The Holiday Party Look


Let the record show: we love holiday parties. Really, we do! Everyone's relaxed and happy, letting their hair down, and ready to revel. It's an ideal time to break out the big beauty guns and just go for it. Whether your plans include spiking the punch at your office holiday shindig or some white-tie affair, we found—and then mastered—a right now beauty look with a vintage fashion reference (we don’t know why we're feeling the ‘70s lately, but suffice it to say, we are; it’s all about channeling the sexy, strong Factory girl/Studio 54 meets Helmut Newton power-woman thing)... With a dash of Bianca Jagger’s defined cheekbones, Tina Chow’s sleekness, the total chic of Loulou de la Falaise, and a tiny bit of Gia Carangi’s raw sex appeal. Got all that? That’s ITG-speak for: contouring like a motherfucker, getting glowy, highlighting your lovely bones, and embracing color. This is not no-makeup makeup. This is heavy-on-the-glam makeup-makeup, the eye and the lip, and the ensemble is black, tight, strict n' strappy. Skip the sequined/feathered/look-at-me "cocktail" attire and let the face do the talking.

SKIN: Remember how in Zoolander, 'wetness' was the 'essence of beauty?' Well, yeah. Moisturize—it makes everything that follows much, much easier. A spring-water mist, a face oil, a cream, you get the idea. Then, slick on some primer (Hourglass No.28 was our pick), and exfoliate your lips. A friend advised us to use a toothbrush and some vaselinethe brushing motion will add an extra plump via blood flow (we’re so crafty, we know).

HAIR: The key word is 'shine.' For some extra sparkle, smooth in Oribe's Gold Pomade (the company recommends it for use in convertibles “and other pleasure craft,” so take that as you will) and then douse the finished style with a shine spray (Oribe’s Shine Light Reflecting Spray is great, but not out just yet; Redken has a great one).

FACE: When it comes to foundation, go with something light that blends well (CK One 3-in-1 Face Makeup). Skin that's too 'done'-looking reads less 'Studio 54' and more Dynasty. Take a tip from Iman (why wouldn’t you? she was there!) and use a dry foundation brush to buff and blend the product into your skin. For contouring, suck in your cheekbones and apply a cream bronzer (Becca Bronzing Skin Perfector) just under your cheekbones, careful to follow the natural recessed planes of your face—think of the Nike swoosh, versus a straight slash. Never neglect your highlights (Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal), either. We’re big proponents of cream products for contouring it’s always easier to go from dewy to matte than from matte to dewy, and anyways, that’s what your translucent powder is for.

LIPS: For a party-ready mouth (and by that we mean, ready for all the drinking, eating, cheek-kissing, lip-synching, shmoozing, calling cabs, cursing cabs for not stopping, what have you), you need color that’s going to stay put. So thank your lucky holiday spirit-animal for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar (we love it in NSFW). It’s just the ticket—the golden (if “golden” was a seriously dangerously deep crimson) ticket. You only need the tiniest daub of product, because Lip Tar packs a serious pigmented punch: dot it on and spread thinly all over your lips. Layer with Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm for a hint of moisture without a sticky, overtly glossy sheen. Then pat MAC Pigment in Basic Red over the whole thing, using the Bobbi Brown Eye Smudge Brush. See, we’re serious about this—that lip isn’t going anywhere.

EYES: Remember that old rule, the one that said something like ‘Pick either a bold eye or a bold lip, and go easy on the rest’? Yeah, forget that. It's the holidays! We went all-out (we ain’t never scared) with Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Emerald Lust, mixing the ivory and lighter-green shadows to create a light mint to use over the whole lid (from the crease down), pumping it up with the sapphire shade closer towards the lash line. It's like a Disney princess' mermaid tail on your eyelid...but in a really cool way, we promise. Line your inner rim at the waterline (Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Star Black) and upper lash-line with Hourglass' liquid Script Pen in Jett (the tip's narrow enough that you can work it between the lashes towards the inner corners, and wing it out to a light cat eye at the edges). Smudge a bit of the sapphire shadow along the lower lash-line to balance out all the lovely madness happening on the top. Finally, pump up your brows (Benefit Speed Brow) and top off with a killer mascara (Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes). Because you're going to get noticed tonight, and nothing exceeds like excess, right?

Alessandra Codinha photographed by Emily Weiss in a vintage Chanel jacket, Nasty Gal bralet and skirt, and Edie Parker clutch in New York on December 5, 2012. 

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