Friendly reminder: it’s Christmas week. Since you’ve just got the epic task of stocking up on gifts out of the way (right?!), here’s what’s next on the agenda, on ours at least: festive makeup. ‘Tis the season to go full extra, whether that’s jewel tones, glitter, or glamorous red-and-gold.
While this year’s festivities may be more subdued than most, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear much-needed cheer on your eyelids. Ahead, you’ll find our list of Christmas makeup ideas so you’ll never run out of inspiration, in 4 different styles: either the classics, the full-on Christmas glitter, the minimal, or the brights.
Red lips. Gold eyeshadow. Sexy smokey eyes. Sometimes, we just want to get the classics done right — these are the ones that come with a twist.
SOFT SMOKEY EYEs
An instantly beloved look for the holidays, Armani Beauty presents alluring smokey eyes and red lips, though this time in softer shades for a more luminous look. Model Barbara Palvin wears the Eyes To Kill Stellar eyeshadow in ‘Stellar’, a rose-gold shade, paired with the Lip Maestro in 205 Flamma, a warm-toned dark copper.
GOLD & glamour
This year, Chanel’s holiday look is inspired by the house’s iconic chains, where Lucia Pica imagines the chic interlacing of metal and leather coming to light in bold contrasts between black and an old-world, antique gold. Recreate the look with gold on the eyelids and high points of the face, followed by a rosy blush and a sensual dark lip.
A twist on classic gold, Dior’s holiday look features glammed up, graphic eyes and a more-is-more red lip in 999. Peter Philips puts together black and gold elements, mixing it up with rock ‘n’ roll-approved eyeshadow that’s smoked out at the tips for a grungy, yet glamorous festive look. Finish off with an ample amount of mascara.
BRONZED & GLOWy
If you’re looking to achieve Hollywood glam, don’t overlook the complexion. Here, Charlotte Tilbury sculpts red-carpet cheekbones and adds subtle highlights and contours, for the look of illuminated skin. For yourself, dust the bronzer powder along the hollows of the cheeks, temples, jawline, and the sides and tip of the nose, followed by highlighter on the cheekbones, down the center of the nose, cupid’s bow, and the brow bone.
SMOKEd out EYELINER
This one’s a stunning graphic look by celebrity makeup artist Nikki Wolff, which she simply describes as “smoked out liner with a twist”. An ultra-sharp wing tip will not go unnoticed, but for even more dramatic contrast, blend out the top part of the eyeliner with matching eyeshadow while keeping the bottom edge clean and neat — pro tip, use the edge of a card while doing your makeup for practice.
THE CHRISTMAS SPARKLE
So you’ve been listening to Christmas playlists on repeat since October. These looks are for you — those who like to go all out for the festive season with the most extra glittery, shiny, and shimmery looks on display.
Blue but certainly very cheery, this NARS look pairs cool-blue eyeshadow with a fresh set of glossy rose-brown lips, which do the perfect job of balancing out this oft-tacky look. You’ll look less like an SIA Stewardess and more like a Christmas bauble, should you so prefer, by layering NARS’ Powerchrome Loose Eye Pigment in the less-than-usual shades of Islamorada, a shimmering turquoise, and Stricken, a bright cobalt blue.
While slurping on those peppermint chocolate drinks, you’ll want your eyes to match too. M.A.C Cosmetics will make your eyelids glisten like the tree tops with classic Christmas green, now a more alluring emerald tone, by blending together Eye Shadows in That’s Showbiz Baby, Rule, and Natural Wilderness. Top the look off with notes of candy cane, with the Satin Lipstick in Twig.
