This was the logic behind quite a few of the makeup look in the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends. If you’ve managed to keep your skin healthy and hydrated throughout the winter, you can certainly make use of this easy trend, or you can opt for just a touch of concealer instead of a full face.
Pat McGrath is known for understated looks, so it was unsurprising to see her create a look for the Stella McCartney show that was all about glowing bare skin, with the lightest hint of liquid highlight and natural mascara. She also skipped the foundation at Givenchy.
At Gucci, while a few models wore statement lips, statement lashes, or warm blush, not a single one wore foundation, making the statement that a foundation-free look does not have to be 100% natural, and there is still room to play with other makeup elements. The same goes for Erdem, where models still sported winged eyeliner, even without any other makeup on.
Makeup artists also opted to skip foundation for the shows of J.W. Anderson, Nina Ricci, Phillip Lim, Mansur Gavriel, and a ton more.
#2. Natural Makeup
Barely-there, no makeup makeup will never fall out of style, so it certainly counts as one of the spring 2018 beauty trends. It is a great skill to achieve a perfect natural face, because it works under all circumstances, and it flatters everyone. It is especially lovely in the warmer seasons when you don’t want to deal with a full face of makeup melting off of you.
Val Garland created flawless, soft, natural makeup looks for Giambattista Valli, and Balmain. For the former, she kept the skin luminous and dewy, with groomed brows and just a hint of balm on the lips. At the latter, we saw a matte complexion with just a hint of natural highlight in the inner corner of the eyes.
For the Mary Katrantzou show, models were clean and fresh faced, with a dewy complexion and a natural flush, with eyebrows brushed up. We also saw natural makeup looks at Roksanda, Issey Miyake, and many more shows.
#3. Glowy & Strobed
While there was a bit of contouring on the runways this season, strobing was the main complexion choice for the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends. Instead of opting for a very shimmery highlight, most makeup artists created a dewy finish on the skin instead.
The models at the Pamella Roland show wore a simple, flattering, and fresh look with soft pink lips and cheeks, and a lot of dewy strobing on the forehead, cheekbones, and down the bridge of the nose.
At both Saint Laurent and Altuzarra, it was all about creating a barely-there makeup look with a lot of light reflective creams to give a strobed effect, created expertly by Tom Pecheux.
Other shows to gives us maximum glow this season included Alberto Zambelli, Halpern, Ryan Lo, Fashion East, and many more.
#4. A Bronze Touch
If you haven’t been able to fully let go of that bronzing powder last season, don’t fret – the bronzed look is back for the spring 2018 beauty trends. While the vast majority of makeup artists skipped the contour powder altogether, a few makeup artists threw you a bone. We saw both sun-kissed looks and more Instagram-friendly contoured looks for the warmer seasons.
At Isabel Marant, models wore a warm, peachy blush, and a hint of contour, for a warm, sun-kissed effect that is perfect for the summer season. We saw a return to contouring at Bottega Veneta, albeit softly. A hint of taupe bronzer was applied below the cheekbones to chisel out the models’ faces.
Of course, the makeup at the Fenty x Puma by Rihanna show heavily featured Fenty makeup instant cult items like their shimmer skin sticks and Trophy Wife highlighter, to create gorgeous bronze-y effects. We even saw contoured noses on the runway!
We also saw bronzing and contouring done at runway shows as diverse as Tom Ford, Philipp Plein, Au Jour Le Jour, Moschino, and more.
#5. Pink Eyeshadow
Pink is the ultimate shade if you’re trying to tap into all things girlish and feminine. It was used liberally in the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends, to give a soft wash of color sometimes only over the eyes, and occasionally also all the way up to the temples.
At Badgley Mischka, we saw a unique combination that we’ll admit is a little harder to pull off. Models wore a soft, peachy-pink eyeshadow with warm red lips, likely inspired by ‘60s fashions, but with a twist.
We saw an artsy variation on pink eyeshadow on the Valentino runway, where Pat McGrath used a cool, dark pink shade on the eyelid, outer half of the crease and brow bone, as well as the temples and top of the cheekbone. The effect was cohesive, with a hint of an Elizabethan feel.
There was also a touch of pink eyeshadow spotted at Marco de Vincenzo, Alberto Zambelli, Sophia Webster, and quite a few more.
#6. Brown Eyeshadow
There is something extremely high fashion about a matte wash of brown or taupe over the lids. As part of the spring 2018 makeup trends, brown eyeshadow went to great lengths to define and slightly darken the eyes, in the form of softer smokey eyes and as a crease accent.
