Tired of naming your seasonal makeup looks after foods? Suck it up, buttercup—or should I say butternut squash, because pumpkin spice latte-inspired makeup is trending so hard right now, it’s even getting air time on Good Morning America. Frankly, it’s only right that on the 20th anniversary of the Starbucks PSL and in the year of the latte makeup craze, PSL makeup has made its way into our hearts (and onto our faces).
While we may not need to name these autumnal, monochromatic eyeshadow looks after the iconic fall beverage, doesn’t doing so make updating your makeup routine for fall all that much more fun? If you’re looking to romanticize your autumn makeup looks, read on to learn all about the pumpkin spice makeup trend that’s sweeping the internet.
What is pumpkin spice makeup?
In a shocking twist for 2023 makeup trends, the pumpkin spice makeup trend actually didn’t originate from a viral TikTok. Instead, the warm, autumnal look is being spotted on celebrities as the handiwork of professional makeup artists and recreated accordingly. Cara Delevingne recently sported the coveted cinnamon hues (which helped to make her blue eyes pop), and Selena Gomez’s look for the VMA’s included layers of sparkly browns and a neutral cheek and lip. The professional makeup artist behind nearly all of these gorgeous looks? That would be New York-based makeup artist Hung Vanngo.
Of course, just like fashion trends, makeup trends are cyclical. If you’re noticing that many of these orange, red, and brown makeup looks are reminiscent of eye makeup that was popular in 2016 or perhaps even earlier, you wouldn’t be wrong. That said, makeup artists like Vanngo are elevating the look in 2023 with shimmery eyeshadows (rather than matte), glowy skin, and brows that are fluffy and minimal, all resulting in a look that’s eons better than it was seven years ago.
How to nail pumpkin spice makeup
If you’re sold on pumpkin spice makeup and want to recreate the celebrity-loved trend yourself, doing so effectively means leaning into warm brown and orange-leaning eyeshadows.
To start, apply your base makeup and include a cream bronzer or contour. (Making sure your skin has warmth to it will help to avoid the warm tones of the eye look washing out your complexion.) Next, apply a neutral beige or terracotta blush—rather than anything too pink—to help achieve a monochrome, autumnal effect.
In an interview on Good Morning America, makeup artist Neil Scibelli explained that finding the right eyeshadow to use in your pumpkin spice makeup look is all about gravitating toward the warm, orangey hue that you feel works best for you. If true orange isn’t your shade, don’t sweat it—you can easily lean darker or lighter with an auburn base or a lighter champagne tone. Regardless of where you end up in terms of the actual shades themselves, the viral pumpkin spice eyeshadow looks that Vanngo has created all include an element of smokiness and a more liberal application. Buff out your eyeshadow along your crease with a fluffy eyeshadow brush, and use a precision brush to smoke some out along your lower lash line, too.
Vanngo has paired the smokey eyeshadow look with a variety of lipstick shades, from light pink on Karlie Kloss to a more neutral nude shade on Selena Gomez. Though the name “pumpkin spice makeup” doesn’t exactly imply versatility, Vanngo’s work shows that there is no “right” way to do a lip for a pumpkin spice look. Whether you’re tempted to test out this look due to 2016 makeup trend nostalgia or because you just can’t get enough of Vanngo’s work, here are a few products that can get you started.