8 Holiday Party Makeup Mistakes to Avoid
1. Overdosing on glitter
"Don't use any large-fleck glitter—it reflects too much light and tends to look childish," says makeup artist Troy Surratt. "If you want some shine, an eye shadow with small shimmer flecks will catch the light in a subtle way." (He likes Nars Night Fairy, $23.) Sweep it on lids and at the inner corners to brighten your face.
Bing Shopping: Purchase Nars Night Fairy eye shadow
2. Not wearing any shine
While excessive shine is no good, a total lack is just as bad. "Light reflection on key points of the face gives an aura of health," says Surratt. The trick is applying shine strategically rather than all over. "Using a blush brush, dust a powder highlighter on the highest parts of the cheeks and the tip of your nose to create the illusion of a chiseled bone structure," says Surratt. (He recommends Mally Shimmer, Shape and Glow Face Defining System in Peach Fair for light and medium skin tones, and Love Is Deeper for dark skin, $40.) When you're using shine on your cheekbones, stay away from shimmery blushes and bronzer—it's overkill.
Bing Shopping: Purchase Mally Shimmer, Shape and Glow Face Defining System
3. Bare nails
Holiday planning is all about the details, and a knockout nail color should be at the top of your to-do list. For an update on classic red, try the high-shine M.A.C. in Shirelle ($13), which was used on nails at the spring Gucci show. Or go edgy with Dior Vernis in Black Sequins ($21) or Priti NYC in Bowles Black ($12.50), black polishes with silver sparkles.
Bing Shopping: Purchase M.A.C. nail polish in Shirelle
4. Obvious lip liner
When it comes to beautiful, bold mouths, it's important to know how far to go without crossing the line. That's why makeup artists backstage at fashion shows often pat on lipstick with their fingers so that the edges aren't obvious. If lipstick bleeds into very fine lines around your mouth, apply a lip liner that matches your lip color.
Bing: Shop for lip liners
5. Eyeliner or mascara smudges
To prevent your liner and mascara from flaking and smudging, start by coating lashes with a mascara primer (Surratt recommends Shu Uemura Lash Repair, $23) and choose water-resistant or humidity-proof mascara—waterproof tends to stick like tar to the lashes—and a smudge-proof liquid liner. (Surratt recommends any Lancôme mascara, $34, "as they tend to be really water-resistant," and Shiseido Automatic Fine Eyeliner, $29, which has an all-day, smudge-proof formula.) "Use a small brush so mascara is carried evenly from lash line to tips. Large mascara wands can deposit too much product on the lash and are harder to control," says Surratt. After applying mascara, brush through lashes with a lash comb ($9). Surratt also recommends using a marker liner, as they dry faster than liquids and are more smudge-resistant than a pencil.
6. A greasy face
Again with the shine! It's good, it's bad, it's confusing! Here's the deal: What you don't want is a superoily T-zone or forehead—it kind of ruins your strategically placed cheekbone highlighter. Wash your face with a gentle, pH-balanced face wash, and use a Clarisonic for extra cleaning power. "It will break up congestion, remove oil, and exfoliate," Surratt says. Then, plan the rest of your makeup. "Avoid highlighter in your T-zone, where your skin's natural oils often shine through," says makeup artist Mally Roncal. (Roncal prefers Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Poreless Primer, $35, to bring a matte finish to the skin.) Blotting papers are a great quick fix, especially the plastic-y kind that won't mess up your makeup or leave your face looking cakey. (Surratt loves Boscia Blotting Linens, $10, which come in mild scents like Lavender and Green Tea.)
7. No prep work
Flakes of snow: Magical. Flakes of dry skin? Not so appealing. But as cold weather turns your skin dry and even raw, the flakes will come and makeup won't stay put—unless you exfoliate and moisturize. On your face, use a scrub with round beads every couple of days. (We like Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Face Cream, $75.) Follow with a thick cream containing ceramides. For lips, exfoliating makeup-remover wipes are a good, gentle option (try Pond's Clean Sweep Cleansing & Make-Up Removing Towelettes, $3.99). Follow with a creamy lip balm like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($22.50), and be sure to reapply throughout the day.
8. Mixing metals
We know it's the season of silver and gold, but those things just don't mix on your face. "Gold is warm and silver is cool," says Surratt—so only one of them is going to look good on you. Silver shadows and highlighters look better on fair skin tones, while warm golds flatter darker skin. (Try Clé de Peau Satin Eye Color in Platinum, $45, or Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Five Golds, $58. For a less expensive option, we suggest L'Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Eye Shadow Singles in Pure Silver, $4.48, and Revlon Perle Eye Shadow in Sparkling Gold, $4.99).
More on MSN Lifestyle: Get additional content on gorgeous party hairstyles