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Dear Santa,

I have such a busy holiday season - there are just so many parties and people to see and I don't know how to do my makeup for any of them!! I've spent all my time thinking of dresses and shoes and purses, but I am clueless with makeup. Please help.

Hopeless and Barefaced

Ok, admittedly this is an utterly falsified letter, and besides which, the fat man up North likely doesn't know a lipstick from a chap stick (he may even think they're the same!), but you get the idea. Even if you only have 1 party to go to this season, you still want to look your best and end 2009 with a bang. You've planned out your outfit, but what about your face? Remember, these kind of parties always involve cameras, so you want your face to look just as good as the rest of you.

This request for a holiday makeup video originally came from the awesome Livie of It's A Beautiful Life. Now, that lady doesn't even need to read this tutorial as she is naturally gorgeous and skinny, but she did have an intriguing question: with the current trend towards sequins and metallics this season, what sort of makeup should you wear to complement that?

Well, my thoughts on this would be that you should avoid sequins and metallic dresses altogether for a holiday party. Leave that for New Years Eve. When it comes to holiday parties, the vibe is generally more laidback potlach style, or elegant formal affair. For the latter type of party, you could opt for metallics and sequins, but keep it subtle and not an all-over affect. The dresses below illustrate my vision of what holiday party dresses should be: classic silhouettes, sophisticated and subtle sheen, and with a touch of sexiness.

Your FOTN for these dresses should highlight your glowing skin, bright eyes, and pretty pout. Again, the key here is subtlety. There's a time and place for heavy eyeliner and smouldering smokiness, but this is not that time nor place. Your boss wants to be able to recognize you, not the drag queen, so natural color and shimmers are the better option. I had created a video tutorial, but due to technical difficulties on Vimeo, I could not post it up in time for this post! Instead, here are the steps you can use to recreate this look:

  • Start with a smooth base by erasing under eye circles and evening out skin tone and imperfections using concealer and/or foundation. I like to use a liquid foundation for its stronger coverage and long-lasting wearability.
  • Using a pink eyeshadow trio (I used Maybelline New York's Expert Wear Shadow Trio is Berriful) use the lightest shade to highlight under the arch of the brows and the inner corner of your eyes - this will waken them up. If you have wide-set eyes, skip applying the shadow to the inner corner since it will only make your eyes look even wider apart.
  • Use the medium shade to cover your lid. Apply shadow heavier than seems necessary as the gold shadow will mute out the excess color. Apply darkest shade from lashline to crease.
  • Take a gold shimmery loose powder (such as The Balm Overshadow in No Money, No Honey) and dust over entire lid, creating a luminous shimmery, glow. Dust in inner corners and line under the eye for all-over glam.
  • Line upper lashline with black liquid or eyeliner. You could do pencil if you're really eyeliner-challenged, but the more definite and dramatic a line you can do, the better and liquid is best for this style. Curl and apply 2 coats of black mascara.
  • Cover your luscious lips with a slick, shiny, sheen with a rosy pink gloss for foolproof color (I used Sephora Brand Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in Rosy Glow).
  • Smile and apply a pink-gold blush (such as the wildly fabulous Nars Orgasm Multiple) to apples of the cheeks. Do not apply blush any closer than 2 finger-widths away from your nose. Smooth blush out along your cheekbones and to the temples.

Total time: 15 minutes

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