Somewhere between the toy buying, gift-wrapping, dessert baking and cocktail cheers-ing, you’ve got to get glam for holiday soirees — but who has the time? With December’s dizzying pace, finding even a few spare seconds can be harder than scooping up the last Big Hugs Elmo. Thankfully, Rimmel London Canada makeup artist Vanessa Jarman has easy tips for a party-perfect look in five minutes flat.
Face: 30 seconds
If holiday stress has your complexion looking tuckered, fake luminosity with a liquid highlighter. Pick a shimmery shade based on your complexion: Go champagne or white if you’re fair, pink if you’re medium, and bronze if you’re dark. Dab it on the tops of your cheekbones, below your browbones, along the bridge of your nose and above the centre of your lip for a fresh look (even when you’re not well rested). Plus, “gorgeous highlights give the face dimension in any light setting,” adds Jarman.
We like Light FX Highlighting Complexion Enhancer, $24 US, skinn.com
Eye lights: 45 seconds
Brighten up in a flash with glittery shadow. “Use your ring finger to dab it on the centre of your lid,” says Jarman. If you’re extra time pressed, stick to lighter shades (think sparkly beiges and silvers), since dark colours are less forgiving with a rushed job. Whether you layer it over your daytime shade or apply onto bare skin, the sparkle will give you an appropriately festive flair.
We like Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy, $2, urbandecay.com
Lash flash: 1 minute
Fussing with false lashes is a task few have time for, so Jarman recommends bulking up with a non-clumping, volumizing mascara throughout the day: “Apply a couple coats in the morning, then another at lunchtime, and just before going to your party, add another one or two.” To turn up the drama, the makeup master recommends emphasizing the outer third of your lashes with extra applications.
We like Flamed Out Mascara in Very Black Blaze, $7, covergirl.ca
Lip trick: 1 minute and 30 seconds
“You don’t necessarily have to wear a crisp outlined colour on your lips,” says Jarman. Rather, she recommends lip lacquers, which boast a highly pigmented formula in a gloss-like format, so you don’t have to bother with lip liner. Stipple on fuchsia or red with your finger, fading outward to the corners. “Make sure the centre has a beautiful burst of colour that diffuses toward the edges.”
We like Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Big Bang, $9, rimmellondon.com
So cheeky: 1 minute and 15 seconds
“Blush is important because it finishes the skin just like mascara finishes off the eye,” says Jarman. She recommends cream blush because it spreads easily and leaves a natural-looking, but radiant, finish. Just smile to reveal the apples of your cheeks, and apply a soft circle of colour using your fingers — Jarman’s go-to tool because, “the product warms up with your body heat, so it’s easier to rub into skin.”
We like Illamasqua Cream Blusher in promise, $32, sephora.ca
If your locks are looking a little limp and you can’t give them a pre-party blow-dry, sprinkle a bit of volumizing powder on your roots and you’ll be feeling festive in no time.
We like powder.puff volumising powder, $28, kevinmurphy.com.au
A version of this article appeared in our December 2013 issue with the headline “Power primp,” p.52