The Fall 2021 makeup trends pros are excited for
Liner is the headliner, and the bitten lip is back
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to makeup these days. Case in point: Fall 2021's hottest makeup trends. Thanks to social media platforms like TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram, we're beginning to see more varied and experimental looks trickle into the mainstream (bleached brows, anyone?).
"TikTok has provided us with some exceptionally diverse and interestingly coded makeup tutorials that we didn't necessarily have before," says Toronto makeup and hair artist and content creator Nate Matthew. "The influx of beauty content [has encouraged] people to take risks with their makeup."
We reached out to the pros for their insight as to the makeup looks we'll be seeing for Fall 2021.
Totally flawless skin is in
Industry pros agree that perfect skin will be having a moment this fall. Think "alien-smooth ... high coverage and sculpted," says Toronto makeup artist Jooyeon Kim.
Another way to look at it: skin that simulates social media filters. It's what Montreal-based digital education manager for MAC Cosmetics Canada Stéphane Côté refers to as "velvet skin," free of shine and blurred to perfection with the help of mattifying products. "This luxe yet lush look is what's going to turn heads this fall," he says.
Au natural for women and men
Yet expect to see many opting for the low-key, natural foundation look too. "This year's full makeup look is definitely leaning into lighter foundations that allow us to show off our freckles and discolourations," says Shayne Fukala, a Shoppers Beauty Pro based in Moncton, N.B.
Jennifer Harper, founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty based out of St. Catherines, Ont., agrees, citing the "no-makeup makeup look" as an appealing choice these days as many of us continue spending much of our time indoors. "Gone are the days of heavy and cakey makeup," she says.
Some may even ditch the foundation completely. Toronto and Montreal-based makeup, hair and nail artist Lisa Kolmakova admits she hasn't worn makeup in years and, instead, has shifted her focus toward her skincare regimen. With mask-wearing still a part of everyday life, Kolmakova has noticed that more people are giving their skin a chance to breathe to hopefully avoid maskne breakouts. They're also "embracing their natural beauty," she says. "I'm all for this trend."
Experts also anticipate that men will begin experimenting with the natural makeup look this season. "I think now, more than ever, men are not afraid to take care of their skin," says Grace Lee, lead makeup artist for Maybelline New York. "They're using better moisturizers, [and] using concealers and sheer foundations." Harper agrees, especially now that virtual meetings have become commonplace. "Not all of us have studio lighting at home for video calls, so dabbing on a bit of concealer under the eyes to colour correct is the way to go," she says.
Soap brows are here to stay
The ubiquitous soap brow, achieved by moistening bar soap and combing the soap through the eyebrows with a spoolie brush for a feathered effect, is set to continue trending this season. "[It's] not going anywhere," says Kolmakova of this feathered brow look, though she reaches for a strong-hold hair gel and a toothbrush in lieu of soap and a spoolie.
Bleached brows have officially gone mainstream due in part to TikTok — a quick search under the hashtag #bleachedbrows generates countless tutorials and more than 37 million views to date. While Matthew says the trend has its moment each season, both she and Kim expect to see it more this fall. She says it's "a way to add that show-stopping factor to any deep, grungy eye look."
Dark lips are softened
Once fall comes around, there's an almost inevitable shift to darker lip shades: punchy pinks are swapped for rich purples and vibrant corals are replaced with deep berry tones. This season, a favourite application is back; we'll be seeing dark hues, but instead of painting the entire lip uniformly, colour will be focused at the centre of the pout. One of the biggest trends for fall is a dark, vampy lip "that features a gorgeous dark centre with the colour diffusing outward to the lip line," says Fukala. Matthew agrees, noting that this technique creates a stain-like effect, mimicking the look of what she calls a "juicy bitten lip."
Liner is the headliner
Also, as a result of mask-wearing, Lee, Kolmakova and Matthew agree that we can expect to see more people playing up their eyes with bold and graphic eyeliner looks, from a reverse cat-eye to abstract winged styles and everything in between. "There are so many different eye shapes out there, so [experimenting with liner] is the most fun and liberating way to make your eyeliner work for you instead of the other way around," says Matthew.
In terms of colours, Matthew expects two-toned combos like black and white and black and red to dominate. Côté, on the other hand, suggests trying vibrant hues like fuchsia, lime green and bright yellow. "It's all about eyes that wow!" he says.
Lashes stay lifted
Long, fluttery lashes had a major moment earlier this year when Maybelline's Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara went viral on TikTok, with reports of shortages on product shelves. No surprise, we can continue to expect the long-lash trend to stay strong. "Long lashes will always be in style," says Lee. Kolmakova agrees. "We will see more voluminous and fluttery lashes with a lot of mascara," she says.
D'Loraine Miranda is a Toronto-based editor and writer. Follow her on Instagram @dlorainem.