Pat McGrath, one of the biggest trendsetters in the makeup world, used brown eyeshadow at both the Givenchy and Versace shows. At Givenchy, it was all about a warm wash of color on the outer corner of the crease and lid.
The models on the Salvatore Ferragamo runway had dewy skin and peach lips complemented by a wash of brown shadow that was soft enough so as to not overwhelm any other parts of the face.
At Adeam, brown eyeshadow took on a ‘70s vibe – it was applied all around the eye in a smokey fashion, and pulled all the way up to the brow. It was a beautiful, beachy, retro look that is perfect for sizzling summer nights.
#7. Glowy Champagne Eyeshadow
Champagne eyeshadow is always good to have in the arsenal, since it is a nearly universally flattering color that is perfect for creating sophisticated and softly glamorous makeup looks. Its use this season makes it one of the loveliest spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends.
Champagne eyeshadow on the lid, along with soft lips and a touch of highlighter, was a perfect choice for the Michael Costello show, where models wore light and romantic evening dresses.
For the Alexander Wang show, Diane Kendal created a soft look with minimal makeup, and just a wash of warm golden shadow on the lid, with mascara but no eyeliner.
#8. Blue Eyeshadow
The blue eyeshadow we saw in the spring/ summer 2018 beauty trends was bright and electric, with some green tints to reflect a feeling of tropical oceans. It will go perfectly well with blue nails that make one of the top spring/ summer 2018 nail trends.
Tom Pecheux, for Chanel, echoed the collection’s rain and water themes (as well as the frequent use of blue and teal) by creating a vibrant blue smokey eye, with a greenish-blue shade pulled all the way up to the eyebrows as well as heavily applied along the lower lash line.
We saw a mixture of teals and greens at the Tadashi Shoji runway, with an electrifying effect. A bright blue was applied along the lower lash line, while a greenish-blue had been applied to the lid.
#9. Neon Brights
While most of the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends were fairly neutral, with few shocking colors, you can always trust a few wacky designers to use bright colors in all kinds of unique ways.
At Marni, this meant that unblended swipes of neon shades like blue and green were applied along the crease, while at Antonio Marras, it looked almost doll like, with rounded blush in shades like yellow and orange, and the eyelids covered in spots of shades like yellow, pink, green, or blue.
We saw similar bright shades at House of Holland, but they were applied to the lid, and then extended slightly into the outer corner of the eye. This was combined with very light eyebrows, making for an avant-garde look.
At Delpozo, the neon was reserved for the eyeliner – a creative wing in a bright orange shade, with a hint of orange glitter applied messily to the rest of the eye.
#10. Soft Smokey Eye Makeup
This is yet another classic to make it into the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends. A smokey eye is a great choice, but taking it a notch softer for the warmer seasons is not a bad idea at all. It turns an aggressive and dark choice into something a touch mysterious, but still light and easy to achieve.
On the Alexander McQueen runway, a hint of smudgy black around the rim of the eye, lightly blended into the crease, looked grungy and worn-in, especially in combination with the wet-looking hair – one of the spring/ summer 2018 hairstyle trends.
A soft smokey eye created by Diane Kendal for the Tory Burch show was a perfect bridge between smudgy and delicate. The Sportmax collection, which was athletic yet sophisticated, worked quite well with the minimalist smokey eye that models wore – a smokey eye achieved with a hint of eyeliner and a lot of smudging.
#11. Metallic Smokey Eyes
For a few seasons in a row now we’ve seen these fun takes on smokey eyes, where the finish of the shadow is either glossy, or seems to be glossy thanks to shiny, reflect particles. This is one of those summer 2018 makeup trends that are perfect for wild evenings.
For Public School, makeup artist Grace Lee created clean and sexy smokey eyes with a shimmery gunmetal gray that looked ready to melt right off the lids. No eyeliner on the bottom lashes meant that this smokey look didn’t overwhelm the eye.
A metallic smokey eye at Emporio Armani was also not overly dark, even though in this case the eyeshadow had been pulled down to below the lash line. However, the inner corner of the eye was kept clean, which helped keep the overall effect youthful and wide-eyed.
Finally, at Julien Macdonald, we saw a classically smoked out eye in a gunmetal shade, with a bit of a winged out shaped. It was a smudgy look, with black eyeliner in the waterline.
#12. Makeup Gems
Many makeup artists this season turned up the glitz with a few well placed gems and crystals. If you have some night outs or big parties planned, you can make use of this sparkliest of the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends with a touch of eyelash glue and some craft store crystals.
At Givenchy, we saw a simple hint of sparkle, with a single gem applied on the cheekbone, right below the outer corner of the eye, like an especially extravagant beauty mark. Otherwise, the makeup look was very natural and understated.
