Tonight's the night! Even though I think NYE is completely overrated (crowds and cover charges and a lack of cabs? Um no), it's a rather excellent opportunity to play with your makeup. And hair. Because sometimes our regular lives just aren't glamorous enough to be able to show off a perfectly executed shimmery eye, or crazy loud lipstick. Out of any night of the year (save Halloween), tonight is your chance!
Also? I often have way more fun getting ready than when I arrive at the actual event itself. With company, of course—just make sure all y'all go easy on the champagne until you've put the liquid liner down.
Here are seven of my favourite special occasion beauty looks to get you inspired... happy 2013!
1. Kate Upton's modern smokies and smooth lob
You know Kate Upton. When she was on GQ in the summer with that popsicle, no red-blooded male could pass by a newsstand without drooling. It was kind of annoying. But pin-up status aside, I'm actually a huge fan of her hair and makeup. So much so that I actually test-drove this look just before Christmas. The key elements are darkened brows; heavy, heavy liner all the way around the eyes; brown shadow on the outer edges of the lids, extended up towards the brows; and white highlights at the inner corners. I rarely wear my eye makeup this heavy, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it on myself—and the juxtaposition with the completely bare lips and simple, mid-length hair keeps it from being too over-the-top sexytimes. Give it a try!
2. Megan Fox's wine-coloured lips and brushed-out waves
Motherhood must've changed Megan Fox, because there's something about her now that seems all grown up. I guess the fact that she's showing less skin is part of it—but her makeup seems more sophisticated-glamorous... instead of just sexy-glamorous. Do you see it? Anyway, I'm head over heels for this lipstick she's wearing and from here on in would like to make a case for matching wine-coloured lipstick to a wine-coloured dress (glass of wine in hand optional). The long waves are key, too—just follow the Naomie Harris how-to. I do wish, however, that she'd leave her brows a bit more natural and I could take or leave the grey shadow on the eyes.
3. Scarlett Johansson's oxblood lips and side-swept hair
I just mentioned the other day how I prefer oxblood lipstick for evening—and here, Scarlett Johansson has a stunning example. You really don't need much else. (Therefore it's a wicked trick to keep up your sleeve when you're in too much of a rush to fiddle with eye makeup.) Look for a shade that's not too matte nor too shiny; the one here is nice and rich and creamy. Or apply a stain and then layer on a moisturizing balm on top. The side-swept hair really finishes off this look. It's not so easy to recreate that perfect wave at the front, but at least it's the only piece that has to look like that—the rest you get to just pin around the back. Yay!
4. Naya Rivera's magenta mouth and loose curls
Let me first just say that I'm not endorsing Naya Rivera's hair here. The thought behind it was good—it just fell apart in the execution and requires a brush and some smoothing serum to tame that frizz. Nor am I so into the obvious false lashes. But no matter: the real story here is this amazing colour on the lips! Just like Megan, Naya chose to match it to her dress, but you certainly don't have to. Just keep the rest of your makeup neutral and bare-ish, and let your mouth make the statement. This purpley-pink shade pops like crazy on all skin tones, but would be even more so on fair skin.
5. Doutzen Kroes' precision cat eyes and textured updo
So this has to be one of my favourite pics of 2012. Doutzen Kroes is honestly one of the prettiest models in the biz. Here, it's the constrast of sleek eyeliner with messed-up hair that I'm in love with. You want to use something super-precise to line the waterlines (like the Too Faced eyeliner I raved about the other day), and then carefully extend it up in a point at the outer corners. Yeah, expect to spend A LOT of time perfecting these eyes. The good news is the hair's super-easy. Here's how to get that texturey, halo effect.
6. Zoë Saldana's coral lips and high ponytail
Zoë Saldana always looks good, but I don't know that I've ever seen her looking THIS good. She's usually a neutrals wearer, so it's nice to see her injecting more colour... a lot more colour. (If you're a similar creature of habit, I suggest you do the same!) You see, she's wearing her standard eye makeup—heavy black liner all the way around the eyes—but instead of doing the typical bare lips thing, they instead got a bold shot of coral lipstick. Love, love, love it. So don't be afraid to emphasize both eyes and lips, just keep the hair low-key. Here, she's just thrown it up into a high ponytail.
7. Erin Heatherton's shimmery blue shadow and slicked-back bun
How fun is this blue-grey shadow on Erin Heatherton? If she had worn it just on her upper eyelids, it could've looked borderline dated... but with the emphasis underneath the eyes, and with those spidery lashes I've been talking about, it looks totally cool and modern. Now, I get it that the super-sleek hair is tough to pull off unless you have model-like features... so a modified take on it could just be flat-ironed hair in a deep side part like Kate Bosworth wore here. The important thing is to let your eyes do the talking!
Which one of these NYE beauty looks is your fave?
What are you planning on doing with your hair and makeup tonight?
What do you find the most tricky about special-occasion beauty prep? (For me, it's running out of time to do everything I want to do to myself!)