Deck the halls, plum the pudding, make merry under the mistletoe: The holidays are party season and now's your time to shine. And whether you're headed to the festivities directly from the office or just need to get ready fast, the quickest way to add glamour to your look is by paying attention to lips and eyes.
"Lashes and lipstick are really the quickest, easiest way to make the transition from day to evening," says Gina Brooke, Intraceuticals skin care ambassador and former Shu Uemura artistic director, whose celebrity clients have included Anne Hathaway and Madonna.
Makeup artist Collier Strong, who has worked with Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek, agrees. "Simple eye makeup and a sophisticated lip take your look to a different level, creating a bold, polished statement," Strong says. And for this look, it's best to keep the rest of your makeup minimal, he says.
For lips this season, go with bold bordeaux or red.
Pati Dubroff, who has made up celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Mendes and Miley Cyrus, favors the former. "Bordeaux is edgier, more film noir, than red lipstick," she says. And when using bordeaux, she prefers a matte or cream formula instead of gloss.
Whichever color you choose, make it stay on by filling in the entire lip with matching liner, wearing a lip stain underneath lipstick or using long-wear lipstick.
For eyes, a simple way to pump up the volume is with mascara. "There are formulas out there right now that really take the place of lash extensions or false lashes," Dubroff says. She recommends curling lashes, applying two consecutive coats of mascara on each side, then adding one more layer on each side for drama. Use a lash comb as needed to prevent clumping.
If the festivities are taking place after work, it's best to go through the day with very little or no mascara and then apply mascara and bold lip color before you head to the party.
But if you opt for false lashes, Brooke recommends applying them before heading to work. First curl your natural lashes. Then bend strip lashes to make them more malleable, apply dark eyelash glue to strips, wait a few seconds so the glue gets tacky and apply from the inside corner to the outer corner. "Then take your eyelash curler and gently tap, not curl, your real and false lashes together so they interconnect and become one so it looks like you just have long beautiful lashes," Brooke says.
Following are the experts' product picks to achieve fast holiday lips and eyes.
Dubroff: Nars Train Bleu velvet matte lip pencil ($24, narscosmetics.com), Tom Ford lipstick in Crimson Noir ($48, bergdorfgood
Strong: MAC Film Noir ($15, maccosmet
ics.com), YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain Shade #1 Violet Edition ($32, yslbeautyus.com).
Brooke: Shu Uemura in collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld Luxe Burgundy lipstick ($30, shuuemura-usa.com), Chanel Rouge Allure velvet lipstick in L'Exquise ($32.50, cha
Strong: Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Haute Red ($26, lauramer
cier.com), L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche lipstick in British Red ($8.95, drugstore.com).
Brooke: She recently collaborated with Make Up Forever to create a long-wear classic red lipstick for Madonna called Aqua Rouge #8 ($24, sephora.com). She also likes Nars velvet matte lip pencils in Forbidden Red and Cruella ($24, narscosmetics.com).
Dubroff: Nars velvet matte lip pencil in Dragon Girl ($24, narscosmetics.com), Tom Ford Narcotic Rouge lip color from his new Jasmine Rouge lip collection or Cherry Lush for a deeper red (each $48, bergdorfgood
Dubroff: Lancôme Hypnose Custom Volume mascara ($26, lancome-usa.com), Maybelline Lash Discovery mini brush for bottom lashes ($7.99, ulta.com).
Brooke: Volume Effet Faux Cils ($30, yslbeautyus.com), DiorShow mascara ($25, shop.nordstrom.com), Shu Uemura eyelash curler ($20, shuuemura-usa.com).
Strong: L'Oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black ($7.49, ulta.com).
Festive false lashes
Brooke: Farfallina false eyelashes, which she created ($29, shuuemura-usa.com).
Dubroff: Instead of strip lashes, which can pop off on the corners, she prefers individual or cluster lashes in multi-length packages, such as Eyelure ($5.99, ulta.com).
Strong: Miss Adoro #600 and #747 short or medium ($2.72, missadoro.com). "A huge mistake people make is to use [lashes] that are too long or too thick," he says.