We'd be hard-pressed to find a fashionable lady who didn't like to play around in her makeup kit every now and again...especially with so many parties piling up. Thankfully, we've been collecting some easy yet inventive new hair and makeup tricks for turning up the volume on your stock red lip and eyeliner routine. From glossy mermaid hair and ultra-bronzed cheekbones to messy DIY buns and snow queen eyes, these beauty looks definitely go beyond the predictable. And even better, we've chosen a few products to get the look quick and easy. So, while you might be burning time picking out your party dress, any of these amped-up after-hours looks should be a snap!
1. The mermaid hair with contour bronzer: This updated look from Alessandro Dell'Acqua's fall 2009 show gives Veronica Lake's classic Hollywood 'do a more futuristic vibe. Paired with the heavy-handed bronzer used as a combo high-lighter and contouring shadow, this complete look is packed with holiday-appropriate drama.
Above, clockwise from left: Alessandro Dell'Acqua fall/winter 2009 beauty photo via Style.com Beauty Photo Search; Living Proof Wave Shaping, Curl Defining, No Frizz Styling Cream, $14, available at Sephora; Sephora Brand Moroccan Sunrise Pot of Gold Loose Bronzer, $22, available at Sephora; Claudio Riaz Face Contour Brush, $65, available at Barneys New York; Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Crystal Shine Lipstick in Brown 775, $23, available at Bergdorf Goodman.
2. The intentionally messy overly pinned up-do: This season, skip the hair-dresser and throw caution to the wind pinning the heck out of your own hair. We love the idea of mixing and matching a variety of bejeweled and metal pins, or go with one uniform style like Carolina Herrera. No matter how you pin it, if you focus your attention on one casual bundle of hair, you really can't go wrong.
Above, clockwise from left: Carolina Herrera fall/winter 2009 backstage, photo via Style.com Beauty Photo Search; L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray for Supreme Hold, $15, available at Folica; Forever 21 Rose Bobby Pin Set, $5.80, available at Forever 21; American Eagle Outfitters Pearl & Pink Bobby Pins, $12, available at American Eagle Outfitters; Forever 21 Chain Bobby Pins, $3.80, available at Forever 21.
3. The smoky-lustrous lined eye: Sometimes black liner just isn't enough. Hence, Anna Sui's expert blended a shimmery gray shadow along with some eye-popping highlighter to a classic lined eye, turning up the volume and really bringing a fresh defined effect to the party circuit.
Above, clockwise from left: Anna Sui fall/winter 2009 backstage, photo via Style.com Beauty Photo Search; Julie Hewett Los Angeles Cheekie Cheek Shine in Peachie, $24, available at Miomia; DuWop Gray Eyes Eyeshadow Set, $32, available at Sephora; Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in Onyx, $16, available at Lord & Taylor; M.A.C. Plush Lash Mascara, $13, available at Bloomingdale's.
4. The skinny braids with bold red lip: We know, this pairing seems a bit odd, but when you see how gorgeously complementary the two are here on Chanel Iman at Lacroix, you get why it works. There's something really fun about mixing young playful braids with a really bold red, sophisticated lip...it's a quirky play on contrasts that's easy to pull off.
Above, clockwise from left: Christian Dior fall/winter 2009 backstage, photo via Style.com Beauty Gallery; Lipstick Queen Red Sinner, $18, available at Barneys New York; Bare Minerals Matte SPF 15 Foundation, $28, available at Beauty.com; Boots No7 Lash and Brow Perfecter, $5.99, available at Drugstore.com; Nars The Multiple in South Beach, $37, available at Beauty.com.
5. The snow-queen: We had a hard time deciding if we should choose the excessively lashed-out eye or the purple metallic lip from Dior's fall show, so we decided to go with both, just like they did. Depending on your style, you may or may not choose to pair this icy white-gray shadow and lash extensions with the shimmery plum mouth. But one or both, this is an after-hours look that's definitely Narnia chic.
Above, clockwise from left: Christian Dior fall/winter 2009 backstage, photo via Style.com Beauty Photo Search; Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, $14, available at Nordstrom; Shu Uemura Smokey Layers Lashes, $25, available at Bergdorf Goodman; Dior 1-Color Eyeshadow, $25, available at Dillard's; Dior Backstage Large Eyeshadow Brush, $27, available at Dillard's; Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara. $7.49, available at Drugstore.com.