Makeup Looks for Whatever Weird Thing You End Up Doing on New Year's Eve

Ready, set, FOMO!
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Ready, set, FOMO!

I don’t hate New Year's Eve per se, but in NYC, it's kind of like Halloween in that you are fully expected to have the #bestnightever, which, to me, mostly means stressful and expensive. 

The past few years, I’ve hidden inside because no one I knew could give me a straight answer as to what they were up to, holding out for a better invite, probably. That's fine with me because I am an indoor girl. But maybe you aren't, and if I’m trying to be more socially healthy, I should probably shed these Boo Radley tendencies occasionally. 

But how does one prepare for what said #bestnightever may bring? Take with you these beauty looks appropriate for whatever weird event you may find yourself in first-last minute.

The Party Where You Won’t Really Know Anyone Nor What Kind of Party It Actually May Be

Best to err on the safe-ish side, but also not one that is terribly high-maintenance. Who knows if there will be time to touch-up or if you’re going to some fancy thing at someone's fancy parents' manor? 

Keep it elegant but not boring: bold lip, highlights for days and lashes that one could call excessive. I omit a cat-eye because everyone does a cat-eye, and also it takes this to a Taylor Swift level when I’m really grasping at a slightly-more-effort-than-effortless glamour. It looks like you tried, but you really didn’t have to.

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The key is to choose long-wear formulas for all. My favorite mascara for the false-lash effect is Diorshow Black Out. This stuff is like cosmetic-grade prestige tar. The waterproof version will keep up with you all night. Curl, mascara, curl again.

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My bold red lip of choice is Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Persimmon— an orangey russet red, matte, and clings for dear life to your lips. It’ll take some careful swipes to apply it neatly, but once it’s on, it’s not going anywhere.

My highlighter for obnoxious yet well-done shine is Stila’s Kitten eyeshadow. Alle actually introduced this one to me. It’s a micro-shimmer powder, so it doesn’t look like glitter bits — just a high beam of shine. Brushed on the high planes of your face, you look more disco angel than early-2000s pop star.

Rhinestone hair clips — best for making people question how old they thought you were.

Rhinestone hair clips — best for making people question how old they thought you were.

Also key: shiny stuff on your head. A rhinestone hair clip is fun and virtually thoughtless in terms of intricacy, so you can just pop it on and go. It really "ties it together," is what I'd say if this were some sort of millennial Martha Stewart dining table scheme. 

Hi mom, hi Obama, hi person I haven't seen since college. See? Works anywhere.

Hi mom, hi Obama, hi person I haven't seen since college. See? Works anywhere.

And with that, you are prepared for a virtually inoffensive and glamorous look no matter where you end up.

A Rave at an Unknown Location Where There Will Probably Be Blacklights

Paying to go to some fancy party where you maybe get two free drinks is a lousy deal. However, a secret rave at an unknown location until it is disclosed in an amusingly clever way seems way more fun (what, I just finished watching Hindsight on Hulu, it seemed cool). Bright, graphic and possibly black-light-sensitive makeup is a do.

Take 5, got it right.

Take 5, got it right.

White eyeliner is massively under-used in general, so why not use NYE as an excuse for “weird” makeup colors? Kat Von D makes this super-opaque liquid liner in stark white, called Neruda, and it rules. I traced a shape, kind of like a cut-crease or a leaf around my eye. It may take several tries, if you are like me and have selectively steady hands.

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And to go with white eyeliner, lavender lipstick, because let’s get weird — why not? NYX’s Macaron lippies are pleasantly creamy while delivering lots of pigment. Honestly, I don’t think lavender lipstick is that weird in general (kind of how blue lipstick use to be considered bizarro and is now just edgy), though I do kind of feel like I’m some Mr. Freeze groupie.

Bonus: matching manicure!

Bonus: matching manicure!

A dewy complexion keeps the look minimal but still vibrant. I’m actually really into using this Tony Moly Aura Beam in place of lip gloss or Vaseline, the OG way to impart a wet-looking shine. The Aura Beam is really tacky and stays put without melting away, since that’s what it’s for. Actually, you’re supposed to mix it with your foundation to give it a dewy finish, but I like using it in its concentrated form as a spot highlighter.

Go easy on the psychedelics, otherwise your reflection may not be what you expected.

Go easy on the psychedelics, otherwise your reflection may not be what you expected.

And just think — this will look totally terrifying in black lights! Fun!

For a Party — Any Party — Where You Want To Look Awesome

What's NYE without glitter? It’s like Cinderella without the whole glass-slipper situation. Except we have Craigslist Missed Connections now, so maybe don’t leave your things behind anymore. 

I love a good chunky-glitter eye look. Seriously. I love it like I love Thanksgiving dinner — decadent but difficult to take off once you’re over it. I’ve figured out a way to wear loose glitter and have it stay on your face with very little fall-out. 

The key? Eyelash glue.

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First, I painted a big graphic shape using MAC Fluid Line gel liner in Black. This stuff stays put forever — I'm not kidding. It's like apocalypse-grade eye makeup. "Priming" my eyelid with this black creates a nice dark backdrop for your glitter and serves as a layer between your skin and the eyelash glue-glitter. 

See? Barely any fallout. 

See? Barely any fallout. 

Tap some lash glue onto a tissue, roll a cotton swab in it, and then dip that into loose glitter (MAC Glitter in 3D Black). Now roll that loaded cotton swab over the blackened part of your eyelid. Rolling is important because it'll distribute the glitter evenly without smudging anything underneath. 

Repeat this once or twice to cover your whole eyelid, and voila. Just be mindful that lots of glitter on your eyelid is HEAVY so maybe avoid layering it into your crease or you risk looking slightly tired all evening. That's cool too, though. Fatigue-chic is a thing somewhere, right? 

I'm like a fun-mom out on the town, fueled by Arbor Mist!

I'm like a fun-mom out on the town, fueled by Arbor Mist!

A bright, punky lip color is always well-paired with glitter. I'm wearing MAC Pure Heroine (yes, the Lorde lipstick). Hair veering on '80s caricature is also par for the course with a loud look like this one. Rock whatever natural texture is happening on your head — the painstakingly glittered eye look lends the structure, believe it or not.

No matter what you end up doing for #NYE2016, we all know that what really matters is whatever photographic collateral you can promote on your social media networks. Have fun, be safe (not kidding about that part), and look amazing for at least one Instagrammable photo... and then let loose!

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  • What do you normally do for NYE? Do people still have themed parties? 
  • What do hermits in NYC even do on NYE though? Anyone?