The holidays are officially here and we all know that facing our families can be as stressful as it is fun. To help fight off the holiday blues, arm yourself with your best looks. Sometimes all it takes to feel fierce is a sharp brow and a dark lip. Makeup is a form of self-expression and, when needed, an armor. Here are a few holiday looks for the occasion.
For frosty family gatherings:
We have all heard the stories of that one judgmental family member who doesn’t approve of what you’re doing with your life. Even worse are the well-meaning caretakers who just don’t understand why anyone would major in English (hypothetically, of course). Fight them off with a wintery look to match your cool and calm demeanor— and then try to maintain it through at the “what are you going to do with that?” questions.
Every great look starts with a solid foundation. Something between a powder and a liquid is best for the dry winter months. Try Palladio’s Wet&Dry foundation or a good NYX BB cream for something light, which won’t crack in sharp winter winds or melt by the fire. Next, you’ll need a soft pink blush. Try a cream blush in a pale shade with a little bit of highlight. You want to look alive, but lose the rosy glow that says, “I’m looking for advice.” This look is all about the haughty elegance to say, “I’m doing just fine, thanks.” Next, you’ll want to do a three-shade sort of smokey eye. Start with a medium brown/pink, like a dusky rose, and highlight your brow bone just under your eyebrow. Next, spread a frosty white (I like one with sparkles) across your lid. Then, take a dark brown or even purple to dust along your crease. This look is a perfect cat eye opportunity, so go wild and finish it off with a full thick mascara. I like Revitalash for length and volume and Blinx for a latex perfect finish which will not come off, no matter the waterworks (also hot tub approved). Just don’t pull on your lashes. Finish it off with a fierce, defined brow— man brows are in vogue so don’t be afraid to go full— and a moody lip color.
Meeting the potential in-laws:
Looking for a look to take home to your future mother-in-law? You’ll need a soft glow that says “I’m sweet, lovely and a perfect angel child.” It may not be true, but first impressions make a difference.
Once again, start with a solid foundation. If you have acne, I love Palladio’s concealer sticks to dab on a pimple or under the eyes. If you need something a little more heavy duty, Kat Von D’s concealer cream and foundation as well as Jane Iredale’s BB cream cover tattoos like a charm. Just dab with a makeup sponge, don’t rub. Next, you’ll want a warm and sweet cheek. Try a bright powder blush to circle back about from the apple of your cheek to your hairline in a 10 degree diagonal— it should follow the line of your cheekbone. Brush a sparkly bronzer underneath your brush line, just once, to add a slight contour and make your smile pop. Match your brows to your hair color, or two shades darker for blondes. For this look, a simple nude sparkle eyeshadow all over the lid will do. You can add a medium brown in the crease for depth, but you don’t need to. Use a thin eyeliner in a soft black or dark brown and finish with mascara. I always think that thick lashes look good on any eye. Finally, use a shiny pink lip gloss or a warm nude lipstick to finish it off. Don’t forget your setting spray and a smile. Your in-laws will love you instantly.
Christmas fusion for the judgmental aunt:
For the family fashionista, you need something festive enough to get out of wearing an ugly Christmas sweater but subtle enough to not ruin your style. Start with the same face look as for a family gathering. Then, fill in the brows and maybe add a little sparkle by dusting a nude eyeshadow just once over your brows after filling them in. Highlight your brow bone with a pretty cream or light nude. Next, you’ll want to cover your lid in a soft brown and fill in your crease with a dark brown. Here comes the fun part: Grab a magenta, subdued red or even a reddish orange and just dust the middle part of your eyelid from the crease to your lash line. You can also do a small amount under your bottom lashes. Next take a complimentary green (I like a sage hue) and dab it at the corners of your eye, inside and out. I like to get crazy with a gold eyeliner, but black looks good as well. Finish it with thick lashes, like always. Christmas demands a full, bright red lip. I love Kleancolor madly matte lip gloss, available at IconoClad, for a tacky, long-lasting, bright color. The sticks aren’t expensive, come in a million shades and they stay on pretty well.
New Years Sparkle, let your light shine:
I’m what you call a glitter girl and if any holiday calls for it, it’s New Year’s. I go wild with glittery gold eyeshadow all over the lid, a sparkly cream (the same as my frosty look) on the brow bone and a two-tone crease— usually a bright blue on the outside blending into a medium gray. I like a dark, sparkly, black eyeliner, one of Palladio’s liquid liners, in a big cat eye and fake eyelashes. The eyelashes don’t need to be huge to show up. A “natural lash” size is great and I always use a little mascara to blend my actual lashes into the fakes. Don’t be afraid to clip the ends shorter before you put your lashes on and make sure to let them dry at least a full minute before applying mascara. As for the rest of the face, I got a tip from make-up artist Jacob Whitelauf to blend rose gold dust with a powder foundation for your skin. Next, you can use a rich pink blush for a pop of brilliant color and add highlight above and bronzer below. Finish off with strong dark brows. As for your lip color, you can go classic with your Christmas red or match a bright pink to your blush. Sparkle lips are fun, but eating glitter is not, so wear it at your own risk.
Most importantly, enjoy the holidays and know that you are your best self when you believe in your best self, no matter the makeup you wear. Also keep in mind that every look is better with clear skin. Extra moisturizer is a winter must and for those with acne, get a really good makeup line which won’t clog your pores. I recommend Jane Iredale. It’s expensive, but you won’t find better products to put on your face. Remember the first rule of beauty— never ever go to bed without washing your face.
Happy Holidays! May you sparkle as much as my eyeshadow all season long.