woman with party confetti

Top 13 Makeup Looks for the Holidays

The holidays are filled with seasonal parties, and while you likely already have a few glittery dresses to wear, it is important to also plan out your makeup looks. Whether you want to go full-on festive or just add a touch of sparkle to your face, here are 13 makeup looks that are perfectly suited to the holiday season.

Blue Lids with Coral Lips

blue eyeshadow with coral lipstick

Red and green tend to be the main colors of the Christmas season, but these can look garish when placed on the face together. To emulate these colors, but in a slightly toned down way, opt for blues and corals instead.

To create this look, follow these steps:

  • Prime your eyelids
  • Apply a medium to dark shade of blue eyeshadow to your eyelids, as darker shades will add more drama
  • Apply a neutral shade, such as taupe, to the crease of your eye, using a dry brush. The shade you pick should be darker than your natural skin tone, but lighter than the color of your eyelids
  • Apply a lighter shade of eyeshadow, such as a champagne, from your crease to your brow
  • If you would like your eyes to pop even more, use a blue liner on your lower and upper lash lines, giving this a smudge with a smudge brush
  • Finish the look with a swipe of your favorite mascara, and a glossy coral shade on your lips

Gold Leaf Eyes

gold leaf eyes

Wearing gold leaf around the eyes has been popular for a few years now, and has been seen on everyone from Emma Watson to Fendi runway models.

It is best to create this look on a dark base, such as a smoky eye, as this will allow the flecks of gold leaf to really stand out and make an impact.

Wondering where to buy gold foil from?

You should be able to find it from your local craft store, otherwise there are plenty of options online.

Once you have your gold foil, use a pair of scissors to break this up into small pieces. The pieces do not have to be the same size, and, in fact, it is better if they are varied, as this will look more interesting when applied to your face.

Do some planning to decide exactly where you are going to place each piece of gold leaf.

Dot a small amount of eyelash glue onto each area, before using some tweezers to place each piece of gold leaf onto its own dot of glue. Gold leaf does stick to skin on its own, but using the glue will give it extra staying power.

Don’t have any eyelash glue to hand?

Try coconut oil, jojoba oil, or even some Vaseline instead. 

Since your eyes are the standout feature of this look, keep the rest of your makeup to a minimum, with a nude lip and just a light swipe of mascara.

Candy Cane Lips

candy cane lips

Candy cane lips are perfect for Christmas. While they might look slightly bold and wacky, they are most definitely one, and are a great way to really embrace the holidays.

Of course, this look does take a bit of practice to master…

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Cover your lips with a concealer. While you will be applying a white lipstick base later on, the redness of your lips will still show through this unless you conceal them properly. Use a sponge to dab the concealer onto your lips, making sure that you completely cover them
  • Use a translucent powder to set the concealer onto your lips, brushing off any excess powder with a fluffy brush
  • Using a white lip liner, outline your lips to define their border, before filling your lips in completely to create a base for the white lipstick
  • Apply a white lipstick over the white lip liner, ensuring that every part of your lips is now white and opaque. Matte lipsticks are best, but if you are using a creamy formula, you will need to dab this again with powder once you are done
  • Use a red liquid lipstick and a small brush to create the diagonal red lines. Make sure that your mouth is resting naturally, and alternate between thick and thin lines, in order to really replicate a candy cane

Festive False Lashes  

false eyelashes in blue

False lashes can add a completely new dimension to your look, especially when they bold and festive.

Never used false lashes before?

It’s easy.

Begin by gently removing the false lashes from their packaging, taking care not to bend them. Rest the strips along your lash line, to see whether or not you need to trim them down to size. If you do, make sure that you trim them from the outside edge, and cut them at the vein rather than cutting through the lashes.

Dot a thin layer of eyelash glue along the vein of your eyelash strip, from corner to corner. If you want some extra hold, you can also apply some of the glue to your lash line.

Place the eyelash strip against your lash line, making sure that they line up with where the natural bulk of your own eyelashes begin. Press the strip down so that it comes into contact with the glue, and then squeeze the strip against your own natural lashes, so that you do not end up with a strip of bare skin in between them.

Since this is quite a dramatic look, keep the rest of your makeup simple, allowing your eyes to really stand out.

There are so many different types of festive lashes out there, making this a look that you could really have some fun with. 

Glamorous Red Lips

woman with red lips and dress

Holiday makeup does not need to be anything complicated, and if you do not like being too experimental with your beauty looks, a classic red lip is perfect for the season.

