Bold Looks for Fall

August 11, 2006

Cosmetic companies continue to embrace dramatic shades for the upcoming autumn season to help boost sales.

Photo: Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
Bold Looks for Fall

Cosmetic companies continue to embrace dramatic shades for the upcoming autumn season to help boost sales.

Lindsay Elkins

Associate Editor

Color Cosmetics for fall 2006 are all about bold, rich colors on the eyes with a soft, candlelight sheen, several sources told Happi. In keeping in trend with the past two years, the eye is still the strongest group of all the major color cosmetics categories; and this fall is no exception with shades such as black, plum and navy dominating the scene.

Sales of prestige cosmetics rose 6% to $3 billion in 2005, according to Karen Grant of NPD Beauty, an NPD Group division. Eye color was up 10% and face makeup rose 5% from 2004. While multi-purpose makeup kits made up a small portion of the overall segment, they are quickly climbing the ladder with a 28% increase in dollars in 2005. “Multi-purpose products are continuing to do well and eye is still the strongest group of all the major categories,” said Ms. Grant.

Ms. Grant also notes that established cosmetics brands are waning and niche brands are emerging as the leaders. Perhaps the most interesting consumer trend is that women are still shopping for beauty, despite the increase in oil prices, housing prices and recent department store mergers and closings. “It’s encouraging to see how resistant women are to whatever situation is going on and still want to have fun,” commented Ms. Grant.

While women are currently continuing to shop, Ms. Grant speculates that while the performance is going to be steady, 2006 won’t be quite as strong as 2005. “We’re watching closely to see if consumers won’t shop as frequently because of the oil situation. We’re hoping to continue a rise in the lower single digits [for 2006].”

The Eyes Have It

Cosmetic companies across the board seem to be in agreement that fall 2006 is all about rich, bold colors on the eyes, which includes everything from decadent chocolate to forest green to plum. “Chocolate is the new beauty classic,” noted Bobbi Brown, chief executive officer and founder, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. “It creates a look that’s polished without being overdone.” The Chocolate Eye Palette, which features seven shades of different variations of matte and shimmer chocolate shadows, is the focus of Brown’s fall line.

Clnique’s fall 2006 line puts the focus on eyes with High Definition Lashes mascara, available in a limited edition shade, and eyeshadow shades in berry, forest green or chocolate brown. Lips and cheeks are kept in soft shades of pink.
Michelle Doan, founder of Emani Cosmetics, a mineral cosmetic line, agrees that brown will play a large role in the colors for fall 2006, but it will be with a twist. “We’re forecasting brown blending with a highlighting color, such as cranberry. We’re also seeing a burnt orange on the runway, making brown a little more exciting.” Ms. Doan also loves to see basic brown punched up with a bamboo green. “It adds life to your everyday fall colors,” she added.

Colorlab Cosmetics opts to play up eyes for fall with its High Style Decadence line, a throwback to 80’s glamour, but with a softer twist. Eyes are enhanced with deep grays, blackened purples and violets that are blended to avoid the harshness that can sometimes come with such bold colors. “Cheeks are stronger in a medium pink or peach tone swept from the apple of the cheek to the cheekbone, and lips feature deeper red and berry tones,” said Lisa Ryan, education director for Colorlab Cosmetics.

Bobbi Brown’s Chocolate eye palette is loaded with seven neutral shades.
“The color statement for fall 2006 embraces jewel toned berries and plums, as well as hints of metallic browns and rich ink tones,” said Cheryl Vitali, senior vice president of marketing for Maybelline New York, Garnier. And one of the looks that will be part of the fall line for Maybelline will radiate this trend with eyes enwrapped in smokey shades and lined with inky shades of plum and black.

At DuWop Cosmetics, “it’s all about the eyes this season––deep, dramatic, sexy eyes played up with gorgeous jewel-tone metallic powders,” said Cristina Bartolucci, co-founder of DuWop. DuWop’s new Smoke eye palettes, launched this fall, come with all the tools to create a smoky eye and will be available in four rich colors: Olive Branch, a metallic olive green, Plum Wine, a deep jeweled plum, Navy Seal, deep navy blue, and Black Gold, a shimmery black with gold flecks.

“We created the formulas and colors to have layering ability, so you can customize the intensity and create a day and evening look with one palette,” explained Kent Cordova, product development manager for DuWop Cosmetics.

