When the subject of holiday makeup comes up, I get many questions, two popular questions: “How can I look fun while still maintaining a classic and elegant appearance?” and “How do I look beautiful but also infuse some festivity into my makeup look?” I understand these can be confusing questions, especially with makeup companies pumping out special holiday makeup editions and sets that are heavy on glitter and sparkle. Fear not, I have the answers! Let me break it down by features and makeup categories. I will start at the top and work my way down to the lips.
Worried About what Makeup to Use this Holiday Season? Check these tips…
BROWS – Classic, well-groomed and shaped eye brows are a very important facial feature. Brows help to create your expressions. Badly shaped or over-arched eyebrows can cause you to look angry, mean or surprised. Brows are not an element of the face that you want to experiment with, (unless it involves seeing a professional to improve them). For an elegant affair like a candle light gala, you may choose to use a waterproof mascara (yes, I said mascara), gently swab off the applicator and use this as a groomer and definer, in a darker shade than your natural brows to add some drama to your overall look.
LASHES – You can definitely have fun with eyelashes and still look elegant. Some options are faux individual lashes or strip lashes with glitter. Use colored mascara as an accent color, not in place of your black mascara. Use an angled eyeliner brush to add some shimmery, frosty shadow to the upper surface of your lashes or hidden in the lash line. For special events like New Year’s Eve, I take strip lashes and glue glitter or tiny crystals to the tips of the lashes with crazy glue. Make sure you do this while the lashes are still glued to their packaging stand, being sure to shake off any loose glitter before applying to your eyes. Use theatrical glitter that is safe for the eyes and non-toxic.
EYE LINER – This is a great place to add in a holiday element by “hiding” it. I love a vibrant magenta or emerald green liner applied to the water line of the lower lid. Go the extra step and line over your base top lid liner with a frosty-finish liner pencil and then blend this up with the small, soft end of a smooth makeup brush handle. This look sparkles beautifully in candlelight and brings vibrancy to the eyes, subtly but dramatically.
EYE SHADOW – This is another makeup “zone” where you can definitely add some fun – tread carefully though, eye shadow can go from festive to garish very easily. Begin by doing your eyes as you would normally for evening, then go back and use a metallic or high-sheen formula to “smoke out” the borders of the eyes. Use a stubby blending brush to apply and blend all around the eyes. If this sounds like too much for your taste, an alternative is to add “the festivity” to the area along the top lid lash line. When you do it this way, people will see the accent as a hint and only when you blink. For vampy elegance use a dark shade of frosty shadow to create a “cat eye”. Simply do your eye makeup as you normally would for evening but apply the dark frost to the outer ¼ of the eyelid, vertically from the corner of the eye to the brow bone. Blend this well with a stubby rounded blending brush. This is one of my all-time favorite high fashion makeup looks!
CHEEKS/CHEEKBONES/BROWBONES/COMPLEXION – These are great places where you can “glam up”. Keep subtlety in mind at all times and apply with a light hand. Explore highlighters with extra pearlescence, finishing powders with angelic shimmers, all brushed on with a fan brush. If you have a smooth complexion, limited holiday offerings for blush, that feature sheen and shimmer are a great way to add a sense of celebration to your makeup look. As I always favor an upbeat elegance, I buy a lot of these holiday specialties and use them thoughtfully throughout the year on my models and makeup clients – they are gorgeous!
LIPS – The lips are a great place to add or even feature a festive element. If you choose a deep berry or ruby-red lip product, be sure to keep this as your main fun element. The old rule of thumb about looking in the mirror and taking off one of your accessories applies with makeup as well. Two “fun” elements max!
For most people, the holidays are the most social time of the year. It’s a great time to wear your best couture and present your best face to the world and loved ones. If you feel like you’re in a rut, employ the talents of beauty professionals – a simple makeover can change your life.
All Art direction, styling and makeup in this article by Adam Revsen. Spray tan by Raydiant Sunless Beauty Tan and Esthetics.