By Fauzia Arain

Chicago Tribune


Holiday party season is in full swing, whether your sights are set on one special soiree or your calendar is flush with festivities. But in all the rushing between the office and your celebration destination, putting your best face forward can easily fall off your priority list.

Don't fret, because professional makeup artist Shannon O'Brien ( has your back ... and face. "When I think of holiday makeup, two things come to mind—metallic eyes and bold lips," says O'Brien, who specializes in beauty makeup (weddings, head shots, fashion) and does makeup for ESPN shows "Around the Horn" and "Pardon the Interruption."

"The smoky eye is changing; the shape has become more catlike and angular," she says, explaining her fresh take on old standbys. "I decided to steer away from the classic holiday red lip and go for a more high-fashion version. A dark wine is so sexy, any woman who wears it oozes confidence."

O'Brien says to avoid feeling flustered and overdoing your face because you're in a rush, pick a focus—eyes or lips—and then follow her easy instructions. Either look can be done in a few snappy steps that clock in at less than 10 minutes each, and both pack a glam, festive punch.


1. Sweep silver from Too Faced Eye Shadow Duo in "Ooh & Aah" ($17) all over the lid with a blending brush.

2. Use an angled brush to work the black shadow into the lash line, from the center of the eye to slightly above the outer corner of the eye for "cat eyed" look.

3. Use the blending brush to blend the black shadow into the crease and sweep out past the outer corner of the eye toward the end of your brow.

4. Fill in your brow with the Anastasia Go Brow ($21) pencil and trace the highlighting end across your brow bone just under your brow. Blend with your fingertips.

5. Trim a strip of fake lashes to match the length of your lash line. Apply a dental floss-width of adhesive to the lash band with a Q-tip. Allow adhesive to get a bit tacky and place directly above the lash line.

6. Finally, bronze your cheeks and apply nude lipstick and shimmery gloss.


1. Prep your pout with a balm or primer and line your lips with Mac lip pencil in "Currant" ($13). You can follow your natural lip line or, to create fuller lips, trace just outside your natural lip line.

2. Now that you have the perfect shape, fill in the lip with Mac Cremesheen lipstick in "Hang-Up" ($14). This lipstick has a patent leather finish, so there is no need to gloss.

3. To complement, but not distract from your lip, sweep a shimmery, sand-colored shadow across your lid. Blend a warm midtone brown into the crease extending toward the end of your brow.

4. Use Mary-Lou Manizer AKA "The Luminizer" ($22) to highlight the center of the eyelid and the high points of your cheeks, creating a golden holiday glow.

5. Add your favorite rosy blush and black mascara, and you are out the door!