Party Like It’s 2020

We’re staying home this year, but our makeup looks are going all out.

It’s safe to say this holiday season won’t be a typical one. Between a pandemic in the midst of its third wave and a less-than-smooth presidential transition, attending a typical holiday party would be a sweet slice of normalcy we’re just not going to be granted this year. When you think about it—at least, when I think about it—half the fun of the obligatory office party or yuletide reunion is the season-specific glam: The glitter is flashier, the eyeshadow is smokier, and the lipsticks are bolder. All the beauty rules are blurred by snowflake flurries and the spilled applesauce next to the latkes.

Since we can’t indulge in the usual festivities this season, the Marie Claire team is fantasizing about crashing the most extravagant soirées in history—real and imaginary. Here, the makeup looks we’d wear to the parties of our dreams, with the help of a favorite new mascara. Welcome to our ultimate house party!

Taylore Glynn, Associate Beauty and Health Editor

Taylore Glynn

It’s me, the disco queen. House of Harlow x Revolve dress, $228. Nickho Rey earrings, $350.

(Image credit: Future)

The Party: Bianca Jagger’s 30th Birthday Bash

Sure, I miss the joie de vivre of the typical holiday soirée: the obligatory red lipstick, tipsy hugging coworkers, and even battling over a cheap vibrator during a white-elephant exchange. But the one thing I’m longing for most this season—hell, every second of every passing day lately—is dancing. Like, the “jumping around under a frenetic strobe light while the bass rips through my chest and I’m covered in strangers’ sweat and screaming wordless screams” kind of dancing. And if there’s one party I know will satisfy that craving, it’s a disco at NYC’s legendary Studio 54, circa 1977. I mean, come on...the birthday girl rode on a white horse inside while Andy Warhol looked on. It was, to say the least, a vibe. 

The Look:

A hypothetical disco ball was my North Star for this makeup; anything that would glitter and shine in its reflection was fair game. Chunky gilded eyeshadow, bronzy blush, a bushy brow, and a few slicks of hot-pink lipstick captured the mood I was aiming for. Alexa, play “I Feel Love.”

Shop Taylore’s ’70s makeup:

Chelsea Hall, Assistant Beauty and Fashion Editor

Chelsea Hall, Assistant Beauty and Fashion Editor

One night in Harlem. BHLDN shrug (shop similar), $200. Lara Heems earrings, $227.

(Image credit: Future)

The Party: Friday Night at Club Sugar Ray

Right now, I wish I were experiencing a lavish night out at the fictional but fabulous Club Sugar Ray from the 1989 film Harlem Nights. Despite the tension surrounding the club throughout the movie (due to the ongoing feud between Sugar Ray and rival club owner Bugsy Calhoune), the 1930s speakeasy was the place to be in Harlem. It was swarming with immaculately dressed patrons in upscale fashion: tailored suits, floor-length gowns, feathered necklines, and elaborate headdresses.

The Look:

My inspiration? The subtle smoky eye and bold red lip worn by Calhoune’s mistress, Dominique La Rue (played by actress Jasmine Guy), when she meets up with Sugar Ray’s adopted son in an effort to seduce him. For my take, I combined shimmering gold and mahogany shadows to create a fresh smoky eye and added a dramatic wine-colored lip.

Shop Chelsea’s 1930s look: