Let's talk makeup, specifically holiday makeup. While 2020 has brought a lot of challenges and uncertainty, what I do know is (a) I'm still going to wear some sort of makeup this holiday season, and (b) I'm going to go all out while doing so. A head-to-toe velvet outfit to go with my sparkly blue eyes? Why the heck not? A berry lip? Sure! For me, there are absolutely no rules right now, and I plan to take full advantage.
So, I enlisted my beauty co-editor Erin Jahns to show me (and you!) how she's making her face extra festive this year. "I'm taking inspiration from a look I saw a few months ago and immediately bookmarked for holiday season safekeeping," she says. "This is still my favorite time of year to experiment with really fun makeup, and because I've been at home more, I've really had time to play with bright, bold colors, glitters, and other statement-making products and looks I might not have gravitated toward before." And for that, I am thankful. Here, Erin breaks down how to get her look using products from Ulta Beauty.
"I never start my makeup routine without cleansing my skin and adding a thick dose of moisturizer. I can’t stand creams that leave my skin feeling tacky or greasy, so I love using Clinique’s Moisture Surge, which keeps my skin super hydrated and healthy-looking but with zero residue. It leaves the silkiest smooth finish."
"This foundation is amazing. It literally does not move or crease after you apply it, and it’s so featherlight you forget you’re wearing anything! It’s also extremely buildable. Usually, I just add a drop to my moisturizer for light coverage day-to-day, but since I wanted a fuller look here, I began by applying it directly to my face using my fingers (which warms the foundation up and helps it melt in easier), and then I took a damp makeup sponge and buffed and blended it in, adding a little extra product to the sponge anywhere that felt like it needed it. I use the rounded sides of sponges to do most of my face, and then I use the flat side or tip to get into the tinier places that require more precision, like my eye area or around my nose and mouth."
"Even though the coverage from this foundation is really satisfying, I like to add concealer to areas where I have pigmentation or dark circles or am in need of an extra pop of brightness—usually under my eyes, around my nose and mouth, and sometimes down the bridge of my nose and forehead. (Basically, my T-zone!) Shape Tape is probably the only concealer I’ve ever used that legitimately doesn’t crease, and the coverage is so, so good; therefore a little goes a long way. I always use my damp makeup sponge again for this part to ensure everything is blended seamlessly."
"I’m obsessed with using all-in-one cheek palettes. I also love that this one comes with a handy little brush, so I make life easier and use that for all three things: my bronzer, blush, and highlighter. First, I use the iconic bronzer called Hoola to lightly contour along my cheekbones, underneath my jawline, and up around my temples. Oh, and a little on the tip of my nose, too, so it looks like I was out in the sun! Next, I swirl the Sugarbomb blush onto the very tip-top of my cheekbones (more toward my temples versus the apples of my cheeks. I think it makes my face look more lifted), a touch to my forehead, and chin. Lastly, I go in with the highlighter and dust that onto my cheekbones, browbones, the bridge of my nose, and my Cupid’s bow—really anywhere you want to add brightness and dimension to your face."
"I start to psych myself out if I open up an eyeshadow palette and it has 52 different colors, so these six-pan ones from Juvia’s Place really keep me on task and help me curate a complimentary eye look. Plus, the shadows are so pigmented! I used The Nubian Royalty Eyeshadow Palette for this look and started with the matte royal purple shade, applying it to the outer corners of my eyes and the crease. (I use a flat eyeshadow brush first in order to lay down the most pigment, and then I switch to a blending brush to soften everything down.) Next, I used the iridescent purple-blue hue right next to it in the pan, layering it over the matte purple and toward the center of my lid. Then, comes the fun part: glitter! I use the pad of my finger to pat on the sparkling lilac-pink-blue shadow that’s underneath the matte purple in the pan. That stays on the crease and the outer corners of my eyes, and then I went in using the same technique with my finger to pat in that first shimmering purple shade in the pan. To finish it all off, I take my flat brush and blending brush and pat and blend and diffuse everything until it all looks cohesive."
"At this point, I think it’s pretty impossible for me to do my makeup (regardless of the season or occasion) and not add lots of mascara and a flash of liquid eyeliner. I never stray from Stila’s waterproof pen, but here I opted for their midnight blue hue whereas I’d normally go for black or brown. I think it really makes the violet shades in the shadow pop. Then, mascara! I only use formulas that add lots of length, curl, volume, and definition, and Tarte’s Maneater Mascara delivers on all fronts. You can add so many layers, and your lashes will never get spidery on you!"
"I’m so minimal when it comes to my brows. They’re naturally fairly dark, so I just add a little bit of pencil to add some definition and help fill any areas that are more sparse. Then, I use the spoolie on the other end to brush it all through so my brows look naturally feathery and not heavy or overdone."
"I’m not sure if it’s because of the pandemic this year, but I’ve been highly unmotivated to use richly pigmented or matte lipsticks. It’s always a moisturizing stain or pigmented balm for me. This one from the Juvia's Place set is so glossy and dreamy, and it gives your lips that sheer your-lips-but-better look, which is really all I ever want from a lip product. Then, to kick up the shine factor, I topped it off with the Guava-flavored Lip Glow balm that came with this set. I like to apply both balms directly onto my lips, and then I actually use my finger to blot it out a bit so the color isn’t quite as intense."
"Last but not least, I never do my makeup without using a setting mist. This one from Urban Decay is probably the most famous one on the market and for good reason. It keeps your face looking freshly applied and dewy no matter how long you wear it. I hold it a few feet out from my face and mist it lightly in a T and X shape."