I love everything about the holidays: exchanging gifts, spending time with loved ones, and most of all, wearing dressier makeup. Whether you’re heading to an office get-together or a black-tie ball, here are 3 holiday makeup tips for flattering and easy ways to shine this season. You can tweak each of these looks to suit your style (subtle or bold) and the soiree. Plus, see quick, easy ideas for day-to-night makeup updates for the holiday party season.
Deep jewel tones such as sapphire, magenta, and emerald make eyes pop. Balance this look with a soft mouth.
Sweep a light shadow like champagne or bone over eyelids. Trace the upper lash line with a jewel-toned gel or liquid eyeliner. Try Almay Intense i-Color in Purple Amethyst or Bobbi Brown Shimmer Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Denim. Flick on one coat of black mascara. Keep the rest of your face neutral with a flesh-toned lip gloss and pinky brown blush.
Dust a jewel-toned shadow on lids and dab white shimmer shadow underneath the brow bone to reflect light. For contrast, etch lids with a liner that’s 2 shades deeper than your shadow. For example, pair an emerald liner with a mint shadow. Top off eyes with 2 coats of black mascara. For finishing touches, add a skin-toned gloss and blush.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a steady hand for lining lids, draw 3 dots along your lash line (inner, middle, and outer corner) and then connect them.
Bold red lips and bedroom eyes, popularized by Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren, are synonymous with the season. But a new holiday makeup technique—pairing a sheer red lip with a soft, pale eye—gives this festive staple a fresh, wearable take.
Look for a lip gloss that gives you that just-ate-a-Popsicle effect. If you’re fair skinned, opt for a pinkish ruby red color; medium and darker complexions can carry a merlot or deep burgundy. Dust a snow white shadow all over lids and then finish with one coat of black mascara. Eyeliner is optional, but don’t skip blush; a color that mimics your cheek’s natural flush will keep you from looking washed-out.
For a get-noticed pucker, go for a rich, semimatte crimson lipstick. Blot it on with your fingers for a stained effect. Dress up eyes with silver shadow and a gray or charcoal liner, which won’t steal the spotlight like jet-black would.
Pro tip: Line lips last to keep the color from creeping, but make sure the shades match to avoid obvious lines.
Warm hues such as pumpkin, copper, and gingerbread on cheeks, lips, and eyes give you a lit-by-candlelight glow—even under fluorescent light.
Spice up eyes with a smudge of gold cream shadow. Try Clinique Shadow Tint For Eyes in Grandest Gold. Using an eyeliner brush (a small brush with slightly angled bristles), line the upper lids with a deep chocolate shadow, which has a softer effect than gel or liquid liner. Keep lips subtle with sheer lipstick or gloss in a pinkish gold shade; this hue flatters all complexions.
Brush a copper, amber, or sienna shadow on lids and then use dark brown in the crease to deepen eyes. Pat a neutral shade like champagne under the brow bone to add even more dimension. Trace top and bottom lids with black eye pencil; finish with two coats of black mascara. A touch of bronzer provides a sun-kissed glow. And golden brown gloss completes the look.
Pro tip: For the most natural effect, stick with sheer metallic shadows that allow your skin to show through.
How to transform your holiday makeup look from day to night in no time:
- White eye shadow: Dust it under your brow bone to refresh worn-off eye makeup.
- Jet-black eyeliner: It adds instant drama and makes lashes look fuller.
- Shimmery blush: Layer it over your daytime blush to give skin a luminous gleam.
- Ballerina pink nail polish: This party-ready color disguises chips better than darker hues do.