The Best Minimalist Makeup For Autumn And Beyond


While the autumn season typically ushers in shades of merlot, plum and berry, Hermès’ first ever fall beauty collection features an enterprising array of soft, natural and deep velvety pinks suited for September and beyond. The new Rouge Hermès Limited Edition Autumn/Winter 2020 is a mix of matte and satin lipsticks encased in block-colored packaging; mini masterpieces designed to breathe new life into one’s vanity.

Hermès rocked the prestige beauty world earlier this year with the launch of its cosmetics line, giving fashion fanatics and beauty buffs alike the opportunity to bring a touch of Birkin to their beauty routine.

While Hermès cosmetics are a smidgeon more accessible than its iconic bags (which cost between $12,000 to $200,000), the Rouge Hermès lipsticks are still a staple investment at $72 each. The lacquered lipstick cases are refillable, but can only be replenished with other available colors that are not limited edition.

The packaging may be reminiscent of Rothko, but the actual lipstick shades are inspired by the works of other modernist painters, including Charles Sheeler, John Register, Arduino Cantafora and Jean Helion, resulting in a gamut of deep and muted pinks one can only catch during an autumn sunset. The limited edition shades are themed Rose Ombrè, Rose Pommette, and Rose Nuit.

Indie brands are also championing a pink lip for fall. Mented, a vegan cosmetics line that produces shades for a wide range of skin tones, has also launched its Fall Semi-Matte Lip Shade collection ($45 each) boasting warm pinks as well as browns and mauves for tanner to darker complexions. You can of course customize your own set.


This era of remote work has encouraged many to further edit their cosmetic bags down to the utmost essentials, one of many topics the Well+Good State of The Union Beauty virtual talks will explore.

Ali Finney, beauty and fitness director at Well+Good, says Covid-19 pressed fast-forward on a lot of the changes we would’ve seen over time in the beauty industry. “Stuck at home with nothing to do, we had time to look around at all of the bottles and tubes that comprised our shelfies, only to realize that actually what we need are fewer, better things,” she says.

While heavy contouring and layering continue to fizzle out, bold brows remain in trend as the perfect touch of minimalist makeup for a new masked world. But they needn’t look so arched or severely precise. A brow artist at the Hourglass flagship store and brow salon in Soho shares an easy styling tip: instead of relying solely on the usual angled brow brush, finish blending with the No. 11 eyeshadow smudge brush ($36) to achieve a softer, more natural look.

For a fuller and darker brow, gel is best. But some brow gel formulas tend to oxidize faster in packaging and dry on the spoolie. This is why Instant Brow-Fix Semi-Permanent Brow Gel by Thrive Causemetics ($24) is worth a try. It effectively tints and shapes, but also has Vitamin B5 to hydrate and nourish the brows.

If you still prefer pencil, turn to Fenty. In addition to its fine-point pencil ($20), the opposite end also performs some magic: a built-in paddle brush that softly blends.


Maintaining your summer glow is another effortless way to transition to the next season. YSL Beauty launched a Touche Éclat pen ($38) just for fall to instantly illuminate your complexion, without the glitter and sparkle. The gold clickable (and engravable) pen has an applicator that brushes light-infused pigments so seamlessly; neither primer nor foundation are necessary as a base.

While a true glow is achieved through a quality skincare routine, proper sleep and a host of environmental and genetic factors, keeping this YSL pen in your tote bag is one way to give your complexion a quick boost. Dab and blend across your forehead, cheekbones and beneath brow right before a last minute Zoom call or a socially-distant coffee meet-up.

Last but not least, working from home might eliminate the lengthy commute from our daily lives, but by no means are we less busy. For some, the pandemic meant more work, be it due to the nature of one’s job or personal circumstances (like homeschooling, moving to a new town, the loss of income or a caregiver). The global events of 2020 have led to a seismic shift in how we buy and use makeup. More than ever, women do not have time to layer, contour or “beat, bake and set” their faces. They want multifunctional makeup that delivers on skincare, too.

“During the pandemic, skincare has become a clear leader in the personal care market,” says Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist and creator of Specific Beauty, a skincare line for multi-hued women. “The pandemic has caused people to spend much more time on social media where skincare has been continuing to trend, which has translated into a tremendous boost in skincare sales.”

They want makeup that is beneficial and celebrates natural beauty. It’s a tall order, but indie brand Iris & Romeo is on track to mastering this balancing act with Best Skin Days ($64). Its flagship product is a serum, moisturizer, SPF, coverage and blue light/pollution protector—packing an entire morning skin routine in one (glass recyclable) jar. The 5-in-1 soufflé-like formula contains moisturizing ingredients at clinical levels, including coconut water, Bulgarian rose extract, moringa and sunflower seed oils. So come fall and even winter time, you can still achieve that elusive dewy, summer look.

No one should settle for subpar product, nor should they settle for a luxury, high-performance product that fails to offer for diverse skin tones.

“The events of 2020 have made it crystal clear that consumers want more diversity in product offerings and marketing materials from beauty and skincare brands,” says Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. “In recent years, the range of personal care products for women of color has dramatically increased but there is still room for growth and further representation.”

AJ Crimson has created a line of AJ Crimson Artist Kits ($149) which serve up a foundation, concealer, highlight and more in a single palette. The foundation’s paraben-free, all-natural beeswax base formula ensures a smooth finish, even for dry skin during the winter months. The celebrity makeup artist had a clear vision for his cosmetics line: “So often, makeup has been designed with a one size fits all mentality, and with black women and women of color, my cosmetic line contains shades for women of every ethnic background.”

To learn more about how 2020 has changed our beauty shopping habits this fall season and beyond, join the Well+Good State of The Union Beauty talk to take place virtually this evening at 5 p.m. ET. There is a “give what you can” registration fee. All proceeds will benefit Look Good Feel Better, a charity dedicated to helping women with cancer cope with the side effects of treatment.

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