Puttin' on the Glitz

12 ways to get head-to-toe holiday glamour in a hurry.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson, MD

Cooking. Cleaning. Decorating. SHOPPING! Santa and the elves have nothing on us when it comes to a busy holiday season. As if that were not enough, we're also expected to look spectacular for all the socializing that goes on this time of year.

If glamming it up seems way too time-consuming for your busy life, take heart. Fashion and beauty experts who spoke to WebMD shared 12 tricks of the trade that can help you put on the glitz in record time.

1. Luscious lips. Among the most popular tricks of the glamour trade: Red lipstick for instant pizzazz. "If you wear a red lip color, you instantly signal 'glamour' -- even if you're wearing the simplest outfit," says Cheryl Kramer, beauty director for Redbook Magazine.

If you're thinking "oh no, not on me," Kramer says it's true -- not every woman can wear the classic matte red. But, she says, most of us can find at least a couple of shades of glossy red that look great.

Still not convinced? Makeup artist Craig Jessup suggests wearing a caramel-color "nude" lipstick topped with a bright berry gloss for a look that is both festive and trendy.

"When choosing a gloss, look for a fine grade of pearl pigment -- one that contains glitter, but ground very fine so that you don't actually see any particles. Then the look is just one of intense wetness and shine," says Jessup, resident makeup artist for the Kevyn Aucoin line of beauty products.

2. Maximum mascara. If you're going from a day at the office to night at the office party, take a tip from the stars and punch up your look with extra mascara, says Carol Straley, beauty director of the new beauty, fashion, celebrity, and lifestyle magazine Life and Style Weekly.

"Most women only wear one coat of mascara, but if you put on a second or third coat at end of the day -- concentrating on the outer edges, and making sure to coat your lower lashes -- that definitely adds drama to your look," Straley tells WebMD.

3. The smoky eye. If you have a few more minutes to spare, experts say the celebrity nighttime look of the moment is a smoldering, smoky eye -- and it's easier to achieve than you might think.

"The trick here is to use a very soft kohl pencil, in black for a really dramatic look or brown for a slightly less edgy look, and outline the whole eye," says Patty Bunch, makeup artist on the NBC TV show Will and Grace and spokeswoman for Cargo Cosmetics.

To get it right, gently lift your upper lid and use the pencil to darken the rim just under your natural lash line. Then, bring the pencil down and around to the inside rim of your lower lash line. If you have a few seconds more, finish the look by smudging brown or grey shadow on the lid and just under the lower lash line.

Because lining the rims of the eye can be tricky -- and could make your eyes water -- Bunch advises practicing before the big night. If you can't get the hang of it, she says, use the kohl pencil on the top of the lid only (like a liner), then smudge the brown or grey shadow under your lower lashes. You can also soften the whole look by dusting the eye area with a shimmering gold powder.

4. Lash out. Jessup says he gives even more allure to many a celebrity gaze by adding false lashes. While the look can easily cross the line from holiday to Halloween, Jessup says this won't happen if you follow a few simple rules.

"Always buy lashes with an invisible strip, and do bypass the heavy layers of fringe and go for the sparse, separated styles instead," Jessup tells WebMD.

The trick to applying them: Choose a glue that dries clear, and don't use more than a very thin line spread along the base of the false lashes. Let set for 30 seconds, then gently press the strip as close to your natural lash line as possible. "Put a coat of mascara on first, then the lashes, then another coat of mascara for a natural but yet full and lush look," says Jessup.

5. Let it shine. If you're looking to add holiday shine to your look without resorting to garland or tinsel, nothing does it better than the new array of shimmer products, including foundations, blushes, eye shadows, and lip glosses.

To get it right, however, heed Kramer's golden rule of glitter glamour: "You don't ever want to wear shimmer or glimmer products on more than two areas of your face," she says. "Don't use shimmer foundation and then shimmer eye shadow and blush and lip gloss all at once." Instead, choose one or two features you want to play up and apply the shine there.

"Anything beyond that and the look becomes 'Tinkerbell'," she says.

Straley agrees: 'If you highlight your brow bone and put some sparkly gloss on your lips, don't put any on your cheeks. If you wear a shimmery blush, do a matte eye with soft colors, and a sheer or neutral and not a bright red lip."