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Get Picture-Perfect Party Makeup

Perfect your holiday party look with these innovative tips from celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath.


Get a pretty party look like Selena Gomez’s.
Photo: © Jason Merritt/Getty Images

I don’t know about you guys but I can honestly say that I am absolutely partied out. After attending more seasonal shindigs than I can count, I’ve officially run out of new ideas on how to look festively fab — and we’re only halfway through the holidays!!!

While my idea well may have run dry, celebrity makeup artist and CoverGirl design director Pat McGrath still has plenty of innovative ideas, and then some. I had the opportunity to sit down with the beyond talented pro and she shared some of her fave ways to glam up your makeup look. Read on to learn some of her insider secrets.

Get your glitter on. Adding shimmer to your face is a great way to turn a ho-hum look into a haute holiday one. It’s also perfectly on trend for the season. “We saw a lot of glitter on the (Fall 2009) runways. Louis Vuitton had a ton of glitter on the eyelids and at Dior we saw glitter accents in the corners of the eye,” says McGrath. If coating your eye in glitter dust seems too disco to you, McGrath suggests creating a glitter liner to get that shimmery pop. “Line your eyes in a basic eyeliner–you can use any color but I like deep blue or burgundy–then (using a Q-Tip) layer a bit of Vaseline on top of the line. Then take a bit of crumbly glitter and add it on top of the Vaseline. It’s very easy to do,” says McGrath.

Simple is still sexy. A smoky eye is a no-fail way to add some sexiness to your look and, according to McGrath, it doesn’t have to be super complicated to do. “Everyone knows those really intense smoky eyes are too difficult to do anyways, so I like that this season it got more simple,” she says. McGrath loves CoverGirl’s Smoky Shadow Blast Shadow Sticks, especially the Purple Plum shade, to create a beautiful, slightly shimmery eye in just a few easy steps. “I love that you can use just one of the colors around the eye and then add some mascara to it and you’ve got a smoky eye. It breaks the myth of having to use six shadows to get that look.”

Red ahead. You can instantly dial up the intensity of any look by doing a red lip. This season saw a rainbow of crimson shades on the runways, from glittery orange-red fire lips at Prada to a classic red at D&G. While these looks are all inarguably gorgeous, there’s also no doubt that they are insanely difficult for real women to pull off. “How many women can really go out with confidence wearing that kind of a red lip? A good way of doing that at home is to do a hint of red and use the Outlast Lipstain, then apply a touch of gloss on top of it. It’s the best way to do that perfect red lip and make it work for the real world,” she says.

I think these are all great suggestions for punching up your typical party look. What are some of your go-to tips for looking fab on a special occasion?

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