This past weekend, I had a trio of holiday parties to attend. Fun, I know, but also stressful! Every time I go to get dressed up for an event, I pull out one of my many eyeshadow palettes…and I freeze. Despite having been on a million video and photo shoots with pro artists, I can never recreate the beautiful, effortlessly blended looks they do on me. More often than not, I take the easy route and go for a neutral taupe shadow and loads of black liner.
But it’s high time I pulled out my big girl blending brushes and tried something a bit more fun. I asked Reiva Cruze, one of our favorite makeup artists, to give me a simple look I can wear to all my holiday parties. Here’s an easy to follow step-by-step:
1. Start with a tapered blending brush that is about the size of your crease. “I like one with soft but not too floppy bristles,” she says. If you’re applying foundation, Cruze says you can feel free to skip a base shadow. “The small amount of oil on your eyelids can act as a cream base and really grab onto the color.”
2. Dip your brush in a deep plummy charcoal color. Cruze likes to pick up a bit of matte and shimmer shades to get a hue with a lot of dimension. For me she suggested something with a bit of gold or champagne in it, which will look fun without being too over the top.
3. Look down into a mirror with your eyes half-open—”think Marilyn Monroe eyes,” Cruze says. Place your brush in your crease and move it back and forth in a gentle motion, trading off between the left and right eye to make sure you’re getting an even look. As you blend, begin to create a v-shape around the outer edge of your eye.
4. Next, take a clean brush and diffuse the color at the outer corner and above the crease. Buff out any obvious lines.
5. Take a tan sparkly color and apply at the inner corner and pull out along the eye lid. This makes your eyes look bigger.
6. Apply a small amount of cream foundation with a flat brush right below the eyebrows. Pat a lighter shadow right on top of that. The combination of the two makes the color sharper.
7. Finish by filling in brows and lining the upper lids with inky black liner. Don’t forget mascara!
Another look that you should try for your holiday shindigs? Smoky eyes.