Boost your wattage this season with pretty party makeup that quickly and affordably blings your look up a notch.
Embrace the season with sparkle
What is it about the holidays that makes sequins and beading somehow seem so right? There's no need to don a dress that dazzles when your makeup can steal center stage for a fraction of the cost. The smoky eye gets bedazzled this season with rich metallic lids that are fa-la-la-la-lovely.
Get the look with Lorac's 3D Liquid Lustre ($16), hands down the easiest way to add shine to any shadow hue of choice. The paraben-free liquid shimmer is housed in a small glass bottle with a dropper that releases the highest impact shimmer I've found in each tiny drop. I also adore Lorac's Color Me Couture Eye Shadow Palette ($37 at Sephora). The Palette features five Mother of Pearl-infused eye shadows that complement most skin types — think shimmering pearl, gold, bronze, olive green and black.
The most romantic thing about a candlelit dinner is … how great your skin looks, of course. There's nothing like the flattering flicker of candles to set a woman's complexion aglow. This season, fake it festively with Estee Lauder's Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee ($40). Simply smooth this powder-gel-liquid highlighter on with the enclosed applicator and skin instantly looks kissed by candlelight. Apply the mix of pigment and pearls for a multireflective finish on cheeks, under eyes and even at the brow bone.
Done properly, pretty nude lips are one of the most flattering ways to set off sparkling eyes and shimmering cheeks. The key, of course, is making sure you look great naked. And that comes down to hue; choosing the right shade of lipstick to flatter your skin tone.
Some of my favorites include YSL Rouge Pur Couture no6, a perfectly pink nude that nails the trend and is ideal for light and medium skin tones. Tan skin tones pair up well with MAC Lipstick in Freckletone, while dark-skinned ladies may just fall in love with MAC's Lipstick in Coconutty.
Just ask serial nude-lip-sporting celebrities like Kimmy K, Rihanna and Carrie Underwood — the key to mastering the must-have nude lip is that final layer of sparkle. I've test driven literally hundreds of glosses and honed in on my top five favorites.
1. Givenchy's Gloss Interdit in Impertinent Nude, $26.50.
2. Koh Gen Do's Maifanshi Lip Gloss in Shell Pink, $25.
3. Girlactik Beauty's Star Gloss in Orange Twist and Just Nude, $17.
4. LipFusion Collagen Lip Plump Color Shine in Boca Babe and Blush, $38.
5. SmashBox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Capture and Aura, $18.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.