The 3 Glowiest NYFW Makeup Looks Are Also the Most Affordable

And each one has a creative surprise that sets it apart from other natural looks.

Any time I've looked back at full seasons of Fashion Week makeup, I've rarely noticed any breakthrough trends that leap out as a theme. There's usually a wide variety of ideas that observers can pick and choose from when it comes to trying looks in real life, and this past week's Spring/Summer 2016 collections showcased in New York were no exception; there were bold lips at some shows, bold eyes at others, and, uh... glitter freckles at at least one?

But I actually did notice at least four recurring makeup motifs over the last week. First, there were pops of really bright colors in unexpected places, like at Ohne Titel, Betsey Johnson, and Chromat; graphic black elements at Thom Browne, Jeremy Scott, and Katie Gallagher; and stick-on metallic eye enhancements at The Blonds and Tadashi Shoji. Those are some pretty damn bold looks, though—like, borderline-Halloween bold—and most of them were done with MAC products, which are phenomenal, but not in everyone's budget.

That's why the fourth trend I noticed is my preferred theme of the bunch: incredibly glowy, everyday-wearable makeup that leans natural-looking but has subtle surprises when you look closely. And in my three favorite cases, they were all done with Maybelline makeup. Yep, affordable drugstore stuff at fancypants Fashion Week. (I like to picture Maybelline entering the venue like Annie entering Oliver Warbucks' mansion for the first time, all like, I think I'm gonna like it here!)

Here's a breakdown of my top-three looks that fall into this category.

Public School

When I went backstage at Public School's show, I was almost blinded by the collective dewiness on the models' faces. The skin glow can be attributed to several products: FaceStudio Master Prime Blur + Illuminate primer, Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth Foundation, FaceStudio Master Contour and FaceStudio Master Fix Setting + Perfecting Loose Powder. Those last two don't launch until next January, though.

All the models wore Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color in Daringly Nude, which is one of those neutrals that looks totally different on everyone—beige on some, pinker or peachier on others. Their brows were cleanly enhanced with the Brow Drama Pro Palette (another January 2016 launch), their lashes coated with new The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara, and their top lash line lined with EyeStudio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner.

But what sets this look apart from just another natural-looking face: three horizontal white lines across each lid.

This was done with Eye Studio Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil in Cashmere White, and lightly smudged so it didn't look too severe. I love this idea as a way to do something offbeat with your makeup without resorting to an in-your-face graphic look.


Like the Public School look, Brock's runway makeup relied on the forthcoming FaceStudio Master Contour to create definition, as opposed to blush, and their lashes got one coat of The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara. Brows were thoroughly filled in but still soft-looking thanks to EyeStudio Brow Precise Shaping Pencil and a light setting with clear Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara. No liner was used; just a finger-patted light layer of EyeStudio Color Tattoo cream shadow in Creamy Beige.

The radiant skin is a result of a combination of matte and illuminating products (and also maybe because it was really warm and crowded backstage): Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation and Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer.

The fun little surprise with this look: how the nude lip was accomplished. Instead of using anything specifically indicated as a lip color—because that would be too obvious, duh—makeup artists applied FaceStudio Master Conceal to tone down pinkness. It was topped off with clear Baby Lips balm.

Derek Lam

This is easily my favorite look of the shows: warm, peachy and radiant, with just a hint of weird.

The complexion is courtesy of Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth Foundation, FaceStudio Master Conceal, FaceStudio Master Contour, and and Fit Me! Set + Smooth Powder. I'm told the peachy glow on the cheeks is due to an upcoming (October) product called Baby Lips Instant Cheek Flush, but what I saw at the makeup artists' stations was this:

The natural-looking but full brows were done with the wax and color in the Brow Drama Pro Palette, and the neutral lip is simply Color Sensational Lip Liner in Toast.

It's all a very subtle, fresh look, made ridiculously cool by how creative the eyes are.

The warm, mustard-y fade of color under the eyes was created with Cover Stick Concealer in Yellow—not as a corrective color, but as very purposeful, noticeable color—followed by Color Sensational Lip Liner in Nude. Another January 2016 launch, Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon in Creamy Chocolate, lined the lower lid, and the The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara was used on just the lower lashes.

  • Which of these three looks are you most likely to try yourself?
  • What's been your favorite NYFW makeup look overall?
  • Do you ever read the descriptions of what's used and think, There are definitely a few products involved that you're not telling us about, makeup artists...?