New Year's Eve Makeup: Retro Waves And Romantic Makeup

30-minute hair and makeup that's red-carpet ready.
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30-minute hair and makeup that's red-carpet ready.

It’s not often you’ll see my hair looking this polished, nor my makeup this subtle. My everyday look (day and night) is almost always a messy beach wave and a dark smoky eye. But whenever there’s a special occasion, especially a holiday party, I scale back and refine my look.

There’s just something so romantic about 1940s-inspired cascading waves and a subtle smoky eye. In a few easy steps, you can recreate this gorgeous look in less than 30 minutes, too. What a win-win situation.


I recommend styling your hair before you do your makeup. Create a deep side part and section pieces of hair to curl. With a curling iron (I used ConAir Infiniti Pro Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron), hold each section for five seconds, then secure the curl by pinning it with a clip.

curling long hair

Start with the crown and curl your hair in the same direction to the right. After you’re done curling, roll it into a pin curl.

long spiral curls

The curl should look really tight and bouncy, just like this.

pin curled hair

Secure all curls with pins and continue curling the rest of your hair. Using Fekkai Sheer Hold Hairspray, set it, and forget it. You won’t have to spray your hair even when your curls are all brushed out. 


I always recommend prepping your eye makeup first because sometimes all the eye shadow particles can land on your face, and if you already have foundation on, it’ll be so annoying when you have to wipe off excess residue. Luckily for this look, you’ll only need to use one eye shadow shade and gel eyeliner--because you want the primary focus to be on the fierce faux lashes.


Prep eyes with NYX Eye Shadow Base. Then dust a shimmery dark brown shadow (I used one from the DIOR 5 Couleurs Lift Eyeshadow Palette in Lifting Amber) to get the full smoky effect.

neutral eye shadow palette

Eyes done up with NYX Eye Shadow base, DIOR 5 Couleurs Lift Eyeshadow Palette in Lifting Amber.

After blending the eye shadow, line the top lid with a generous amount of Eyeko Making Eyes Automatic Gel Eyeliner in Plum Wine. Using a gel liner will help make the application go on smoother and faster. The plum shade against the shimmery brown is so perfect for any holiday party and a gorgeous color combination, too. Feel free to add the same eyeliner shade on your bottom lid or go for black, like I did.

plum eye shadow

All lined up with Eyeko Making Eyes Automatic Gel Eyeliner in Plum Wine.

Time to glue on the Benefit Pin-Up Lash falsies. I highly recommend applying mascara on the bottom lashes, and used the incredible It Cosmetics Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Mascara. The inventive lash ball at the tip of the applicator makes applying mascara on the bottom lash line so much easier. Obsessed.

fake lashes after

Falsies by Benefit Pin-Up Lash.

These multi-layered lashes may look intense in the package but actually look really natural when you put them on. So gorgeous.

applying mascara lower lashes

Real lashes done up with It Cosmetics Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Mascara.


Since you want the focus of this look to be on your lashes and hair, use a subtle amount of face makeup.

applying bb cream

Mix Dr. Jart+ CC Essence Balm with a little bit of MAC Cosmetics Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden to create a dewy look.

blending bronzer on face

Dust MAC Cosmetics Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden on the hollows of your cheeks.

nyx cream blush

Swipe a little bit of a peachy NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Tickled on your cheeks and blend, blend, blend!


After you've applied your favorite nude gloss or lipstick, all you have left to do is take out the pins and brush the curls out. Make sure to brush lightly--that’s the way your curls will turn into soft, romantic waves.

neutral holiday makeup

Voila! Throw on a sexy LBD and a statement necklace and you have a look that’s red-carpet holiday ready.

  • What’s your go-to holiday look?
  • Are you a fan of 1940s glamour? What beauty era is your favorite?
  • Would you wear this look to a holiday party?