3 of the hottest make-up looks for AW21

Featuring influences from the ’90s and bold pops of colour, pro make-up artist Tamara Tott outlines the key make-up trends set to be popular with clients next season.

1. 90s babe

The ’90s look is set to be big this season and was visible throughout the AW21 catwalk shows – not only in the denim, metallic and see-through fabrics, but also in the make-up.

We’re seeing a resurgence of a grungy, smoky eye and daring black liner. Meanwhile, the bushy brow trend is fading away and being replaced by nicely groomed brows – it’s only a matter of time until brows become thin again.

The healthy skin trend also continues into autumn. Skin can be dewy, neutral or semi-matte, but most importantly, looked after. Skincare plays an essential role here. When working with clients, skin prep according to skin type is the key.

Finding the make-up products suitable for your client’s skin type is also an essential factor. Oily skin favours oil-free make-up products and a good skin prep, whereas dry skin loves moisture, so rich creams and dewy foundations are crucial.

Finding the correct foundation according to skin type will ensure the most natural finish that will look good and wear well throughout the day.

2. Colour splash

One of my personal favourite trends, as seen at Giambattista Valli, Altuzarra and Versace, is pops of colour – the brighter, the better. Fuchsia, blue, purples and green are set to be very popular this autumn.

Translating bright colour into salon make-up is not the easiest of task as customers are not always up for experimenting. To make this trend wearable, add subtler tones, instead of super-bold brights, and overlay with nice black liner and a good layer of mascara. Or, if you do decide to go bold – adding waterline black liner and a good lash can make the trend more wearable, especially if your chosen colour palette appears in your client’s outfit .

Spice things up by adding some colour to the waterline - try greens or deep blues instead of browns and blacks. Another option to stay on trend is to pop the colour on the lid and then smoke it out using soft browns, this will tame the colour on the edges and will help to implement the look without being too bold.

3. Get glossy

Bold lips were seen throughout the catwalks, almost as a protest to nearly two years of lockdowns and mask wearing. With hopes for a mask-free end to the year, clients will want to express themselves through lip colour, and this season it’s “go bold or go home”.

Dolce & Gabbana showed a daring blue lip and took us back to ’90s rave culture, while Schiaparelli continued the feel using brown liner over nude lips.

We saw a lot of brown undertones in the lip colours on the catwalk for next season and also moist and glossy lips. Yes, glossy lips are finally back!

Deep, heavy reds and even vine purples as seen on Prabal Gurung and Chocheng are all go this winter. This is probably the easiest trend to apply in salon make-up, as red lips and bold colours have always remained a wearable option.


Tamara Tott is a London-based make-up artist and hair stylist working in fashion, beauty and editorial. She won Professional Beauty’s Make-up Specialist of the Year Award in 2015.