41 Holiday Makeup Looks That Will Wow at This Year’s Parties

Some say it’s the after-party that really matters, but for makeup lovers, it’s all about the pre-party. The in-between party (aka the actual party) is only half of the fun. Getting ready is an event all its own, and the ones who go all out — like the red carpet-trotting crowd — really go all out. For the rest of us civilians, party season is when we finally get the chance to play with the bold and glittery palettes that spend most of their time sitting untouched at the back of your beauty drawer to create gorgeous holiday makeup looks. 

An evening event is an excuse to go wild with experimental glam — we’re talking holiday hairstyles and Christmas nail art, too — and if you’re the type of person whose usual makeup M.O. is more on the no-makeup makeup spectrum, the holidays provide the perfect opportunity to test sparkly shadow, bold lipstick, or some combination of the two. Just call it a friendly competition with the festive decor.

“Metallic eyes will be making a statement at holiday parties this year,” says Terri Bryant, makeup artist and founder of Guide Beauty, who loves using jewel-tone amethyst and emerald shades as much as icy blues to create a foiled effect across the lid. “You can create two-toned looks and multi-faceted smoky eyes, or sweep one shade across the lid and add mascara for a statement look without lots of effort.”

But you don’t have to go all out just because you’re going out. Makeup artist and Beia founder Brittany Lo predicts a lot of partygoers will choose a fresh-faced look with a bold lip for a touch of drama. “Even if a holiday party is in a cozy apartment, a red or berry lip always has an excuse to make an appearance this time of year,” she says.

Just in case you needed a reason to RSVP yes to those holiday party invites, here’s 41 of them — bookmark this page for party makeup inspiration to plan your beauty looks throughout all your festivities. If it’s a bust, at least you get to practice your smoky-eye skills. Even if you’re not the glitter makeup or red lipstick type, there are plenty of metallics, mattes, and brights for you to work with. Scroll through this list of excellent holiday party makeup looks, each of which has been red carpet-vetted and celebrity-approved.

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