The first official day of fall may still be a few weeks away but New York Fashion Week in the beginning of September always signals the start of sweater weather for me. There are many things to love about this season, but this year I am particularly enchanted with the minimalist aesthetic. Crisp white shirts and bare skin are center stage, with bold red lips and graphic eyeliner in key supporting roles.
“Fall is really all about the freshness and health of the skin ...
Sometimes it truly does seem that everything old is new again! The geisha knew long ago that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, especially when it came to their beauty rituals (and their iconic white performance makeup accented with red lips and black eyeliner). Caring for their skin every day created the very poreless canvas that graces the pages of today’s glossy magazines.
So when my dear friend and celebrity makeup artist Matthew VanLeeuwen stopped by for a visit, I asked him to share a few secrets about how he helps his famous friends look modern without being trendy.
“Fall is really all about the freshness and health of the skin, not covered up, not heavy, so it really comes down to good skin maintenance,” he said. Gentle cleaning, exfoliating and lots of moisturizer will keep skin looking fresh and healthy. “After that, you do something strong with just one of your features.”
Here are some of his other tips:
• Start with your eyes: “I like to start with the eyeshadow, line the eye, curl the lashes and apply mascara, because it’s easier to tidy up and you’re 80 percent done with your look before focusing on the rest of the skin.”
• Limit your foundation and concealer: “Avoid using any more than what your skin needs, and stick with the smallest amount you can get away with.”
• Contouring is key: “Using a bronzer provides depth and definition, which is essential for not looking too washed out.”
• Glow on: “Use a light gold or other pale shimmery shade to highlight the inner corner of the eye where it meets the base of the ridge of the nose. This looks good on everybody as long as you stick with a true shimmer shadow (not glittery or iridescent). It also looks terrific on the upper orbital bone under the outer part of the eyebrow. You can also apply a narrow line along the top half of the nose, which creates length and keeps the energy of the look on the upper part of the face. Imagine a triangle from the top of your brows to the bottom of the nose and keep highlights to that area for the best and most natural effect.”
• Lip Reading: “To find the best bold color for your lips, try on a lot of classic, bright, matte tones to get a feel for which one feels easiest. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Once you found The One, use a light shimmer pencil to very subtly outline the cupid’s bow on the lip and blend very well to really make it pop.”
• The Color Purple: “Even though black is the most popular, I love lining the eyes with a deep plum. It’s a color that works on everybody, and has a softer feel than black. It also reacts well with other colors. With black mascara, it really helps the lashes jump forward. It’s a great way to take a trend and make it more wearable for everyone and looks less harsh than black liner with black mascara. I almost never line with black, actually. I just find plum to be very magical.”
• Get a Little Misty: “Don’t forget to use a few sprays of Luminous Dewy Skin Mist which imparts that incredible sheen and helps set the makeup.”
What are you most looking forward to this fall?