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Bold Holiday Makeup Looks to Wear All Season Long

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The only holiday makeup trend this season: Play with your look. Does that mean pumping up your lip color, sweeping on eye shadows, or splashing glitter everywhere? The choice is yours, but these styles are sure to stand out from the crowd.

“It’s a glamorous time of year, with sparkly lights and gifts everywhere, and it’s fun to bring that energy to your look and get festive. Why not?” says Jamie Greenberg, a makeup artist in Los Angeles. “The easiest way to do it is to change just one thing in your makeup routine.”

If you typically reach for a neutral lip color, consider a red for your holiday makeup look. “The novelty of a new color can spark creativity and boost your mood,” says Fatima Thomas, a senior national artist at MAC Cosmetics. Plus, a red lip is like the little black dress of makeup; it’s timeless.

There’s a universe of red tones to try, from a classic blue base to a bold orange — see what you love with your skin tone. For a less in-your-face effect, blot your lipstick with a tissue after applying, says Thomas. Or swipe a shiny gloss, such as Revlon Super Lustrous The Gloss in Crystal Clear (Buy It, $7, over a red lipstick you already own for a fresh vibe.

A kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, like the ones in this season’s MAC Cosmetics Size of the Prize Eye Shadow palette (Buy It, $56, was $75,, is what holiday makeup is all about now. “We’re individuals. The goal is to be creative and to feel happy and fulfilled. Choose the colors and finishes that make you look and feel good,” says Thomas. If you’re stuck: “I look at the things I gravitate toward in clothing, home décor, or even TV shows and see what gives me a spark. I might notice the color of a leaf or a sweater and find an eye shadow that matches them.”

Wearing color is downright fun, but it’s also a great way to play up your features. “Brown eyes pop when paired with blue, teal, and plum eye shadows; blue and green eyes look gorgeous with bronze, burgundy, gray, and warm tones,” says Thomas.

The best way to test-drive a new color is to wear it as a liner. “Take an eyeliner brush, dip it in shadow, and trace your upper lash line,” she says. Or select two related shades to create your look. Thomas likes a soft pink swept across the lid, then a plum blended through the crease and outer corner. Or sweep a metallic, like gold or copper, all over the lid. It’s a one-hit wonder that makes anyone look instantly polished.

Nails are an opportunity to express yourself. “They can show off your eye for design, love of sparkle, or favorite colors, and they’re a great conversation starter,” says the New York nail artist known as Miss Pop.

Bold polishes and nail art are having a moment, but don’t overthink what you should or shouldn’t try: “Look at the rainbow of options, and go with your gut,” she says. After all, painting your nails is a low-stakes venture. Polish lasts a week and is easy to remove, says Na’Tasha Simmons, the founder of nail brand XXVZ. For a fresh take on holiday nails, she likes to pair a bright shade with black or layer a glitter top coat over a pastel hue like XXVZ’s Chartreuse Me (Buy It, $13,

Holographic polishes, like the OPI Nail Lacquers in Ready, Fête, Go (Buy It, $11,; Turn Bright After Sunset (Buy It, $11,; and LED Marquee (Buy It, $13,, offer lots of impact with minimal effort.