If 2020 hasn’t inspired you to get out of those sweatpants, hopefully the holidays will. It’s the perfect time to dust off the sequins in your closet and put on some heels as we get ready to ring in the new year. Whether you’re celebrating with friends and family over FaceTime or in person, here are some tips and vanity favorites to help you get the party started.
Always start with cleansed skin before creating a makeup look. If you don’t have time to cleanse, opt for a quick refresh with micellar water—I generally alternate between Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water ($12) or Bioderma Sensibio H2O (starting at $5).
Lately, I’ve been going for more luminous foundations, so I’ve wanted something lighter in place of a classic primer. Mamonde Red Energy Recovery Serum ($40) smooths out my skin with no residue, creating an even surface for makeup. As an added bonus, it’s packed with antioxidants. If I’m doing a more layered makeup look, I’ll use my Heraux Molecular Anti-Inflammaging Serum ($250), which features the brand’s patented HX-1 proprietary molecule, hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamins C and E, and so many other all-star ingredients that make skin look incredible.
Application Is Everything
No matter your foundation preference, application is key. I’ve been alternating between Urban Decay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation ($39) for a luminous, full-coverage look, and CoverGirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation ($12) for a more natural skin refresh. If you’re more oily or prefer matte foundations, try the new NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation ($40). Depending on the product, I trade off between my fingers, a beautyblender and brushes. I’m a huge fan of Luxie—the brushes are so easy to use, and each is vegan, hypoallergenic and so soft—plus they don’t break the bank.
Glam in a Pinch
A little shimmer goes a long way. For a quick and polished eye look, Stila Two Lucky Stars Eye Set ($22) includes the brand’s award-winning Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow (wear it alone or on top of eyeshadow) and best-selling liner-meets-smudge-stick.
Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg recently launched her iconic Jamie Makeup Blighlighters ($34). Available in nude, cherry and pink shades, they are a magical combination of cream blush and highlighter in one. Dab along the apple of your cheeks for the perfect little flush of color and glow about your day.
For an all-inclusive option, Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book Volume III ($59) includes the brand’s classic matte sculpting contour shades in light, medium and deep, two highlighters, plus the new Neo-Bronzer. Everything you need to strobe, highlight, contour and beyond in one compact palette.
Makeup artist and photographer Danessa Myricks knows a thing or two about artistry. Her pure pigment ColorFix cream colors ($18) range from bright neons to blendable foils, nudes and bronzes, and can be used on eyes, lips or cheeks.
Plump It Up
Industry great and original founder of Butter London, Nonie Creme, recently launched her latest venture, BeautyGuarde. Its all-star product, Swell Lip Volume Serum ($30), hydrates and plumps lips without any burning or tingling. It goes on completely smooth—it feels a lot like a lip oil—and features patented peptides to plump lips.
For a quick fix, FLOetic Beauty Liquid Lipstick ($26) delivers a pretty sheen of color and is enriched with ingredients such as jojoba and sunflower seed oils and vitamin E to provide intense hydration, plus green tea and chamomile extracts to provide calming and soothing properties. Find it in this month’s TestTube, which features eight additional beauty products (a $235 value) for $29.95.
I’m all about quick and easy hair, and the Flower Beauty by Drew Barrymore Ceramic Straightening Brush ($50) delivers. I confess I’m horrible at blow-drying my hair, and this gets me 90-percent of the way done in minutes. Plus, it’s quiet, so it’s easy to use while I’m watching my morning news and allows me to multitask.
Perhaps my favorite discovery of 2020 is drybar’s The Mixologist Interchangeable Styling Iron ($199). It has one barrel and three interchangeable heads, including a 1-inch wand (for defined waves), 1.25-inch curling iron (for classic curls) and a waver (for natural, beachy waves).
In a Rush?
COLAB Dry Shampoo ($5.50), is the perfect way to refresh your hair—just spray, massage and style! Its award-winning dry shampoo—it’s a best-seller in the UK—launched in the U.S. fairly recently and is great for oil absorption and doesn’t leave a white cast. For a quick and polished look when you don’t have time to do your hair, or better yet the perfect addition to accessorize your finished look, look no further than Bellefixe Hair Accessories. From knotted headbands to designer scrunchies and turbans and clips, they have you covered.
‘Tis the season for photos and after what feels like an endless coffee diet, I turn to Oralgen for a quick whitening fix. A combination of the NuPearl 32x Advanced Teeth Whitening System ($60) and Activated Whitening Charcoal Tooth Powder ($17) is nothing short of a red-carpet facial for your smile.
Just as important as getting glammed is the clean-up at the end of the night. The number-one rule: Never sleep with your makeup on. The gel-based Sisley Paris Eye and Lip Gel Makeup Remover ($95) is a gentle and delightful choice. It doesn’t leave skin feeling oily or heavy and it handles waterproof makeup like a champ.
And don’t forget to clean your brushes! Whether you opt for dish soap or a brush shampoo to clean your tools, add in the silicone Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat ($35) to enhance the process and make it easy to swirl away dirt, oil, bacteria and build up. After all, it’s 2020—the last thing we need is more germs.