23 New Year's Eve Makeup Looks That Are Far From Basic

There are a lot of traditions that surround New Year's Eve, from the puzzling (why do we drop a giant ball from the sky in the middle of Times Square?) to the classic (toasting a packed room of people with plastic flutes of Champagne). But we would argue that the best ritual is the one that happens before the festivities begin: going to town on our hair and makeup.

Maybe it's our resolution to be bolder in the coming year, or just the nature of the evening's festivities, but New Year's Eve always awakens our wilder side — the one that's excited to play with the colors, textures, and shapes we hesitate to wear the other 364 days.


With the holiday rapidly approaching, we looked to celebrities and influencers for inspiration — and the options are endless. From layers of electric glitter and metallic smoky eyes to Twiggy lashes and graphic eyeliner art, a totally unpredictable NYE look awaits you, ahead.

1 of 23

Dotted Lines

Carefully line pearls on top of your lashline for this unique eyeliner substitute. While it might take some extra patience and precision, it'll be all worth it.
2 of 23

Pink Shadow

You could never go wrong with a gorgeous flush of pink eyeshadow. This NYE, lean into the latest celebrity trend and make the color the focal point of your entire look.
3 of 23

Duo-Chrome Smoky Eye

Leave it to makeup artist Hung Vanngo and his longtime client Selena Gomez to whip up the easiest way to elevate a smoky eye. After applying a base of black or brown shadow, tap on a layer of duo-chrome shimmer (we love the one in this kit) to spice things up.
4 of 23

Disco Eyes

You didn't think we forgot about glitter, did you? Play it fast and loose for an effortless look.
5 of 23

Graphic Eyes

Tired of your go-to cat eye? Try a graphic take that marries the floating crease trend with metallic shadows.
6 of 23

Frosty Shadow

Frosty silver eyeshadow doesn't just feel seasonal, it brightens the eyes, too. Make like Maya Hawke and pair it with full, separated lashes for extra definition.
7 of 23

Rust Shadow

It might be the dead of winter, but that doesn't mean we're ditching our favorite warm bronze and rust hues. Just be sure to wear a generous helping of mascara to ground your eyes for the season.
8 of 23

Rainbow Eyes

Prepare to be the coolest person at the party with this rainbow sticker look. It might look complicated, but it's as easy as peeling and pressing.
9 of 23

Metallic Smoky Eye

This NYE, swap out your basic black and gray shadows for something bright and metallic instead.
10 of 23

Hooded Liner

Grab your favorite liner or black shadow and gently trace your outer corner along the crease of your eye, like makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes did here.
11 of 23

Mismatched Colors

Why stick to one shade of eyeshadow when you can have two? This look isn't for the faint of heart, but it packs a punch.
12 of 23

Glossy Babe

For the new year, get the most out of your gloss by wearing it on your eyes and lips.
13 of 23

Euphoria Makeup

Face jewels are all the rave thanks to the HBO series Euphoria. Jump on the trend and place them on the eyes, eyebrows, or just anywhere on the face for a fun pop of shine.
14 of 23

Metallic Lips

If you haven't tried glitter lips yet, this is your chance. Simply dab some cosmetic glitter on top of your favorite lipstick — then avoid greasy salad for the rest of the night.
15 of 23

Double Liner

Wear a sleek cat eye on the top lid and a sharp line on the bottom. Pair it with a wash of pastel shadow for a look that's somehow edgy and romantic at once.
16 of 23

Studio 54

Is there a better time to be inspired by a disco ball than on New Year's Eve? Desi Perkins makes a case for it with her silver glitter eyes and statement earrings.
17 of 23

Orange Alert

Orange shadow is a wildly fun alternative to neutrals. Since the shade is so stunning on its own, pair it simply with dewy skin and a little lip balm.
18 of 23

Mismatched Texture

Juxtaposing matte and glossy textures is a great way to keep your makeup looking fresh and modern — just ask Zendaya. Here, the star contrasted glossy lids and dewy skin with super-matte lips.
19 of 23

Upside-Down Eyeliner

A layer of colorful bottom liner is a quick way to jazz up an otherwise neutral makeup look. Case in point: This fresh look on Joan Smalls.
20 of 23

Twiggy Lashes

Pair clumpy, Twiggy-style lashes with fresh skin and pastel shadows for an updated take on a '60s makeup classic.
21 of 23

White Eyeliner

Black eyeliner might be classic, but a crisp stripe of white ink is more memorable.
22 of 23

Creative Shapes

While everyone else wears glitter on their lids and lips, get creative and paint it somewhere unexpected. This placement not only looks cool, but it also brightens the eyes — which we could all use once the clock strikes midnight.
23 of 23

Inner Corner Strobing

Inner-corner strobing is one of the easiest ways to inject color into your look in seconds. Simply tap an iridescent shadow (reach for baby pinks, blues, and oranges) onto the inner corners of your eyes and finish off with a few coats of mascara.
Load more...