’Tis the Season to Shadow and Shimmer

By Lauren Lumsden – December 4, 2013
Photography by Fotohogg

The holiday season is upon us, and as Christmas and New Year’s approach, many find their calendars filling with parties and work functions. It’s the season for sequined dresses, twinkling lights, and glamorous makeup. Bold, red lips, metallic eyes, and lots of lashes are the traditional makeup favorites. Whether you are attending the office holiday party or a friend’s New Year’s Eve soirée, pick the appropriate makeup for each occasion with a few guidelines and helpful hints from a pro.


The holiday season is the perfect time to experiment with more dramatic eye shadow colors. Smoky charcoals, metallics, and icy blues that you might otherwise shy away from are now acceptable and even expected in the months of December and January. When attempting the sparkly eye shadow look, avoid large flecked glitter, which tends to look costume-ish. Instead, use powder shadows with smaller, more subtle, shimmer flecks, which are more flattering and sophisticated.

Save the tinsel for the tree; resist the urge to put glitter all over your face, and just concentrate it on your eyes.

If you are hesitant to try a sparkly shadow on the entire lid, you can achieve a similar effect by applying a shimmery shadow as a highlighter on the brow bone and possibly in the inner corner of the eye. A good rule of thumb is to use a shade that’s close to your complexion. If you have a fair skin tone, use a cream-colored shadow. If you have a darker skin tone, bronzy shades will be the most flattering, and if you have more of an olive complexion, you should gravitate more toward gold-tones.

Holiday parties usually mean red lipstick to match the season; however, how is a girl to get her perfect pout to stay put while in the presence of the mistletoe? Be sure to exfoliate and moisturize your lips regularly so that they are smooth and don’t appear dry after applying the liner and lipstick. Color in your entire lip with your lip liner prior to applying your lipstick; that way, when the lipstick has worn off after drinking a few glasses of eggnog, your lips will still have lingering color. If you have trouble staying within your lip line when applying a red lipstick directly from the tube, you may use a lip brush for a more exact approach. Apply powder around the lips with a small brush after applying your lipstick and liner to prevent bleeding. This will also give the appearance of a crisper, more defined lip. A red-hued gloss will provide a similar look for those who are more conservative, and both options are less daring than a more pigmented lipstick.

The best way to enhance your femininity is to accentuate your lashes. Some might achieve this with a really great mascara; however, the most effective way to play up your lashes is by applying false ones. This can go awry very quickly if you are not a makeup artist or are a false lash newbie, but with a few tips, you will be well on your way to fooling everyone.

Selecting the right length of lashes is important because if they are too long, it will be obvious that the lashes aren’t real. Remember that it is New Year’s Eve, not Halloween, so don’t get carried away! First, you should curl your lashes, which will allow them to blend better with the false ones. Your straight lashes sticking out from underneath a pair of perfectly curled false ones will be a dead giveaway that those lush lashes are not yours! Next, cut the false lash to fit your eye. The mistake that most false lash amateurs make is to try to apply the entire strip lash to their eye. Most people’s eyes are smaller than the length of the strip, so, if you apply the entire lash, the inner corner of the false lash will, more than likely, end up peeling up after a short time, or part of the lash will hang off the end of your eye. In the worst-case scenario, the entire lash could detach itself from the eye. Apply the lash strip as close to your lash line as possible, essentially directly on top of your own lashes. Another critical mistake when applying false lashes is to apply the lashes on top of the actual skin of the eyelid, too far above the lash line. The lashes will look clearly fake. After the glue has dried, apply black eyeliner directly on top of the tiny dots that are along the lash strip, and complete the look by applying a black mascara to seamlessly blend the false lashes with your own.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed, or are simply too busy due to the hectic rush of the holiday season to even consider doing your own makeup for a special event, there is always the option to get your makeup done professionally by a makeup artist. Most department store cosmetic counters will do your makeup as a complimentary service with the purchase of product and will even apply the false lashes for you. Companies like Rae Cosmetics hire seasoned makeup artists who specialize in professional makeup applications and generally charge a small fee for the actual application; however, you are not required to purchase products. Regardless of whether you are a DIY gal or need a little help from a professional, don’t be afraid to go glamorous this holiday season.



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