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Need a special look for an upcoming holiday bash? It's easy to get a little glam with our quick tips and this season's festive colors.
The Sultry, Smoky Eye There's something infinitely appealing about a smoky eye -- and with good reason: Playing them up gets you party ready, fast. The best news is that "smoky" no longer denotes an eye rimmed in intense black makeup, which can instantly age you. Instead, any dark hue -- dark brown, charcoal, even eggplant -- can give you the sophistication and glamour that make this look such a hit.
The key is to blend, blend, blend, says makeup artist Sue Devitt, who has worked with Debra Messing and Meg Ryan, and who has her own makeup collection, Sue Devitt Studio. "You don't want a line that's so harsh that it makes people focus on your makeup rather than your eyes," she says. Start by lining the upper and lower lash line with either a pencil or with a skinny brush dipped in shadow. Next, go over this line with a shadow that's approximately three shades lighter. (If your liner is dark brown, for example, then use a medium brown shadow.) With a fluffy brush, sweep the shadow up the crease; go any higher and the look becomes too somber. End with a pale, shimmery shade for right underneath the browbone, which will help to bring out the rest of the eye makeup.
Easy, Chic Hair Styles Styling your hair for a dressy event is easier than you think! Try a chic ponytail, a trendy sock bun, or use our tips to get gorgeous waves.
The Ruby Red Lip Nothing says "party time!" quite as dramatically as rich, red lipstick. Think of the classic reds made famous by Hollywood screen sirens Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly, and it's easy to see how a strong lip can quickly give you a glamorous, sophisticated vibe.
Many women stay away from luscious red shades out of fear that they won't work with their skin tone or will look too harsh. The way around that, says Devitt, is to choose a reddish shade that's slightly darker than what you'd normally wear -- easy enough, considering the many wearable options within the red color family. "It could be a classic red, a burgundy, or a sheer blackberry shade," says Devitt. "That way, you feel like you've done something different." Also, forget the notion that the only way to wear red lipstick is to swipe it on straight from the tube, with precise lining. A more modern way to wear red lipstick is to lightly dot it onto your lips and press. That way, you get a shot of color without any hard edges. Another alternative is to use a red-colored gloss instead of a cream lipstick. You can get away with more color on the rest of your face, such as a well-defined eye and strong eyebrows, with a subtler red mouth.
A full-bodied mane is always holiday-worthy and can be created with tools (hot rollers and a curling iron, for example) and styling products. "The closer you spray the hair, the stronger the hold. Spray from farther back, and you'll get a more flexible hold," explains Creighton.
The Sexy Shimmer Believe it or not, you can create a big impression this party season without adding much color at all. How? By using shimmer makeup products -- from glistening shadows to highlighters for all over facial highlighters -- that spotlight all the right places, such as your eyes, cheekbones, and lids. "Shimmers make the skin look dewy and luminous," says DVF's Pashalidis. "They add instant sparkle to any look."
When choosing a highlighter, consider the many different textures, shapes, and colors out there, as they're all applied a little differently. A compact powdered version can be dusted with a brush over your foundation and blush. A cream version, meanwhile, should be smoothed on with your fingers and looks best without a setting of powder, which can dampen its beautiful shine. (It works best over a cream blush that you've already applied with your fingers.) Loose powder versions tend to leave the most concentrated shine, but they need to be applied cautiously, as they can spill and land on your clothes. The most versatile highlighters are those in pale shades of silver, pink, or gold, as they meld with the skin and give a subtle radiance.
Undoubtedly, your eyes are the best feature to highlight with shimmer. "If you usually wear a neutral color on your eyes, you'll love a touch of silver shadow," says Pashalidis. "Silver adds oomph but still looks very natural." She points out that a good shimmery shadow is light and translucent, allowing your natural skin to shine through; stay away from frosty, glittery shadows, which do the exact opposite. Also, says Pashalidis, a silvery eye is subtle enough to be worn with a brightly colored lip, and of course, a generous coat of mascara.
No party primping is complete without immaculately groomed brows. A well-defined arch is your best beauty accessory, creating the perfect frame for the rest of your look. Fill in sparse areas with an eyeshadow or pencil a shade lighter than your brow hair, and with the same product, extend them a bit. Finish off with a clear brow groomer.
Nail art is everywhere these days and even if you're a novice, you can make a big impact with a few fancy nail tricks.