Sponsored by e.l.f. cosmetics

We Created 4 Holiday Makeup Looks Using Beauty Gift Sets Under $15 — And The Results Were Festive AF

By Bustle Studios

What is it about the holidays that makes us want to be our most extra selves? There’s no sparkle too bright, no lip too bold to fall perfectly in line with the festive spirit. It really is the most wonderful time of the year to just go for it with makeup. That’s why we’re “e.l.f.ing” the rules to share our unique twists on the usual holiday look with, of course, the help of e.l.f. Cosmetics. Their holiday gift sets (all under $15!) are stocked with all the shimmers, saturated liners, and swipes of colors you’ll need to play with your makeup this holiday. Get ready, because the looks these Bustle editors came up with will absolutely sleigh (sorry, we had to).

Sure, you can go all glitter happy on your lids, but consider experimenting with an unexpected pop of color instead. Get bright shades on your radar this season — we’re betting they’ll be all the rage at your next holiday party.

“To get this look, I applied the matte yellow shade from e.l.f.’s Haute Chocolate Eyes Spice palette all over my lids. I used a shimmery champagne shade from the same palette on the center of my lids to create a halo effect. This gave the look some light and dimension. Using the Expert Liquid Liner in Jet Black, I gave myself some bold definition along my upper lash lines. I also lined my bottom and top waterlines with the Satin Eyeliner Pencil to make my eyes pop even more. Then, I applied false lashes… no look is complete without them! Since I wanted to keep the focus on my eyes, I finished off the look with a shimmery rose gold lip lacquer.” - Irma

It’s the perfect time to wing it with your liner! In fact, why not try winging it more than once? There’s no right or wrong way to get detailed with your eyes.

“One of the easiest ways to do an artful line is by drawing a double wing. I used e.l.f.’s Expert Liner in black for the main part and followed it with a second flick in navy just for fun — you can use any shade though, from black to white, glitter, or metallic. Then, I added false lashes for a little flair. I love how e.l.f’s Winged & Bold style is dramatic while still feeling light and airy. To finish off, I swept on a generous amount of golden highlighter, complemented by a neutral lip color with a gold, shimmering gloss on top.” - Lexi

The key to creating a beautiful eyeshadow look is to focus on blending. The better the blend, the more seamless and multi-dimensional it will turn out. In general, stick with lighter shades for an everyday look, and add deeper tones to take you through the night.

“I love pairing a warmed-toned smoky eye with a neutral lip. This particular mix of orange, brown, and burgundy is my go-to because there are so many ways I can wear it. Here, I used a combination of shades from the e.l.f. 100 Color Eyeshadow palette, starting with orange on my lids. Then I used shimmery burgundy and brown in the creases, blending it all using the e.l.f. crease brush. This neutral lip complements the warm colors on my eyes without taking over the look. Don’t forget that year-round glow! Just a little highlighter on my cheekbones to complete it all.” - Mikaela

What’s a holiday look without a bold lip? If you’re looking to veer away from traditional red, try amping it up (and creating the illusion of fuller lips) with an easy ombre effect.

“I usually go full-on red for the holidays, but I decided to switch it up with this lip gradient using e.l.f.’s Matte Lip Colors from the Rose Gold set — the twist-up pencils make it easy to line and fill in snap. I started by lining my lips in a berry shade, completely filling in my top lip and the inner corners of my bottom. Next, I filled in the remaining area of my bottom lip using a light pink shade. Then I blended it all using a lip brush. Since I wanted to keep the spotlight on my lips, I used a shimmery pink shadow from the Haute Chocolate Sugar eye palette on my lids. I blended a brown shade (from the same palette) in the creases to create a slightly sculpted effect. I used a thin stroke of liquid liner and a strip of false lashes to give my eyes a little more drama without stealing the show.” - Shyema

This post is sponsored by e.l.f. Cosmetics.