We’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday season and I love everything about it. From time with friends and family to eating tons of food, you’ll almost always find me with a smile on my face. Add in traveling, snowy adventures and holiday parties — I just can’t get enough.
While these are all SO FUN, there is one downside: I feel the need to look presentable most of the time during the holidays. Confession: this is not always the easiest for me. I mean, check me out today. I’m recovering from being sick and couldn’t even convince myself to wear real pants this morning.
Fashion faux pas aside, I’m always looking for easy hacks to pull myself together quickly. You may have seen my blog about magnetic lashes, which make the no-makeup look a piece of cake. Today, I’m sharing my 7-step routine for minimal makeup that’s still glamorous. It sounds like an oxymoron, but, trust me, you’ll love it. If you’re a fuss free girl who wants a little bit of oomph for parties, this routine will get you gussied up and ready in no time.
Before we get to that, here’s a look at what you’ll need: primer, foundation, blush, powder, mascara or magnetic lashes, brow gel and lipstick. If you’d rather watch me apply makeup than read about it, click here.
Step 1 — Prime that pretty face.
A makeup artist once told me this is the most important step of any makeup routine. You may have to try a few different ones to see what works for your skin, but I love Laura Mercier’s foundation primer because it helps my makeup stay put all night (even when I’m dancing like a crazy fiend). I just rub it onto my skin the same way I do sunscreen. The heat from my hands really gets it to settle in and absorb quickly.
Step 2 — Make your eyes smize with mascara.
Once I apply primer, it’s supposed to sit for about five minutes to really settle into the skin. Instead of sitting around and waiting for it to finish, I put on mascara. For a normal day, one coat is enough, but for a holiday party, aka minimal glam event, I’ll put on several coats. First, I prime my lashes with a white primer. Then, I coat them several times with black mascara. The key is to add all the coats before the mascara dries, so it doesn’t get all flakey (nobody’s got time for that).
If you want to make your lashes look even fuller and longer, my secret is to hold the mascara wand still at the roots of my lashes and blink several times. It adds a thick, black base to my lashes and makes them really pop. I use L’Oréal’s double-ended wand because it has primer and mascara-in-one. After my lashes look the way I want, I use a Q-Tip to clean off the excess (cause there’s always excess).
The other option is to put on magnetic lashes. These add a whole lot of glam to my face without much effort.
Step 3 — Smooth out skin with foundation.
Lots of people swear by beauty blenders and brushes. While I think these are great, I’m pretty old school when it comes to applying my foundation. I spray a couple pumps on my hands, rub them together and put it directly on my face.
I’m always switching up my foundation, but right now, I have L’Oréal’s ‘True Match’ foundation and Laura Mercier’s ‘Ultra-Longwear’ foundation in my bag. I like that they both go on smoothly and hide any imperfections. Both look very natural. I tend to use L’Oréal for the daytime and Laura Mercier for night time. Whenever I’m looking haggard, I’ll just add an extra layer of foundation, and it helps my skin look way better!
Step 4 — Make everything last with powder.
I tend to put powder on before blush, because I like to set my foundation. I like the way powder gets my makeup to settle in and smooth out. Beauty experts recommend “baking” your face with powder, especially under the eyes, so I’ll do this if I’m adding a little extra oomph for a holiday party. Essentially, that means putting extra powder on and letting it sit on my face for a few minutes (it looks hilarious). Then, I use a big powder brush to dust off the excess. So glamourous! I feel like Fergie.
Step 5 — Get rosy cheeks using blush.
Next up, it’s time to make your cheeks sparkle a little bit. I love how my cheeks get a little rosy naturally over the holidays with the cooler weather, but once I’ve evened out my skin with foundation, that pretty glow is hidden. I just add a little bit of coral blush to the apples of my cheeks which brings out the warmth. Coral is my favorite because it adds a little bit of youth to my look, which is never a bad thing. I use Marc Jacobs blush in ‘Obsessed.’
Step 6 — Make your eyes pop via brows on point.
Brows. Oh, how I love thee. Remember the skinny brow trend of the early 2000s? I totally jumped on that train and plucked the heck out of mine. But this year, I decided to do microblading so I’d feel a little more Cara Delevingne. And it’s awesome. Wondering what microblading is? It’s the ultimate trick for the girl who wants to look nice but stay low maintenance. Here’s a look at my experience. It’s a little graphic. Consider yourself warned.
But we’re not here to talk the glories of microblading. For the holidays, all it takes is a little brow gel to get yours on fleek. I usually just brush my brow hairs up with the gel and it keeps them in place all night. I use Clinique’s ‘Just Browsing’ brush.
Step 7 — Pucker up.
Now it’s time to finish off the minimal glam look. Your eyes are sparkling, lips are glowing and skin looks flawless. To top it off, I add lipstick. I usually have a couple different ones around because I go back and forth between mauve, pink and red. Since I keep my eyes pretty minimal (thanks, sensitive eyeballs), I focus on my lips. Today, I’m wearing pink because I LOVE pink, and it complements the green dress I’m wearing tonight. I literally just apply lipstick like chapstick and I’m ready to rock.
Bonus Step: If you want some extra pizzaz, line your eyes with a charcoal colored liner. That’ll give you the smokey eye you might be looking for, without adding all the steps. If you add liner, I’d suggest doing a mauve lip because it looks more natural overall and will let your eyes be the focus.
Hope this guide helps you feel your best over the holidays! Simple. Minimal. Understated. Glamourous. All wins in my book.
Wishing you happiness, health and a great holiday season!