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Easy Makeup Tricks to Make Your Face Look Extra Festive

I’ve been mentally packing for my trip home for the holidays for over a week now instead of physically packing for it. I still don’t have specifics nailed down in terms of what I’m wearing to the Christmas Eve party I’m just now being told I’m required to attend, but what I do know is that a.) I will be wearing some sort of makeup on my face and b.) I’m not packing more than what can fit into a slim clutch because I don’t believe in any form of “lugging” during the most hectic of travel seasons.

To further procrastinate packing (or encourage it, you decide!) I enlisted the help of makeup artist Regard Tang, who showed me three easy makeup looks that can be done with one to two products TOPS and in just a few minutes to get you looking super fucking festive, fast. Scroll down to read her tips, see them re-enacted on my face and don’t forget to take down her product recommendations just in case you still need to pack, too.


Highlighter on Your High Points

I’ve never told anyone this before but I’VE NEVER USED HIGHLIGHTER. I usually draw on my eyes and lips and let the face be. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ But Regard assured me I wouldn’t look like “a human snowglobe.” Instead, I’d look glow-y (not globe-y) and like I had a je ne sais quoi about me, which I must admit, is kind of what I want when I’m excusing myself to the food table for the hundredth time to avoid small talk, or when I’m holding a champagne flute and wearing something sparkly.

How to do this in real life:
+ Familiarize yourself with your face and where light naturally hits it. If you’re not sure where those spots are, Regard recommends applying to these three areas as a rule:
1. Along the bridge of your nose. Start at the top and finish with a sweep at the very center and tip of your nose. NOT UNDER. I repeat, DO NOT HIGHLIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE.
2. Right above the Cupid’s bow (that cute area at the top of your upper lip)
3. Along the highest point of your cheekbones. “Touch the actual bone, then dab dab dab if you’re using a liquid or cream, and sweep sweep sweep if you’re using powder.”
+ You did it, we’re done!

Extra credit:
If you’re new to highlighters like yours truly, Regard says to steer clear of liquid highlighters for now. “It’s a lot harder to control how much shimmer is going on.” Instead, she recommends using a powder highlighter (Becca is a good brand to start with) and applying it with a fanned brush. This type of brush will pick up less pigment than say, a blush brush or contour brush, so you can safely build to your desired look.

Just Jewel-Tone Mascara

What’s that? Your cat eyes are always asymmetrical and you hate blending multiple shadows onto your eyelids in an attempt to create a dramatic smoky eye only to have it look like you’re wearing zero shadow in every picture that’s taken that night? Great! You should just give up (for now; we’ll resume in 2018) and use colorful mascara. This is one of the easiest ways to get an eye “look:” no eyeshadow primer, no brushes, just a wand. Plus, it’s a great conversation-starter (if you’re into that kind of thing), because the subtle look gets more and more noticeable the closer someone gets to you and your face.

How to do this in real life:
+ Tilt your head at a downward angle like you’re looking at your shoes.
+ Place your wand at the roots — not the middle of the hairs — you can lift your eyelid with your finger to help if need be.
+ Move the wand upward in a zigzag motion until you reach the ends.
+ Repeat the same process (only this time, look up at the sky) and motion on your lower lashes.

Extra credit:
If you’re feeling extra fancy, Regard suggests using some of the highlighter from the first look for a shimmery wash on the eyelids to add even more cowbell pop. Don’t even pack an eyeshadow brush, just use your fingers, which Regard likes to call “the best makeup instrument you already own.” Good job!

A Really, Really Red Lip

There’s a reason a statement lip of the red variety is in every holiday beauty roundup ever. Because it’s the best. The O.G., the G.O.A.T., and a third acronym I’ll let you fill in at home to make this more interactive. What I personally love about a red lip is that it makes literally anything you’re wearing look “festive,” so maybe I don’t need to pack real outfits after all! If you’re in the market for a red lipstick and hate making decisions, Regard recommends Kevyn Aucoin’s Lip Pencil in Cerise, her secret weapon (that is no longer secret, sorry Regard). She always has it in her kit because “it looks flattering on basically everyone.” Plus it’s very creamy and easy to apply — much less daunting than a liquid lipstick.

How to do this in real life:
+ Use a red lip liner to line your lips in this order:
+ Start at the Cupid’s bow and work your way outwards so your top lip will be lined first.
+ Move to your bottom lip, starting in the middle and again, work your way outwards.
+ Fill in your handiwork with your lip color of choice (Regard recommends a traditional angled lipstick for beginners). Again, start at the middle of your top lip and work outwards; move to the middle of the bottom lip and work outwards.

Extra credit:
Regard’s secret to perfect lip application regardless of product: these super cute, extra thin cotton swabs (she stocks up on these ones from Muji). “Traditional q-tips are way too fluffy and will leave stray fibers and smudges on your lips,” she says. These however, are super smooth and firm and will quickly pick up any stray pigment if you eff up, sans makeup remover.

That’s it, I guess I’ll go pack now. Let me know what you’re wearing on your face between now and January 1, 2018!

Photos by Edith Young; Makeup by Regard Tang

Erica Smith

Erica Smith

Erica is the Managing Editor at Man Repeller. Her horn can pierce the sky!

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