20 easy beauty ideas to try for holiday parties
Party makeup idea: Smoke out your eyes like Natasha Poly
By India-Jewel Jackson
A sexy, smoldering stare is pretty much de rigueur during holiday party season, but make a black smoky eye even more current by fashioning it into a dramatic graphic shape, like exaggerated wings. Use Scotch tape as a guide to ensure your wings are straight and even.
Party hair idea: Roll up your hair like Keira Knightley
If you're wearing a stunning strapless dress that's begging for a bare décolletage, consider rolling up your hair. It's an elegant, interesting take on the traditional updo. In fact, it feels retro and futuristic at the same time.
Party makeup idea: Play matchy-matchy like Kelly Rowland
Rarely do we see shades of pink worn above the cheeks, but a pretty bubble-gum lipstick becomes infinitely more interesting when it's color-coordinated with a complementary eyeshadow. Talk about a perfect pair!
Party hair idea: Wear a loose side braid like Olivia Palermo
Like to wear your hair cascading over one shoulder? Step up your standard side-swept ponytail with a loose braid. Pull the braid apart a bit so it's slightly mussed; you can't go wrong with the end result -- it's just messy enough yet still incredibly sexy.
Party makeup idea: Highlight the inner corners of your eyes like Doutzen Kroes
Subtly draw attention to your gaze by applying a hint of glint to the inner corners of your eyes. The key is to use a metallic shade that's close to your complexion. If your skin tone is fair, use champagne. If it's olive, go for gold. If you're dark, bronze is your best bet.
Party hair idea: Try a traditional french twist like Cate Blanchett
Instead of a plain low bun, roll and pin your tresses into a taut bun just above the nape of your neck. Admittedly it's a bit retro, but a sleek, elegant updo is still a quick-and-easy styling option for those nights when you need a gorgeous DIY 'do in five minutes flat.
Party makeup idea: Swipe a nude gloss on your lips like Pia Toscano
Need a break from color? Never underestimate the power of a no-makeup makeup look paired with a creamy, understated, high-shine neutral applied on your pout. It's the key to making your otherwise plain makeup look a tad bit more polished.
Party hair idea: Go for a loose topknot like Holliday Grainger
The ever-popular topknot is anything but laid-back when the entire look is dual-textured. Palm lightweight high-shine gel onto your crown and brush your strands taut. Secure with a snag-proof elastic and loosely wrap and pin your hair around the band. Make it a little messy by leaving the ends free.
Party makeup idea: Exaggerate your lashes like Kim Kardashian
For a fierce but flirty look, accentuate your gaze with spidery, lustworthy lashes. Beef yours up one of two ways: 1) First curl them with a heated curler (heat helps the curl last longer), then wriggle two coats of lengthening mascara through from roots to tips. Or 2) apply a full band of false lashes to your upper lash line and individual lashes to your waterline.
Party hair idea: Lighten your tips like Lily Aldridge
Blond ends work on all hair lengths and help create dimension. If going permanently ombré is a bit too risque for you, try it temporarily with a flaxen color spray. Apply pomade to your tips first -- it acts as a primer so the color shows up much more vibrantly.