Besides arguing about politics spending time with family and friends, eating too many cookies, and guzzling champagne like nobody’s business, part of what makes the holiday season so much fun is that we get to dress up. That could mean going full-on, head-to-toe glam or simply slipping on a cozy sweater and doing something interesting with your makeup.
No matter what kind of parties you have on your calendar—fancy cocktails with coworkers or a casual Friendsgiving at your BFF's home—we have three gorgeous yet attainable eye makeup looks you’ll want to rock and repeat all season long. Consider this our holiday gift to you.
Try baby cat eyes
For a fresh take on extended eyeliner, wing it out just a little bit. “A subtle flick gives your eyes some lift, but you’re not drawing the line so far out that it has to be perfect,” says Samantha Lau, who did all the makeup here. A look that's easy enough to do at your desk? Sold.
Lau suggests applying mascara first and then lining your eyes. “That way, you can see where your lashes are fanned out and use that as a guide—just follow the natural shape of your eye,” she explains. To keep the look soft, use black mascara on your top lashes and apply dark brown on the bottom. Dab a bit of shimmer onto the inner Vs of your eyes to make them look brighter and more awake (a great trick for when you're hungover).
Pair your baby cat eyes with a low-key, neutral lip color. One lovely option: Burt's Bees Liquid Lipstick in Sandy Seas. “A red lip with winged liner can look dated,” says Lau. Another tip: Switch out one of your makeup products for a natural one, like the options shown below. You’ll still get rich color that lasts, with no parabens, phthalates, SLS, petrolatum or synthetic fragrances.
Swap charcoal shadow for a chic brown
When the weather outside is frightful, heat things up with a warmer (and wearable) interpretation of the traditional smoky eye. “Shimmery brown shadow catches the light and looks good on everyone. It’s sexy, but not like you’re trying too hard—even if you are trying to catch someone under the mistletoe,” says Lau. Cheers to that.
Although this shadow look is deliberately smudgy, you want it to stay put while you’re hopping from soirée to soirée. Lau has a trick for that: Apply brown eyeliner all over your lids, then layer your shadow on top. “Just squiggle on the pencil from the lash line up to the crease and blend it with a brush. It’ll make your shadow last longer and give more depth to the smoky eye,” she says.
Once you’ve got your base, sweep coppery shadow onto your lids with a fluffy brush. Next, apply a bronze shade onto the outer corners of your eyes, along the creases, and underneath the bottom lash line. Finally, add a few coats of mascara on the upper and lower lashes. Keep the rest of your face neutral—a touch of Burt's Bees Blush Makeup in Bare Peach and Lip Shimmer in Apricot compliment smoldering eyes beautifully.
Double up on eyeliner
We all have those moments when we want to be a little extra and stand out more than usual (i.e. on New Year’s Eve). When an extroverted mood strikes, try this very cool liner look. It’s proof that, sometimes, two is better than one.
To smear-proof your liner, prep your lids and under-eye area with a powder before you get to work with your pencil. Look straight into a mirror and glide black liner along your top lash lines first, winging it out as far as you want. “To create the bottom line, extend it out, but instead of going up, go straight across.
If your eyeliner skills are iffy, dot on a really light line to use as a guide then trace over it. I recommend using gray liner on the bottom because it’s unexpected,” says Lau. If you still mess up, it’s NBD. You can fix little mistakes with a cotton swab or remove the makeup and start over. Nailed it? Swipe on mascara and a subtle berry lip color like Burt's Bees Gloss Lip Crayon in Pacific Coast and you’re DONE.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Baze Mpinja has been working as a writer and editor for national print magazines, digital media outlets, and global beauty brands for nearly 15 years. A few of her other passions: books, bars and Brooklyn.
A Sneak Peek at Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump in the Upcoming Biopic, “The Apprentice”
And he's eating a sandwich!
By Fleurine Tideman
The Fashion Awards 2023 Lived Up To Its Name With These Incredible Outfits
Pamela Anderson, Anne Hathaway, Kate Moss, and more.
By Fleurine Tideman
Introducing: Demi Moore With Curly Hair
The actress ditched her signature, pin-straight style—for a night.
By Sophia Vilensky