Backstage Breakdown: The Best Fall 2018 Beauty Trends

We round up the best looks of the season

We already assessed the backstage scene at the halfway point this season and those trends—bold colors, bright blush, dazzling glitter, and more—undoubtedly finished strong upon crossing the Fall 2018 finish line. Here, we call out the other looks that came from behind to secure a coveted spot in your beauty rotation.

Silver Linings Playbook

Whether it was a smoky eye or a sleek updo, platinum was the metallic shade that threaded beauty looks together in every fashion city. Tear ducts were punctuated with twinkling pigment at both Mary Katrantzou and Fendi, while pros at Tommy Hilfiger and Saint Laurent brightened up black wings with a quick stroke of silver. Want to add a hint of sparkle to your strands? Reach for Alexander Wang’s claw clips reimagined in shiny chrome or Tom Ford’s diamante headbands. For a more budget-friendly alternative, use a strand of crystals to jazz up a simple center part like self-proclaimed “hair unicorn” Tina Outen at Markus Lupfer.

Red Alert

“I find red is used to either strengthen or soften a look,” explained color wizard Josh Wood who whipped up ruby shades that ranged from “lived in” to full-throttle fire for the runway this season. “In the case of Raf Simons, red was used to give a ’90s Berlin, grungy feel to the hair. At Alexander Wang, the garnet shade added an element of glamour.” Using various formulas from Redken (like City Beats in Big Apple Red and West Village Sunset), the pro transformed models just in time to turn heads on the catwalk. “Red is always a show-stopper,” he added. Perhaps nobody proved the pro’s point better than Mads Sune at Miu Miu, where models like Pasha Harulia, Olivia Forte, and Lily Nova sported radiant raspberry dye jobs. “Matchy-matchy color seems to be the theme of the season,” Sune explained of the “character” she created via “dense, hyper-realistic color.” Take the trend to new heights come fall by coordinating your hair to your coat like Manami Kinoshita at Philipp Plein.

Wild Wings

From classic to colorful, winged eyes ran the gamut this season. Makeup maven Pat McGrath was responsible for sporty racing stripes at Louis Vuitton, Swarovski-studded lids at Prada, and Miu Miu’s bold ’60s-style flicks. Face painter Kabuki crafted cat-eyes worthy of an iconic First Lady at Moschino and three-dimensional makeup masterpieces for Jeremy Scott’s Space Age stunners. Regardless of which method or look you adopt, the key is to keep your edges crisp and clean. Use Maybelline’s Master Fixer Remover Pen to erase mistakes and even out eyes like a backstage pro.

Braid Brigade

We’ve come to think of plaits as pretty and romantic, and we saw plenty of those in various places through the season (including Simone Rocha, Brock Collection, and Tommy Hilfiger), but it was pros who thought outside the box with their braids that truly blew us away. Mane master Eugene Souleiman crafted gravity defying braids at Jil Sander, while James Pecis offered up punky plaited knots at Issey Miyake. The “kinky” braids reminiscent of a “whip” at Alexander McQueen definitely got our attention. “I always think it’s a bit fetish-y if a woman has super long hair,” explained Guido Palau of the slick, booty-grazing style. Whether you’re a dominatrix who likes a little drama or a more demure lady looking for a first-date friendly plait, Fall 2018 provided. 

Major Lip Lewks

Red lipstick isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (as demonstrated at shows like Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Erdem, and Sally LaPointe), but adding a twist to classic crimson instantly ups the ante. Makeup artist Tom Pecheux traced the tops of supermodels’ lips with gold at Brandon Maxwell, while Lynsey Alexander tapped matte red pigment across pouts for a “velvet rosebud” finish at Rochas. For those looking to expand their lipstick wardrobe, Fall 2018 provided a myriad of mesmerizing colors to consider—and you don’t have to settle on just one. Try the striking two-tone look seen on the runway at Self-Portrait and Maison Margiela.

Lash Out

Adding a quick coat—or an entire tube—of mascara should be on your agenda for the season ahead. Peter Philips lacquered fringe with layers of Dior’s new Pump‘N’Volume Mascara in vivid chartreuse, cobalt, pink, yellow, powder blue, and tangerine at Dries Van Noten, while Pecheux encouraged his team to pile on basic black at Brandon Maxwell. If your lashes need a bit of lift, consider popping on a pair of falsies like McGrath did on top and bottom at Anna Sui for a “wide-eyed innocence.”

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