The holiday season offers a great excuse to play with fun and dramatic makeup looks. Learn how to achieve them using natural products.
There’s something about the holiday season that makes everything seem magical. Even though we may get together with loved ones during other seasons, social events in December seem more important. They’re a fun excuse to dress up, pamper ourselves, and experiment with makeup looks.
And yes—the glam holiday makeup looks can be achieved using natural, nontoxic products found at natural health retailers. With the help of two makeup artists, we show you how it’s done.
Smoky eyes can be notoriously tricky to achieve, and are therefore a bit intimidating. I have to confess that my first teenage attempts had me looking more raccoonish than glamorous.
Organic beauty consultant Natalia Campos assures us that smoky eyes don’t have to be scary, or even dark.
1. Start subtle. Apply greys, soft blues, or lavender tones of eyeshadow “around the rim of your lower and upper lash line.”
2. Add a bit of smoulder by smudging it gently using a blending brush or cotton swab.
3. Go bolder. “Use the same tones; simply layer on more or add darker tones like plums or charcoal eyeshadows to the crease area.”
4. Kick things up a notch by applying a bit of black eyeliner to the lower lash line.
The key, Campos argues, is in the blending: “Blend a lot so that there aren’t any harsh lines, and always apply lightly, adding more until you achieve your desired look.”
For a finishing touch, beauty and style expert Nadia Albano suggests adding a touch of glitter to the centre of the smoky eye “to create a three-dimensional look.”
Think outside of the (black eyeshadow) box
According to Albano, current eye makeup trends include more than just the smoky eye. “Eyeliner is still going to be a strong look, and it’s getting a little more graphic,” says Albano. “Blue is a huge colour trend in fashion and design, so we’ll be seeing lots of silver and hues of blue for the eyes.”
Make sure that none of the products you choose contain chemicals and harsh preservatives, such as parabens. Nontoxic makeup is often formulated with healthy preservatives from nature, such as rosemary.
Not a fan of Hollywood red? No problem! According to Albano, a current trend “for the lips we’re seeing [is] deep and bold plum and oxblood red shades.” Campos agrees: “One of the biggest trends for the fall/winter season is the dark lip. It will be seen in matte and glossy in rich plum and even deeper brown tones.”
Look for natural pigments formulated with a base of nourishing ingredients such as plant oils and cocoa butter.
Sparkle and shine
Albano’s take on glitter? “[It] always a fun way to add texture and is always on trend for the holidays.”
Two natural options are an illuminating powder (which can be applied to cheekbones and the bridge of the nose with a blush brush) or a solid illuminator (which can be applied with fingertips). Rather than large flakes of artificial glitter, the shimmer in these products comes from natural mineral pigments.
“The silvery eye is also something we will be seeing lots of,” says Campos. “Soft silver liners and metallic eyeshadows exude sophistication and are really fun around the holiday season to add glam.”
Holiday makeup no-nos
While the holiday season is a great time to experiment with makeup, it’s also wise to keep these tips in mind.
- Don’t go overboard. To avoid looking cartoonish, highlight one feature. For example, Nadia Albano suggests opting for a light or neutral lip to balance out a heavy, smoky eye look.
- Avoid noticeable lip liner. If you’re wearing lip liner, make sure to blend it well.
- Watch out for too much shine. A little glow can go a long way. Using too much glitter may come back to haunt us in photographs, as it can catch and reflect the light. It’s best to also use a natural, talc-free setting powder to reduce shine for photographs. Natural blotting papers can also help in emergencies—and the packages are small enough to slip easily into clutch purses.
Keeping our complexions happy
Both Nadia Albano and Natalia Campos know that good makeup depends on a great base. Skin can become drier in the winter months, so we need to nurture it! Here are some tips.
- “I always suggest investing in a great moisturizer, especially during the cooler and drier season,” says Albano.
- Campos recommends hydrating on the inside as well as the outside. “Drink lots of warm lemon water or herbal teas throughout the day to stay hydrated, and always use an organic hydrating cream or facial oil every day.”
- Avoid drying ingredients. According to Campos, “Makeup should also add more nourishing properties and antioxidants, like aloe and jojoba, and not contain ingredients like talcum or silicone, which can further dry out the skin and speed up aging effects.”
- Use masks for even more skin nourishment. “One of the best ones can be made in your kitchen: an avocado mask for 20 minutes will keep your skin dewy, soft, and replenished,” says Campos.