NYE Makeup : All that Glitters

Ditch the natural look for the night. Step up your glam game with a little splurge and save on New Year’s Eve.

It’s New Year’s Eve. You have a chic outfit in the works: black sequin skirt, black sheer tights, black booties. Something like that. Your hair is curled into a half-up, half-down style. It’s pinned back elegantly with all the hair spray in the world. Effortless, right? Your cocktails and mocktails are chilled slightly, ready to be served endlessly into the New Year. But your makeup … it’s usually not your focus.

(Lisa Cant by Irving Penn for Vogue Japan 2007, Kate Moss image from here, gold hair image from Free People)

“C’mon! Lipstick is overrated,” you say to your beauty-junkie best friend when she tires to jazz up your understated nude gloss and subtle mascara.

For New Year’s Eve, it’s not.

You don’t want your beauty routine to be the weakest link of your holiday get-up. It should glow with more sheen than a disco ball, and pop more boldly than the cork on your champagne. Take advantage of the best products on the market—or the best drugstore duplicates if you’re on a college-girl budget.


Strobe, highlight—call it what you want—but definitely do it on New Year’s Eve.

Splurge on the Guerlain Illuminating Powder Pearls ($62). This product is sold in tin-like packaging filled with luminescent pearls. Highlight with a large fluffy brush, sweeping over the pearls and onto the high points of your cheeks where the light naturally rests.

Save on the Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls ($13.95). At less than a fourth of the Guerlain product’s price, this Physicians Formula highlighter is a drugstore gem. You’ll look impossibly radiant, but the natural glow won’t take away from the intensity of your eye.


It’s not always appropriate to wear glitter eye shadow, but on New Year’s Eve it is.

Splurge on the Tom Ford Eye Shadow Quad in “Silvered Topaz” ($80) for cool-toned smoky-eye possibilities. It’s complete with two metallic shades, an intense glitter shadow, and a dark plum matte color. Simply the epitome of luxury.

If treating yourself to some Tom Ford beauty isn’t in the works for your post-holiday budget, try the Sonia Kashuk Eye Shadow Quad in “Fair and Square” ($13.69). It’s a Target “steal.” Although it’s warm-toned, unlike the Tom Ford quad, it still makes for a perfect shadow combination. It includes two warm metallic colors, one shimmer option and the same intense glitter shadow with a rose-gold tint.

Tip: Apply the high-shine shadows with your fingertip on the center of the lid. Remember: less is more, ladies!


Splurge on Mac’s “Girl About Town” ($17). It comes in the traditional Mac packaging with the light vanilla scent that any lipstick-enthusiast could identify a mile away. The bright blue-toned fuchsia color is a no-liner required product with just a subtle satin finish. It’s been known to glam up the most boring LBD. 

Save with the L’Oreal La Lacque in “Lacque and Roll,” ($9.99). The two colors are almost identical. The L’Oreal option has a pen-like packaging, great for precise application. It lasts just as long as the Mac, and the color payoff is equally as promising. The rim of your drinking glass will thank you for the nice touch of color.  


Nails are the easiest to forget. That Santa-red shade is chipping from the holidays and you hardly have time to polish and dry in the midst of the bustle, but a little nail color will pop against your black-on-black outfit, making you look polished.

If you’re looking to splurge, skip the manicure and DIY with the best Chanel nail polish in the shade “Rose Fusion” ($27) (because you’ve got the rest the year to wear mattes and French). If you know Chanel nails, you know they’ll release the best colors in the industry for a limited time only, just to never replenish when they’re gone, leaving you in some sort of polish grief. Maybe that was dramatic. But not as dramatic as this Holiday 2015 Limited Edition shade. Is it gold? Silver? Bronze? Who really knows? A perfect mix of them all, perhaps.

Save with Essie’s “Penny Talk” ($8.50). The good news: it’s not limited edition. It’s not exactly identical to Chanel’s “Rose Fusion,” but consider them sisters. This is a fast-drying rose gold metallic. Among the metals, it’s copper—no doubt about it.

 – Alex

*All pictures are from the respective product’s website

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