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The Brilliance of Autumn

By: Abby Penning
Posted: October 5, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • Dependable, fundamental basics are fundamental in tricky economic times, but consumers still yearn for variety, creating a perfect opportunity to experiment with color cosmetics.
  • Eyes are where some of the boldest, brightest, most unique colors take the stage this fall. Serious base shades in brown, green and gray are lightened up with pops of pinkish reds and bold purples for the eyelids.
  • Autumn 2009’s blue brings a little more moodiness than the traditional spring pastel tints.

Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and founder of, calls fall a study in contrasts.

“The colors are more unique and thoughtful than we usually find for autumn,” she says. Acknowledging the season’s pensive mood but also noting a touch of newer things on the horizon, J. Scott Berry, a professional makeup artist, and southeast regional manager and skin care and spa consultant with Repêchage, says, “Colors are more sophisticated. I’d sum up the look as a return to basics with a new millennium flair.”

Eiseman adds, “Fashion designers are acknowledging the tricky economic time by using dependable, fundamental basics, but people also don’t want to do the same old, same old, which is a great place for cosmetics to come in and offer more of an opportunity to use color.”

Radiant Complexion

To even out a facial palette, neutral hues in warm beiges, cool taupes and creamy tans provide great base tones. “They’re classic shades that go with everything, and they’re great bookends for the more vibrant colors of blue, red and purple,” Eiseman notes. Clean, flawless skin also shows off a woman’s personal coloring, but it needs the right prep work, too. “Making makeup look great on the skin is definitely all about exfoliation and hydration,” says Tricia Campbell, director of education for Jane Iredale—The Skin Care Makeup. “You need a good moisturizer and a good eye cream; eyes need as much hydration as possible.”