Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends

For the fall/ winter 2015-2016 seasons, we were given such a wide array of choices when it comes to turning our faces into a canvas to paint on that we are quite overwhelmed at the moment. What we do notice, however is that the days of doing very little backstage to prep the ladies for the catwalk are all but over, with the low-maintenance looks still available but intermixed with the biggest message given for the fall 2015 season: Make a Statement! Whether it’s about show-stopping eye makeup options or creative takes on the classic eyeliner look, the fall/ winter 2015-2016 makeup trends are all about creating stand-out looks both for casual days and special nights out!

Update: discover the new trend reports here: Spring/ Summer 2016 Makeup Trends & Fall/ Winter 2016-2017 Makeup Trends

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends

When we look out for the collections that appear on the runway shows, particularly during the Fashion Week events taking place in New York, London, Milan and Paris where only the best and top houses in the industry present their latest artistic endeavours for us to view and admire, we do not only pay attention to the actual garments presented but all that is used to complete a look. This may include the accessories and the footwear, the handbags and even the makeup. There are so many trends that begin on the runways that often either make us very happy overall or even frighten us with the complexity of the look.

From the hair to the positioning of the accessories and, last but not least, the makeup artistry, beauty risks were taken to the maximum and we could not have been happier with most of the results. We are still reeling from the Givenchy face piercing looks though, while scratching our heads at the forehead grazing topknots seen at Marc Jacobs. This time around, however, everything seems to have more of an expensive look to them, as if we are revelling life lived in the lap of luxury. The fall and the winter season is all about contrasting combinations of looks that you mix and match to suit your personal ideal beauty.

The trends seen on the runway have given us much in terms of inspirations though and we are grinning from ear to ear at seeing many of the comebacks. We have the cool and we have the impressive, we also have the very artistic and the positively wacky looks that have us wondering about the drugs some people might have been abusing. What we are glad about though is the fact that many of the spring looks have made their way into the fall collections as well, from the bold and the beautiful to the naturally luminous. Below is a summary of the biggest fall/ winter 2015-2016 makeup trends that have hit the runways, bringing with them some intriguing skills with the brushes and pens.

#1: Barely There Makeup and Looking Totally Natural

While putting on makeup can make a woman look positively stunning more often than not, there is nothing better than seeing a lady with a bare face, minimal products used and an entirely natural look. We thought that we were going to say goodbye to the natural face but it seems as if the healthy complexion that is clean and clear and under control is most definitely still top of the list of biggest makeup trends for fall 2015. It does require having mastered caring for your skin first for there are no blemishes to be found anywhere on the models sent out without their mast of artistry.

Going au naturel never looked as playfully sweet as at Desigual, with the thick browed, minimally done up models appearing with big curls and bigger dreams to share. Luminous skin, natural eyes and a matte lip were the perfect combination to present when featuring a more earthy chic, the look quite alluring unto itself. Natural fit perfectly in with the David Koma ideals, though we saw blush added in ample amounts to the Mila Schon ladies.

Girlish pink cheeks also fell into this category of a totally natural look that was entirely reminiscent of a century or two past, when the ladies had little in terms of cosmetics to dabble in. Dolce & Gabbana and Michael Kors also sent out fresh-faced models with little to no makeup on.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Natural No Makeup Look

#2: Swooping Cat Eyes

Cat eyes are a huge staple for the cooler seasons of the year, when our faces will reflect our beauty better than our garment-clad bodies that hide much of what is underneath. Small cat eyes graced the ladies who took to the Coach catwalk with their incredible fashions, those orbs really popping out due to the expertise by which these lines were drawn in all the right places with the right amount of black product.

The length and sharpness of the cat eyes spotted at A Detacher were almost frightening in their bold nature, while the feline flicks had some lived-in looks as well at Narciso Rodriguez and Versace. The Max Mara ladies looked positively stunning with their little bit of perfectly defined cat eyes, while double feline flicks made the Thierry Mugler fashion show all the more captivating. Those cat eyes took on a new twist with the charcoal smudges seen at Chanel, while we also love the polished cat eye makeup style spotted at Daks.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Cat Eye Makeup

#3: The Twiggy Makeup Look of the 1960s

We may be all about the 1970s this year, but the 1960s, 1990s and the 1980s have crept in from the side doors in interesting combinations to give us some of the best those decades had to offer. Here, we see those really bold and Twiggy lashes that have been separated in clumps and kind of remind us of posh girls from rich families attending a boarding school and discovering mascara for the first time. That would probably be the excuse given a year ago for going so out of control with the application, but since it has been a sitting trend since the spring/summer 2015 season Fashion Weeks, we know that we can walk out with those twig lashes and still be loved instead of written off by the fashion police.

Honor showed off those awesome lashes, along with Rachel Zoe. And then, of course, was the extreme length achieved by Jill Stuart, using a clean palette to clean up the rest of the face as well. Twig lashes looked awesome with the mega liner creating the totally mod vibe at Daks. The clumpy look of the mascara was actually perfectly chic when combined with that bedhead styling of the hair, a rocker vibe that ran deep at Wunderkind. Blugirl paired Twiggy lashes with bold red lips, while keeping the rest of the face clean and nude.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Sixties Twiggy Makeup

#4: Taking Sultry to New Heights with Smoky Eyes

The eyes always seem to have the perfect pop when you smudge in some grey in lighter or darker hues, or even some brown to give it that perfect manifestation of a shadow. We saw this paired with gorgeous lashes applied with mascara, the brows blotted out for the most part. Yet, if we wanted to see something downright sexy, we are looking at Monique Lhuillier’s gem of a collection with those incredible grungy plum smoky eyes that were inspired by none other than the gorgeous Kate Moss.

Though, if you do not want to go down that road, you can always stick to the classic version with the black and the grey that was easily spotted on the Diane von Furstenberg and Elie Saab runway shows, as well as the alien-meets sixties looks at the Cushnie et Ochs gathering. Of course you can go much lighter on the makeup and opt for the brown-eyed Chelsea girls looks at Nicole Miller.

Smudged lids were a nice staple for the mystical aura presented by Nicole Miller, while this was the central attractions for the Burberry Prorsum models. Smoldering eyes were dark and smoky on the John Richmond runway show, the models looking positively fantastic with the combination of feline drawing and luscious wine colored lips. Dark, smoky eyes made the focal point where we were concerned of the beauty looks at the lovely Pascal Millet.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Smokey Eye Makeup

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Smokey Eye Makeup

#5: Working that Liner

The best cosmetic tool used for the fall and winter season’s collection presentations was the liquid liner in all its glory. Different designers used it for different purposes, but all created bold graphic lines and designs to add an edgy touch to rather minimal looks, such as with Adeam. That liner was used to create interesting frames around the eyes at DKNY, while only the lower lid was outlined at Rebecca Minkoff.

Lines appeared in place of the cat drawings, thick kohl used to create a sweeping look at the edge of the lid at Suno. Liner was used to create a combo of futuristic and ancient Egyptian pharaoh style look spotted at Jean Pierre Braganza, one which we certainly will want to emulate for parties coming up! Graphic eye detailing was simply stunning on the Matthew Williamson and Rochas runways, giving the models a boho meets modern vibe.

Simpler, more pronounced black liners were used all over as well, creating the classic beauty at Oscar de la Renta, the bona fide bombshell at Versace, and the really bad girl at Marc by Marc Jacobs. Thick, inky swipes of liner were applied to models’ eyes at Fendi, while cat eyes with multiple lines and angles were created at Christophe Guillarme.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Eyeliner

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Eyeliner

#6: Extremely Red Lips

Red lips came in a range of colors, but the classic and the really red looks deserve to be mentioned on their own. For example, the Kaelen girls were given a pop of tangerine red lips along with their big curls and awesome nails, nothing added to or around the eyes. For really red lips, we certainly loved the retro look found at Antonio Berardi, the matching lips and nails at Julien Macdonald, and the ox blood lips displayed during the captivating Ashley Williams collection.

Pure red lips were seen everywhere from Bottega Veneta to Carolina Herrera, the extreme brightness at Celine and that of Saint Laurent; Tod’s gave us such beauty, while we saw the darker hues at Dolce & Gabbana. The models at San Andres certainly knew how to appear bold and beautiful with those cherry red lips and the slightly frizzy half ponytails.

Crisp red lips were a signature on the Cristiano Burani line, while the blood red was big on Blugirl, and the slight cherry hue in matte was what made the Vanessa Seward collection stand out. The red made it big at Acne Studios as well.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Red Lips

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Red Lips

#7: Berry Colored Lips

Berry colors were a huge hit on the runway shows throughout, from London to Paris, Milan and New York. At Carolina Herrera, the theme was water sirens and they certainly looked best with those darker red lips, kind of like cranberries to really bring the beauty to the visage. Berry pinks made a splash with matte lips on Felder Felder, though nothing could look better than nearly burgundy colored blackberry stained lips at Roksanda.

Grapes and wine seemed to mark the lips at John Richmond, the richness of the hue really grabbing at our senses. Strawberry red lips looked quite sweet on the MSGM models as they graced the walkway with their hair worn in side-swept ponytails and the rest of the face left quite natural.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Berry Lips

#8: Lips in the Nude

Those lips were not always colored a red hue or even a bold black; sometimes they were given less definition overall and made to look matte and nude, kind of like a whisper of soft rose hinting at a bloom. That is certainly what we saw on the Dennis Basso show. Lips in the nude appeared on DKNY as well as Cividini where there was little color to be found. Punk met retro at the John Galliano show when black feline flicks were paired with muted out nude lips and not much else in terms of makeup. Of course, that very fact just made the lack of extra color on the pout even more delectable to look at throughout the show.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Nude Lips

#9: Ombre Lips

The way Dustin Lujan, lead makeup artist for Le Métier de Beauté describes it, the ladies for Erin Fetherston were given an ombre lip with a neutral beige pink and no definition, literally appearing as if blood was spilling out from the inside, kind of like biting into a poison apple. Holly Fulton’s blushing pink lips have a slight ombre tinge as well, fading away at the edges while darker in the center. Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs also showed unique interpritations of the ombre lip trend.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Ombre Lips

#10: Morning-After Makeup Look

One big trend we saw on the runways for the fall and winter seasons is the morning after look that signifies the downtown girl has moved uptown. She wears all the right clothes and shows off her glamorous self, but the truth is that she was partying hard last night and still has the aftereffects of a hangover to fight off. That might be why she’s still wearing her makeup from last night, albeit touched up. We have to admit, this is a look that we often use ourselves as it saves a load of trouble in the morning while getting ready. We saw this trend appear particularly on Blue Les Copains. Even the Victoria Beckham models were given that smudgy, lived-in look that creates for a girl the illusion of one who parties hard.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Morning After Makeup

#11: Exotic Rainbow Eye Makeup

Playing with eyeshadow colors and combinations makes us happy, like an amateur artist with his first huge set of paints. On the Fashion Week runway shows, many of the designers opted to play with some rather intriguing palettes and came up with lovely looks, from tropical sunsets to birds of a feather. MAC’s lead makeup artist Polly Osmond did not seem to quite find the bird-like similarities in Christian Siriano’s models, though colors had been played with that matched the bird Siriano saw in the woman. Those colorful combinations stretch into the use of eyeliners as well, such as the layers worn at Fyodor Golan. Kaleidoscope lids were a thing of the future or the past, depending on who looked, as seen on Toga.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Rainbow Eye Makeup

#12: Artistic Brush Strokes

Makeup is used by eccentric artists to create extravagant fashion statements that present their own signatures to the world. With the Zero + Maria Cornejo models, it appeared as if something tribal and positively feral had been the inspiration behind the graphic brush strokes that were made around brows and the edges of the eyes. House of Holland threw in thick black stripes brushed against the lids to match with the nail art as well.

We saw the use of brush strokes on eyes at Rodarte, Ohne Titel, Celine and Chanel, while the swoosh of black cream was added to the inner corners of the eyes at Proenza Schouler, Kenzo’s ladies were made up with custom brushes snipped in zigzag patterns along the bristles. The brush strokes were quite graphic at Rochas, where liner was used to create a bold and edgy look by running in lines across the top and bottom lids with precision.

A unique look was created at Issey Miyake, where the models were painted with bold stroked of color at different points on their faces to complement the funky crimped hair created in the back. Possibly the most graphic of the brush swipes was at Kenzo with the mega Black Swan like white color added to the lids with major imperfections.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Artistic Brushstrokes

#13: Bold and Blue is the Eye Makeup

There is something utterly fantastic about using an all blue palette and adding in some smoky in some cases to amplify the pop of color. It is sexy and dangerous at the same time, while still having some form of a mysterious ethereal aura surrounding it. Such was definitely the case with the Karen Walker ladies with color and more color being the name of the game as they were sent onto the catwalk with bright and stunning aqua blue eyes. Dick Page swathed lids with brilliant shades of blue at Celine as graphic brushings that we cannot get enough of. Baby blue and icy white shimmered as the shadows created an ethereal look to the Hussein Chalayan collection presented on the Paris Fashion Week runway show.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Blue Eye Makeup

#14: Minimalist ’90s Makeup Look

If you think that natural faces looked awesome, we found that the minimalist display of makeup that is reminiscent of the 1990s was quite the show stealer. Burgundy lips and gently flushed cheeks with a soft touch of liner and shadow on the eyes were Donna Karan’s way of throwing us back into one of the less talked about era trends for the season. Tibi was a perfect example of the minimalistic look, using everything in very small amounts. The look we spotted at Alexis Mabille was positively fresh and youthful, with a touch of pink to the lips for an extra bit of pout. The fresh faced look of the ’90s was also spotted at Barbara Bui with subtle liner added and a touch of pink to the cheeks creating a slightly flushed look.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Minimalist '90s Makeup

#15: Simplest of Eye Shadows

It appears as if we are to be enjoying all types of eyeshadow looks, from the bird-like colorful combinations to the plain, natural looks. However, you can also stick to a single color widely dispersed, like the terra cotta lids spotted at Herve Leger, or the dusting of orange found on the Richard Chai Love models. Tibi gave simple shadows a new meaning but bringing in a touch of pink for a fresh and feminine design that would capture hearts on stage.

Apricot shadows were added to the Preen ladies to really spruce up those ’30s style looks that were one of the more uncommon era trends seen this year. Single colored shadows look pretty good and they certainly added lots of depth at Cividini with the dash of iridescent plum on the lids. Simple white shadows on the lids of the Sacai models gave them a soft and ethereal look.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Simple Eye Makeup

#16: Lots of Sparkles

It was a big spring trend and it appears to have made its way into the fall and winter as well. Glitter and gold come to life with the Old Hollywood looks given the latest fads. This was to be expected. It was all so dazzling, as seen on Tadashi Shoji. Sequins were added to the lids of the models walking for Temperley London, creating a bit of a disco ball effect. The sparkles can come as shimmers as well and when it comes to the Guy Laroche ladies, their makeup was essentially a combination of dove gray and white shimmer shadows on the eyes, making that region the main focal point on the women’s visage.

While Blumarine plays with subtle metallic silver sparkles added to the nude eyelids, Rodarte uses a lovely sequinned detail on the bottom lash line. Mara Hoffman and Zac Posen bring the glittery makeup trend to the scene by experimenting with metallic bronze, gold and silver eyeshadows.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Glittery and Metallic Eye Makeup

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Glittery and Metallic Eye Makeup

#17: The Dewy Look

It is another trend that has transcended time and defeated its constrictions, appearing again in the fall and winter collections. The dewy look appears all over, either as a sporty sweaty creation or as a whimsy, girly look. There is something very feminine but wild about the Honor girl with her plump lips and simple makeup, accentuated with the shiny skin around the lids, the nose and cheekbones, the last place of which is also highlighted with a flushed look. Between textured tresses and dewy skin, the Balmain woman showed off a healthy glow and a natural confidence radiating from the soul.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Dewy Skin

#18: Graphic Eye Makeup

It appears as if the graphic trend is huge, which leads us into mentioning the graphic lids with the pops of color and funky designs. This includes the Eudon Choi fun take on the typical shadow by creating dots that stretch into a cat eye look, swept right across. Between major cat eyes and the funky creations with lines seen here and there, we saw a whole lot of graphic lids. Peter Philips took a simple sponge applicator to craft clean kidney-shaped blocks of color at Dior, and we saw a bold graphic eye makeup at Chanel too.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Graphic Eye Makeup

#19: Keeping to the Waterline

One trend that really intrigues us is the use of liner on the waterline, a look which can look positively stunning with a jet black liquid version to really make the eye color pop against its outline. This was the case at Erdem where the slightly ’60s look was totally the rage, including the lined waterline trend. The instant cool-girl effect was created at Lanvin, Versace, Victoria Beckham and Roberto Cavalli as well, wherein the latter two featured a reverse smoky effect through diffusion that was entirely modern.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Eyeliner On The Waterline

#20: Smudges of Gray

The use of the grey color for liners and shadows was quite common, so much so that we are considering really taking on this trend. It is a softer look to the smoky eye, while still managing to hold specific appeal as it brings the focus to the color projected from within the ring around the eyes. At Paul Smith, it was all about keeping the look simple and sweet; we can say it worked famously. Subtle shades of gray on the lids really brought out the dove-like looks at the Philipp Plein show.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Gray Eye Makeup

#21: Fresh Skin

The best prescription given for beauty this year, particularly the fall and winter months, is to drink more water, get more sleep and invest in more moisturizer. Fresh looking skin is in and you do not want to be left looking drab and utterly unprepared for what the cooler days that lead to chapped hides and unattractive presentations of the self. At Calvin Klein, Pucci, Giambattista Valli, Christopher Kane, Valentino, Nina Ricci, Balmain and many other, the combination of face oils, concealers, and highlighters created the desired fresh skin effects, allowing the visage to give off a healthy glow.

Balenciaga’s ladies looked positively divine, while Michael Kors also featured the simple, well-nourished females; Bottega Veneta’s beauties appeared soft and genteel, while the Chloe and Max Mara runways were only added to with this trend taking over.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Fresh Skin

#22: Creating a Canvas out of Your Face

It appears that many designers opt to turn the face fully into an artistic canvas, not utilizing the accepted beauty prescriptions but creating a world through it all on their own. Models were gilded, airbrushed and scribbled on for the fall/ winter 2015-2016 shoes, with abstract drawings around the eyes seen at Anthony Vaccarello, while a gold leaf mask was created at Rick Owens and mathematical equations solved on the necks of models at Junya Watanabe. Other collections with such creations included Vivienne Westwood Red Label, Giamba, Maison Margiela, Givenchy and Alexander McQueen.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Artistic Makeup

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Artistic Makeup

#23: Black Magic Lips

While we see much of the red and pink lips, even the nudes and the perfectly natural, we cannot help but admire the use of black lipstick throughout the Fashion Weeks. It’s a funky trend that brings witches of the East and West to mind, fighting for the good or the evil, we know not. These luscious lips with the dark secrets were brought to the catwalks that held the collection presentations by Marchesa, Marc Jacobs, Giles, and Emanuel Ungaro. Velvet matte lip pencils were used at Train Bleu, while burgundy with currant was mixed for the moody bouts at Ungaro. Black and Burgundy made up the combination look at Giles.

Bold pouts were given to the models that walked for Ermanno Scervino with deep eggplant lipstick used to make a dark purple color block that was complimented by the Twiggy lashes and nothing more on the face. Deep brown lipstick was a pretty hit look at Trussardi and we could not take our eyes off of it; Luisa Beccaria’s dash of plum lips, on the other hand, had us thinking that Halloween will be arriving a little early this year, particularly when paired with golden lids. Dark matte lips also came in handy at the Julien David show that glorified the forgotten 1940s.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Black Lips

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Black Lips

#24: Positively Pink Lips

Black, berry, red and nude were all different lip colors to make it onto the runway shows, but the loveliest hue of all was the pink. Literally, we keep thinking pretty in pink. Fleshy pink lips gave a simple and elegant appearance at Max Mara, shiny gloss added to the intensity of the Fendi looks, and the gentle touch of light spring pink at Tibi had us begging for more. Daks’ ladies also rocked the ’60s looks and certainly did not appear without a healthy shine of pretty pink lips.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Pink Lips

#25: Touching Up the Lower Lids

While we used to think it was the best way to keep the makeup up the upper lids, it appears as if the fall/winter runway trends are totally going to turn that upside down by making the lower lids and lashes the focal point. This was seen with the thick coat of mascara applied to the Blugirl models.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Emphasizing Lower Lids

#26: Extended Brows on the Set

It might be prudent to also note the use of extended brows on the runway shows presented by some of the top designers, in this case, by Genny at the Milan Fashion Week. It is a totally unique look but for women like us who have shorter brows, these extensions are rather intriguing. Extensions to the brows are made by drawing a line right underneath the natural curve in a natural coloring and adding to it from both ends of the eye at Cedric Charlier.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Extended Drawn Eyebrows

#27: The Return of Lip Gloss

It was huge on the spring and summer runway shows and it certainly made its appearance once again, despite not peeking in through the trends as much this time around. The lip gloss look was huge in the ’90s as well, but this year we have it looking even more youthful and fresh than ever. We had not seen this look in a pretty long time and even during New York Fashion Week we spotted the light reflecting off the pouts of pretty models.

The high shine on the lips was found aplenty when it came to fashion designer collections such as that by Rag & Bone, Rodarte, Fendi and Roland Mouret, while the shine was added to brows at Christopher Kane, the lids at Nina Ricci and the cheeks at David Koma. Kenzo gave us lovely lip gloss looks though we’re still reeling from the Black Swan reminder.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Lip Gloss

#28: Boyish or Shaded in Brows

One of the biggest fall 2015 makeup trends we see on the runway is actually one, which is little talked about. It exists almost in every collection, from the best-known fashion houses in Paris to the up-and-coming designer line-ups by American artists. It is all about the boyish brows that are left often unplucked and kept rather natural as on the H&M models. We also see shading in of brows, among other things, that happen within the Christine Phung collection. Those brows come in heavy sets on Julien David and slightly more feminine in their natural contouring at John Galliano.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Makeup Trends: Natural, Powerful Eyebrows

While the black lip trend might not be a good option for daily wear, there are still so many amazing fall/ winter 2015-2016 makeup trends that you can sport for various occasions in the new season. Whether you love the au naturel look or prefer the classic red lip color, stay true to your personality and create self-confident makeup looks to boost the sophistication and femininity in your overall appearance!

Photos courtesy of Stylebistro

Don’t miss: Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Hairstyle Trends

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Handbag Trends

Written by Tamar Najarian
Tamar is a psychologist, teaching and heading into the business world with a prospective MBA. A silly lover of books and words, she generally loves to seek out new adventures, getting her toes wet and her hands dirty. Having moved to Armenia nearly two years ago, she feels like the world is at her fingertips and anything is possible so long as you take a step in that direction.