At the Dries Van Noten show, each model sported a strip of gems in a different, creative way that elevated makeup that was otherwise very clean and soft. We saw thin strips of gems applied on the lips, either vertically in the center, or horizontally on the bottom lip, or along the top and bottom lash lines.
For the Jeremy Scott collection, small, circular crystal gems were applied about half a centimeter below the eye, in a row, adding a mysterious feel to the look.
#13. Spidery Mascara
With some of the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends, I think it is perfectly fine to feel a bit of trepidation. Spidery eyelashes with clumpy mascara have been a fashion don’t for decades, so it’ll be fascinating if this becomes a fashion do in spring. If you’re feeling brave, by all means, be at the helm of the trend!
At Cushnie et Ochs, the use of clumpy mascara was very deliberate, with the mascara used to create small, sharp clumps of mascara both on bottom and top lashes in a surprisingly delicate way.
At Christian Dior, we saw super long, spidery lashes both on the top and bottom, along with black liner in the waterline, for a striking effect that we have to admit attracted attention to the eyes.
For Christian Siriano, we actually saw sophisticated faux lash sets on the top, whereas textured, clumpy lashes were reserved only for the bottom lashes.
#14. No Visible Mascara
As an extension of all of the natural makeup looks, some makeup artists wanted to leave the eyes understated, so they skipped the mascara. This was especially apparent on models with lighter hair, which also meant lighter lashes.
At Prada, in addition to not wearing any mascara, models wore almost no visible makeup, with the exception of a touch of highlighter on the inner corner of the eyes and center of the forehead.
The gems used for the makeup at Dries Van Noten were the focus of the attention, so mascara, as well as any other colorful makeup, was totally eschewed. Mascara was also skipped at Gucci, and a few other shows.
#15. Bleached Brows
We’ve had a few seasons in a row now where pale or bleached eyebrows made a splash, perhaps as a way for the makeup artists doing fashion to take a break from bushy, boyish brows.
At Gucci, some of the models wore a very soft makeup look with barely-there brows, with a few having their brows bleached to a pale blonde. In one striking example, a model with dark hair and bleached brows wore a bright pink lipstick that really stood out.
At Zimmermann, and Maison Margiela, Irina Liss single handedly made a splash with a combination of bleached-white eyebrows and hair. Adwoa Aboah is another model who had a striking effect with her bleached eyebrows. The British model graced the runways of Fendi, Marc Jacobs, and quite a few more.
#16. Abstract Face Painting
A few makeup artists decided to get creative for the spring/ summer 2018 beauty trends with graphic face paint designs that created a lot of interest without ever being over the top.
For Yohji Yamamoto, Pat McGrath had black “tattoos” painted on the temples of models who otherwise wore a very neutral makeup. This gave a graphic and slightly dangerous effect that was still extremely pretty.
On the Genny Milano runway, each model’s forehead was graced with a unique makeup “tiara”. A pearlescent white was used to create symmetrical symbols on the models’ foreheads, for an ethereal effect, like modern elf queens.
The abstract makeup look at Ashley Williams was straight out of a Fever Ray music video, with some creative eyeliner. The abstract makeup look that really stood out, however, was a circle drawn around the eye socket in pink, with squiggly lines coming out of it.
At Anna Sui, the overall look was impossibly pretty, with silver accents around the eyes, and lovely flower face paint that was oh so spring-appropriate.
#17. Glitter Makeup
The spring 2018 makeup trends didn’t have too much subtlety – there was a lot of what you see is what you get, and using glitter is certainly one of those trends in your face makeup choices. It is fun and vibrant, and is perfect for anyone who likes to use the warm seasons to take the chance to wear something a little short, and go out partying.
At Topshop Unique, glitter was somehow smudged to achieve a grungy effect – certainly not something we thought was possible. Purple or green glitter was applied particularly along the outer corner of the eye and below the lower lashline, and then messily smudged unto the lid, while the rest of the face was fairly neutral.
At Undercover, Katsuya Kamo’s team went all out with chunky, pigmented glitter in various shades including purple and blue, applied from the lash line all the way up just past the crease. A bit of glitter was also pulled down to the lower lash line, to open up the eyes.
In Paris, models walked the Jour Ne runway with multi-colored glitter decorating their eyelids up to the crease – the rest of their makeup was fairly light. Other labels to feature glitter included Ryan Lo, Stella Jean, and Ralph & Russo.
#18. Classic Eyeliner
The retro bombshell look is back after being conspicuously missing from the fall/ winter season. Thick yet sharp winged liquid eyeliner is back with a vengeance, for the consternation of anyone with a shaky hand, but for the great joy of anyone who channels rockabilly or ‘50s inspired fashion on the regular.
