Holiday beauty tips

Heading out for a holiday party, but have zero time to get gussied up? Here's how to put your best feature forward — fast!

Lips

Get reddy “A classic red lip is always striking for the holidays and can make your whole look,” says Melissa Gibson, senior artist for MAC Cosmetics. For a perfect red pout, start with a matching red lipliner. Use short, feather-like strokes along the lip line, blending inward to avoid a distinct line around the lip. “This helps if the lipstick starts to wear off, so you don’t have that ‘ring around the mouth’ effect,” says Gibson. Next, using a lip brush, apply the lipstick from the centre of the lip out toward the liner until they join.

Try Revlon ColorStay Lipliner in Red, $10, and Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red, $9.50.

Nails

Make a statement If you don’t have time for major makeup, let your hands make a statement with a dark nail. “A strong nail colour can have the same impact as a large piece of jewellery,” says Gibson. The best part? You can do this the night before. We don’t advise trying that with your lipstick!

Try OPI Sapphire in the Snow, $11, and OPI Drip Dry, $18.

Complexion

Light up the night Soft highlight powders can make your dull “I’ve been wrapping presents for seven hours straight” complexion look radiant. Gibson recommends applying highlight powder only to the highest planes of your face. “Concentrate on the upper cheekbone, down the centre of the nose, a small amount on the forehead and a touch on the cupid’s bow of the lip to get a sexy pout.” Warning: A little highlighter goes a long way — too much will take your look from glowing to greasy in seconds flat.

Try Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Face Sculpting Trio, $22.

Hair

Pony up The perfect ponytail is a mom’s best friend because it’s not only simple, it’s simply chic. To look sophisticated in a snap, Justin German, celebrity stylist for Pantene, suggests you start by applying a smoothing cream to damp hair. Blow-dry hair upside down, until it’s only slightly damp, to get volume at the root. Then finish drying normally with a paddle brush. Smooth on a few drops of anti-frizz serum to combat those baby hairs that are just dying to break free. Using the paddle brush, smooth hair into your desired position and secure with an elastic band. Pull out a one-inch section from underneath the ponytail and wrap it around the elastic, securing the piece with one or two bobby pins.

Try Pantene NatureFusion Smoothing Crème, $6, and John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum, $10.50.

Eyes

Lash out Falsies are a simple way to give your eyes instant impact. “Applying false eyelashes is a great way to up the ante on your regular makeup routine,” says Gibson. Her tips: Do all your other makeup first, and apply your lashes last. Always measure the length of the lash to your eye and trim if necessary, starting at the outer, fuller edge first. Use a small amount of eyelash glue on the band of the lashes and then apply, starting at the outer corner and pushing it in toward the inner corner of your eye.

Try MAC 21 Lash, $16.