Here are a few tips to make your red lips are perfectly on point:

  • If you have thin lips, stay away from deep reds, as these will make your lips look smaller
  • If you have strong coloring, whether this be light or dark, experiment with more intense shades of red
  • Keep the rest of your makeup simple when going for red lips
  • If you have a red lipstick shade that does not quite work for you, do not toss it out. Instead, apply a gold or pink gloss onto your lips over it, as this will transform the shade of red quite a bit
  • A little concealer around the outer edge of your lips will prevent your lipstick from bleeding 

The Snow Queen

woman with snowy makeup

The snow queen look is quite a severe one, and you do need to have a fair bit of confidence to pull this off.

Begin by priming your face and your eyes, and then apply your usual foundation to give yourself a base.

Using a white or silver gel liner, fill in your eyebrows, and then use a white or silver eyeshadow to shade in the underside.

Dab a blending brush into this same shadow, and then apply this to the following areas:

  • Your crease
  • The inner corners of your eyes up to your brows
  • The lower lash area

Using a white or silver metallic shade of eyeshadow, apply this to your eyelids, blending it all in well.

Finish off the look with a light lipstick shade, and a dramatic layer of cream blush on your cheeks.

Lined with Crystals

woman with crystals around eyes

Face jewels can add such an aura of mystique to your look, and are a great way to embrace the holidays through your makeup, without having to use glitter.

The best part about this look is that you can be so creative with it, applying the rhinestones in any design pattern that you want.

However you choose to have them, you need to start with a clean base, but be careful of the products that you apply, as this may reduce the hold that the glue has.

Next, apply some skin-safe glue to each jewel, before using some tweezers to stick these to your face. When it comes to the glue, remember that less is more, as you do not want excess glue oozing out of the sides of the jewels when you stick them onto your skin.

Sweet and Subtle

woman in subtle makeup holding Christmas gift

If you are spending the holidays with your family, then a makeup style that is sweet, subtle and pretty is much more appropriate than something avant-garde and dramatic.

Having your eyes stand out is always a good idea when there are going to be numerous holiday photographs being taken, so line them with a black or dark brown eyeliner.

Pair this with a tinted lip gloss to give your lips some shine, without too much intense color.

Don’t forget…

Rosy cheeks are a must when going for a toned-down look, so sweep some blush onto the apples of your cheeks.

A Classic Smoky Eye

classic smoky eye graphic

Smoky eyes are a go-to makeup look for the holidays, and there are numerous tutorials out there that will show you how to achieve this. 

However, if you want your smoky eye to really be absolutely perfect, make sure that you also keep these tips in mind:

  • Using a black eyeliner as a base, by smudging this over your lid, can really intensify the look
  • If you are creating a smoky eye for the daytime, keep it smudged close to your lash line
  • Experiment with different colors, from the classics, such as charcoal, black and deep purple, to the festive, such as jewel tones, chocolates and coppers
  • Do not rush a smoky eye. This look takes at least ten minutes to perfect

A Pop of Color

dark makeup with red tones

If you prefer darker, more goth-like, makeup looks, there is no reason why you cannot pair this with a pop of color to celebrate the festive season.

Red is a great color to go for, on both your lips as well as your lids, with intense shades working especially well.

When it comes to the eyes, surrounding the red with darker shades will really help it to stand out. Try creating an exaggerated smoky eye, but using a vivid red in the center of your lids.  

Glitter Eyes

glitter around eyes

Glitter is perfect for the holiday season, and applying it to your eyes will really glam up your entire look.

To begin with, apply an eyeshadow to your lids, if you would like some extra color underneath the glitter.

Then, make sure that you have a glitter primer or adhesive, and apply this liberally to your eyelids.

Dip a damp brush into some loose glitter, tapping this to remove any excess, and then pat this onto your eyelids, until it has settled into place.

Finish with a few swipes of mascara.

It is really important that you apply mascara after, not before, the glitter. Applying it before will cause the excess specks of glitter to stick to your eyelashes, which will make your look appear quite messy.

Go For Gold

gold makeup

Metallics are always trendy during the holidays, and, when it comes to the different shades out there, gold always comes out on top.

Begin with the eyes, using a stiffer, flat brush to apply your gold shadow rather than a fluffy brush.


Because the fluffier the brush, the less color it will end up picking up.

A few layers of a gold lipstick, followed by a rich gold gloss, are all you need for your lips.

To really enhance the golds in your look, apply a gold-flecked illuminating powder to your cheekbones, blending this downwards slightly.

Pretty in Pink

pink makeup and hair

For holiday parties and other occasions where you need to dress up, looking pretty in pink is always a feminine way to go.

However, many people often steer clear of pink around their eyes…


Because applying it incorrectly can make it look as though you have some sort of strange eye disease.

So how do you get around this?

By following these tips:

  • Cream shadows are better than powders, as they will provide a more intense color
  • Stay away from shadows that have a shimmer, as these will look childish
  • Apply some eye drops to your eyes beforehand, to really brighten them up and eliminate even the slightest hint of redness
  • Make sure you prime your eyes first, so that the pink color stays in one place

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