It’s holiday crunch time. After shopping for gifts and baking your heart out, we won’t blame you if all you want to do is crash. We feel you. But the parties are also in full swing. And we know that you deserve to have a little fun. So what to do when your time is stretched to the limit but you still want to be the belle of the ball?
Turn to tried-and-true glamorizing tips that are easy and effective. Below are five of my all-time favorite beautifying moves that I’ve learned over the years from my favorite celebrity glam-makers. Use them to achieve full-wattage holiday sizzle without spending all evening in front of the mirror.
- GO FOR RED LIPS. Scarlet lips instantly elevate your look. The bonus? Going red cuts your prep time. Let your lips be the focus and play down everything else. Just add mascara and chic curls or a topknot, and you’re ready to get the party started.
PRO TIP: “Use a pencil to subtly shade the outer corner of the lips before applying the lipstick,” says makeup artist Oslyn Holder (Tika Sumpter). “Make sure the pencil is a little bit darker than your lipstick hue.” It adds dimensions and gives color staying power.
- ADD BLUSH TO YOUR BRONZER. If you usually skip the blush, like many brown gals do, this trick adds polish while it warms up a lackluster complexion.
PRO TIP: “Adding bronzer makes blush shades such as pink more wearable for us,” makeup all-star Sam Fine (Queen Latifah) says. “Start with bronzer on the cheeks then apply blush and finish with a top layer of bronzer.” Voila! A natural-looking flush.
- COVER DARK CIRCLES. Whether from heredity or from lack of sleep, discoloration around the eyes makes you look weary. Learning to cover it correctly not only nixes the darkness, it also lights up the face. A little luminosity goes a long way.
PRO TIP: About concealers, AJ Crimson (LeToya Luckett), makeup artist and creator of his eponymous cosmetics line, says: “On darker skin tones you can’t just put something yellow over something dark, or it will just look muddy. Instead opt for a concealer with a pink or peach undertone to diffuse and brighten the area. And don’t forget to blend well and bring the concealer down to the tops of the cheeks.”
- DRESS UP YOUR NAILS. These days your fingertips are the ultimate accessory. The holidays are the perfect time to add sparkle to your tips. Just peruse the drugstore aisle, and you’ll find plenty of options. Go for gold or silver for a neutral that you can wear beyond the soiree. The good news is you don’t have to go over the top to get maximum effect.
PRO TIP: “When the look is jeweled and sparkly and glittery, you don’t have to do every nail,” mega manicurist Lisa Logan (Beyonce) says. “Add the glitter to just one tip as an accent.”
- UPGRADE YOUR PONYTAIL. What would we do without our ponytails? From childhood to adulthood, they have been our go-to. With a few key moves, you can take yours from the gym to the office party.
PRO TIP: “To modernize your pony, keep it light and full of body instead of pulled tight,” says hairstylist to the stars Tippi Shorter (Alicia Keys). “It helps to curl hair first to achieve volume at the crown.” The less combing and brushing you do, the less flat it will be.
Marcia Caster, a leading beauty writer and editor, looks effortlessly glamorous — even when she isn’t trying.