When Debi Jewell shops for makeup, she sticks to tried-and-true favorites: brown, beige and earthy tones on her face and lips.
The Dunedin, Fla., resident has been using the same colors for decades. And although she's eager to try a new look, the thought of experimenting with new colors makes her nervous.
Earth tones "have always worked for me," said the 40-year-old mother of three. "And they're always safe."
But fall's makeup palette is anything but safe.
Deep, rich shades of purple, plum, burgundy and gray for eyes, and purples and reds for lips and cheeks, lead the way in this season's hottest makeup colors.
For a lot of women, putting on their makeup has become as routine as brushing their teeth. They trust their favorite colors and resist trying something new, returning to the cosmetic counter for the same shade of eye shadow they've used for decades.
Experts say fall colors offer an opportunity not only to update your "look," but try out a slate of colors you never imagined you could wear.
"The major difference between the two seasons is the overall feeling," said makeup artist Mathew Nigara, a New York Cosmetic makeup artist who has worked on the faces of celebrities including Kate Winslet, Marisa Tomei, Ellen DeGeneres and Stacy London. "Last year, makeup trends were more structured and a bit more classic. This season is all about luxury and over-the-top glamour."
Beauty color trends, whether gray, purple or another "it" color, often fall in line with fashion because designers who create both palettes are getting their inspiration from the same places, like textiles, fabric shows, even nature. This year, a lot of the color inspiration comes from the economy. "Trends seem to follow economic times," said Steven Anderson, hair and makeup artist at La Posh Salon in Clearwater, Fla. "With the economy not being up to its best, [fall makeup colors] have gone towards a cooler, grayer, more somber palette, just like the economy." Applications Are Up When the going gets tough, the tough seem to head to the cosmetics counter. They call it the Lipstick Index. The theory is, during uncertain economic times, women tend to splurge on affordable luxuries like lipstick and eye shadow or foundation. "A woman will always need her staple concealer, mascara, lipstick or lip gloss," said Megan Hurd, spokeswoman for Amazon Beauty. "But the more extravagantly priced skin-care products aren't flying off the shelves as quickly. The Lipstick Index makes sense. Why buy a new shirt for $200 when you can buy a $20 lipstick?" Carmindy Acosta, co-creator of Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy, said the reason is more than monetary.
"Makeup is an affordable luxury for women," said Acosta, of TLC's "What Not to Wear." "Women are sticking with the basics and going for the new fast and easy five-minute face products. They want it in a rush and don't want to spend time or money on extras." The Great Depression saw a similar phenomenon, with rising unemployment and tougher competition for jobs making women eager to look their best. New research from market analysts Mintel shows women aren't only snapping up lipsticks -- in fact, they're more often choosing other beauty products, like moisturizers and hair care products. Only 3 percent of women said they purchased a lipstick to make themselves feel better. Getting Face Value No matter what a woman's beauty product of choice, this is a good time to get a deal. History shows that when the economy slows, makeup companies tend to lower prices or offer special deals to keep sales strong, Hurd said. "In tough times, the consumer is always looking for a bargain," she said. "Brands have picked up on this and delivered with value packs with everything from all-inclusive palettes to brand samplers offering a little bit of everything, giving them more bang for the buck." Women shouldn't be afraid to experiment with fall's new color palette: Start with neutrals, and work toward incorporating this season's more daring colors into your look.
Anderson of La Posh suggests adding color to one feature of the face and downplaying the rest. And stick with sheer applications, he said. "Every woman can wear the fall trends; they just need to adapt and make it age-appropriate," Anderson added. "It's all about blending. With more mature skin, you want to use products that will give a dewy look. Matte is for young skin." Debi Jewell ventured beyond her tried-and-true earth tones and got a new fall face from Anderson. He played up her lips in a luscious purple, brushed lilac and beige on her eyes, and used a sheer red tint on her cheeks. Jewell gave the look a thumbs-up. "I really like it," she said, admiring her look in the mirror. "I never thought I could wear fall's [makeup colors]. I'll certainly be more apt to try them from now on." How to Get the Fall LookHere are few key trends to keep in mind when testing the waters this fall. Dark lips: Dark lips are big. You can wear the color matte or topped with a clear gloss in the center of the lip. If you're too shy to try full dark, opt for a berry tone or a dark lip gloss. And always match your lip liner to your lip color, blending the line to avoid a harsh look. You can also skip the lip liner and work the color in for a look that's stained, not sculpted. Tip: Pair dark lips with soft neutral eyes, a hint of black eyeliner and a coat of mascara for the most modern look. Smoky eyes: This season, charcoal and black shadows are topped with a hint of deep blue, purple or violet shadows. If you want to soften the look, start with a black or gray shadow (or pencil and liner) and smudge it into the lash line with a soft brush dipped in a hint of blue or violet shade. Blend the edges softly to avoid looking garish. Women older than 40 can still do smoky eyes; just be careful with the powder along the lines so nothing settles into those fine lines and wrinkles. Tip: To balance out the look, pair dramatic eyes with a neutral lip color and soft pink blush. Cool cheeks: Cooler pinks and raspberry are popular, and so are cheek highlights. Take your favorite blush, apply it to the apples of your cheeks, then sweep highlighter powder from the apple of the cheek along the bone. This gives the look of a more highlighted, lifted cheekbone. For mature skin, use a cream blush or cheek stain -- a gel form of blush -- instead of powder. Tip: If you're wearing a great red lipstick, dot a little bit on your cheek and blend well for a dewy look that will save you money. 3 Items That Are Always in StyleAlthough makeup trends are always changing, there are some trends that will look good no matter the season. They include: Bronzer: It adds a warm glow to skin that makes you look healthy and fresh.Nude lip liner: Choose the same shade as your natural lip tone to prolong the life of your lipstick and prevent bleeding.Sunscreen: This is a must for a healthy-looking complexion year-round.