Survival Guide: How to Rock the Holidays

'Tis the season for snowstorms and sugary cocktails. Here's how to maintain your gorgeousness no matter what the party gods throw your way.

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Q: The metallic colors for winter makeup are so pretty. How do I know which shade will suit my skin tone?—Dianna Mazzone, 21, Albany, NY

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THE EXPERT: Los Angeles–based makeup artist Fiona Stiles, founder of shopreedclarke.com

SHE SAYS: Women with medium skin tones (think Jennifer Lawrence) and olive complexions (like Alicia Keys) can wear any color. But the paler your skin, the more noticeable a makeup shade's undertones become. Cooler metallic hues with blue undertones, such as silvery pinks and metallic lavenders, will suit the rosiness in fair skin better than a warm gold or bronze, which can look too orange. Women with dark complexions, like Lupita Nyong'o, look gorgeous in deep steel shades as well as richly pigmented golds and bronzes, but they should avoid metallic pastels, which may turn frosty.

Q: Dancing makes me so sweaty! What can help my makeup stay put?—Noel Walker, 22, Linden, NJ

THE EXPERT: L.A. celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes

HE SAYS: Beware of primers with silicone or silicone-like ingredients. When they heat up, your makeup will slide off. I'm formulating my own magnesium-based primer, which will come out this spring. Until then, you can actually use milk of magnesia to prime skin: Just dab a cotton ball with the non-flavored, drugstore stuff on your T-zone only (it may contain ingredients that dry out skin and can get sticky if you use too much). The magnesium helps tighten skin and minimizes pores. Let it dry until a slight white film forms, then buff off the excess with a clean powder brush before applying makeup. A drag-queen friend of mine taught me that technique, and I've used it on Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, and on tour—you really can't sweat through it.

Q: I don't have time to change my nail polish to match every outfit I plan to wear for holiday parties, but nude just seems so boring. What's a good neutral that still looks festive?—Maile Koga, 22, Honolulu

THE EXPERT: New York City–based celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann

SHE SAYS: Red is a classic for the holidays, but deep berry is chicer and still goes with everything in your closet. I recommend a slightly brownish version. The Love Will Leave A Mark shade from my Deborah Lippmann Until Your Dreams Come True boxed set ($195 for 15 polishes) is a perfect option. It's not too cool or warm, so it complements every skin tone and is practically a neutral. Essie Nail Polish in Downtown Brown ($8) is also a good one.

Q: I've been trying to eat healthier and lose weight, but I want to be able to have an adult beverage when I go out. What's my best choice?—Sheena Veney, 27, Colonial Heights, VA

THE EXPERT: Dr. Frank Lipman, doctor of integrative medicine and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City

HE SAYS: Alcohol makes blood sugar levels soar then sink, which can lead to inflammation, skin problems, and weight gain (not to mention hangovers). But if you're going to indulge, I would suggest tequila or vodka with seltzer and a squeeze of lemon or lime. High-quality tequila sugars are easier for your body to break down than other types of alcohol sugars. Clear spirits such as vodka are distilled multiple times, so they tend to be more easily digested than dark liquors like whiskey or bourbon, and they're also less likely to cause a hangover. With wine, red is your best choice because it's lower in sugar than white or sparkling. A great strategy to manage drinking is to measure out a half shot of liquor, then fill the rest of your glass with a healthy mixer like plain seltzer (tonic water is loaded with sugar). Mixing with freshly squeezed fruit juice adds a few more calories, but it provides antioxidants and fiber that offset the negative effects of the sugar.

Q: How can I weatherproof my hairstyle to survive a wintry mix?

—Mikahila Bloomfield, 26, Philadelphia

THE EXPERT: NYC and L.A. celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin

SHE SAYS: First on the list is frizz control. Hair (especially curly textures) is naturally dry and thirsty, so the trick is to make sure strands are already moisture-packed so they don't crave more. Start with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner—the Clear Scalp & Hair Frizz Control Nourishing line ($6 each) is the best—and then layer in a humidity-resistant styling cream—DevaCurl Styling Cream ($25) and Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream ($15) are great. It also helps to keep a plastic rain bonnet tucked in your purse. It's old-school, but it'll save you more times than you can count! Once you're at your destination, spray on a little Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray (which comes in a travel size, $22) and fluff with your fingertips to revive any lost volume. If there's a full-on snowstorm, a slicked-back ponytail is my go-to.

Related Links:


Your Guide to Perfect Party Makeup


Get Holiday Makeup Looks for Less


How to Get Glam Holiday Makeup

Image via Ellen von Unwerth/Trunk Archive

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