We all have those Instagram accounts we check daily, turn post notifications on for, and refer to in conversation like they're our actual friends. If you've ever scrolled onto one of these photos and wondered, How does she do it? you're in luck. Welcome to our series Insta Stalking, in which we talk to the women behind the accounts we're obsessing over about their beauty secrets. Next up, eight women reveal their go-to holiday makeup looks.
Every year we look forward to the holidays, until December rolls around and we're reminded what an utter fustercluck this time actually is. Between holiday shopping, traveling, and finishing up on work before the end of the year, we get if you barely have time to breathe, let alone plan a killer makeup look for all those holiday parties you agreed to go to back in November.
Luckily, we have the internet at our service, and when you think about it, Instagram is essentially a digital mood board rife with makeup inspiration. Still, finding inspiration that's actually easy to re-create and doesn't require a Ph.D. in contouring is easier said than done. So that's where we come in. We asked eight of our favorite women we follow to break down their favorite holiday makeup looks—and, yes, you really can do them at home. We got all your looks covered, from your company function to a New Year's Eve banger.
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Ash Walker, 27, beauty creative in New York
I like to do my makeup around my mood. If I’m feeling creative, I’ll create something really fun and out-there. If I’m feeling chill, I’ll just do my basics. I like to play off my outfits so my makeup vibes with what I’m wearing, instead of looking at it as something I would wear during the day versus something I would wear at the night.
This look is great for going out because it’s a bit moody and flirty. I started with Pacifica Alight Foundation. It's my go-to—it's more of a natural foundation, and it leaves my skin with a nice glow. I love Dior’s Diorshow Pump ’N’ Volume Mascara for amazing bold lashes. And for the glitter eye, I used Marc Jacobs See-Quinn Glam Glitter Eyeshadows (which I love) in Pop Rox and Smash Glitz with Glossier Lip Gloss over the top (it gives glitter shadows a really pretty sheen). For my highlight I used Revlon Colorstay Endless Glow in Opal, and finished off with the same gloss on my lips. Easy, right?
Miski Muse, 24, tech sales rep in Indianapolis
For daytime makeup, I usually feel like less is more. I go for natural, dewy looks with only some concealer, lipstick, and blush. My philosophy for evening and more formal events is heavy eyeliner! I don’t wear eyeliner during the day, so wearing it always feels special.
I love this look because, although it’s not drastic, it’s amazing what some eyeliner and shadow can do to an otherwise soft nude glam. For my base, I use Nars Radiant Foundation and Radiant Creamy Concealer, and a touch of Orgasm blush. Then, to set my brows in place, I used Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz topped with its Clear Gel. For the eye look I used ABH's Soft Glam Palette and Darkside Waterproof Eyeliner.
Emily Cheng, 33, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
This look is how I feel most comfortable. Day-to-day I keep my makeup pretty light, just concealer and a bit of blush. If I have extra time, I’ll do my usual baby wings and some mascara. To bump it up for a party, I’ll do a bit more on my eyes by tracing dark eye shadow over my liner. It's a red-carpet trick that gives winged liner more definition. And then, of course, a lip. For me, playing with a lip color—like a brown, berry, red, or wine tone—is the easiest way to change things up without too much effort if I'm running to an event.
I prepped my skin with Glossier Invisible Shield before applying Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Rose, Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk'r Bronzer in Private Island, and Chanel Baume Essential in Sculpting. For my brows, I used Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown and Benefit 24-HR Brow Setter.
I lined my eyes with Diorshow On-Stage Liquid Liner in matte black, and shaded the wing with a bit of Natasha Denona Eyeshadow in blackest black, before applying Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara, and Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 in Viva La Vargara.
Christina Grasso, 30, social media manager at Flesh Beauty and cofounder of The Chain in New York
Generally I conceal only my under eyes and let the rest of my skin breathe. I like a fresh, glowy look and achieve this through moisturizer, serums, and oils. On the day-to-day, I’ll do mascara, brows, blush, and a balmy lip. Often I’ll do a little feline flick, but otherwise I try to keep it simple. If I have a nighttime event, and I often do, I’ll add light foundation, a little highlighter, and either a red lip or a smoky cat eye. But I never do anything too heavy, though, because I’m usually freshening up at my desk and won’t have a ton of time. I’m also very pale, so a little goes a long way!
To be honest, I’m not totally sure why I love this specific look, but I’ve been doing it for years and years. I think I’ve always looked to older generations for beauty inspiration—Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, Edie Sedgwick, Jean Shrimpton, Stevie Nicks, Marilyn Monroe—and I’ve come up with something that just feels very “me.” I used Flesh Thickstick Foundation in Meringue as concealer, Chanel Joues Contrast Blush in Malice, and Flesh Highlighting Balm in Startle for my base.
On my eyes I dusted some Nars Eye Shadow in Delirium and used Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner in black for the wing. I used Glossier Boy Brow to fluff my brows (a key part of this look is keeping them brushed up), and Maybelline The Falsies Mascara, and finished with my favorite red lipstick, Flesh Matte Liquid Lip in Brazen.
Enga Domingue, 21, model in New York City
Most days I keep my makeup simple, but when I go out, I take the extra time to sit in front of my mirror and elevate my look to the best of my abilities. It's an opportunity to be as extra as I can be.
