This holiday look combines subtle, sparkly smoky eyes, radiant skin and a bold ombre lip. Jamie Newman
This holiday look combines subtle, sparkly smoky eyes, radiant skin and a bold ombre lip.Jamie Newman

Tis the season to get clients glammed up for the holidays.

Whether it be holiday parties or just festive looks for that special time of year, the name of the game is subtle, sexy, sparkly and radiant.

Stylist/Makeup Artist Constantine James, manager of Cos Bar in Highland Park, Illinois, demonstrates how to apply the perfect holiday look for clients, which includes sparkly eyes, ombre lips and a radiant, dewy glow, on MODERN's associate editor, Jamie Newman. This look is subtle enough for family gatherings, but can be amped up for a nighttime soiree.

STEP 1: Take sheer primer and warm it in hands. Apply with hands, placing in T-zone first and wiping outward. Go from bottom of the face and up. “Every motion that you’re doing, especially when you’re using skincare that has firming agents collagen boosters and things like that, you want to make sure you’re moving it in the direction you want it to go in because gravity will take a pull on everything,” James says. Then, whatever is left on your hands lightly pat into skin (don’t rub it in more).

STEP 2: With under eye concealer that has a pump, use your finger to gently control how much product you take (about a half a pump for each application). Place product on ring fingers and warm it by rubbing fingers together. “It’s most important to use your ring fingers because when applying skincare, that is the lightest touch on your hand to your face,” James says. “The eye area is the most sensitive area of the face, so you want to make sure when applying under eye products, you’re using a light application and light tapping motions.” Additionally, he says to make sure you are moving upwards, for the same reasons mentioned with face makeup.

STEP 3: Using a blush brush, take CC cream (or foundation for more coverage) pumped onto the back of your hand, making sure you’re not overusing product. Use the tip of the brush so you’re not using too much product, then, with small stippling motions on cheeks, brush product outward (started on cheeks due to that being the most flushed area of the face). Once areas of concern are covered, you can begin moving brush in light, circular motions around the rest of the face to make sure makeup is thoroughly blended. A little product goes a long way (overuse=cakiness!).

STEP 4: With the same brush, take desired amount of tinted moisturizer on the back of your hand, and also like before, use the tip of your brush. Dot product all over the face, focusing where more coverage is needed first. Lightly stipple around cheek area and blend in circular motions elsewhere. “It’s a fluffy brush, so what I love about that is it’s going to move the product around lightly and blends the product,” James says.

STEP 5: Using a luminizing pen, dot under eye area below the creased/lined area, and below the arch of the brow and above the brow with product. Over and under the brow will “lift” the brow. Using a blending brush, lightly tap product near the brow and blend outward. This highlights such areas of the face. Then, blend product under eye area toward the eye. Too much product in the lines here causes creases, so that is why you don’t directly apply product there first. “If you apply it right at the beginning of the day, there won’t be much creasing throughout the day as the product is worn,” James says. “Also, using skincare with a bit of collagen booster or a lifting agent will help prevent the eye from getting deep expression lines.” Use remaining product to highlight areas that you want to see more brightness—above and under the lip (to amplify effects of the festive lip that is to come), sides of the nose (to combat the redness of a runny nose and the frigid weather outside), etc. This is especially important in the wintertime.

STEP 6: To contour, use the Temptu Air for a light, subtle effect. Apply the matte foundation, a few shades darker than the skin tone, by spraying it directly onto the cheekbones for a natural look (as opposed to a sparkly formula). Blend product with a fluffy brush.

STEP 7: To achieve sparkly, festive eyes, first start by applying a cream shadow with subtle glitter in a color that complements the eye color (in this case, a rose gold was picked to contrast green/hazel eyes) to the middle of the lid, directly over where the iris sits. “Wherever you put product on first is where it’s going to stick—with your eyes, with your foundation, with anything,” James says. “So when applying product, be conscious of that.” Blend with a brush in gentle circular motions to diffuse and cover lid with product, taking it into the crease as well. Then, take pearly eyeshadow and apply to the inner corner of the eyes with the same brush. Apply a lighter matte shadow under brow for a soft highlight.

STEP 8: Lightly draw a creamy eyeliner pencil on top lids and smudge it out for a soft, smoky eye. Then, in back and forth motions, apply liner to water line and hair line in the outer, lower corners and smudge it out. Remind clients to breathe out of their nose during this step—it controls their tear ducts!

STEP 9: When applying mascara, the best way to apply is to put a thumb on the lid so the mascara doesn’t accidentally get onto eyeshadow. Then, apply mascara with small, back-and-forth horizontal motions, and then lift lashes with wand. Then, for an even bolder look, take wand above lashes, lift and curl them up with the spoolie (James doesn’t use an eyelash curler, just this technique).

The finished look
The finished look

STEP 10: Apply brow gel for a bold yet subtle brow that complements the client’s hair color. “If you have a steady hand and have the right brush, you can almost create the same illusion of micro blading,” James says.

STEP 11: For a festive, “raspberry-bitten” lip, James takes a layer of lip gloss first, applying a layer all over lips. Start in the center and work your way out, for the same reason as with the cream eye shadow—it will stick where it is applied first. For an ombre lip effect, apply liner second, working outside to in on both the top and bottom lip. Go in next with a little more gloss and apply right in the center and use brush to lightly diffuse outward. Then, you can go back in and ombre a bit more. Pop lips once and bring on the holiday parties!!

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