Holiday Make-Up Tips: One Woman’s Suggestions on How to Look Great at Parties When You’ve Spent the Past 365 Days at Home Watching Romantic Comedies

The holidays are fast approaching, and with them, the not-so-off chance you may be invited to a party that requires you to change out of your fleece bathrobe and spend time with people who are not on your Netflix account. While the comforting world of three-at-a-time DVD rentals bombards you with women who go from wearing glasses and cargo pants to flawless lipstick and smoky eyes in less time than it takes to say, “getting-ready-for-the-big-dance-montage,” real-life glamour can be somewhat more difficult for the inexperienced and for those without an army of makeup artisans at their beck and call.

“Oh, I can probably make my makeup look like that,” you might say, gesturing toward the main character, who clearly had eyes shadow applied by a staff of nine. “Watching 11 consecutive Diane Lane movies has fully prepared me to work as a licensed cosmetologist.” But watching Julia Roberts‘ transformation in Pretty Woman doesn’t teach you how to get ready for formal gatherings any more than watching Jennifer Beals taught me ballet, exotic dancing, or how to weld pipe.

While many of the basics seem fairly foolproof, use caution when trying something new, especially if you’re not a make-up maven or a product junkie. Don’t be intimidated. A few strokes of color, done with the correct technique, can increase your confidence at, and your enjoyment of, oft-dreaded holiday events. To help you achieve a chic and sophisticated look for all your holiday gatherings we asked Richard Grandinetti, a fabulous make-up artist for Trish McEvoy, for his personal tips that are sure to make you ready for your close-up this holiday season.

Glitter: Please be careful

How to Use Glitter Without Looking Like a 14-Year-Old in a Cheerleading movie
While glitter inevitably catches the eye and can direct it accordingly, too much of it immediately makes you look like you should be putting Lisa Frank stickers on a Trapper Keeper or wearing a leotard and ice skates. Grandinetti recommends depositing glitter right over the eyeball, in the center over the iris or in the inner corners of your eye. Glitter can also be a lovely tool used to highlight the cheekbone, if you apply a little glitter just a thumb’s length away from the eye. The NARS Glitter Pencil is quite the subtle eyeliner with just a hint of glitter that is dazzling without being teen-like. Available at

How to Use Fake Eyelashes Without Looking Like The Narrator from A Clockwork Orange
If you’re not used to wearing fake lashes, “simpler is better” should be the credo you follow. Long lashes can be sexy, but if the wind caused by your blinking makes people around you mistakenly think the PATH train is coming, you may have gone for something a bit too dramatic. Grandinetti advises that “A whole strip of eyelashes can be hard to manipulate” and that you’ll get better results from demi lashes, which are individual pieces with 4 or 5 lashes to a piece. Grandinetti suggests that you “put them on while raising your brow and looking down. Start applying the demi lashes around the outer corner of the eye and end up near your iris. They’ll create a much more natural looking lash.” Since false lashes are often usable just once, you can scour the aisles at your favorite drugstore for a pair.

How to Do Eyeliner Without Looking Like Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Carribean
If you must look like an actor in his mid-forties, Johnny Depp is not a bad choice. But if your eyeliner makes you look like you’ve just finished drinking rum out of a three-gallon jug below the deck of a ship, perhaps it’s time to rethink your style. Dark eyeliner on the bottom lid makes the eye look smaller, which works well if you happen to be an Anime cartoon character or someone whose eyes take up a third of the surface area of their face. For those with small-to-normal sized eyes, keep liner confined to the top lid. “Applying eyeliner isn’t a talent; it’s a technique,” Grandinetti explains. “Doing it freehand is more difficult, but using a brush helps. We have a flat liner brush at Trish McEvoy called Brush #11. It can be incredibly easy. Stick it into the shadow and press it along your lash line.” Available at Nordstrom or

How to Manage Red Lips Without Looking Like Marilyn Manson or the Poster for HBO’s True Blood Vampire Series
While red lips are thought of as ultimately sexy, for me they have always brought to mind clowns, children who have just eaten cherry Tootsie Roll Pops and the very old women with fire engine red mouths that I, for whatever reason, meet at funerals. Grandinetti suggests not only ditching the lipstick for a sheer gloss, but straying from more traditional reds. “People think of red as very festive,” he says. “But you don’t have to use that bright, bright red. Try a berry or a brownish red. Something like a burgundy or a rust, depending on your skin tone and hair. It might be just the right amount of color for what you need.” Trish McEvoy’s Beauty Booster SPF 15 Lip Gloss in Brighten Cherry fits the description Grandinetti gives. Available at Nordstrom or

Looking for a little extra attention this make-up season? Take a trip to Bergdorf Goodman’s Trish McEvoy counter between 10-6 Monday thru Friday and ask the wise Richard Grandinetti your questions in person!

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