Model: Donia Idriss. Photo by Brandon Tabiolo

Beauty & the Feasts

By Kecia Littman
Amp up your holiday makeup routine with tips from an expert.

There’s so much to plan during the holidays and picking that perfect outfit for each affair can be an event all in itself – especially choosing the right makeup to match. Here’s a cheat sheet for how to glam it up for some of the season’s special occasions.


Step outside of the cubicle and add a few finishing touches. One of the best tricks to change up your eyes from day to evening is to purchase a versatile palette. Try the all-in-one set from Trish McEvoy’s Voyager Collection. It fits in the palm of your hand and comes with four travel-size brushes.

For a classic day look, work the highlight or lighter color under the brow bone with a blending brush, the add a soft, medium-tone color to the entire eyelid with a flat depositor brush. When finished, take an angled brush and apply the medium-dark color to provide a softer, eyeliner effect.

If you’re going to a holiday bash straight from the office, create a more dramatic look with the same eye shadow palette and add the medium, dark-tone color to the crease. The purpose for this is to build up on the color that you’ve already applied. Always start from light to dark in order to create depth. In addition, be sure to use circular motions with a blending brush to blend the colors and create a soft look. You can add the darkest color in the palette to the outer third of the eye to add more intensity and also use the angled brush with the dark color to create a smoky eye. For an even more dramatic eye, YSL’s holiday collection, Pure Chromatics quad-eye-shadow palette in Boreal contains colors that can be worn together or on its own.


If you want to achieve a festive look for the holidays, do something different and add a touch of gold to your eyes. To create a metallic gold eye that will last all night, add a waterproof or longwearing, cream eye shadow base directly on the eyelid. I personally like YSL’s latest holiday eyeliner effect faux cils in gold. It doesn’t flake or crease, and is also smudge-proof. You can use one brush to complete the look, such as the flat depositor brush by First, load the cream eye shadow lightly onto one side of the brush, then apply the cream color directly on to the eyelid with a light sweeping motion. Remember with cream shadows, a little goes a long way.

Next, flip to the other side of the brush and load the gold eye shadow onto the brush; Trish McEvoy’s eye shadow in Gold Lame gives a shot intense color—be sure to saturate the entire brush with the gold pigment. Deposit the color by tapping the product directly over the cream eye shadow. Complete the look by adding Trish McEvoy’s deep aubergine eyeliner—this will provide an eye-popping effect.


Encrusted diamonds and exquisite attire set the mood for a walk down the red carpet (or red-carpet-worthy event). At many galas, there are plenty of photo ops waiting to happen, so create a festive, and more importantly, camera-ready look.

First things first: keep your foundation finish slightly matte. Choose a formula like Chanel’s MAT LUMIERE. It is long lasting and has a soft, matte finish that’s ideal for picture taking. And speaking of finish, avoid using frosted cheek highlighters—in pictures, it can come across as sweat or oil. Opt for a sheer blush like NARS Blush bronzer Duo in Orgasm and Laguna that tends to be more forgiving on the skin and to the camera lens. It adds a radiant glow and contours the face with a sun-kissed effect. And when it comes to lips, since photos have a tendency to make them look washed out, try a rich burgundy or classic red hue. Another tip for peepers that pop? Try colored mascara to brighten the eyes.

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