1. Choose a lipstick that pops.
If you tend to wear makeup in neutral hues, applying a bold color to your lips can dramatically change your look in a snap, says New York City makeup artist Sandy Linter. Look for a matte formula when you’re lipstick shopping. The muted finish feels less out-there than something glossy or satin. Red is a classic holiday shade, but poppy orange, coral, or fuchsia pink will give you the same cheery effect.
Try: Satin Luxe Lip Color with SPF 16 Sunscreen. Slides on smoothly. Shown here in Pink Punch.Sonia Kashuk, $10.
2. Add sparkle to your eyes.
Switching to a shimmery version of your favorite eye shadow is a two-second way to go glam. “It makes your eyes twinkle and gives your whole face a lift at the end of a long day,” says Sonia Kashuk, founder of the Sonia Kashuk beauty line. Neutral colors go with any outfit. Just dust a light brown or pink across your eyelids or, if you are already wearing eye shadow, add a light layer of pearl-colored shimmery cream on top.
Try: Customeyes Shadow & Liner. Four shimmery shades plus a powder eyeliner and a sponge brush. Shown here: Rich Temptations. Revlon, $8.
3. Use a colorful eyeliner. Forget boring brown and black. Line your upper eyelids from end to end with color. For a classy combo, Linter recommends navy or dark teal for blue eyes, charcoal gray or bronze for brown eyes, and teal or purple for hazel eyes. Stick to nude eye shadow shades so you don’t overpower the liner color. “Try a gel eyeliner instead of pencil or liquid liner,” suggests Linter. “It has a softer look, and you can erase goofs using your finger."
Try: Fluidline Eyeliner Gel. You’ll love the buttery texture; shown here in Waveline, Dipdown, and Macroviolet. MAC, $15.
4. Pull your hair back. Nothing says elegant like upswept hair. To add volume, first separate your hair into two sections: Pull the hair in front of your ears out of the way and secure it at the top of your head. Then brush the rest back into a ponytail and secure it with an elastic. Undo the top, rake it back loosely, and fasten it at your ponytail. Leave it as is or twist your ponytail into a bun and secure it in place with bobby pins. Finally, set it with hairspray.
Try: Simple Styles Spin Pins. Instead of using bobby pins, twist these two hair screws into a chignon for a tousled bun that stays put all night. Goody, $8.
5. Add graceful waves. For a cool down-do, mist your dry hair all over with hairspray and then pull it up into two high twisty buns, one above each ear. Leave them up while you do your makeup. When you’re ready, release the buns, bend over, shake your roots gently with your fingers, then flip upright. Voilà! Glossy, frizz-free waves. You can even wear the buns until you’re about to go in to the party so your hat (or sleet!) won’t mess up your style.
Try: Extra Strong Hold Hairspray. Flexible yet firm; non-aerosol. Pantene Pro-V Stylers, $5.
Nail Tip: Apply a coat of a silver iridescent glitter polish over whatever nail polish you’re already wearing. “It’ll jazz up any color, and the shiny flecks will disguise chips,” says professional manicurist Patricia Yankee. It also cheers up bare nails in a flash. Wait until you’re about to head out the door, then swipe it on and let it dry while you walk or drive to your party.
Try: Foil FX Metallic Nail Polish. Fine glittery sparkle. Shown here in Shine. ORLY, $9.
Mary Rose Almasi is a freelance writer who has written for Allure, Glamour, and Real Simple.
Photos: Image Source/Corbis; Mark Lund