Move over party frocks and heels, the spotlight is now on holiday makeup—that glamorous topping to your chicest party-time ensembles. Not sure where your cosmetic sensibilities lie this season? Well lucky for you, we've assembled five festively fab holiday makeup looks that work for the most daring and the most basic makeup wearers around. And we've even rated each one to help you weigh your options, because a full makeup look isn't always doable when a last minute invite pops up. So after you're done playing dress up, go for some unexpected makeup choices and make the entrance of the season.
The Golden Girl—This gilded look from 3.1 Phillip Lim resort pairs dramatic eye makeup with smooth, sleek hair for some edged-up elegance.
Difficulty Level: Easy. First, blend gold and bronze cream shadows together for an extra gilded, customized glow. Sweep the shadow across your lid, up toward the brow bone, and even smudge a little along the lower lash line. You want the cheeks to have more subtle gloss, so use a lighter touch when blending along the cheekbones and contour along the side of the face.
The Tools: Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist, $23, available at Fekkai; Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Enrapture, $26, available at Sephora; Nars Lip Gloss in Giza, $24, available at Sephora; Topshop Cream Eyeshadow in Goldmine, $14, available at Topshop. Phillip Lim 3.1 Resort 2011 photo by Nacho Alegre.
The Matte Statement Lip—Make pink the life of the party and kill it with bright, shine-free kisses.
Difficulty Level: Easy to Medium. Once you've tackled the bold lip, all that's left is black mascara. Always use a lip liner, and pat the lipstick onto the lips. Go matte by dusting the lips with powder (either translucent or a similar shade of pink).
The Tools: M.A.C. A Tartan Tale Lipstick in Full Fuchsia, $14.50, available at M.A.C.; Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain in Lively, $24, available at Sephora; Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara, $23.50, available at Estee Lauder; Lipstick Queen Invisible Liner, $18, available at Lipstick Queen. Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2011 image courtesy of M.A.C.
The Dramatic Smoky Eye and Pink Lip—Kick the black smoky eye up a notch by mixing in some deep green for an iridescent glow. Pair it with delicate pink lips for a fun contrast.
Difficulty Level: Medium. The at-home smoky eye only gets out of hand when you start off too big: remember to layer the shadows in steps, so you end up with sexy instead of shocking.
The Modern Robert Palmer Girl—The full makeup look is definitely back but instead of red lips and the typical smoky eye, this one plays a navy eye against orange lips and bright cheeks.
Difficulty Level: Medium to Hard. Don't be intimidated by the whole eyes-lips-cheeks intensity. Blend a navy or deeper blue shadow with a gray to give depth and pat on the lipstick for a more stained look. Don't forget to add some gold shimmer to the inner eyes to open everything up.
Tools: Shu Uemura Natural Volume Lashes, $20, available at Shu Uemura; M.A.C. Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Good To Go, $16, available at M.A.C.; Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Amazing Grey, $20, available at Estee Lauder; Bare Escentuals High Shine Eyecolor in Patina, $16, available at Sephora; Topshop Eyeshadow in Uniform, $14, available at Topshop. Vena Cava Spring 2011 photo by Mr. Newton.
Skating With The Stars—Pastels and shimmer and curves make for a futuristic and feminine look that will have all eyes on you.
Difficulty: Hard. Definitely experiment and make it your own, but creating shapes and the perfect silver line take patience so make sure you have enough time on your hands. Play up your natural eye shape.
The Tools: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Asphyxia, $17, available at Urban Decay; Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Gunmetal, $17, available at Urban Decay; CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner in Blackfire, $7.99, available at Ulta; Stila Raspberry Crush Lip & Cheek Stain, $24, available at Stila Cosmetics; Maybelline Volume Express The Falsies Mascara, $6.99, available at Ulta Monique L'Huillier Spring 2011 photo courtesy of Monique L'Huillier.