Tis the season to be merry, but it’s also the season to be stressed out of our skulls as our calendars swiftly fill up with holiday party commitments.
Between office parties, friend parties, shows, public events, and, of course, family gatherings large and small, there can be a lot of pressure to look your best. Particularly when visiting with folks that you might only see once a year. I’ve done a lot of reading and there are endless lists of six to eight week regimens to get your body Christmas party-ready, many focusing on cellulite and temporary ways to shrink your dress size for the evening.
I’m not going to do that, because guess what–is there a party to go to? Do you have a body? Your body is party-ready.
The holidays can be stressful as it is. The last thing any of us need is for someone to shame us for not doing a weekly seaweed wrap (with what time?) or for eating pie on Thanksgiving. Most of us have at least one family member we can rely on us make us guilty about something during the holidays, so it’s not like we’ve got a lack of this sort of thing anyway.
The holidays are for loving and laughing and making merry. The planning and the travel can be stressful enough. You should be enjoying your time. You already know things like bring what you’ll need to touch up your makeup–you don’t need me to tell you that. So this is what I propose.
Kay’s Christmas party beauty tips for actual real people.
Hydrate. We should be doing this all year, but especially during the winter months. With dry air and heat, our bodies need more water to function properly. When we’re properly hydrated our digestion, organ function, mental performance, and the quality of our skin all benefit. Drinking water is, simply put, good for us. It can give your skin a soft healthy glow, help you drop a few pounds, but most importantly, it helps you feel healthier.
Get your rest. Take of yourself this season, body and mind. Unplug when you need it and know what kinds of self-care works for you. The holidays are a tough time emotionally for a lot of us. Don’t let all the running around mean you neglect to block out time to take care of yourself–and that might mean watching Netflix in a Snuggie or it could be making sure you get to the gym on a regular schedule. Stress is hard on your body and can cause puffy eyes and acne, so if you need a beauty motivation to manage your stress, lower stress in general will lead to clearer skin. (And a happier you.)
Get some sun. Not only will getting sun, give you that warm, bronzed glow, with the short days during the winter, it’s easy to go about your day without seeing daylight. When humans don’t get sun, we get tired, fatigued, and have difficulty sleeping which are all a recipe for more stress. Too cold or no sun? Picking up a light therapy lamp (like this HappyLight by Verilux) can help your body adjust to the season change so you don’t end up feeling sluggish and depressed.
Focus on what makes you feel beautiful. Does getting your eyebrows shaped and waxed make you feel like a million bucks? That should be part of your party prep. Does having your brows waxed make you feel like a red, swollen Neanderthal like I do? Skip it. Try a bath with essentials oils instead. Or try a new eye shadow palette. No matter the season’s fads, beauty products that make you feel confident will always look on trend.
Eat the cookie. Don’t let the holidays turn into a calorie-counting guilt trip. You’re going to be surrounded by good food and great company, you should be enjoying it instead of making yourself feel bad. And if you have dietary restrictions for health reasons, they’ve made incredible strides in diabetic-friendly baking sweeteners so bring along a tray of sweets you know you can enjoy.
Christmas party beauty tips shouldn’t be about you barely eating because of the corset you’re in–they should be about you eating your favorite Christmas cookies feeling like a boss wearing perfectly winged eyeliner.
On that note, let’s look at the holiday makeup trends for 2017 and the products that will help you make a dramatic entrance.
Enjoy your parties, enjoy the holidays, and enjoy yourself.
1. Red Velvet Velvetines Matte Lipstick by Lime Crime
For that ultra-rich holiday red lip, try this intensely pigmented liquid matte lipstick in the shade Red Velvet. It’s from Lime Crime’s Velvetines collection so while it dries matte, it won’t have as intense of a drying effect on your lips as other mattes will. It goes on super smooth and dries so lightweight you can forget you’re wearing it. With one even layer, this bright red should last you the whole evening with minimal touch ups after eating. The best way to get the longest wear from these is to apply lip balm, wait 15 minutes, wipe off excess lip balm, and then apply. Bright red lipsticks will be big this Christmas season and the coming spring so get a head start. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty free.
Red Velvet can tend to read pinker than this photo when worn on very melanin-rich skin, so for some people of color, the shade New Americana will get you closer to this target holiday red.
2. Gold Gilding by Essie
A matching nail color can pull a whole look together. Just released as part of Essie’s 2017 Gel Couture Holiday Collection, Gold Gilding is a beautiful, metallic rose gold with a gold flash. What I mean by that is the polish has that soft rose gold color, but when the light catches it just right the lacquer gives off a gold sheen. Part of Essie’s Gel Couture line, it’s a gel-like polish that doesn’t require a UV light to dry, but lasts longer than normal polish. Rose golds are perfect Christmas party looks, especially if you’re rocking a smokey eye. Like any metallic, this polish tends to show brushstrokes so you’ll want to do two coats for an even finish. For the longest lasting color, skip your normal base coat and use the Essie’s Gel Couture Top Coat over Gold Gilding.
3. Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Gold Goddess
If a bold, red lip isn’t for you, try a bold metallic eye this Christmas with a neutral lip. If you’re tentative about glitter–it’s Christmas. Everything is sparkly from holiday cards to Christmas trees. Plus glitter is coming back (if it ever really left). This Gold Goddess shade has a true, dense gold pigment that would make even gold tree ornaments jealous. This isn’t a lemon yellow shimmer or a bronze, but a polished gold. Stila also offers this great shadow in many shades including Rose Gold Retro and Kitten Karma which is more of a champagne.
It has a doe foot applicator and for being such a dense glitter, this is still extremely smooth to put on. There’s no gross chunky feeling that some liquid glitters have. When used with a primer, this eye shadow stays in place well as long as you’re not rubbing at your eyes. It’s even blendable so you can choose how dramatic you want your sparkle to be, but it’s the holidays. I say go bold.
4. Blinc Liquid Eyeliner
A bold lip, neutral eye with a dark, razor-sharp cat eye is going to rule this holiday party season. This liquid eyeliner from Blinc has a superfine brush tip for precision wings. The texture of the brush responds to pressure you so can lay the line on as thick or as thin as you want. Since it’s a precision brush, you do need a pretty steady hand, so if you’re used to a felt-tip, you may want to have a few practice runs to get your technique down. This unique formula has an ultra long lifespan. Once it’s on, it’s not going anywhere. It won’t flake or smudge, even if you rub at it. Instead of makeup remover, all you need to take this off is warm water and some gentle scrubbing and it peels off. If you’re looking for a pitch black, sharp wing, pick up this eyeliner this season.
5. W7 Smokin’ Eyeshadow Palette
Pairing with a dramatic lip, a nude smokey eye complements without overpowering. This smokey eye palette from W7 gives you 12 shades to build a variety of smokey looks from matte nudes to sage green shimmers. For a powder, they’ve got a great creamy feel going on and are densely pigmented. They blend out beautifully for seamless transitions. Keep in mind while you’re applying, there is a bit of fallout that can dust your cheek while you’re working it, so try to remember to tap the excess off your brush before applying.
6. Snow Much Fun by KBShimmer
For a more playful nail, you have to see Snow Much Fun by KBShimmer. You can always find neat red and white festive glitter polishes that look adorably Christmas-y (like Candy Cane Crush by KBShimmer) but this wintry lacquer is unique and eye-catching. It’s a blue jelly base which means it goes on translucent but not transparent. Think jello. Then it’s packed with white glitter, blue holographic hex glitter, holographic micro glitter, and these large white snowflakes. Because it’s a jelly, you’ll want to apply three coats to build up the 3D effect of a snowfall. The translucent blue gives the white glitter an icy sheen. As with any polish with large glitter pieces, you’ll want to hold your bottle upside down for a moment to make fishing out the snowflake glitter easier, but it’s really not that much of a hassle and so worth it for this unique winter wonderland manicure.
7. StudioShine Lip Lustre Dutchess by LA Splash
If you’re looking to stand out, try combining the holiday party bright lip with Christmas glitter and you get the StudioShine Lip Lustre Collection by LA Splash. The shade Dutchess has that perfect matte cranberry wine color, darker than the red lipstick earlier on the list, which balances out the fact that there is glitter in here. This isn’t a chunky, overt glitter–more of a starlight sparkle when the light hits you.
As a liquid lipstick, it goes on smooth, dries matte, and has decent lasting power, though I would bring it with you to the party for touch ups. As a matte, it will have that dry feeling, but it’s fun, cheery, and eye-catching. You’ll want to pair this with a more neutral warm eye and a nice highlighter. If you’re liking the look of the darker red, but glitter isn’t your style, check out MAC’s Russian Red matte lipstick for a similar shade, minus the sparkles.
8. Too Faced Rock N Roll Eyeshadow Palette
The holidays are a perfect time to bust out your jewel-tones. This palette from Too Faced has a nice mix of jewel-tone shimmers that make for a unique smokey eye. There’s one matte eye shadow and the rest either have a hint of glitter or have a bold shine to them. This holiday, perk up your party smokey eye with a deep blue or evergreen. These eye shadows do need a good primer, which you expect from anything with glitter, but just keep that in mind when applying.
9. Nars The Multiple Illuminator Stick in Copacabana
Around the holidays, we’re all starting to lose our summer glow, especially if you live in a colder climate like I do. For a soft but brightening look, try this illuminator from Nars. It goes on smooth and creamy and blends out seamlessly to a powder finish. There’s a subtle iridescence that gives your skin a healthy, youthful glow. It’s perfect for cheek bones and brow bones, but it also works wonders on shoulders, arms, and collarbone–anywhere your skin would catch the light when you’re on the beach. We’ve been all over the golds on this post, but this Copacabana shade, which works on a wide range of skin tones, has a warmer, pinky color to it that gives your skin a sunny, healthy look without overdoing it on metallics.
10. Covergirl Continuous Color Bronzed Peach Lipstick
A simple neutral lipstick is a must in any makeup bag for when you’re going bold elsewhere with your makeup and want play it easy on your lip color, but still don’t want to feel nude. This peach lipstick from Covergirl has just enough pigment to warm up your face without being overpowering. The understated gold, bronzy shimmer in this shade works well with eye palettes included for this year’s holiday look. It’s a creamy stick lipstick with moisturizing vitamin E.