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Holiday Makeup For An Unusual Season

There’s no reason to sit this year out.

This holiday season might feel far from normal. That anticipated winter vacay may now be a less-than anticipated stay-cay, and New Years plans have probably morphed into something less cozy and more distanced. But that doesn’t mean that you need to wait for 2021 to get glamorous. We love makeup for its mood-boosting powers and this year we need all the help we can get. Ready for that ball to drop already? A statement lip might be your calling. Still feeling a bit “meh” from March? Perhaps a simple dose of shimmer on cheekbones will lift spirits. No matter your frame of mind, the products below will up-level your stay-at-home look, while getting you prepped for the brighter days that surely lie ahead.

The Gorgeous Lid

A deep smoky eye is anything but somber – and makeup artist Gucci Westman’s moody palette of charcoal and aubergine comes with a highlighter to add a hit of shine. The blendable and buildable powder-to-cream texture has a metallic tint for a sexy celebratory look – and can’t we all find something to celebrate in 2020?

The Statement Liner

A dramatic eye calls for the perfect smudgy liner to “tight line” (an internet favorite) and Tom Ford’s has a cult following for a reason. Tug-free and richly pigmented, its stay-in-place formula will prevent any visible wreckage should the holidays become emotional.

The Festive Lash

Nothing shouts, “let’s celebrate!” louder than bat-worthy lashes. Fashion behemoth Jenna Lyons saw a void in the beauty market for a chic, self-adherable version, so she created a line of 10 cruelty-free styles with shapes to flatter all – just in time for the holidays. Whether you prefer a dramatic cat eye or a little lift at the edges, a simple strip of falsies is the quickest path to easy glamour.

The Natural Lash

If a more natural look is your thing, Surrat’s flake-free long-lasting lash tint is a gift to all-night revelers. A Japanese-made brush allows for gentle coating without snags or smudges that grabs each individual lash at the root. Or, coat it over some fake ones for extra holiday wattage.

The Bushy Brow

While they don’t always get the attention they deserve, beauty experts know that one of the keys to a youthful appearance are gorgeous, well-maintained brows. Keep BBB London’s Clear Brow Gloss on hand to give your arches that coveted “fluff factor” to enhance the rest of your features.

The Fool-Proof Primer

Like anything, you need to prep for the main event. Lawless Beauty’s serum-moisturizer hybrid is the ultimate base for your foundation – or even tinted moisturizer (see below). Peptides and rosehip oil help calm down skin (a must for any first step), while lavender adds to the soothing vibe. What’s left is uber-hydrated skin that’s ready for whatever’s next.

The Flawless Skin

If holiday gatherings call for outdoor distancing this year (heat lamps, anyone?), Chantecaille’s Tinted SPF Moisturizer will keep you covered – even on gloomy winter days. But indoor revelers will also benefit from the rich antioxidant blend of thyme and butterfly blush extracts that impart a sought-after dewy finish.

The Sweet Cheek

Even those who subscribe to the “no-makeup” makeup look love a smatter of shine on the cheekbones for special occasions. Legendary makeup guru Bobbi’s Brown’s new clean brand, Jones Road, boasts a Miracle Balm that imparts a glimmering wash of skin-enhancing color in muted rust, terracotta and rose. Wear it solo or pressed into some foundation for an instant complexion upgrade.

The Extra Glow

Dabbing some light-reflecting pigments on brow and cheekbones (we like some on the inner corners of eyes as well) is never a bad idea. Chanel’s Multi-Use Glow Stick is as chic as they come and will bring a little beach moment to your at-home reality.

The Soft Lip

While a bold lip is always a great party move, a sticky gloss or a bright stain might make for mask-wearing hell. This year, go for a softer pout that’s subtly sparkly and won’t get in the way of current protocols. Pat McGrath Labs – the go-to for show-stopping makeup – offers up this cool, golden mauve shade that will still help garner just the right amount of attention.

The Bold Nail

This deep eggplant polish from Smith & Cult is less vamp-y than black, yet not predictable like red. Whether you’re into long trendy talons or a short, sophisticated shape, a pop of purple on your fingers will jolt you right into the spirit. Bonus: team it with chunky gold jewelry for some cool sophistication.

The Extra

If all-out revelry is still calling your name, an extraordinary step might be on your to-do list. Anastasia’s coconut-vanilla scented setting spray might be the final step to your holiday look – depending on your mood. Gently mist this glowy, metallic spray to set makeup and add a final dose of radiance.

Feature Image Credit: Annie Spratt

Zoe Schaeffer

Zoe Schaeffer is a former Condé Nast Beauty Editor who moved to Los Angeles to develop style shows for VH1 and later, fashion trend-forecasting. After opening her own boutique, Presse, she returned to her writing roots by launching a lifestyle blog, Macaroon Original, to share travel, home and wellness obsessions. Today she consults for beauty brands and freelances for sites such as Goop and The Helm. When she’s not pouring over her 1stdibs discoveries, she’s most likely planning a trip. Zoe lives in Los Angeles with her husband, dog, and three daughters, Gemma, Rafi and Cleo. Keep up on her Instagram here!

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