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Get These Festive Makeup Looks for the Holidays

For most, the beginning of December signifies the glorious start to the winter holiday season, a time where everyone brews with excitement.

The temperatures have dipped in most places, and a clear, brisk air makes us tug our sweaters just a little tighter when we step outside in the morning.

Hot chocolate becomes a staple, and stiff, dusty Christmas trees are shaken out from their long hibernation.

The department stores bustle as hundreds of people frantically wave their coupons in the air and scramble over the perfect gift for a loved one.

These hard-won gifts will eventually make it into the hands of their recipient at a holiday party, smartly dressed in reflective wrapping paper and a big delicate red bow on top.

In the midst of all of this holiday hustle and bustle, it seems a bit unlikely that these busy, hard-working women have time to slow down and care about applying their makeup. But with a slew of holiday parties and family dinners to attend, the desire for a bold special-occasion makeup look tip-toes into their thoughts.

So what exactly constitutes a holiday makeup look that dazzles as much as the tinsel swinging from the Christmas tree? Below are a few ideas (and tips for applying them) that will hopefully inspire you and fill you with cheer.

The Bold Lip

The holidays are usually accompanied by the traditional hues of green and red, so naturally, you can’t go wrong with a gorgeous red lip! And the beauty of the season is that there are several varying hues of red, so crimson, cranberry, scarlet, and ruby shades will be just as stunning and add a dose of variety.

A bold red lip is best paired with a more understated eye look to keep the center of the focus on your lips. Neutral earth-toned shadows (browns and toasted orange colors) on the outer corner of the eye and in the crease can be all you need to tie in a simple eye look. Make the eyes pop a little more to compete with the lips by applying a shimmery gold shade to the center of the eyelid. Add some eyeliner and a couple swipes of mascara and your classy holiday makeup look is complete.

Tip: Strong lipstick colors like red tend to bleed as the day (or night) wears on. To keep those lines sharp, first, use a lip liner. A lip liner will help hold the color onto your lips and prevent it from feathering out onto your skin. Then, after applying a couple coats of lipstick, lightly blot your lips with a tissue and dust some translucent powder over your lipstick. The finely milled powder will set your lipstick in place and keep it from bleeding.

Holiday Red Lipsticks

Chanel Rouge Allure #99 Pirate

Milani Color Statement Lipstick #08 Ruby Valentine

Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Metal in Crimson Chrome

Get holiday glam ready with these on-trend makeup looks!

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Glitzy Eyeshadow Glam

If a red lipstick isn’t your thing, not to worry! Shimmery eyeshadows make for a stunning look that fares particularly well at a New Year’s Eve get-together.

The beauty of sparkling eyeshadows is that they look great in all colors. While a blue lipstick would make most women hesitate, for example, an iridescent blue eyeshadow would come off simply charming. For the winter holidays, most women opt for neutral shades that resemble metals, such as gold, silver, rose gold, and pearl. These shades all pair well with a cranberry or earth-toned shadow in the crease and outer corner of the eye.

Tip: You can intensify the radiance of a shimmery shadow by spraying your brush with water first. After wetting the brush, dip the bristles into the shadow and watch how the shade instantly becomes shinier and brighter.

Gilded and Glamorous Shadows

Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Diamond Dust

Lorac Unzipped Gold Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Pigment in Rose Gold

Dewy Highlighters

We can’t finish off a fabulous holiday must-have makeup list without mentioning highlighters. Highlighters are almost quite literally the icing on the cake (of your face). They add a subtle, natural-looking sheen to your finished look, making you glow radiantly. Even if cooking the Christmas dinner takes all day and time doesn’t permit lipstick or eyeshadow before friends and family arrive, it only takes a few seconds to dust some highlighter on for a beautiful, put-together look.

Tip: Highlighters aren’t just for the cheekbones! Dust some on the tip of your nose, cupid’s bow, the inner corner of your eyes, and just under the high point of your eyebrows. This will help the light bounce off all the high points of your face, illuminating your natural beauty!

Glowy Highlighters

BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter

Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Glow Kit

No matter what makeup you may decide to wear to your holiday get-togethers, it’s important to remember that the selflessness and love you share with those close to you during the holiday season will be the characteristic that outshines the rest. No highlighter can top that!


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You’ll love this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: Stop the Holiday Hustle: Celebrate More, Stress Less – 064

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Tess is a college student who can usually be found downing her second (or third!) coffee of the day, reading any number of books simultaneously, and gushing over the cute wild rabbit she just saw. These can occur in any order, or all at once.

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