A Makeup Look for Every Holiday Occasion

Rachel Adler

Scroll To See More Images

As the holidays roll around each year, somehow our calendars get even more full. We welcome the hustle and bustle of the season – everyone loves hanging out with their friends and family (and let’s face it, having endless excuses to throw parties) – but the aforementioned parties can also cause us to constantly have to come up with new cute makeup ideas. Considering we like to take advantage of any and all new occasions to try out wine lips and metallic smokey eyes, we never shy away from a new event. But, the trick with the holiday event season tends to be choosing when and where to don each look. For example, would you dare wear a bold red lip when meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time? Don’t worry, we’ll settle these inner beauty battles once and for all with our handy (and gorgeously illustrated) guide!

Holiday Makeup Meeting the Parents

Meeting the Parents
Meeting the parents for the first time is stressful enough – there’s no need to have to worry about your makeup during the process too. Go with a subtle yet glowing look, with a flush of pink and peach tones. We advise a soft pink stain on the lips and cheeks for a natural-looking flush that won’t budge (so you won’t need to touch up!) while adding just a hint of a neutral shadow on your lids to balance the look. 

MORE: 5 Buns That Are Perfect to Wear This Holiday Season


Throwing a Thanksgiving dinner with your friends? Amp up your smokey eye with deep browns to stick with the fall theme, yet give yourself some sex appeal (in case your crush is there, of course). Then, take a touch of blush to the apples of your cheeks and finish the look with a soft pink lip that you know will stay on through your meal.



Day with the Family
There’s really just no need to go all-out glam when you’re spending a day with your family, but we all know that there will be plenty of family photos taken, so you want to look your best. Choose a coral lipstick you can layer (we’re loving Revlon’s Carnival Spirit right now because it’s so sheer and build-able) and highlight your look with mega lashes. Finish with a flushed cheek!


Brunch with Your Favorites
We all know that you could show up at brunch with your besties with no makeup on and they wouldn’t bat an eye, but during the holiday season it’s also fun to step it up a notch, right? We like to use brunch as an opportunity to play with new looks, so why not perfect that cat eye you’ve been dying to master? Pair it with a matte lip and a light lash, and you’re good to go.

MORE: 50 Gorgeous Makeup Looks For Any Holiday Party


Office Holiday Party
Your office party is a perfect time to play with some color and have a little fun. Yes, you’re still with coworkers and you need to be professional, but your makeup can be a little bit different than your 9-5 look. Focus on your eyes and try a metallic smokey, concentrating on the outer corners with just a hint of glitter on the inner corners. Then, finish the look with a light contour at your cheeks and a nude lip.


Ugly Sweater Party
Since your Ugly Sweater Party is the place where you’re most likely going to be relaxing with all of your friends, this is your opportunity to rock the bold red lipstick that you know and love. Some of our favorites of the moment are NARS Jungle Red, Lipstick Queen Red Sinner and Urban Decay’s Mrs. Mia Wallace.


Cocktail Party with Friends
Who said you can’t wear pink in the winter? Opt for a matte pink lipstick to make the look work for cooler weather, and give yourself an equally rosy cheek. Leave your eyelids clean (no liner either if you can handle it!) and finish the look with a lengthening mascara. 


White Elephant Gift Exchange
Since your gift exchange could take place with any number of people, keep your makeup look clean and simple. Liven things up with just a bold brow (brush them up for a fun effect) and go for a classic wine lip that could work for day or night. We personally love Lipstick Queen’s Metal Wine for this reason – it’s easy to transition!

All Illustrations By Rolando Robinson