Ugly Christmas sweaters feature sparkle, glitter, tinsel, bells, whistles, and about a million other quirky features that you usually can't find elsewhere in fashion. Why not use them to inspire your makeup for a night or two? Whether you want to make your ugly Christmas sweater a little sexy, or just want to add some extra sparkle to your ensemble, it's possible to take your makeup cues from your sweater — with pretty rad results, too. From an office holiday party to an annual gathering with friends, these sorts of celebrations are the perfect opportunity for a bold makeup look. They're a little wacky, and the perfect excuse to experiment with something different.
My fellow Fashion & Beauty Editor, Amanda, and I wanted to explore what it would be like to create full beauty looks using only ugly Christmas sweaters as inspo. Together with makeup artist Joy Fennel and hairstylist Rubi Jones, we used the ugly sweaters of your nightmares to create the beauty looks of your dreams. So gather all the glitter, red lipstick, and metallic eye shadows that you have and get ready. Here are five pretty holiday makeup looks inspired by ugly Christmas sweaters.
1. Cat Eye
For this look, start out with a bare face, layering on whatever level of coverage feels comfortable to you. Add a subtle brow and some lip balm and you're ready to get into the fun stuff.
Ah, the cat eye. Does it ever get old? Swipe on the perfect winged liner, add a healthy dose of mascara, and get ready for the final pop of color. For this look, the idea for the liner was to make it as bold and graphic as possible, but feel feel to experiment with whatever type of wing feels right to you. Might as well have fun with it, right?
Finish off with a bold, bright red lip, like NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Infatuated Red. Fennel used lip liner before and after applying the lip color to sharpen and define the natural lines of Ariana's lips.
Cat eye? Check. Cat sweater? Check. Best looking person at your holiday party? Check.
2. Bold Holiday Lips
The base of this look is all about a natural glow. Use your favorite illuminator on your cheekbones, brow bones, and temples to achieve a similar effect at home. As I like to say in my daily life (and especially when it comes to holiday makeup): The more highlighter, the better.
Complement your glow by adding a bright lip — we went with a Christmas green (try NYX Wicked Lippies in Scandalous for a simialr shade) with a bit of metallic shine, but red, gold, or silver would look great too. Next, layer it with an even more intense layer of green sparkle.
Apply the extra glitter (NYX Face and Body Glitter in teal would be a great option) to your base color to give extra shine and dimension to the lip.
And just like that, your lips have never looked merrier.
What would a holiday beauty look be without a dose of Elsa? For this look, start with a matte base like Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse foundation. Get ready to transform into the quirky snow queen you never knew you always wanted to be.
Add some white powder or shadow to your brows and lids (you can leave this step out if you don't want your look to be quite so dramatic), and swipe a muted glittery balm (Urban Decay's Vice lipstick in Bobby Dazzle would be perfect) on your lips to complete the look.
Finish with white mascara and some snow-inspired highlighter on the brow bones, and you're ready to go.
Belle Du Jour Juniors Snowman Holiday Sweater, $20, Macy's
Olaf would be so proud.
4. Painted Gold
This look is all about super saturated shades on the lips and eyes. Start with a bold dark purple hue on the lips — you can choose your favorite color of burgundy or black cherry for this.
Pat McGrath METALMORPHOSIS 005 Kit, $165, Pat McGrath
For the eyes, first draw the outline of the gold eyeshadow. Fennell used Pat McGrath's METALMORPHOSIS 005 Kit here, which gave just the right amount of shine to make the gold look like it was literally painted on. Follow the shape above — start with a gold flick like you would for normal cat eye and then connect it with a line that goes across your crease.
Fill in with gold shadow and glitter.
With a lip, eye, and sweater look like this, you don't need to bring a gift: The present is just you.
5. Silver & Gold
This look also starts with a matte base layer. Add a nude, slightly glossy lip for an extra pop of glam.
Layer on gold and silver eyeshadow (Yves Saint Laurent's Full Metal Shadow in Grey Splash and Bonnie Cooper would be amazing for this) on your lids for a metallic smokey eye that's not 100 percent precise. Mixing up the placement of the different glitters and shadows gives the eye a glowy feel that looks a little different from every angle — just like tinsel.
Finish off with three to four coats of voluminizing mascara to make the eyes pop.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy feeling like a supremely glamorous Christmas tree.
So when you get dressed up for that next Christmas party, don't let your look stop at just a reindeer-covered sweater. Grab your makeup bag and experiment a little. It'll be worth it.
Styling: Amanda Richards, Olivia Muenter
Models: Ariana Corrao/MSA Models, Sarah Kaufmann/Major Models
Photos: Ashley Batz/Bustle
Design: Mary Blount/Bustle
Makeup: Joy Fennell/Cloutier Remix using MAC
Hair: Rubi Jones using Oribe