The holiday season, with all its festivities and fun, can also bring with it some stress and worries. Lists are a mile long, obligations are many.
One thing you don't need to stress over is your makeup. A signature holiday look will take you from party to party without needing to think twice about your lipstick.
Glowing skin. Beautiful skin is always in, but a dewy look is even more radiant during the winter months, when so many of us suffer from dry skin. To ensure my skin doesn't look as parched as it feels, I use a serum-based foundation. The bareMinerals bareSkin Brightening Serum Foundation, $30 at Ulta, has a coconut-derived base and contains vitamin C to make your skin glow.
More contour, less bronzer. This time of year, few of us have a tan, anyway. Let the focus be on your beautiful complexion, and use less bronzer than you might normally apply. To keep your face from looking flat and lifeless, take extra care to carve out your cheekbones and sculpt your nose with contour. For a night out, I break out the big guns: the Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio, $45 at Sephora. Use the creamy, blendable sticks to draw lines on your face where you wish hollows would be, then blend in the product with a duo-fiber brush (try the e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush, $3 at Target). You'll be left with supermodel-status cheekbones.
A red lip. If ever there's a time of year to rock a red lip, this is it. A red lip requires precision, so start with a lip liner, like the NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Red, $4.99 at Ulta, and outline your pout. Take extra care with your upper lip! Next, choose a budge-proof formula to keep the color where it belongs, instead of on your glass, your date, or even your chin. I like the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, $6.49 at Ulta, in San Paolo.
Simple eye makeup. If you're going with a bold lip, keep your eye look simple so as not to compete. Opt for a sparkly, pale-all-over lid color like Urban Decay's Sin, $19 at Sephora. Buff a nude matte shade like Urban Decay's Naked, $19 at Sephora, into the crease of your eyelid. Complete the look with winged eyeliner (try the stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, $22 at Sephora) and lots and lots of mascara.
Alison Smith likes to change her outfit for every holiday party, but has no problem wearing the same lipstick to each gathering. Got a burning beauty question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.