At Dolce & Gabbana, winged eyeliner with red lips is expected, but last season the wing actually was quite small. This time around we are back to business, with prominent cat eyes and deep berry red lips.
At the Erdem show, Val Garland created sharp wings that stood out even more against natural-looking skin and bare lips. So get your liquid eyeliner out of the drawer, and start practicing that wing tip!
#19. Creative Black Wings
In addition to the classic retro eyeliner being back, we also saw some more unique variations on what makeup artists did with the black gel or pencil for the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends. If you like to stand out from the crowd, pay attention to these eyeliner looks.
At Tom Ford, for example, it was all about thick, rounded black wings – a close look revealed that the black eyeliner Pat McGrath used had a hint of silver glitter in it. On the runway, distance made the eyeliner look a touch sharper, so we recommend taking it down a notch in both thickness and roundness in real life.
The look created by Yadim for Jason Wu was similar, albeit with a softer shade, and with the rounded eyeliner starting at the midpoint of the upper eyelid.
At Rochas, Lucia Pieroni had a graphic take on eyeliner that featured a lot of negative space. Eyeliner was used to draw along the perimeter of where a cat’s eye would be applied, creating the illusion that models had far more eye makeup on than they really did.
Other interesting wings included the double winged liner at Monse, extreme liner at Junya Watanabe, and the smudgy wing at Lanvin.
#20. Extreme Cat Eye Makeup
Black eyeliner was a key part of the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends, and another way in which it was utilized was in extreme cat eyes. Extreme cat eyes are a great way to channel a retro sort of seductive danger, like the 1970s catwoman.
For the Versus Versace show, Charlotte Tilbury created a semi-smokey cat eye look, with black liner applied all around the rim of the eye and large, Amy Winehouse-style wings.
The cat eyes on the Marc Jacobs runway were straight out of a ‘70s bad girl look. While most of the face was clean with perfected foundation and minimal color, the eyes were heavily rimmed with glossy, liquid black eyeliner, with large wings on the outer corner of the eyes, and small, sharp points at the inner corner.
The cat eye at Fendi stands out because it was one of the few extreme ones that were only applied to the top lid. A close look shows that it was made of a blend of very dark blue near the inner corner of the eye, and black on the outer corner.
We’ve seen a consistent resurgence of ‘90s trends all over the runways, so having eyeliner on the lower lash line as one of the spring 2018 makeup trends makes perfect sense. Underliner is a great way to make a look just a little bit grungier and edgier, but in a way that also seriously opens up the eyes.
The underliner look at Jill Stuart was unusual, but surprisingly flattering. Makeup artist Aaron de Mey designed a sort of upside down winged eyeliner. A thick black line was drawn from about the midpoint of the lower lash line, and extended outwards and upwards into a sharp point. It made the eyes look large and romantic, but also a little sad.
For the J.W. Anderson show, the underline was full-on grunge. It was applied in a thick line, with a black pencil, right below the lash line, from the inner corner out to the outer corner, which kept the eyes looking big.
At Adam Selman, a hint of brown eyeliner on the center of the lower lash line gave an open-eye, doll like effect that worked beautifully with the warm blush applied high on the cheekbones.
#22. Liner on the Waterline
While wearing dark eyeliner on the waterline might make them look a little smaller, it also makes them look extra seductive. It’s like an instant smokey effect without all the blending eyeshadow requires. If you want to channel this dark yet easy look, go for it! All it takes is a bit of kohl eyeliner – just make sure you skip it while wearing anything too light or floral, and save it for the edgier punk looks from the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends.
At Christian Dior, the look was very risky, with chunky mascara and liner only in the waterline reminding me of my go-to makeup look in high school.
At the Carolina Herrera show, it was a simple, vaguely ‘90s inspired eye makeup look, with black kohl rimming the whole eye, including the water line, but without a hint of a wing.
We saw a simple look with kohl in the waterline, as well as tightlining the top lashes on the runway at Anrealage.
#23. White Eyeliner
Stark white is an eyeliner choice that can work in a few ways – either to contrast against other colors, or alone to open up the eye. We saw it used in a few different ways as part of the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends, to brighten things up a little.
White eyeliner complemented all of the white dresses that opened up the Ulla Johnson show perfectly. It was applied below the lower lash liner, but only on the outer and inner corners, leaving a small part at the center of the eye unlined. It helped make the otherwise very feminine show a little more edgy.
