Maybe you have a lot to spend, or maybe a little — but there are a bunch of ways this fall to get into the season’s darker, richer cosmetics colors. Last week, we looked at investment pieces, going natural and livening up your lips; this week: drugstore finds, all about eyes, the best blushes and premium palettes.
Last week, we talked about how transitioning out of summer and into fall can mean new colors for lips, more natural products for lips and eyes and investment pieces to last a lifetime. This week, don’t forget the rest of your face! Whether it’s high-end or drugstore products, mascaras or blushes, pick a few products that fit into your budget and are multi-purpose enough to accommodate your everyday needs.
+ Give yourself an eyeful (ha!). Smoky eyes have always been a makeup staple, but you don’t have time everyday to layer on a bunch of eyeshadows and winged eyeliner, right? For the office, eyeliner and mascara are everyday, obvious choices, but toss out your old products (especially because mascara dries out really fast, meaning you should replace every few months, and open eyeliner can attract bacteria) in favor of some new options. (First photo, top row, items from left to right until last vertical stack): Ultrablack Panthera Mascara gives both volume and length, and regular use is supposed to boost your own lash growth ($26, Sephora). Drugstore options are nothing to scoff at: Rimmel recently launched Glam’Eyes Day 2 Night Mascara, with length in one brush and volume in another ($7.99, Ulta), and L’Oreal similarly offers up ultra-thickness with Voluminous Million Lashes ($8.99, Ulta). If you have more time, think about Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer, a topcoat to be used after defining and lengthening mascara that makes lashes longer and more like a crazy-wide fan ($28, Hourglass).
What about eyeliner? There are a bunch of products launched this year that can update your look, whether it’s pigment you can use with a wet brush or creamy formulas from drugstore brands. Tattoo artist Kat Von D has a popular line at Sephora, and her True Romance Pigments, in shades like golden peach Rapture and rich blue Johnette, are beautifully metallic when used as a liner ($16, Sephora). Similarly complex is Illamasqua’s Pure Pigment, in glittery colors like Android, a charcoal with multi-colored shimmer ($24, Sephora).
For a fast smoky eye, use Buxom’s Waterproof Smoky Eye Stick in coal shade Smokin’ Pistol or forest green shade Bow & Arrow; the creamy product sets fast as a liner but can also be smudged as an eyeshadow ($18, Sephora). For more shimmering shades, check out Tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eye Liner, with options like fig and olive ($25, Tarte).
Liquid eyeliner can take a steadier hand, but Josie Maran’s Argan Magic Marker Liquid Eyeliner has an extremely precise tip for skinny lines ($22, Josie Maran); British cult brand Illamasqua goes outside the basic black with glimmering nude shade Glister ($27.50, Sephora); and Make Up For Ever offers 16 shades, like work-appropriate 6 Iridescent Navy Blue ($23, Sephora). And conventional stick eyeliner doesn’t have to be dry or scratchy; creamier formulas now go on slick and fast, with no irritation on the lashline. Tarte’s emphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner has eight super-pigmented colors, like navy and green ($18, Tarte); British brand Jemma Kidd offers up the new I-Sculpt Shadow & Liner for this fall, which has a slanted eyeliner on one side and a powdery shadow on the other ($17, coming soon to Target); and drugstore staple Maybelline has the new EyeStudio MasterDrama cream pencil, with six essentials like Sapphire Strength ($7.99, Maybelline).
+ Don’t discount the drugstore. It’s easy to walk into Sephora and want absolutely everything, since everything is so shiny and there are so many colors and you can try out everything and it’s all there, in one place, for you to buy! But trips to Sephora can get over-the-top expensive, of course, and it’s often just as fun to go perusing your local drugstore. Brands like Revlon, L’Oreal, Maybelline and others have stepped up the products they offer at stores like CVS, Walgreen’s and Rite Aid, so don’t raise your nose at checking out these offerings — especially because a lot of brands regularly offer buy-one-get-one deals that can have you pick up a second item for free or half-off.
(First photo, top row, last vertical stack items and down through bottom row, from left to right): Most of the products from e.l.f. cost less than $10, like Studio Pigment Eyeshadow in Naturally Nude ($3, e.l.f.), Cream Eyeliner in Metallic Olive ($3, e.l.f.) and Cream Eyeshadow in purplish Dawn ($3, e.l.f.). A lot of drugstore brands now offer eyeshadow palettes, for a few different colors in one container: Maybelline’s EyeStudio Color Explosion Luminizing Eyeshadow comes in five shades, including Blue Blowout and Forest Fury ($10.99, Maybelline); Rimmel’s Glam’Eyes Quad Eyeshadow comes in 12 shades like the green and yellow Thrill Seeker ($5.42, Drugstore.com); Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow is available in 12 trios, including the purple and green Cool As A Cucumber and blue and brown On Cloud Nine ($3, at your local CVS); and Physicians Formula creates collections meant to emphasize different eye colors, like Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner, Eye Candy Collection, for green eyes ($10.95, Physicians Formula) and Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel CreamLiner, Glam Collection, for green eyes ($10.95, Physicians Formula). You can pick and choose items based on your eye color, or just pick what colors you like the best — I have brown eyes, but the purples in the Eye Candy Collection eyeshadows and the hazel, silver and black eyeliner from the Glam Collection are my go-tos.
+ Be pumped for palettes. Drugstore brands now offer a variety of eyeshadows in one set, but if you are willing to spend the extra cash, consider collections with fancier packaging or built-in mirrors — they’re nice perks that make an item feel weightier and more worthwhile. (Second photo, top row of items, from left to right): Get a variety of nude shades in Tarina Tarantino’s eight-color Sparklicity Bronze Palette Eye Shadow Palette ($38, Sephora); learn how to perfect a smoky eye with Sephora Collection’s Pro Lesson Palette: Smoky Eyes, with six different corresponding colors ($28, Sephora); or complement your hazel eyes with six shades in Smashbox’s Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palette – Hazel Eyes ($42, Sephora). Cheaper items can be found at Target, with Jemma Kidd’s Smoke It Up I-Kit, with five shades and a flip-top mirror ($22, Target) or Sonia Kahuk’s five-shade Lay It On the Line eyeliner palette ($12.99, at your local Target).
+ Get ready to blush. It’s taken me an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure out the right way to apply blush so I don’t end up looking like a clown, and I’ve found the key is a light hand — if you don’t want to seem absurd, don’t put on an absurd amount. So simple, but it requires a bunch of trial and error to get that ratio right. (Second photo, bottom row of items, from left to right): A muted color like Beg, a warm rose from Illamasqua ($24, Sephora), or the pink and brown shades in Canyon Sunset from Laura Mercier ($40, Laura Mercier), are smart choices for the workplace. For really long-lasting color, check out Tarte, which offers eight colors of blush, deep berry Flush and strawberry Natural Beauty, in both a powder form, Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush ($25, Tarte), and gel Cheek Stain ($30, Tarte). If you’re more adventurous, consider Stila’s Custom Color Blush in coral, which is supposed to react to the pH in your skin to make a unique shade ($20, Stila), or the 14 shades in Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Blush, like 14 Star Struck, a pale peach ($25, Sephora). And if you’re looking for something cheaper but just as effective, consider Milani’s Baked Blush, nine shades “baked on Italian terracotta tiles,” like the peachy Corallina or pink and gold Rose D’Oro ($7.99, Milani).
EDITORIAL NOTE: The product/s reviewed in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s reviews are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company or any other organization unless mentioned.
Product photos by Adam Fried.
In middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s new beauty blog — and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.