The seasonal change during the second quarter of the year is never any fun for me. When the weather starts to get a little gloomier, so does my mood and I've always been someone who feels the cold very, very easily. As much as I wish it were already summer again, there are however, definitely some nice things to look forward to during autumn and winter; getting cosy in my brand new quilt, drinking copious amounts of tea with Tim Tams, listening to the sound of the rain from inside my toasty warm home, burning candles to brighten up dreary days, and of course, having a seasonal mix up with my beauty products. I've never been at all regimented with what I wear during each specific season, but there's something about grungy, smokey eyes and dark, vampy lips that captures the mood of the cold so well. That's definitely the vibe I'm going for this season and when you don't have to worry about your face melting off during a 40 degree heatwave, it's the perfect time of year to have a little more fun with makeup.
If there's one thing I love all-year round, it's a dewy base. The cool change in the weather only accentuates my dehydrated skin even more, so to keep things looking fresh and radiant, I always begin with a generous spritz of MAC Prep + Prime Fix+. While my skin is still damp, I apply my primer and the two that I'm loving right now are the Marc Jacobs Invisible Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer and Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base. Both primers are great during any time of the year, but they're particularly incredible at making dull winter skin glow. They aren't too dissimilar in formula, though I'd say the Marc Jacobs primer feels more hydrating, whereas the Chanel one, as the same suggests, is more on the illuminating side. If I'm going out with friends and it's not just a boring day at work, I'll mix in one pump of my BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Pearl in with my primer to amp up the glow even more so. Pearl is a beautiful pearlescent white shade, perfect for capturing the cool mood of the autumn/winter, whereas I'll usually reach for Opal in summer for something a little more sun-kissed and warm.
Once I have my Fix+ and primer applied, my skin is prepped and ready for coverage. These past couple of weeks, I've been reaching for my Laura Mercier Silk Crème Moisturising Photo Edition Foundation, and as I was gravitating towards lighter coverage bases in summer, I'd forgotten how truly beautiful this foundation is. It's the highest coverage foundation I own, yet it's so lightweight and never looks caked on. There'd be absolutely no issue wearing this foundation in the warmer months, especially as it's incredibly long-lasting, but in the autumn/winter seasons when I want to look a little more polished, this has been my go-to.
That winter flush to the cheeks the crisp, cold air brings is something I find really beautiful. I'd been on the hunt for the perfect blush I could imitate that look with for a few weeks and I finally found the perfect one in Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge in Blushed Rose. Not only am I obsessed with the colour, but how cute is the name? Described as a "brown pink", it has a lot more warmth and redness to it than the usual brown pink blushes I go for and as a cream formula, the complexion simply radiates. Powder is definitely more convenient and long-lasting, but I love the freshness and dewiness of cream, and after swearing off them after a bad experience with a MAC one years and years ago, I'm totally open to them again now. I featured the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure in 2015's winter beauty post, but out of all my blushes, this is one I'm super excited to reach for more often this season. Although this is a blush I wear in any weather, there are those plum undertones that make it something really wintery.
Bronzing may seem out of place during the autumn and winter, but even just a light dusting can go a long way in adding some warmth and vibrance back into the skin when it's not just the weather that's looking a little glum. I really love the Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra as it's subtle and natural looking; it's hard to overdo it this one and therefore, a great bronzer that's still seasonally appropriate. I don't contour every time I do my makeup, but I think this time of year is perfect for getting a little more experimental and adding a few more products into your routine. While makeup tends to be more on the minimal side in the warmer weather, it's fun to deepen things up in the cold. Having used the Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium over the past few months, I can see why this is everyone's favourite contouring powder. It never looks at all muddy, it literally just looks like you've applied a natural shadow onto your cheekbones.
There's nothing like a good highlighter to perk up gloomy winter skin. Lately, I've been absolutely loving pairing Glossier's Haloscope in Quartz underneath the Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight as the combination of the two provides the dreamiest glow to the complexion. On their own, they're both quite subtle, but if you want to oomph things up a little in the particularly lacklustre months of the cold, I highly recommend layering them together.
From fashion to beauty, there isn't a thing about the '90s I don't love. The hazy, grungy, smokey eye looks of the decade is something I'm super into and that I also feel is fitting for the cold weather. From my custom MAC palettes, I've picked out a few autumnal shades to get wearing this season; Saddle, Brown Script, Swiss Chocolate and Embark are all rich, warm orange-toned shades that depict the colours of the fallen leaves so nicely and evoke a little moodiness too.
When I feel like more neutral tones, there's my Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette, which is a versatile one for both everyday or something more smokey. There's also MAC's Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Quite Natural, a "dirty chocolate brown", which looks so effortless smudged across the lids and really grungy too. When I want to add a little dimension and sparkle, I tap a little bit of the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon on the centre of the eyelids with Quite Natural underneath and the two pair together beautifully. This season in eyes, I've also been really into the smudged out eyeliner look on the upper lashline, and for that, I reach for my Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon Eyeliner in Blaquer. I love a polished cat eye with liquid eyeliner, but I'm totally into the undone, effortless look too.
Again with the whole '90s vibe, lips in the autumn/winter season are all about dark nude colours just as much as the vampy ones. To tie in with those rich, warm colours of autumn, I've been getting a lot of wear out of the MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie. Smoked Almond is described as a "medium peachy rose", while Walkryie is a "burnt coral red", and though they aren't too dissimilar from each other, I'd say Walkyrie is much deeper. I've also rediscovered my love for MAC's Lipstick in Whirl, a dark, browny rose nude shade, which I just love getting more wear out of during this time of year. It's a typical '90s nude colour and I love that I feel like I've been taken right back to the decade whenever I wear this one. In vampy colours, MAC's Lipstick in Diva is my usual go-to every autumn/winter season, but after doing a bit of a lipstick declutter, I have rekindled my love for Dark Side, a "deep burgundy" shade. It veers a little more on the berry side and is less red than Diva.
While I love deep red shades on my nails during the colder months, I've decided to go for something a little different this year. My go-to autumnal shade has been the Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Mink Brule, a warm pinky nude that's also slightly on the peachy side. I love wearing this nail polish during any time of the year, but those rich, warm undertones make it particularly lovely in autumn. Then there's the Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Doe My Deer, a "dove grey taupe" colour that totally evokes cool, wintery vibes. I have to admit, the formula of Smith & Cult nail polishes isn't my favourite (Essie is significantly cheaper, though by far more superior, in my opinion), but the packaging is undeniably dreamy, as is this particular shade.
There's nothing like a deep, sultry and sweet scent to set the mood for the cool change in the weather. With notes of black truffle, black orchid, black plum, noir gourmand accord and patchouli, Tom Ford's Black Orchid EDP is dark, warm and sensual, fitting the bill perfectly for the autumn/winter season. It lingers around long after that initial spray too and I love being able to still smell it on my clothes even weeks after I've worn them.
What are your makeup picks this autumn/winter season?