I love this look because it's sexy and playful, but most important, it's pretty easy to achieve. It's a look that can be built upon and I can quickly add more colors and more glitter to make it even more fabulous. I love Dior Diorskin Nude Air Foundation. No matter how dramatic my eye makeup is, I want my skin to resemble my skin, and this foundation is super lightweight and lets my skin shine through, while also covering any spots I want it to. Glossier Boy Brow is one of my holy grail products. My brows are naturally bushy, and I never get them waxed or tweezed. So Boy Brow lets me embrace my wild eyebrows. For my wing, I used Glossier Pro Tip Liquid Eyeliner. I always found it really difficult to get the perfect eyeliner look until this launched.
I like to add a little sparkle to my look when I'm going to a party. This time I used Glossier Play Glitter Gelee. I finished off my eyes with a coat of Gucci Beauty Infinite Length Mascara (sadly discontinued), which gives my lashes body and length. Last up: a swipe of Glossier Lip Gloss in Red. Lip gloss has the ability to transform a look so subtly, and the red tint in this one is perfect for the holidays.
Danielle Lauder, 25, actor (and Estée Lauder's great-granddaughter) in Los Angeles
I love this look because it's super versatile. It works for a work event with full glam and a chic cocktail outfit, or a friend’s holiday party with jeans and an awesome jacket.
After using a rose quartz face roller that I keep in the freezer (I hang upside down while doing this for five to seven minutes to increase blood flow to my face), I primed my skin with one pump of Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum and spread it evenly over my face. Then I applied the Estée Lauder Act IV Cinemattic Complexion Liquid to smooth the look of my skin and blur pores instantly. [Editor's note: The Act IV collection, which Lauder designed, officially launches in January.] Next, I used the Estée Lauder Act IV Best Picture Multi-Look Palette to create my favorite eye look. Using the Act IV Brushed by Fame liner brush, I applied the charcoal shade along my outer lash line and along the crease of my eyelid (which helps for opening up my eyes because I have hooded eyelids). Then I slightly diffused the charcoal with the creamy lavender color from the same palette. After that, I applied the ivory color right beneath my brows and lightly traced it using the shadow brush to the inner corner of my eyelids. I also dusted it under my eyes. Lastly, I applied the peachy pink shade to the under-apple of my cheeks, to contrast the Act IV Spotlight Highlighter that I applied on the apple of my cheeks, my upper cheekbones, brow bones, upper lip, and bridge of my nose.
After my eyes, I applied the Tom Ford Beauty Fiber Brow Gel to my brows for definition. I like to apply foundation after my eye makeup so the shadow doesn't fall into it, and used Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in shade 1C1 Cool Bone. For my lips, I first applied the lip balm from the Act IV Lip Duet Tint & Balm to hydrate my lips before applying color, and then used the Luxe Lip Creme in Reel Coral. My last step was to take the Act allover face brush, and lightly apply the Party Puff Starluscent Filtered Powder all over my face for a beautifully diffused glow, and to set my makeup.
Ash K. Holm, 30, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
I love this look for going out because it’s almost like an optical illusion that tricks the eye. The winged eyeliner lift your eyes up and outward, almost like a nonsurgical eye lift. A soft contour can also have a similar effect by making areas of your face look more defined.
I started off by prepping my under eyes with Karuna Age Renewal Eye Masks to get that area under my lower lash line nice and hydrated before foundation and concealer. Then I used Fresh Beauty Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream to keep my skin plump and hydrated during this cold weather. For lightweight coverage that lasts all night, I used CoverGirl TruBlend Matte Made Foundation in shade M80, and TruBlend Undercover Concealer in Honey for coverage that doesn’t move. On my eyes, I kept it neutral so my skin and winged liner could do all the talking, and used the Buxom Cosmetics Boss Babe Betty eye shadow palette. To lightly contour, I used Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Color in Bondi Bae, and for my cat eye I went in with Nudestix Rock N' Roller Eyeliner. The roller ball applicator makes it easy for anyone to create a wing. On my lips I used Buxom Cosmetics Full Force Plumping Lipstick in Goddess, a warm nude that goes with any outfit.
Mariama Diallo, model and actor in Los Angeles
My philosophy on makeup is that it should enhance your features and not overpower your natural beauty. Which is why I think skin care should always come first—plus, with this weather, hydration is key! I've learned that starting with a good base is a must and will not only make your skin look radiant but also make your makeup stay flawless.
Once my face is moisturized, I use the YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer to make sure my skin is smooth and flawless, and I follow it with the Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation. For this look, I wanted to create an eye that was festive and vibrant, so I went with gold from Colourpop's Gimme Butterflies palette but mixed it with rose gold, copper, and a little green eyeliner. I love Colourpop eye shadows because of how pigmented the colors are. Plus, they’re super easy to blend. Instead of using actual eyeliner as underliner, I used a green eye shadow from Milani's Gilded Jade Palette to give my eyes more depth and dimension. This palette is ideal for the holidays because it has the perfect balance between green and gold. After adding mascara and brushing up my brows, I finished with my KKW Lip Liner and Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb. Holiday perfection.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore.
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Originally Appeared on Glamour