Look Beautiful This Holiday Season (While Still Looking Like Yourself)

I don’t know about you, but I always feel the pressure to pull out all the stops for the holidays. Flip open any magazine this time of year and you’ll see pages of complicated smoky eye tutorials and multi-step hair how-to’s. All this would suggest that you should look red-carpet ready at all times.

But … what if you just want to look like yourself?

Save your sanity this year with simple beauty tweaks that will make you look polished and festive (and normal).

The Eyes Have It – Playing up your eyes doesn’t mean you automatically have to reach for black eyeliner – the dark shade is actually way too harsh for most people, and can make you look tired. Instead, try shimmery eye-brightening champagne, which works with all skin tones. Smudge champagne shadow from the inner corners of the eyes, all the way across the lids and out. Finish with a generous coat of mascara – science shows that the contrast between your dark lashes and the light eyeshadow will make your face look more feminine.

Pretty Pout – Nothing (and I do mean nothing) instantly perks up the face like red lipstick, but committing to an evening of touch-ups can seem overwhelming. Instead, try sheer red gloss. As it fades, you won’t get the weird clown line around the outline of your lips, and you don’t need a steady hand (one too many glasses of wine, maybe?) to reapply. Interesting side note: Do you know why red lipstick looks so attractive? Redder or pinker lips are evolutionary signs of fertility, because it happens naturally during ovulation. This sign made cavemen positively swoon.

Crowning Glory – Please don’t feel like you need a fancy up-do every time you step out the door – simple hair looks the most elegant. Try the modern take on the half-up/half-down ‘do: Gather just the hair near the temples and pin them in the middle or bottom of the back of your head. Having your hair loose around your shoulders looks youthful and doesn’t draw attention to wrinkles or skin imperfections the way a severe up-do will. Add a small rhinestone clip or brooch for added holiday sparkle.