The Festive Lip


If someone could give me the luxury of time as a holiday present, I would gladly accept in order to properly prep myself for any and all parties that pop up during the month of December. I'd do the whole relaxing bath with a candle, face massage (effleurage), leisurely dressing shebang everyone talks about in their After Dark interviews... Sounds like a great time! But more likely is the scenario where I'm at the office—or at least on my computer—'til the last possible second and need to build upon that foundation to create a ritzy-enough look.

And hey, I'm not complaining. Give me a dressed-up jean any day of the week and I'll give you access to my iCloud folder full of Alexa Chung inspiration photos. Really, is there anyone more adept at nonchalant glamour or wearing coats? No, so here is my best approximation of what I would do if I were Alexa Chung attending the Glossier holiday party.

Whenever I daydream about me at a holiday party, it's in a slinky black slip dress and I look killer. But there are two problems here: 1. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect slip dress (The Realreal app, you kill me); and 2. It's not warm anymore! My solution is jeans. And not just any jeans. These fake-Vetements Topshop jeans that look really great with a silky top tucked in and hidden behind a big fabulous blanket coat just so. For warmth, but also for drama. The shoes are Gianvito Rossi, and they are fabulous, and I have nowhere else to wear them.

As long as I've gotten a blowout in the last week, I can handle doing something "done" to my hair. In my bob days, I'd've worn my hair down and piecey like Alexa, but right now I'm growing it out just to see what will happen. Now that it's long, my instinct is to pull it back into a twisted chignon, secured with a Blax elastic and five to 10 U-pins, with a little bit of fluff pulled out around my face. My hair doesn't stay controlled for long, so no use in making it perfect from the start—I just used a little Reverie Milk mixed with Ever Oil for grit. It also gives me more time to focus on...

ITG favorite makeup artist Ingeborg told me last year that her favorite trick for dewy makeup was to apply Glossier Priming Moisturizer on top of makeup in addition to using it as a primer. And that's what I do if I'm getting ready at the office. On top of whatever I'm already wearing, I'll pat in a layer of Priming Moisturizer, re-conceal using Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla and a Beautyblender, and then move on to the fun stuff. Namely, Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow. Yes, I'm finally learning to contour. But only a little, so as not to overshadow my current favorite lip color, the special edition Nars Audacious in Rita. The color is the perfect, not-too-blue red; but the packaging is better. So sleek. And when I do lips, I do very little on the eyes. Just a little brown shadow (from the Tom Ford Nude Dip Palette) under the bottom lashes for definition and a wiggle of Marc Jacobs Volumizing Mascara at the roots.

These are really important. I'm not someone who always has her nails painted. In fact, more often than not, my manicure is old and chipped and I've gotten so used to it on my hands that I don't actively see it anymore. But for a party, you better believe they're done, and done festively. Holidays call for red polish, and my current red polish of choice is the Chanel Rouge Radical (unfortunately it was limited run—find it on eBay!). It's a gloss, so not quite as opaque as your standard laquer, meaning it paints on a whole hell of a lot smoother. Two coats sandwiched between the unimpeachable Smith and Cult top and bottom coats and I'm a brand new woman. Bring on the Champagne.

—Emily Ferber

Emily Ferber photographed by Tom Newton on November 19, 2016. Emily is wearing a Jil Sander coat, 3.1 Phillip Lim top, Topshop Boutique jeans, Gianvito Rossi shoes, a Proenza Schouler clutch, and Kenneth Jay Lane earrings. Styled by Lilli Millhiser. Hair by Clay Nielsen.

Part 2 of our Holiday Party Look series. See how Kim Johnson contours with highlighter—and check back for more.