Greetings, lovely people! A few months back, I shared some of my favorite beauty tips and products to help you survive the face-meltingly hot New York summer. Now, thankfully, fall has turned the air crisp and brought the mercury down. Autumn has always been my favorite season for fashion and beauty, from snuggly scarves and leather boots to dark lips and nails. The cozy sweaters, the structured jackets, the layers galore — it all puts me in mind of new school years and days spent curled up with a book in a coffee shop, by a fire, or sprawled across scarlet and umber leaves on a green. As October rolls into November, here are some of my essential products and favorite looks for fall.
1. Gentle Face Wash: The first and most important step in great make-up is great skincare. Fall’s cool crisp air may be lovely for ambience, but it can be rough on your face, especially if, like mine, your skin tends to be sensitive and dry out easily. I got the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Facial Cleansing and Make-Up Removing Gel as a sample in my Birchbox a few months ago and immediately used up the tester tube. It’s really gentle, plus the scrumptious honey scent puts me in mind of steaming mugs of tea, another fall essential.
2. Moisturizer: Like I said, those smoky October winds can have a tendency to suck all the moisture right out of your skin, and it only gets worse as we move into winter. So it’s super important to replenish your skin with a rich moisturizer. My go-to, especially in the drier months, is the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré. I love this guy, which I purchased in Paris on the recommendation of my far more beauty savvy roommate (not to worry, barring a plane ticket you can find it online or even in some drug stores in the U.S.). It’s nourishing but not heavy, leaving my skin soft without clogging up my pores. A little goes a long way with this stuff; a pea-sized dollop is usually enough for my whole face. I especially like putting it on after my shower so I start the day well-hydrated and ready to face the outside.
3. Face Masks: As the days turn shorter and the nights turn colder, one of my favorite things to do is have a cozy evening in — something hot to drink, something fun on Netflix, and something special to pamper my skin. Face masks are a super quick and easy treat for your skin, to give it a little something extra once a week. Two of my favorites lately have been the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask and the Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask (which may have the best name of any skincare product I’ve ever used).
4. Bronzer: We all have our special gifts in this world…and getting tan is not one of mine. My natural state is vampire-level pale. I would have been a hit on the Victorian social circuit, but alas, I live in the 21st century, when my pale skin garners not so much admiration as concern for the state of my health or iron levels. In summer, I can get a decent enough glow from sunshine alone, but by October 1st I have reverted to my natural, un-sun-kissed state. So instead, I turn to bronzer, to make me look like I have left my cave at least once in the past month. But while I want to look bronzed, I do not want to reach Oompa Loompa levels of orange, so I use the Physician’s Formula Summer Eclipse Bronzing and Shimmery Face Powder. It gives me a natural-looking color boost that isn’t overpowering, plus the touch of gold shimmer adds a subtle glow. A little sweep of this stuff on my cheekbones, forehead, and the bridge of my nose, and I’m good to join the mortals.
5. Eye Highlighter: I’m not a big eye make-up person — one swipe of mascara and I’m usually good to go — but lately I have been adding a bit of gold to brighten my eyes up. Benefit’s Watt’s Up Cream-to-Powder Highlighter is technically meant for your full face, but I have a little sample tube that works perfectly for my lids (if you get the full-sized version, a little eye brush would do the trick nicely). A swipe along my brow bone, in the corners of my eyes, and along my lower lash line, plus a little blend, and I immediately look like I got at least two extra hours of sleep. Plus the gold pairs perfectly with autumn leaves and blue skies.
6. Berry Lips: I love a good statement lip, any time of year, but fall is when I really start to break out the reds and burgundies I love. Crimson is my go-to classic look all year round — it’s impossible not to feel glamorous with a red lip — but this fall I’ve been tending more towards a dark berry, for a more seasonal touch. My favorite berry lipstick is Benefit’s Full-Finish Lipstick in Espionage. It’s a rich, dark berry (that, coincidentally, complements a gold eye look), and it goes on really smooth with lots of pigment. Not ready to tackle the full-on statement lip? Try Fresh Cosmetics’ Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Berry. I keep it in my purse for a slight pop of color and to keep my lips from getting chapped; it also layers really well on top of lipstick for a little shine and a more intense color.
7. Copper Nails: Blame it on my recent foray into British beauty guru land, or on my coveting Scout’s recent Louisville manicure, but my copper obsession has officially reached my hands. I’m normally a red, berry, or dark purple girl come fall, but Essie’s Penny Talk made its way onto my fingers this week and it may just stay there until Thanksgiving. I’m obsessed. Also on my list of favorite nail things? Essie’s Gel-Setter Top Coat. It goes on smooth and not gloopy (unlike other top coats I’ve tried), dries super quickly, and keeps my nails chip-free for a few days at least (which, for me, is a feat).