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This is the post where I reveal my go-to holiday outfit and makeup. Basically this is what I wear to family gatherings, not necessarily the office party. OK, probably the office party, too. This outfit and makeup is designed to be unfussy so you can easily go from rolling around on the floor with your 2 year old niece to sitting with the grown-ups gossiping over a cocktail.
Reasons behind my “formula” are basically two-fold:
1. I don’t want to go out a buy a new outfit just for the occasion because I am trying to live better with less, and this time of year money always seems to be tight, no matter how well you plan.
2. I want my day to be focused on spending time with family and friends playing games, watching movies, chatting, sledding, recovering from sledding, baking cookies, and whatever else we dream up. I don’t want to be tugging/adjusting my outfit all day or feel like I need to touch up my makeup every 5 seconds.
I enjoy watching YouTube beauty gurus demonstrate glamorous holiday makeup as much as the next gal, but the reality for me has always been that I have way less time to primp during the holidays than I might have for a party another time of the year. This is probably because I’m traveling and don’t want to pack a ton, and because I want to maximize the amount of time spent doing fun stuff, not sitting by myself getting ready. (The exception is that I might pull out all the
glitter stops for a New Years Eve look.)
Drum roll, please:
Dress + leggings/tights + cardigan/jacket + accessory + simple but festive makeup + whatever shoes you want = DONE
Dress: Pick a dress*, any dress. I love dresses* because they are the single easiest piece of clothing to put on, and yet people always “ooh” and “ahh” about how nice you look. Since covering your legs from the cold are the next part of the equation, I say go for whatever dress you love, even if it’s more of a spring pattern/weight. Just select the tights and cardigan to compensate. Light spring florals can look so lovely (and unexpected) in wintertime. Or go the other way and opt for a sweater dress or long-sleeved number so you can shed your jacket or sweater later.
Leggings or Tights: Choose wisely based on the dress you’re wearing. Planning on sitting on the ground with little kids a lot or is the dress pretty short? Make sure you select a heavy, opaque fabric. American Apparel and Spanx* are pretty much my go-to made in America trusted brands for this category.
Cardigan or Jacket: A structured jacket can pull any look together, and a big belted cardigan brings this look from simple to super cozy and jealousy-inducing (if that’s your jam). Try Theory (tip: check eBay*) for a high-end, tailored piece or Splendid (check listings on eBay*) for a more relaxed fit (and price). Splendid is one of my all-time favorite brands, which I’m sure I’ll get into in a later post. Both made in the USA.
Accessory: In honor of keeping this look simple, I honor the venerable Coco Chanel and choose just ONE accessory. A colorful pashmina, door-knocker earrings or big shiny necklace usually win for me. Fair trade scarves from aneelo or chiapas bazaar are great. As is a bold (but versatile) necklace like the ones Dear Margot whimsically creates.
Makeup: I keep my face super calm – foundation to even skin tone, highlighting concealer under the eyes and a dusting of translucent powder. No blush, typically. Just a slight contour/warming up of my face with bronzer. Then I add a nude lip – or no lip. Chapstick is your friend in the winter! Plus, while a rich red lip color certainly does scream “Happy Holidays!” it can be a pain to keep up. So, unless you’re using a long-wearing stain, leave the bright colors in your makeup bag. I line all around my eyes with a dark black liner, possibly with a little flick or wing if I have time (if!) I prep my eye with a primer and/or a cream shadow and then just go nuts with a chunky glitter shadow in any color, but usually gold/brown, all over my lid, just up to (but not above) my eye socket line. Voila! Just like a dress = dressy, appropriately applied glitter = holiday pizzaz. Try glitter shadows from Laura Mercier, Jane Iredale or these
glitter pots from Lime Crime that make me positively giddy. (EDIT: I no longer recommend Lime Crime due to their terrible business practices and inclusion of toxic ingredients in their products.)
Optional: Add a thin belt to pull together a dress and chunky sweater combo, or add a fun hair style (crown braid, anyone?) if you have a bit more time to primp.
*Hi friends, just a heads up that this post contains scary affiliate links and if you click, a shark will EAT YOU. Just kidding! Clicking my links just means you like my site and like reading my recommendations. Your shopping experience doesn’t change, but I might get a tiny commission. Affiliate links are indicated with an asterisk like this* If you have any questions, I’m here to talk —> firstname.lastname@example.org … or leave a comment below. xoxo.