It’s not just about the eyes isn’t it — commit to this perfect winter lip, inspired by the makeup artists at M.A.C Cosmetics. We can’t get enough of its frosty vibes, done by applying the holiday Lipstick in #Snowfilter, and then layering on Pigment in Silver Fog with a Mixing Medium for those metallic edges.
subtle holo shine
If you feel like adding shimmer all over your lids might be too intense, Gigi Hadid shows off a beautiful look by Patrick Ta, where he first puts on a matte and warm-neutral eyeshadow underneath, before layering up with intense holographic glitter, concentrating on the inner corners of the eye for a subtle pop of shimmer. He recommends the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner for its super-fine brush and party-ready glitter.
glitter in your area
It’s intense glitter, but contained in a subtle flick. BLACKPINK Lisa’s holiday look by M.A.C Cosmetics sees a mix of frosted and fiery hues, starting with an ice-queen eye look that combines a neat stroke of black eyeliner with the Dazzleshadow Liquid in Pantherized, Diamond Crumbles, and Not Afraid To Sparkle, each filled with multi-dimensional sparkly pigments. The M.A.C Powder Kiss Lipstick in Mull It Over then offers the perfect peach shade in a soft-focused matte formula.
You don’t have that much time to fuss over your look, and yet you don’t want to rely on the same-old neutral eyes and nude lips that you go for every damn day. We get it.
dark WINE LIPS
Lips are the focus for HERA‘s holiday look, which features the holiday version of their Sensual Spicy Nude Gloss in No. 89 Merlot, an obviously wine-inspired shade that also brings drama and volume to your lips. Complement those lips with an equally powerful but subdued shine on your eyelids, by picking light tones with a shiny gloss on top.
Flushed PINK cheeks
The always-gorgeous Jenna Dewan shows off a clean but pretty look by makeup artist Patrick Ta. It’s a somewhat pared-down look, though one that emphasises rosy pink cheeks, fresh and extra youthful. You can do the same by piling on the softest and most blendable blush you’ve got, swiping your brush from the top of your cheekbones to the apples of your cheeks for a slightly contoured effect.
dramatic winged liner
A classic winged liner and nude lips will never go out of style, whether it’s the 60s or 2020s. Celebrity makeup artist Hung Vanngo does the most aspirational version of this on Selena Gomez, channelling old-school glamorous vibes thanks to that perfectly coiffed hair. You’ll want to keep the rest of the face as monochrome as possible so this graphic eye look stands out.
clean cut crease
Again, we’re looking at the 60s for inspiration, this time on Dua Lipa by Nikki Wolff. Here, we’ve gone full Twiggy-graphic, with defined and lengthened top and bottom lashes. It’s not the most conventional holiday look — after all, there are no glitter or sparkly elements in sight — but the dramatic effect of the cut crease style, here in grey and slightly smoked out, will definitely draw attention to your peepers.
Shine bright, but less like a diamond. If you’d like to avoid the holiday cliché of matching the fairy lights, we suggest adding some surprising pops of colour to either play up the shades on your festive ‘fit — or, you know, whatever you want.
An “outstanding orange” look created by shu uemura international artistic director uchiide, we’ve long admired the often avant-garde makeup looks on shu uemura’s IG feed, though this one looks doable. What stands out is a juicy orange graphic eye that’s slightly blended out at the tip so that it goes seamlessly with the apricot-toned blush. The shu uemura rouge unlimited in AM BR784 completes this monochrome look that definitely stands out more than it blends in.
wear the rainbow
The holidays might be the perfect time to try out your most experimental makeup looks, which doesn’t get more perfect than this bounty of colours by Nikki Wolff. Every shade is perfectly placed for a multi-coloured look you can wear with pride — pastel blue and green tones grace the inner corners of the eye, before shifting to a soft purple-black that’s expertly blended together with tropical yellow, done in a dramatic sweep across the cheekbones. Pink cheeks and lips — and an all-important highlighter to put it all together — finishes the look.
You’ve already started experimenting with the usually-unused colours in your eyeshadow palette — don’t stop now. Dua Lipa makes a case for violet lids, in a look done by makeup artist Lisa Eldridge for her ‘Physical’ music video. It might be an intimidating shade of purple, but seriously, if you’re going this bold, you might as well throw in sequins and a thick black wing while you’re at it. A subtle holo-purple highlighter complements the cool tones and doesn’t look at all out of place.
bright coral lips
If a bright coral lip is as bold as you can get, that’s something we want to encourage too. In his YouTube video, you can see how Hung Vanngo creates a poppin’ look by first going in with soft brown smokey eyes and fluffy brows, all nicely smudged out, before doing a creamy defined lip with Fenty Beauty’s Poutsicle Juicy Satin Lipstick in Sun Snatched.