Stop-sign-red lips, like the ones at Burberry, are commandingly pretty. To soften the look, “take a cotton swab and run it along the edges of the lipstick,” says makeup artist Susie Sobol. “It’s a younger, fresher approach.” Dior Rouge Dior in Rouge Favori has a creamy finish that lasts through cocktails.
Silver Top Liner
“Using a silver eye pencil on the top lid with no mascara or anything else is just cool,” says Sobol of the minimal, wintery makeup from Dior Couture. To get the look, draw a medium to thick line just above the lashes in a classic shimmery metallic, like NYX Slide On Eye Liner in Platinum or L’Oréal Paris Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner in Highlighter, a warm champagne with flattering pink undertones. And if you have a few seconds to spare, darken your brows a couple shades deeper than your natural color.
If you’ve just spent eight-plus hours staring at a computer screen, your skin is probably looking a little, well, tired. The quickest way to perk it up is with highlighter (Sobol likes Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid). Blend a tiny drop in a C shape around each eye for a Dolce & Gabbana–like glow. “I also like a little down the center of the nose and around the top lip line,” says Sobol. If you run into portion-control problems with liquid formulas, the creamy texture of Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Radiance is drip-, spill-, and overdose-proof.
This flushed face from Michael Kors is so simple, you could do it in the backseat of a cab, one-handed, and without a mirror. Dab a creamy blush or stain (we likeStila Lip & Cheek Stain in Raspberry Crush) in the centers of your cheeks, then blend it out and down for the most natural-looking color. Blot some over your lips with your fingers to complete the rosy sheen and you’re out the door in less time than it takes to do one cat eye.
The downside to perfectly Popsicle-stained lips is that they rarely stay that way; almost everything fades and smears red lipstick. Instead of playing touch-up all night, try a glossy, berry lip stain (Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion works with most skin tones) concentrated in the center of your lips. “With a bare face—not even a filled brow—it’s really lovely,” says Sobol of the No. 21 look. And the more desaturation on the outer edges, the cooler.
Add a festive flash of color by drawing a rich jewel tone on the lower waterline, like at Stella McCartney. (We love Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil because it comes in a huge range of pinks, blues, greens, and purples, and it doesn’t budge.) Sweep the upper and lower lashes with a lengthening mascara, such as Maybelline New York Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Mascara, before filling the waterline and your eyes will sparkle—sans glitter.
Smoky Gunmetal Eyes
We know, we know: Smoky eyes are hard enough to create with a dozen products, endless time, and lots of cotton swabs. But the beauty of this look from Tom Ford is the sexy, rocker-girl imperfection. All you need is smudgeable, nonwaterproof eyeliner (try M.A.C. Eye Kohl) and a volumizing mascara (we like Rimmel London ScandalEyes Retroglam Mascara). Starting at the inner corner, trace the pencil into the crease, along the bottom lash line, then smear with your finger until there’s a gray halo around the eye. Retrace the waterline and lash line, swipe on mascara—”you can use tons because it creates that dimension in the center of the eyes,” says Sobol—and smolder.
Take a velvety garnet lipstick, add an inky licorice undertone, and you end up with the season’s deepest, most subversive way to wear red. Press the pigment into your lips with your finger so it has a stamped-on look, says Sobol, and concentrate the color on the outer edges and top lip, seen here at Zimmermann.Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Élégante is the perfect wine shade.