12 Glitter-Free Holiday Party Beauty Looks

Smokey eye makeup ideas: woman with smokey eye

If you’re into glitter, this is the time of year you really shine. If you’re not, you’re in the right place. Because as the holiday party invitations flood in, our heads start reeling with makeup ideas. Super-dark lips with silver winged eyeliner? Yes, please. Glossy lids and cheeks with a berry lip to match? Without a doubt. The list goes on for quite a while before our minds even get to any sort of glittery eye situation (though we don’t hate a good glittery eye).

Scroll through for some festive holiday party beauty inspiration, glitter not included.

smokey eye

Exaggerated Smudgy Eyes + Berry Lips

A holiday party is the perfect excuse to play with your smudgiest eye pencil. Maybelline’s Master Kajal by EyeStudio Cream Kohl Eyeliner ($8) is one of our favorites for smudging. Line all the way around your eyes, including your waterline, and smudge it out, exaggerating the shape of your eye toward the end of your eyebrow.

strong brows

Bright Red Lips + Strong Brows

Bright red lips scream holiday. Just skip the full face of makeup that usually goes with them to keep the look fresh and modern. Even out your skin, add a coat of mascara, define your brows, and then let your lips do all of the talking with a true red, like Rimmel’s Show Off Lip Lacquer ($5) in Big Bang.

model with rust eye shadow

Rust Eye Shadow + Flawless Skin

Rust, aka the color of the season, can be intimidating to wear on a regular night, but it’s perfect for a party. Try Kat Von D’s Metal Crush Highlighter ($8) in Gammaray. Keep the rest of your makeup simple; just be sure to cover your dark circles well or you’ll run the risk of looking like you’ve holiday-partied too hard.

model with heavy eyeliner

Heavy Black Eyeliner + Matte Skin

Defined eyes always make a statement, so don’t be shy with the eyeliner or mascara. When paired with matte skin and soft pink lips, eye makeup like this looks polished, not harsh.

model with pink makeup

Monochrome Pink Glow

Our motto? The glowier and dewier the better—even in winter. Go monochrome to make even more of an impact. Pink, in particular, looks fresh and ethereal—like the winter version of a bronzed goddess.

model with silver eyeshadow

Silver Eye Shadow + Bare Skin and Lips

Find your favorite light silver “wet look” eye shadow, throw on a coat of mascara and lip balm (and maybe some concealer, because we can’t all have model skin) and you’re set.

model with black winged eyeliner

Black Winged Eyeliner + Wine Lips

You can’t go wrong with deep wine-hued lips and a simple, sharp black cat eye. Stila's Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($22) is perfect for creating precise lines.

model with nude lips

Tri-Color Eyes + Nude Lips + Sculpted Cheeks

If you’re not one to dabble in colorful eye shadow, now is the time to experiment. For a subdued take on high-color eyes, just add a pop of purple to the outer corners of your eyes. Blend it into a bronze shade and add a highlight to the inner corners for a subtle ombré effect.

model with black lipstick

Super-Dark Lips + Silver Winged Eyeliner

Maybe black lipstick isn’t in your comfort zone, but swap in your darkest lip color and this look will still be fantastic. Actually, anything you pair with an overdrawn silver cat eye will look fantastic. If you’re in the market for silver eyeliner, we recommend MAC LiquidLast Liner in Misty Me ($13).

model with glossy eyes

Glossy Eyes + Barely There Lip Color

Eyes this glossy aren’t an everyday deal, but with a touch of mauve or gray eye shadow, a bit of mascara, and soft rose-colored lips and cheeks, they’re an excellent choice for a party. To avoid the stickiness, try this method for achieving glossy eyes.

model with major lashes and pale pink lips

Mega Lashes + Pale Pink Lips

Don’t overthink it—generous coats of mascara can turn pretty much any look into a party-ready one. Our suggestion? Pair your mega lashes with flawless skin and icy pink lips.

model with a shimmery nude eye

Shimmery Nude Eyes + Peachy-Nude Lips and Cheeks

Warm nude on nude will perk up any dulling winter complexion. Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick ($30) is perfect for layering neutral shimmers like this. Plus, this look gives you license to dust off your beloved bronzer that’s been tucked away all month.

Related Stories