The soft shades of DuWop Cosmetics’ Nightfall Venom glosses are a perfect complement to the line’s bold eye looks.
Polished and Sophisticated

Estée Lauder’s 2006 fall line will feature two distinct looks. Mythical Beauty, inspired by the embroidered silks, rich velvets and sharp tweed tailoring seen on the runway, will channel the 1940’s glamour-girl, but with a modern twist. “There will be more structure to the eye, a more smoky kind of look,” said Tara Cohen, product development for Estée Lauder. “Women are going back to experimenting with makeup a little bit. This look is polished and sophisticated.”
Rich shades of plum, berry and wine round out the collection, and new additions include Graphic Color Eye Shadow Quad, a palette of soft violet and smoky hues, and Pure Color Eye Shadow in Berry Ice, Smokey and Onyx.

Clinique’s High Definition line also cites the comeback of lady-like glamour. Ample, defined lashes, courtesy of High Definition Lashes mascara in the limited edition shade, Chocolate Lustre, are essential. Lids get a wash of berry, chocolate brown or forest green with Colour Surge Eye Shadow Soft Shimmer duos in Spruced Up, Mochaberry, Posh Squash and Deco-Dence.

Jane Iredale’s Nighttime eye shadow kit features bold shades of rose, green and gray, with a light pink thrown in the mix to highlight.
According to Jane Iredale, founder and chief executive officer, Jane Iredale Cosmetics, emphasizing the eyes is the modern trend. “We’re focusing mostly on eyes for fall, and featuring liquid eyeliners in black, brown and gold.” The company is also rolling out a new kit, Nighttime, which is five eye shadow shades and shimmers, ranging from a pale pink to a deep burgundy and everything in between.

Fall 2006 will be all about colors with a lot of richness and depth, said Alex Mezzina, communications director for Tarte Cosmetics. “It’s not so much about dark, light, metallic or matte, this year it’s about sumptuous, pigmented colors such as charcoals, chocolates, plums, warm reds, forest greens and dusky pinks.”

The standout item in Tarte’s fall line is Peep Show Palettes, smoky eye kits that include an eye primer, three shadow colors, two double-ended brushes and coordinating eyeliner. The kit comes in Onyx, for a charcoal smoky eye, or Amber, for a bronze smoky eye.

Back to Basics

While the overwhelming trend for this fall is to play up eyes with rich, bold color, the natural look hasn’t completely disappeared. The second look from Estée Lauder’s fall collection is perfect for someone who wants a more natural effect said Estée Lauder’s Ms. Cohen.
“Our other look is something that looks natural and has a soft shimmer with champagnes, beiges, bronzes, nudes and platinum,” she said. “Even though we’re seeing a lot of black for fall, I think you’ll also see makeup take a lighter turn.”

With this second look, there will still be some sheen to the makeup; creating a luminized effect, added Ms. Cohen.

The Prescriptives fall collection, Envious, tries to evoke an “almost undone” effect with shades of Peacock, a smoky gray, and Penny, a deep copper, which add depth to the eyes and when used with a light touch, convey an understated, modern look. A soft pink cheek, achieved with Cheek Silk, a new product for fall that is a silky, lightweight loose powder that imparts a sheer wash of color, while light-reflecting pearl pigments add a luminous glow and a neutral lip via Tint Balm in Vanilla or Mulberry round out the “undone” Prescriptives fall look.

For fall Emani Cosmetics’ Color Dust in Bamboo adds a punch of color to basic brown eye shadow.
A contrast to Colorlab’s High Style Decadence line are the company’s other two fall looks, Romantic Mysticism and Wide-Eyed Innocence, both of which are soft and feminine. The Romantic Mysticism face features pale cheeks and eyes done in earth-tone shadows, but lips pop with a bold red to keep features from disappearing.

Wide-Eyed Innocence uses soft gray shadows for a very light smoky effect, a subtle blush, and nude, terra cotta or rose on the lips, according to Colorlab’s Ms. Ryan.

All That Shimmers

Shimmer has been around for some time now, but to update the look for this fall and keep it modern, it needs to be a soft sheen, as opposed to the glittery effect of seasons passed. “The trend is a shimmery finish with a satin finish,” remarked DuWop’s Mr. Cordova. “The look is dramatic, but still soft and not overdone.”

Shimmer will mostly be seen on the eyes, but soft, radiant skin and sheen on the cheeks will complement the bold color choices for fall. “A soft focus shimmer is in for any age,” added Emani’s Ms. Doan. “It just makes cosmetics more sexy.”

“Shimmer is definitely very much still with us,” said Jane Iredale. “Our shimmer eye shadows are the ones that sell more than matte. The consumer is saying ‘let’s keep that healthy young look.’”

For Tarte’s fall line, the trend won’t be as much about the actual finish––be it shimmer or matte––as the depth of color and the luminosity. “It’s a similar principle to hair color––women’s skin, like their hair, is multi-tonal,” commented Tarte’s Ms. Mezzina. “Color cosmetics companies are responding to that by producing makeup that is similarly multi-tonal––colors that will look different on everyone, in different lights, on different skin tones.”

