Friday, December 5, 2014

Fresh & Fabulous for the Holidays

Ready or not, the holidays are finally upon us!  For many of us, the holidays are an endless barrage of decorations, shopping, and best of all, parties.  Ohhhh, the parties!  And at parties, there are wonderful things, like cocktails and photographs, and those booze-fueled photos will live in infamy for many moons to come.

As a beauty enthusiast, my friends often ask me what type of outfit or makeup looks they should wear for certain types of parties, from the ever-popular Ugly Sweater Party to the office holiday soiree.  While I may be partial to more neutral and natural looks for everyday purposes, I always have ideas for how to amp up a look for the holidays or special occasions.  Holiday parties are my absolute fave because you can go in so many directions.  Dramatic!  Bright!  Smoky!  Sparkly!

For me, a great holiday party look will photograph well, emphasize your favorite features and have a special, not-for-everyday feel.  It's also critical that a look won't appear silly or totally dated when those photos are pulled out in 10 years.  Unless you're into giving others blackmail material, then that's on you.

Here are my steps for building a great holiday party look:

  • COMPLEXION - A great complexion is key to looking healthy and happy.  Start with drinking lots of water and maintaining a skincare routine, then build on that with a great skin primer, like Benefit POREfessional.  Foundation comes next, and depending on your skin and skin type, the type may vary.  Since many of us have drier skin during this time of the year, I always suggest a liquid foundation or BB cream, mixed with a little liquid highlighter.  The highlighter gives your skin a luminous, candlelit look without the dreaded club kid sparkle that most adults actively avoid.  Also use a liquid or pencil highlighter around your eyes to appear more awake since holiday parties tend to be held at night when we're naturally more tired.  You'll be surprised at what a difference it makes in photos!
  • EYES, CHEEKS AND LIPS - For color cosmetics, I love a natural cheek with a more dramatic eye OR lip.  One of the other, not both.  Going for broke with both a dramatic eye and lip makes someone look like they're trying VERY hard, and no one wants that, right?  Choosing one area of focus also tends to photograph better, IMHO.  I prefer a smoky eye, or a pop of color that may be unexpected.  Top all of that with a good setting powder, like Rimmel Stay Matte, then follow up with bold eyeliner and lots of mascara.  These are absolute requirements for finishing the look, so don't skip these!  You could go for false lashes too, if you're into that sort of thing.  If you cry, sweat or smudge your makeup easily, also mist your face with a waterproof setting spray so that fab look doesn't budge.
  • HAIR - For stunning holiday party hair, I love, love, love hair worn down (no ponytails!) with lots of body and shine.  I like a good blow-out to smooth and straighten hair, and follow it up with volume from Velcro rollers and some curl and shape from a large barreled curling iron.  This amps up the sexy factor for sure.  Hit your finished style with a healthy dose of shine spray and some flexible hold hairspray, and voila, hot holiday hair!  If you hate hair in your face, try pinning a few small sections of hair from around your face back with bobby pins for an effortless look.
  • FASHION - I'm no fashion blogger, but I love holiday attire and planning outfits.  I'm not one for crazy over-the-top clothes, but I love to look more festive for parties with friends.  Go for colorful elements and include some sparkle or shine via sequins, shimmery fabrics or, dare I say, some rhinestones.  It's the holidays after all, so wearing something outside of your normal comfort zone is totally acceptable, as long as it's still classy.  Also, stay away from shoes or boots that you haven't broken in or those with crazy high heels, unless you know you'll have a place to sit during the party.  I know how standing around for 4+ hours in uncomfortable shoes can turn me into a total Scrooge, and I don't want anyone else to have to experience that.
There you have it!   My essentials for holiday party and special occasion looks.  It's not too complicated, but is still a method for focusing your look on the the places where your effort will count the most.  

Go forth looking so fresh and so clean, clean for your upcoming holiday parties with these tips.  I look forward to seeing your amazing pictures online!

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Tampa, Florida, United States
I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!


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