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A Perfect Season: Fall 2011 Color Preview

Classic sophistication, featuring a perfect complexion, dark berry-colored lips and simple, beautiful eyes is on trend this season.

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: August 29, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Colors and makeup both have an incredible ability to enhance a mood and make people feel better about themselves. During the past several years, as the United States has battled through poor economic conditions, this capability has never been more obvious. “People may not buy a new coat or shoes if they are pinching pennies, but cosmetics are a luxury they will allow themselves,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, color expert and founder of the Eiseman Color Blog. It is because of this that the consumer continues to look toward makeup trends for a pick-me-up and a way to feel beautiful without spending a lot of money. It is your role as a skin care professional to introduce them to new color and application trends, and customize them to meet each individual’s makeup needs and comfort levels, in your spa—a place where they already feel at ease.

Fall 2011 brings with it a level of sophistication and precise application that has been lacking in the cosmetic landscape for several years. According to Kevin James (KJ) Bennett, Emmy-winning celebrity makeup artist, “Fall’s cosmetic trends have a lot to do with the sophisticated, tailored, streamlined fashion collections of the season. Opulent, luxurious clothing calls for a polished look.”

Kevin Mendelson, global educator for Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, agrees, saying: “Last year, you saw more seismic shifts, but this season, there’s a balance. It’s still beautiful, pure color, but it’s not as neon as it was in the spring. It’s evolved into a more retro look. Color and structure are back in fashion and makeup.”

And supporting this evolution, beautiful colors are in this season’s color palette. “A lot of pretty fall colors are back. There are soft greens, purples, taupes, nutmeg and neutral colors,” says Julie Harris, celebrity makeup artist. Whether the focus is on the eyes or on the lips, this season, perfection is the name of the game.

Eyes: smoky or classic?

Previous seasons have seen the evolution of the smoky eye. With its origins in heavy black and gray eye liner and eye shadow around the eye, the smoky eye look began to include different colors, from darker browns and coppers to lighter pops of color during this past spring. Although it is still a popular look, it isn’t the stand-alone look for eyes this fall. The smoky eye continues to include color and is evolving once again to include exciting metallics, as well. “This season, smoky eyes are more metallic and are paired with light lipsticks that are more nude,” says Leslie Couanon, national trainer for Sothys. “Eyes are more sparkly and smoky.”