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Holiday Glam with MUA Gloria Manzanares

With over ten years of experience and a portfolio that could go on for days, Gloria is the perfect person to give us the 411 on holiday makeup hacks. 

If you’ve ever wanted the inside scoop from a professional MUA, you’ve come to the right place. NYC-based expert Gloria Manzanares has glammed up brides, editorial models, red carpet starlets and everyone in between. With over ten years of experience and a portfolio that could go on for days, Gloria is the perfect person to give us the 411 on holiday makeup hacks. We couldn’t wait to sit down with Gloria and pick her cosmetics brain.

Whether you’re looking to achieve a classic red lip, a Zoom glow or a festive holiday shimmer, Gloria has a tip or two for everyone this holiday season. Read below to walk through her process, explore some of her favorite products and even learn how to clean it all off at the end of the night.


How can you achieve a glam holiday look without going overboard?

I get asked this question year round by my clients who don’t like to look over-done. My suggestion is to choose one area of focus. Eyes or lips – not both so as to not have two looks competing on one face. For example, a smokey eye look with a neutral or nude lip. Or, soft/neutral tones on the eyes with a bold lip.

What’s the best (and most clean) way to apply shimmers and glitter?

Personally, I feel the best (and easiest) way is to use your finger. When applying with a brush, the bristles can cause fallout on your freshly made-up skin post foundation. Simply rub your finger on the shimmer and apply to the center of eye by tapping a layer over a lid that has been primed with an eyeshadow base or primer. Wash hands before and after of course!

How do you achieve a crisp and bold red lip?

I like to start by lining the whole bottom lip curve with a matte red liner.
Next, line from the center cupid’s bow of your top lip. Now you’re ready to apply your lipstick right on top. If you want extra definition, use an angled lip brush around the outer lip line. Lastly, you can take a little (very little) concealer and use a flat concealer brush to clean up your lip line and blend it out. This will correct any oops moments while you lined, if any.

What products would you recommend for getting your make-up to last the night?

This all starts with the right skin-prepping according to your skin type. Primer is a game changer. We thankfully have primers for all areas nowadays. Use them all to maximize your look. Primers you can use range from eyeshadow, face, lip and lashes. I also recommend a waterproof mascara and eyeliner. My personal pro tip for extended looks is to use setting spray twice. Before foundation and at the very end of your makeup application.

Any secret drugstore makeup products we should get?

Truthfully, there are many and it’s hard to pick but I’ll name my top three!


A product you cannot live without…

Definitely a corrector/concealer for my raccoon under eyes. It’s my top must-have!

A product that is on you at all times…

Lip balm. Always!

Your secret to getting the perfect shine for Zoom calls…

I’m currently loving Fenty’s Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer. It’s great for ALL skin types. It smooths out pores and absorbs shine without making your skin feel dry.

How to look refreshed after a night of holiday festivities…

Water, water, water. After an evening of partying, your skin gets extra thirsty from the inside out! Drink plenty and even spray some thermal water on freshly cleaned skin. Make sure to follow up with your full skincare routine.

Bonus: I also love to keep my pink quartz face roller in the fridge and use it while still cold all over my face for a massage. This helps with any puffiness the next day.


One of your favorite MUA secrets…

I like to do eye makeup before foundation is applied. This will save you from having to clean up any mistakes on your foundation from fallout.

Your favorite part of the process…

The after. When finished, it is always so satisfying! My clients’ happy reaction from getting their desired look never gets old. :)

Your top five products in your makeup kit…

How you recommend removing it all at the end of the day…

I personally love, LOVE cleansing oils! Don’t let the name intimidate you. They are non-comedogenic and don’t clog. A cleaning oil will totally break down all the makeup. Once you splash with warm water, it’s all gone without any residue! Tip: If you are using very heavy eye makeup, it’s best to take it off with your favorite makeup wipes first.

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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