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Another holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time for gift shopping, drink clinking, and party hopping. However, trying to balance it all and actually enjoy yourself leaves little room for a creative makeup routine. Still, you want to look your best during all the festivities (or chaos, depending on how you look at it), which is where I come in. I tried out five holiday makeup trends to see what they looked like IRL and honestly, it’s all the inspo you could ever hope for.
Thank me later! Plus, after consulting a pro makeup artist for tips and tricks on how to nail each one, I feel pretty good about the results—now all I need are five holiday party invitations. Keep scrolling to see why tinsel liner, ornament eyes, reindeer games and more are the beauty looks you’ll actually want to recreate…and take a few selfies in too.
With Euphoria makeup still dominating social media, this trend comes as no surprise, and New York City-based makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor agrees. “There’s a fairly traditional Christmas ornament color palette of red, green, silver, and gold,” he explains. “Whatever your makeup skills, if you play with these shades, your idea will look festive no matter what,” says Sotomayor.
To give my lids a golden sheen, I applied a few swipes of shade “Ice Show” from the Tarte Cosmetics Foil Finger Multi-Tasking Eye & Cheek Palette ($32). Next, I very carefully added a few red and green gems from an affordable Rhinestone Self-Adhesive Face Gems Pack ($11) — this takes time, but the adhesive backing definitely beats dipping each rhinestone in lash glue. Because the top row of gems framed my brows, I used the Urban Decay Brow Blade in “Dark Drapes” ($26) to ensure they were perfectly filled in.
If Elsa from Frozen needed a holiday beauty look, Winter Frost would be her all-time fave. “It’s all about the shimmer and sparkle for this,” explains Sotomayor. “Think of twinkling Christmas lights,” he offers, advising I use glitter, as it’s ideal for “capturing the light-refracting effects of ice and snow.” Noted!
I knew both the Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil ($38) and the new Fenty Beauty Liquid Diamond Bomb Glitter Highlighter ($28) would be perfect picks for this look when it came to my cheekbones and décolletage (the latter hidden by my sweater, oops!). I also applied a generous amount of the Bodyography Glitter Pigment in “Halo” ($23) on my eyes. Feeling pretty impressed by my own skills at this point, I went for a bold lip and rocked the Revlon Ultra HD Vinyl Lip Lacquer Vinyl Gloss in “So Shady” ($9). The glossy texture complimented the glitzy eyes for a true more-is-more finish.
Holiday glam doesn’t have to be time-consuming; a thin strip of metallic liner can add some shine for a simple yet festive look. “Don’t be afraid to have fun with this,” advises Sotomayor. “Gold is such a delicate shade, so you can do extra-fun tricks like lining your lower lashes, creating double wings, or even drawing little faux ‘lashes’ beneath the eyes,” he suggests.
For my take, I used the Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Liquid Eyeliner in “Gold Getter” ($27) to create a baby wing, and while I’m no liner expert, I was pretty pleased with my result. To give the makeup some extra oomph, I opted for the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre Lip Gloss in “Red Vixen” ($22) as the finishing touch.
Silver and gold are pretty, but safe. A red and green look makes a holiday statement! If you’re down for something bold, I highly recommend using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Vol. 3 ($60) to create a fun two-toned shadow moment. I used red shade “C2” on the inner third of my lid, green shade “E1” on the outer third, and a strip of “C1” down the center to blend the two and add some shimmer. I made sure my lashes were amped up with a few swipes of the COVERGIRL Exhibition Mascara ($8), and took a page out of Sotomayor’s book when it came to lips, opting for a product from one of his favorite affordable brands: Cai Para Mi’s 2 in 1 Lip in “Bare It All” ($4).
Desperate for a more neutral option, I begged Sotomayor to bless me with a brown holiday look, and he really delivered. “Think of the soft, velvety look of everyone’s favorite holiday woodland creature,” said Sotomayor of the Reindeer Games aesthetic. The recipe? “Matte brown lids and white liner, plus lashes for a doe-eyed effect,” he insisted.
Ignoring the shimmery shades in the Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in “Nude Medium” ($29) was difficult, but the palette has the perfect matte hues for this warm, neutral eye. I topped my shadows with the Kiss Lash Couture Naked Drama Lashes in “Tulle” ($7), and in lieu of a full-on white liner moment, I played it safe and used a white concealer to create a trio of Bambi-inspired dots near my inner corner. Next, I used the Patrick Ta Monochrome Moment Velvet Blush in “She’s Sincere” ($32) to warm up the skin and give it a velvety, shine-free finish, and gave my lips a coat of the mousse-y matte Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick in “100 Sand” ($38).
Once you’ve decided on a look to sleigh the season in, keep scrolling to get the products you’ll need to recreate it.
For Ornament Eyes:
tarte SEA Foil Finger Multi-Tasking Eye & Cheek Palette
$32 at Sephora
Rhinestone Self-Adhesive Face Gems Pack
$9.99 at Amazon
Urban Decay Brow Blade Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil & Ink Stain
$26 at Sephora
For Winter Frost:
Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil
$38 at Sephora
Fenty Beauty Liquid Diamond Bomb Glitter Highlighter
$28 at Sephora
Bodyography Glitter Shadow
$23 at Amazon
Revlon Ultra HD Vinyl Lip Lacquer
$8.59 at Target
For Tinsel Liner:
Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Liquid Eyeliner
$27 at Sephora
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre Lip Gloss
$22 at Sephora
For Classic Combo:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Vol. 3
$60 at Sephora
CoverGirl Exhibitionist Mascara
$7.99 at Target
Cai Para Mi 2 in 1 Lip
$3.99 at Target
For Reindeer Games:
Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette
$29 at Sephora
Kiss Lash Couture Naked Drama Lashes
$6.99 at Ulta
Patrick Ta Monochrome Moment Velvet Blush
$32 at Sephora
Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick
$38 at Sephora
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