The Top 5 Fall Beauty Trends, Inspired by Past Trendsetters

When’s the last time you updated your hair and your makeup? For some of us, each week means a new hairstyle, but for most of us, it’s easy to get stuck in a beauty rut. Straightened hair, brown eyeliner, and the same bronzer you’ve been using for three years? Yawn. Wake up your look with some fun, new beauty trends for fall!

This year, designers and stylists have chosen to pay homage to trends of past decades. It takes a special kind of originality to revamp styles of past trendsetters, and this season, we salute our super-stylish foremothers. Here are the top five beauty trends for fall.


The Half-Moon Nail of the ‘30s

Then: Jean Harlow (photographed 1933)

Now: La Perla Fall/Winter 2013-2014 Collection

Go-To Product: Essie Nail Polish in Sand Tropez, Ulta, $8

“Geometric nail polish is a huge trend in nail art for the fall, especially in muted palettes,” says makeup artist Jacquie Bandarenko. Geometric nail art was all over the fall runways, including La Perla, and the half-moon manicure is particularly popular. In both muted palettes and brighter shades, this style hearkens back to the 1930s, when Jean Harlow often wore this style on her nails. Jean wasn’t just a renowned actress, but also a sex symbol of the ‘30s. Channel her sultry style with this creative nail trend for fall!

To get the look, start by painting your nails the color you want the bottom (half moon) of the nail to be. When your nails are totally dry, stick a hole reinforcement on the bottom of your nail, and paint the top of your nail a second color. Remove the enforcer, wait for nails to dry, and use a top coat to set the style. Remember: if you don’t wait for your base color to be completely dry before pressing on the sticker, you’ll smudge your nails!


The Milkmaid Braid of the ‘40s

Then: Veronica Lake (photographed 1945)

Now: Jennifer Lawrence at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

Go-To Product: Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream, Frederic Fekkai, $34 for 7 oz

When you head back to college, the best kind of go-to hairstyle is one that doesn’t take long to accomplish but still looks polished. Enter the milkmaid braid. “The trend for collegiate ladies this fall is all about simple braids with lots of texture!” says Brianna McDonald, a stylist at Frederic Fekkai.

McDonald recommends Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream “to create manageability, fight frizz, and add shine to hair.” Apply the product while hair is damp or dry to add manageability and shine. Part your hair down the middle, split your hair into two sections, and braid each section. Then, bring each braid around the top of your head and pin them with bobby pins to the rest of your hair, applying hairspray as necessary.

For some historical inspiration, check out the beautiful Veronica Lake, a classic femme fatale actress who rocked the style in the 1940s as a practical hairstyle for women working in war industry factories. Even though you’ll just be cramming for that Econ test tomorrow, a practical ‘do that’s still cute will be a must.


The Cat-Eye of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s

Then: Brigitte Bardot on set of A Very Private Affair (1962)

Now: Lauren Conrad (from her Instagram account)

Go-To Product: Maybelline Eye Master Precise Liquid Liner, Target, $5.70

No look fully captures ease and sophistication as well as the cat-eye does. Bold and striking cat-eye makeup was found all over fall runways, including Salvatore Ferragamo, Jason Wu, and Michael Kors, who embraced the not-so-subtle, thickly drawn cat-eye.

Though these dramatic looks have their place on Saturday nights, a simpler style, like the one LC rocks, is a great way to elevate your normal eyeliner routine while still staying casual. “A simple, subtle cat-eye with a simple lip is a great makeup style for fall,” Bandarenko says.

Brigitte Bardot, a famous French movie star of the ‘50s and ‘60s, made the dramatic black-and-gray cat-eye her signature look, always paired with a demure, neutral lip. This look is great for daytime when toned down, and even more fun for the evening when played up. To create a subtle cat eye, use Maybelline’s liquid liner brush (it practically does the work for you), and, using small strokes, draw your cat-eye. Remember to open your eye as you’re applying to make sure you’re achieving the look you’re striving for. Once you have your base cat-eye, feel free to dial up the drama by thickening the line, or adding intense shadow and mascara.