There were a lot of elements worth mentioning in the makeup look on the Philipp Plein runway, but I think the white eyeliner in the waterline, while only a very small part of the overall process, had one of the largest impacts and some of the most meaning. The collection was replete with Disney-motifs, and the white eyeliner was able to make the models’ eyes appear large, innocent, and doll like, despite the rest of the heavy makeup, which featured full contouring, large false lashes, lots of liquid liner, and pouty lips.
#24. Messy Lip Makeup
With the spring 2018 makeup trends, you don’t have to worry about how your lipstick will look after a long snogging session. Makeup artists decided that smudgy lipstick is in – and the brighter the smudged shade, the better.
While the collection presented at the Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini show was quite militaristic, the makeup was anything but. The makeup was bronzey, with a focus on berry-red, glossy, smudged lips.
For Marco de Vincenzo, the smudged lipstick was a matte brick red, which contrasted against a clean, dewy complexion and cool pink eyelids. We saw a similar smudgy, warm red lip at Nicopanda, although the rest of the makeup was almost completely non-existent.
#25. Bare Lips
In addition to the no-foundation and no-mascara looks, many makeup artists also skipped applying things like lipstick and lip-gloss as part of the spring 2018 makeup trends. This was especially true on runways where models wore natural or limited makeup. It is a perfectly acceptable makeup choice for anyone who has naturally full lips, but if you don’t, you can still achieve this effect with a hint of rose-y lip stain.
At Issey Miyake, bare lips were a natural way to go with a soft, dewy base, and just a wash of a warm-toned eyeshadow. At Zadig & Voltaire, bare lips were paired with another one of the season’s beauty trends – a soft smokey eye, for a grungy contrast.
The whole look at Nina Ricci was low-key, with bare lips, and just a hint of concealer and mascara.
#26. Statement Lips
The makeup artists creating the summer 2018 makeup trends took the suggestion of focusing on only one feature at a time to the extreme, with statement lips and nearly no other makeup on the face.
We saw this done at Sonia Rykiel with warm red lipstick – another trend. A similar look with a neutral-cool, glossy red was spotted at Haider Ackermann.
At MSGM, we saw matte, overdrawn lips in all kinds of colors (pinks, purples, and reds, but also blacks, and dark blue), while the rest of the makeup was barely detectable, with just a hint of concealer and highlight.
At Linder, all models sported glossy black lipstick, applied past the lip line. While they did have some makeup on, it was very soft and light when contrasted with the stark black lips.
#27. Warm Red Lips
While we did see some berry lips here and there, the overwhelming red lip trend of the season was warm red lips – think brick reds and orange reds. Warm lip shades are great for the spring/ summer 2018 makeup trends, and they happen to work best with warmer skin tones.
The models at Max Mara sported a matte and bright red lip with just a hint of a warmer undertones. The rest of the makeup was understated and illuminated, which complemented the vibrant lip nicely.
At Sonia Rykiel, while most models wore a peachy lip, a few really stood out in a glossy orange-red. The rest of the makeup was quite soft here as well, with a hint of peach blush adding balance.
The warm red lips at Blumarine were very cleanly applied, along with otherwise soft makeup. The particular shade of red was only a little warm, and quite deep, so it exuded a retro, 1940s vibe.
#28. Soft Inner Corner Highlight
A touch of highlighter or shimmery light eyeshadow in the inner corner of the eye is one of the easiest ways to quickly make the eyes look bigger, and also amp up the glamour of a natural makeup look while still having it look soft and not overly-done. It made sense as one of the spring/ summer 2018 beauty trends, since it was easy to apply quickly in a busy backstage area.
The Christopher Kane show featured a clean highlight applied to the inner corner and pulled lightly into the lower lash line, in a neutral pearlescent beige. The rest of the makeup was light and natural, with bushy brows brushed up.
The makeup at Etro was equally soft, with a lot of dewy highlighter everywhere, to match the glitter-rich collection of dresses. The inner corner shimmer itself leaned towards silvery and was pulled a bit into the eyelid.
At Thom Browne, the inner corner highlight stood out because the rest of the makeup was quite matte and soft, with the exception of a small tear drop design right below the outer corner of the eye.
#29. Vertical Line on the Bottom Lip
While the vast majority of the spring 2018 makeup trends are totally wearable, there were a few avant-garde creations on the runway as well. A vertical line along the bottom lip is minimalistic and unique, and it has the added benefit of making the lips look lush and full.
This look has already been mentioned, but at Dries Van Noten, we saw rows of gems utilized in all kinds of ways, including in a vertical strip down the center of the lip.
The lipstick look at Maison Margiela was one of the very few on the runways for this season in which lips had been overlined. They were painted a matte, bright rosy pink, with a skin tone colored line down the center, which emphasized the overall lushness of the lips.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly