Tangerine lipstick

Photo: Alexandre Weinberger

We thought we knew what to expect from fall's new makeup launches, but were we in for a surprise! Instead of the season's standard fare (dark, sooty shadows, deep berry lipsticks), we found gloriously bright, saturated colors that will keep spirits high well into winter. Let us show you how to wear these electrifying shades—and defy expectations, gorgeously.

What you'd expect: Dark Crimson


Tangerine Lips

A blue-toned red lipstick can feel formal, but orange-reds—even deeply pigmented ones—have a more playful vibe. Keep the rest of your face almost bare (our model is wearing only mascara, concealer, and a brow pencil), leave your hair loose, and rely on eye-catching lipstick (here, Black Up Lipstick in 18) for a casual look that's also terrifically polished.

Pull It Off Like a Pro

Find your formula. If you have warm, golden, or olive skin, any orange-red will look gorgeous—even the most saturated, matte version. On a pale, cool complexion, an orange-red gloss or sheer stain is more flattering.

Do border patrol. To prevent a bright lipcolor from bleeding, trace a pencil concealer (like Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil, $18; Sephora.com) around your lips. Buff it with your finger, then apply color.

Start in the middle. Your lips look fuller when you dab lipstick in the center of your mouth and blend it out with your finger. Blot gently with a tissue to remove excess color.

Don't rush blush. Apply lipcolor first, then assess how much blush you need. A vibrant lipstick often brings out the natural rosiness in your cheeks. Avoid bronzer altogether—it can look muddy against a rich lipcolor.
Tangerine lipsticks and lip balm

Photo: Marko Metzinger

Shop Guide: Tangerine Lips
1. L'Oréal Paris Colour Caresse by Colour Riche Luminous Lipcolour in Cardinal Plume, $10; drugstores

2. Black Up Lipstick in 18, $22; BlackUpCosmetics.com

3. NP Set Lip Balm with Benefits in Capri, $10; Target.com

4. Guerlain Rouge G Lipstick in Genna, $48; Saks.com

5. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Red Lacquer, $8; drugstores
Purple eye makeup

Photo: Alexandre Weinberger

What you'd expect: Smoky Black or Grey


Smoky Purple Eyes

Smoky eye makeup doesn't have to be black or gray to smolder. Purple or blue is just as alluring—and more interesting. Here, makeup artist Frances Hathaway lined our model's upper and lower lashlines with a vivid purple pencil (Avon Glimmersticks Chrome Eye Liner in Ultra Violet), then smudged a deeper purple over that and up to the crease (Estée Lauder Pure Color Five Color Eye Shadow Palette in Violet Underground). For a festive finish, she layered a sheer sparkly shadow all over the lids (Givenchy Le Prisme Color & Shine for Metallic Eyes in Acoustic Harmony).

Pull It Off Like a Pro

Soften the edges. For the most flattering, eye-opening effect, dramatic eye makeup shouldn't have sharp definition. Apply the shadow close to your lashline, then blend the edges of the color over the lid. Finally, buff everything with a clean eyeshadow brush or Q-tip.

Amp up your brows. Saturated color on your lids should be balanced by defined arches. Use a pencil or powder to fill them in if need be with short, feathery strokes.

Save concealer for last. If you use it first, you'll have to redo it after you apply eyeshadow, which inevitably falls a bit below your eyes. Also, once your eyes are vividly defined, you may find you need less concealer than you thought.

Skip blush. Rosy cheeks can look garish next to vibrant eye makeup. But don't ignore cheek color completely. Use a shimmer-free bronzer about two shades darker than your skin tone, starting a little below the apples of your cheeks and blending up and out.
Purple eye makeup

Photo: Marko Metzinger

Shop Guide: Smoky Purple Eyes
From left to right

1. Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in Massive Midnight, $16; Clinique.com

2. Estée Lauder Pure Color Five Color Eye Shadow Palette in Violet Underground, $48; EsteeLauder.com

3. Givenchy Le Prisme Color & Shine for Metallic Eyes in Acoustic Harmony, $58; Sephora.com

4. NYX Glam Shadow Stick in Illuminating Topaz, $4.50; NYXCosmetics.com

5. Avon Glimmersticks Chrome Eye Liner in Ultra Violet, $7; Avon.com
Bright blush on cheeks

Photo: Alexandre Weinberger

What you'd expect: Dusty Rose


Bright Berry Cheeks

In the drama of makeup, cheek color often plays a supporting role, especially after summer. But this season it's ready to take center stage, with so many vivid berry blushes worthy of top billing. Here, Hathaway used Nars's latest shade, a rich gold-infused pink (Outlaw), and kept the rest of our model's makeup simple—a creamy taupe eyeshadow (she repurposed Make Up For Ever Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector in No. 0, $20; Sephora.com) and sheer rose lipstick (like Dior Addict Lipstick in Wild, $30; NeimanMarcus.com).

Pull It Off Like a Pro

Ace your base. Start with a tinted moisturizer or foundation to camouflage any ruddiness, which can be accentuated by a bold blush. An oil-free or matte formula will also serve as a good base to keep your blush from fading. Blot gently with a tissue to remove excess product.

Choose your texture. If your skin tends to get shiny, use a powder blush—it won't absorb oil and turn blotchy. For a softer effect, apply it with a large, fluffy brush. If your skin is dry, use a cream blush—but exfoliate first because a cream will accentuate flaky patches.

Think swirls, not stripes. Apply your blush in circular motions—starting on the apples of your cheeks and blending up and out toward your temples—to leave a natural wash of color. (Never apply your blush back and forth along your cheekbone, which creates a harsh line.)

Lip synch. Your lips should complement—not compete with—a vibrant cheek color. Choose a lipstick just a couple of shades deeper than your natural lip color.
Red cheek makeup

Photo: Marko Metzinger

Shop Guide: Bright Berry Cheeks
From left to right

1. Smashbox Airblush Whipped Cheek Color in Berry Bliss, $29; Smashbox.com

2. MAC Powder Blush in Hidden Treasure, $20; MacCosmetics.com

3. Lorac Pro Powder Cheek Stain in Ruby Rouge, $20; Ulta.com

4. Nars Blush in Outlaw, $28; NarsCosmetics.com

5. Tom Ford Lip and Cheek Stain in Tainted Love, $48; BergdorfGoodman.com
Fall skin makeup

Photo: Marko Metzinger

Shop Guide: Perfect Your Skin
From left to right

1. Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Concealer, $17.50; Origins.com

2. YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat, $55; YSLBeautyUS.com

3. Rimmel London Clean Finish Matte Foundation, $5; drugstores

Next: How to find the best makeup shades for you