The Best Beauty Trends of the Season, Straight From the Fall 2024 Runways

After the mother of all makeup artists Dame Pat McGrath broke the Internet with her fantastical makeup looks at the Maison Margiela Artisanal spring 2024 couture show, beauty enthusiasts were hoping her transcendental display of maquillage magnificence would inspire other behind-the-scene maestros to follow her lead. And New York Fashion Week delivered: from post-apocalyptic coifs at Prabal Gurung and Helmut Lang to dollified, tar-glazed gazes at Marc Jacobs, backstage creatives have exchanged the drab minimalism of yore for some drama this season.

Here’s our selection of the best fall 2024 hair, makeup, and nail trends so far. We’ll continue to add updates from the fashion-capital catwalks of New York, London, Milan, and Paris as fashion month goes on.

The Valley of the Dolls

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In celebration of his 40th anniversary in the business, Marc Jacobs kicked off New York Fashion Week seven days early, pulling out all the stops with a spectacle referencing paper dolls and Diana Ross’s iconic Supremes style. When it came to proportions, bigger was apparently better this season. The hairstylist Duffy’s voluminous, textured bouffant wigs matched the exaggerated silhouettes that went down the runway. Makeup veteran Diane Kendal used tarantula-size fringes coated with black nail lacquer to get an extra “cloggy” look on the top and bottom lash lines. She lined the top lids with ebony eyeliner and topped it with black duo lash glue for extra emphasis. For the matte chalk-like skin, she powdered the models’ faces and highlighted them with white greasepaint, toning it down with an extra douse of tonal powder.

Sooty Sockets

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For Peter Do’s sophomore effort at Helmut Lang, makeup artist Daniel Sallstrom played with the idea of harsh weather hindering urban polish. He mainly focused on the eyes, keeping the rest of the face mostly bare as a statement on our own vulnerability. Each eye look—there were six in total—was messy and destroyed. On some models, Sallstrom even wiped away a bit of the midnight eye paint with a cotton pad and went back in so it could look well-worn. On others, he applied a base of mustard yellow under the black for a whiff of jaundice—or he tapped in a bit of espresso-colored greasepaint to give it a three-dimensional air, dragging the combo with his fingers out to the corners of the face and across the bridge of the nose for a windswept effect.

Kendal worked her magic again at Jason Wu. Employing the designer’s namesake beauty line, she made up some of the models to resemble fallen angels lost in a sinister forest, per Wu’s dictate. Using broad strokes, she feathered out the creamy jet black eyeshadow pencil (or a gold one) into wispy wings that looked ready to take flight at a moment’s notice. The brows were brushed up and set in place with a transparent brow laminate.

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At Prabal Gurung, MAC’s key makeup artist Romero Jennings created a soft Goth look by giving the eyes a little dark, lived-in drama. He first enveloped them with a smudge of black pencil, then he applied black greasepaint to the lids, leaving a couple of gaps so it looked haphazard. He finished the wayward smolder with a wrap of midnight kohl and a touch of clear gloss.

Crimson Vibes

At Khaite, Kendal used a pop of bright, poppy red punctuated against clean, dewy skin as a tribute to the designer Catherine Holstein’s late mother, who always kept a tube of vermilion by her bedside. The show’s nail artist, Dawn Sterling, followed Kendal’s lead and matched the tips in a similar shade.

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At Altuzarra, the CFDA award-winning designer wanted the collection to feel like a personal mood board—with references to the photographer Deborah Turbeville, the Art Deco portraitist Tamara Lempicka, ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, and the surrealistic makeup artist Serge Lutens. The beauty inspiration was just as eclectic, says Kendal. Although most of the models wore a polished no-makeup makeup look, three girls flaunted a Thirties, flapper-style smoky eye, while two received a glittery red lip treatment.

Courtesy of Pat McGrath Labs

The moody, romantic glamour at Anna Sui was an homage to the Biba ads of the ’60s, with a touch of Virgina Woolf. McGrath paired a clean face with smoldering shadows and a smoky burgundy red tapped onto the model’s pouts. She created the lip finishes by dabbing her Pat McGrath Beauty PermaGel Ultra Lip Pencil in Manhattan at the center of the lips, softening with a brush to diffuse the edges. Then she feathered her brand’s MatteTrance Lipstick in Guinevere and Flesh 3 using her fingertips.

Shady Tips

To complement Jason Wu’s deconstructed collection, nail guru Jin Soon Choi created a reverse ombré look that married a slightly Goth edge with a sense of uptown sophistication. Using a swipe of clear base coat as the underlying palette, from the cuticle, she dabbed a blackberry-tinted lacquer with a makeup sponge, moving up about a third of the nail bed. She then repeated the process with the same dark polish, making a gradient effect which she said created the illusion of elongated fingernails. A matte top coat sealed the look for a light satin finish.

Nail artist Miss Pop also tapped into the multidimensional mani at Retrofête with glossy variegated crimson tips that nodded to the ’80s. Four Essie shades in deep aubergine, classic wine, racy berry, and cherry red made for a slick blend.

Swept Away

Courtesy of Bumble and bumble.

The coif master Jawara was the genius behind the slick, windswept manes at Helmut Lang. First, he applies a thickening spray, then blow-dried the hair back with a round brush to create extra lift and volume. The artist rough-dried the ends for a bit of texture, and froze stray strands in place for additional drama. For the extra-soaked looks, he added a brilliant gel and applied it from root to ends, then smoothed on Bumble and bumble’s glossy oil for extra-high shine.

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Jawara continued the windswept trend at Prabal Gurung by fashioning wet, piecey locks every which way. He saturated strands, from root to tip, with a strong mousse from Wella. Next, he parted the hair in three sections—running gel through a fistful of hair in the front, and swooping it behind the ear, letting a few tendrils hang loose while securing the rest at the nape of the neck in a criss-cross fashion. Lastly, he blasted the face-framing wisps with a strong-hold spray and locked in the style with shot of air from the new Dyson Supersonic r pro dryer.

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