October 10, 2012 10:10 PM

Thanks for welcoming Scott Barnes to PEOPLE StyleWatch! The celebrity makeup artist has been hard at work lately, releasing his second book, Face to Face, and blogging for People.com. This week, he tells us how to translate red carpet looks into our own lives.

Here in L.A., we get something like 330 days of sunshine a year. That’s one difference from my longtime home of New York City (but certainly not the only difference — hello, Botox!). But that doesn’t mean we Angelenos ignore the summer-to-fall transition, nor should any of the rest of you who live in season-less locales. Fall is more than a season. It’s a mood.

While most of your day-to-day makeup should stay consistent from season to season — because presumably you’re wearing what works best for your skin tone and type, features and lifestyle — the change of seasons offers a great opportunity to experiment a bit. Makeup is an accessory, just like a new Givenchy tote or lace-up booties. It allows you to recognize trends, acknowledge fashion, and have a little fun.

Just always keep in mind the lesson you learned last week, and don’t overdo it. Like that infamous quote from Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless, you don’t want people thinking of you like a Monet: From far away it’s OK, but up close it’s a big old mess. And that concludes this week’s lesson in art history, kids.

Back to makeup. My favorite fall vibe is one that’s decidedly not summer. It’s a little smoky, greasy, dirty. You’re hunkering down for the long, dark winter ahead; you’re moody and mysterious. You’re a bit wild child bursting to get out, like Galliano before he went totally off the rails. Anything could happen. Here, based on a few things happening this season, I’ve assembled my ideal fall makeup war chest to help you channel your inner — and outer — seductress.

Courtesy Bobbi Brown

Vampy lips. The bloodsucking trend ain’t over yet, ladies. For fall, try a dark, broody burgundy or black cherry lip color. You’ll want to pick up a matching lip pencil to prevent bleeding (no vampire pun intended) and fading. And I always prefer brushes to apply, so I’d suggest working with a lip brush, too. For shades, I like Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in “Sunset Boulevard” ($30), Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in “Crimson” (left, $24) and Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in “Plum Sapphire” ($30).

Courtesy NARS

Statement cheeks. A dark red lip can make you look washed out, if you let it. Don’t. A little color on the cheeks will balance out heavy lips while giving a pleasant post-coital look (not that I’m saying you aren’t getting it just fine on your own!). I prefer cream blush for all seasons; because they’re generally a little sheer and translucent, creams are an easier way to create a look that’s dramatic, but still natural. I like YSL Crème de Blush in “Rouge Passion” ($37.78), Make Up For Ever HD Blush in “Fawn” and NARS blush in “Liberté” (left, $28).

A gold-toned highlighter also works well here to give an autumn-like, prancing-in-the-leaves glow. Use it on your cheeks, or take it to your lids or below your eyes. Try M.A.C Lustre Drops in “Sun Rush” ($20), Anastasia highlighting crème in “Aspen” ($26) and Make Up For Ever Star Powder in “Gold” ($20).

Courtesy Dior

Smoky, dirty eyes. Blacks with a hint of sparkle can give that greasy, gothy sheen that makes people wonder about you. It’s super glamorous, but naughty, too. Opt for a cream shadow that won’t flake off. You’ll also need a good matte black shadow. Some of my favorites are CoverGirl Smoky ShadowBlast in “Onyx Smoke” ($11.90), Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow Crayon in “OE” and Dior 3 Couleurs Smoky Ready-to-Wear Smoky Eyes Palette in “Smoky Black” (left, $48). (And check out my latest book,
Face to Face
, for a how-to tutorial on creating the perfect cat eye.)

If you’re not a super dramatic girl, or have small eyes, you can skip the heavy-duty black and instead opt for eye color in the just-as-dramatic burgundy/mauve category. I’ve been loving Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in “Auto Expose” ($26.60), Make Up For Ever Diamond Shadow in “Diamond Burgundy” ($20.50) and Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in “Heather” ($24).

Courtesy Scott Barnes

Pirate nails. From my great friend and insanely talented nail artist Tracey Sutter (Tracey did all the nails for Face to Face, and they’re GORgeous), nails for fall are a pirate’s booty of jewels. What’s in: blues, greens, purples, oranges and, of course, grays, because you’re all so shamelessly obsessed with 50 Shades of Grey. Metallics are also hot, including the metallic- and glitter-tipped French manicure, or the reverse: glitter nails with a solid tip. For shades, Tracey likes Essie’s “Head Mistress” ($8, “My new go-to red,” she says), “Don’t Sweater It” ($8, gray), and “Stylenomics” ($8, dark green). She also loves the selection of colors from Pure Ice and Sinful Colors, which have a huge selection and are well-priced enough at Walmart and Walgreens that you can buy a bunch. Follow Tracey at @tlsutter1 for regular tips!

And, of course — in general, and as always — play around with it, find out what works for you. But do try using makeup to create a mood, rather than, necessarily, a look. Think: What do I want my fall to feel like? Then go make it happen.

–Scott Barnes 


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