12 Holiday Makeup Looks That Won’t Make You Look Like an Elf
If ever there were a time to apply that apple-red lipstick a little darker, wing that liquid eyeliner a little more dramatically, or try that milkmaid-braid hairstyle full force, that time would be now. But just because the holiday spirit brings about a season of traditions all its own — eggnog, ugly sweater parties, and an excessive display of red and green to start — doesn't mean that looking the part of festive has to look too festive.
Instead of going overboard on the makeup front (step away from the green glitter eyeliner), invoke the prettiest shades of red, add a dash of party-appropriate glamour, and keep the hair as low-key (or as voluminous) as you want.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's Red Statement Lip
Slicked-back hair, defined eyelashes, and one very bold red lip was all Rosie Huntington-Whiteley needed to take a classic red look to the next level. And lucky for us, it's really easy to recreate, too.
Jessica Alba's Vampy Appeal
The goth lipstick thing is nothing new, and although it may seem like a Halloween remnant, Jessica Alba proved that (maybe) the dark purple hue doesn't have to be so ghoulish. In fact, thanks to some well-applied bronzer, this vampy look isn't scary at all.
Kate Middleton's Ponytail
For the laid-back beauty persona, look to Kate Middleton's casual ponytail for holiday-style salvation. Tie a black velvet ribbon around your black elastic for a subtle touch of elegance.
Try: Black Velvet Ribbon, $2/yard, etsy.com
Zoe Saldana's Va-Va-Voom Eyes
Zoe Saldana's smoky, winged-out eye makeup is the kind of look that says, "after-hours mischief." Black gel eyeliner, a double coat of mascara, and a matte charcoal-hued eyeshadow is all you need to follow suit.
Try: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner in Black Ink, $23, barneys.com + Maybelline Volum'Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara, $7, soap.com + Make Up Forever Diamond Shadow in Black Shimmer, $21, sephora.com
Jessica Biel's Electric Blue Liner
If you're one for unexpected pops of color, Jessica Biel's bright blue eyeliner approach is spot on. Since it's such a standout hue, only the lower lash line needs lining. As for everything else? Keep it minimal, natural, and in Biel's case, wear a really pretty pink-nude lipstick. If you have brown eyes, opt for a bright lavender eyeliner instead.
Nicole Richie's Golden Winged Look
Have a little fun with your winged eyeliner, the Nicole Richie way. Apply gold eyeshadow all over the eyelid, then use black shimmer eyeshadow in the crease and in the corners to create a smoky cat-eye effect.
Diane Kruger's Not-So-Sultry Eye Makeup
While Diane Kruger may not need much to look great (no matter the season), there are a few key things to take away from this particular look. First, the matte berry lip pencil doesn't have a cool undertone; instead, it brightens her fair complexion with its orange-ish base. Second: to keep things a little more dramatic, but not too sultry, she wore a sheer taupe eyeshadow instead of a darker brown shadow. Finally, if you can rock a middle part well, try Kruger's low-bun version on for size.
Try: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic, $9, drugstore.com
Katy Perry's Holiday Reds
For a more festive feel, employ warmer shades of red — as seen in Katy Perry's bordeaux-themed look. If you're going to color coordinate the eyes and lips, make sure to keep the shadow fairly sheer, with the lipstick as the overarching statement. Being too matchy-matchy could come off as campy, so beware.
Kerry Washington's Fuchsia Lip Gloss
A warm fuchsia lip gloss adds the right amount of high shine and warmth. Make the hue pop even more, just like Kerry Washington did, with a swipe of gold eyeshadow across the lower part of the lid.
Try: Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Deep Fuchsia Pink, $22, sephora.com
Selena Gomez's Dramatic Plum Eyeshadow
Ignore Selena Gomez's mid-dance pose, and focus instead on her dark plum eye shadow. Pair it with wavy hair, just like hers, for a double dose of beauty-induced drama.
Try: NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Eurydice, $34, sephora.com
Jennifer Lawrence's Take on Goth-Lite
Between Jennifer Lawrence's precise black eyeliner and her dark brown-red lipstick, this look is stunning, startling, and definitely worth wearing on the party circuit.
Try: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick in Ultimate Beige, $34, neimanmarcus.com
Rita Ora's Updated Marilyn Monroe
Are you thinking about taking the platinum-white blonde plunge? Let Rita Ora's glamorous look be positive motivation. Color of hair aside, dark, filled-in eyebrows, sculpted Old Hollywood waves, and a matte red lip will turn heads undoubtedly.