Tarte Cosmetics’ Peep Show eye shadow kits include an eye shadow primer, three shadow shades, two double-ended brushes and a coordinating eyeliner to create a smoky eye.
Executives at most cosmetic companies agree that while shimmer is going to be big, it’s best not to go overboard. Because the colors for fall are so rich and vibrant, a soft shimmer is the best way to enhance features. The trend for Guerlain and Givenchy, said Linda Maiocco, vice president of marketing, is “all about a touch of shine and shimmer,” which is achieved with the company’s KissKiss Laque for lips, which is applied like a gloss for a smooth finish.

Scott Miselnicky, executive director of global makeup product development and Beth Mumm, director of global makeup development for Clinique stated that in the fall line, “a soft shimmer––nothing extreme––with rich color that is muted and grayed like paintings of the old masters,” will be the finish in their line.

Double Duty

While rich and vibrant color choices will reign supreme this fall, a new trend is emerging––superior performance. “Performance is a key to the product,” explained Emani’s Ms. Doan. “A lot of women are more aware of healthy aspects of skin and focusing on cleaner ingredients; the consumer is more savvy.”

Emani Cosmetics answers this consumer demand of good-for-skin ingredients with its mineral foundation, available in pressed and loose formulations, and as of July, the entire line was made paraben-free. “What we’re trying to do is incorporate performance with color function and make it healthy for all,” added Ms. Doan. Emani’s foundations are designed for sensitive skin and give weightless full coverage.

Another contender in the mineral makeup category is Jane Iredale, who says her customers want a mixture of performance and something that will enhance their looks. “Ten years ago people really didn’t think much about what was in their makeup,” said Iredale. The pressed mineral foundation aids the health of skin, while providing an SPF 18. “Our line is skin care makeup, so it’s about products that actually help skin. We don’t bring in anything that doesn’t have a second benefit. It’s no longer enough to just slap something on and have it look good.”

These mineral makeup companies are right on the money in thinking women are becoming increasingly concerned about what is actually in their products. According to a survey conducted by The Benchmarking Group, 52% of women surveyed claimed they are concerned about the potentially harmful effects of ingredients in beauty products.

Tarte’s target consumer is the “do-it-all” woman, and the company is trying to reflect this in the product line by creating “quick-fix products that allow a woman to solve her biggest beauty dilemmas in as little time as possible,” pointed out Tarte’s Ms. Mezzina. Tarte also creates products that have healthy benefits, such as its SPF 20 smooth operator foundation, so consumers are actually helping fix their skin’s problems, rather than just masking them.

Nailing It

When it comes to nails for the upcoming fall, just about anything goes. Creative Nail Design created four distinct looks for the runway in shades that range from deep burgundy to butterscotch laced with flecks of gold. Courtesan is a soft poetic look, but nails move to center stage with Baroque, a deep metallic burgundy. London Lolita is a tomboy look, with short nails polished in Hand-Me-Down, a fuschia cream. Perfect Mis-Match is complemented with Flounce, a butterscotch with gold flecks, or Perfect Mis-Match, a full-bodied ruby shimmer. sHE is a take on a tailored menswear look with short dark nails polished with Fedora, a brown-red crème, or Tweedy, a russet crème. Nail length depends on the color choice ranging from short to long and almond shaped.

Colorlab’s High Style Decadence line calls for bold colors on both the eyes and the cheeks.
Beyond the Fall

With most fall lines completed, cosmetic companies are developing their winter and holiday lines. Holiday makeup tends to be more on the festive side, with metallic, shimmer and rich colors, and the upcoming holiday is no exception.

Soft accents of gold and champagne with a garnet red thrown in the mix will be included in Estée Lauder’s holiday collection. “It’s a little bit of a softer look,” commented Estée Lauder’s Ms. Cohen. “It’s more of a softer neutral look with a little bit of glimmer.”

Bobbi Brown has a similar vision when it comes to her late fall and holiday shades. A gold accent on all complexions will be a good transition color from fall to winter. “And for holiday we’re going to see ruby and diamond-inspired shades.”

Guerlain and Givenchy’s holiday collections will feature four jeweled tone shades of KissKiss lipstick with gold undertones. “This gives the effect of adding jewels to the lips,” remarked Ms. Maiocco.

According to Desiree Tordecilla, manager of pro artist relations and events for Stila, its winter collection will compensate for the cold, drab weather by adding warmth back into the skin. “Our winter collection will be resort-inspired, with warm, neutral, shimmery shades.”

Shades for the upcoming autumn season are not for the faint of heart. A smudge of black, navy or plum on the eyes will be big, but natural beauties will find solace in the fact that neutral beiges and champagnes will still be very much a part of the color scene.