Classic Holiday Makeup, Worn In Reverse

Switch things up with red eye shadow and metallic lips.
Kate F.
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Switch things up with red eye shadow and metallic lips.

Every year it happens without fail. I receive an invitation to a rad holiday party, spend weeks dreaming up elaborate makeup looks, and then, in a last-minute flurry, resort to my shindig standby, a metallic eye and a red lip.

Not this year. I’m planning ahead so I can really impress 'em (looking at you, ex-boyfriends). I've come up with a total 360, involving coppery eyes and a gilded pout. Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1: Prep

minimal makeup after

Create a flawless base with foundation, concealer, and whatever bronzer/blush/highlight combo works for you. Fill in your brows and apply an eye shadow primer.

Step 2: Eyes

Urban Decay’s Vice3 Palette has some gorgeous red shades that are ideal for this look. Start by applying Sonic, or any coppery red, all over the lids, to just above the crease.

red eye shadow applied

Apply Bondage, or a similar dark burgundy shade, to the crease, blending it out toward the ends of the brows for a smoky effect.

blending eye shadow

Use a liquid eyeliner to swipe on a subtle cat eye. I’m obsessed with DHC’s Liquid Eyeliner EX.

smoky red eye shadow

Finish with mascara--I’m using Lancome’s Grandiose Mascara for major precision--and add a shimmering white shadow, like Vice3’s Bobby Dazzle, to the inner corners of the eyes.

applying mascara

Step 3: Lips

You’ve got two options here: subtle yet sexy, or balls-to-the-wall bold. When it comes to the former, I’m in love with MAC Lipstick in Icon, a frosty bronze that swings more to the neutral side. It's perfect for more casual parties, or even holiday dinners with the in-laws.

red eye shadow

But if you’re feeling gutsy, go for a shimmering gold lip, I used the Tinkling shade in Ulta’s Perfect Ten Mini Eye Crayon Collection. It applies just like a lipstick and looks incredibly glamorous. This approach is better for glitzy get-togethers with the gals or, of course, New Year’s Eve.

gold metallic lipstick


makeup swatches on arm

L-R: Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Sonic, Bondage, and Bobby Dazzle; MAC Lipstick in Icon; and Ulta Perfect Ten Mini Eye Crayon in Tinkling.

  • What’s your go-to holiday look? 
  • Have you ever been stuck in a makeup rut? And would you ever try out a look like this?