It’s that time of year when smoky eye tutorials, bold red lip photo spreads and updo how-to blanket the pages of holiday glossies. But if busting out an entirely new look isn’t exactly your idea of a good time (hey, we’d rather spend the time with eggnog and friends instead of in the powder room), our experts say small tweaks can still add a special aura of glamor to your evening with minimal output. Cheers to that!
Eyes: Smoke ‘em Simply
No need to pick through your hodgepodge of eyeshadows that require blending until the cows come home—our expert says there’s just one shade you need to look polished. “Taupe is a universal and super functional tone for the eyes since it matches every wardrobe and works on all skintones,” says makeup artist and brand founder Laura Geller. Simply dot a cream taupe on lids and blend out and into the crease with fingertips for subtle smoke, and finish with a top line of smudged brown or black liner and two coats of your favorite mascara. Laura Geller’s Waterproof Eye Spackle Hues in Mink Madame, $22, is a primer-shadow hybrid that mixes flecks of shimmer into a gray-beige taupe.
Eyes: Fake Awake
If the holidays have run you down with tired, red eyes, celebrity makeup artist and brand founder Mally Roncal says to skip the smoke and instead go golden. She preps under-slept celebs with Visine Maximum Redness Relief, $9, drops first, and neutralizes red lids with brightening eye primer. “I then blend a shimmery champagne shadow on the inside corners of eyes and outwards to make them appear bigger and brighter,” says Roncal. Curling lashes and topping with mascara will further awaken eyes that now catch the light.
Skin: Dewy Looks Younger
Simply adding a luminous sheen to skin can take years off your face. “Red carpet celebrities go to great lengths to achieve natural, radiant complexions to look younger,” says Geller. Before applying foundation, prep with an illuminator like Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $48, for skin that glows. You can also spray it as a refresher on top of makeup.
Or after you’ve finished making up, reach for a low-glow sheer beige shade to add subtle luster. “Sweep it on the height of cheekbones, across each brow bone and into the inner corners of eyes to create dimension and to highlight bone structure,” explains Geller. Geller’s Baked Split Highlighter, $43, pairs a creamy French Vanilla highlighter with a luminous sparkling peach blush called Portofino.
Lips: No-Commitment Red
“Red is such a sexy and jubilant color that’s a great way to add a punch and instantly change your look,” says celebrity makeup artist Molly Stern. “Opaque red may be too much and requires that you adjust the rest of your makeup, but a sheer splash of the color is so easy to wear and instantly warms up your complexion,” she adds. Try VMV Hypoallergenics Lip Gloss in Cabaret, $27, a shiny yet sheer red gloss that bathes lips in moisturizing virgin coconut oil and green tea antioxidants. This product is available at our sister site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!
Nails: Wear Them Like Jewelry
One simple trick can turn your manicure into a built-in accessory. “For Badgley Mischka’s show this season, I used a deep aubergine shade called Dark Side of the Moon, $18, and lined with gold shimmer Nefertiti, $18, across the tip,” says celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann, of two new polish shades from her eponymous nail line. “A touch of gold or silver across the top looks like jewelry,” she explains. To get your metallic tips to last longer, be sure to apply your topcoat on the sides and underside of your nails, too. Bonus: simply touching up the tips may be all you need to make your mani look fresh again.
Hair: Simple Is Elegant
In pursuit of a grand party entrance, women can pin and preen over hair all night when in fact it’s simplicity that communicates the most elegance. “During the holiday season, it can be as easy as dressing up a simple ponytail to make it look clean and chic,” says celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend. For a captivating pony that lifts and brightens the face, Townsend sprays a disposable mascara wand with a clear hairspray like Dove Style+Care Strength & Shine Extra Hold Hairspray, $5, and brushes the baby hairs around the hairline and nape of neck into a crisp ponytail.
Another simple option is the half up, half down style that flatters every face shape. “The modern version is softer and more romantic with just the hair from temples pulled back, leaving the hair above the ears down,” explains Townsend, who adds that where you gather the hair in the back is the perfect place to add an accessory like a pin, brooch or even earring to dress up your style.