The Panel: Fall for it
In order to take pleasure in this lovely season, with its shorter days and turning leaves, you have to embrace its darker palette.
And much of this season’s cosmetic offerings do just that, so adopt the autumnal palette and insert it into your make-up bag. Shades of brown are everywhere, ranging from gentle taupes to full-on rusts and tobaccos, as well as khaki — the new black — and all sorts of deep, dark blues.
But, however, this is not a straight return to the Nineties and the careful sculpting and blending of that decade. In many cases, the eye colours are most effective when they’re worn as a single statement and, while the smoky eye remains, it’s more muted, and comprised of less black and more greys, browns and greens.
This season’s look is about one flourish of autumn, and not a full face of it. No full-on lips teamed with full-on eyes, just one or the other. And don’t forget that embracing autumn means ditching the self-tan, or you risk a muddy-and-trampled look rather than a turning-leaves one.
Chanel Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Vert Khaki, €25, Chanel counters nationwide
This is a fantastic colour with which to achieve this season’s softer smoky eye. A khaki with plenty of brown and grey in it, which renders it a very different shade to your granny’s favourite shadow. Different iris colours do different things to it. “I’d never usually go near green, but this is very inky, very deep and wonderfully rich,” said a panellist. “It wears well on its own, or as a sort of autumn-forest smoky look.”
BEST AUTUMN LIPS
Clarins Rouge Prodige lipstick in Mochaccino, €20, Clarins counters nationwide
In many ways this shade is a real blast from the past, its taupe-nude shade being very early Friends. However, its high shine and creaminess saves it from looking dated or dry, and it’s a nice way to add autumn colours to your look. “I thought this would be too brown,” said a panellist, “but it’s a lovely soft colour on the lips, and a nice change from the pink and coral I wore all summer.”
BEST AUTUMN FINGERTIPS
Giorgio Armani Fluid Shine Nail Polish in Dark Bleu, €19, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
If you simply don’t do drama on the face, then live it up a little with your nail colour, even if it’s only your toes. There are lots of deep, dramatic nail colours around this season — along with an abundance of skintone shades — and this metallic inky-blue is a classic. “This looks fabulously grown-up and serious,” a panellist said. “It took two good coats to get full impact, but what an impact!”
BEST AUTUMN EYES
Mac Matte Eye Shadow in Brown Script, €15, Brown Thomas and BT2
In the pot, there is something a little scary about the brown-ness of this matt shadow, but it’s a real surprise on the eyes. Ditch all your ideas of blending this with three other shades for a perfectly Nineties-style, effect; instead, use it on its own, on the lid or just in the socket. It’s especially pretty with blue eyes. “This is real autumn, like rusty leaves,” one panellist said. “And the very flat finish isn’t harsh, but very smooth and simple.”
BEST AUTUMN LASHES
Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara in Denim, €24.50, Brown Thomas; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16
In imagining a mascara in Denim, you must, as a first step, ditch all thoughts of the young Princess Diana and her electric-blue-rimmed eyes and imagine something simultaneously stronger and more subtle. Part of Bobbi Brown’s Denim and Rose collection, this mascara is properly, noticeably blue on the lashes, but deeply so. “I like this mascara anyway,” said a panellist, “it gives good curl and volume, and this colour is very nice, makes the whites of your eyes very clear-looking.”