Your challenge: avoid looking like a bad arts and crafts project.
Go ahead and laugh, but the holiday season sometimes has a tendency to skew our beauty judgment. The culprit? Glitter.
There's nothing wrong with a subtle shimmer effect. Take your shimmer obsession too far, however, and you risk becoming a human disco ball.
Barbara Braswell, a stylist at Bright salon (1328 13th St., Columbus), recently demonstrated some holiday makeup techniques on model Laura Scott of Columbus. Braswell said the techniques are easy to master -- as long as you remember these important tips.
Use glitter appropriately
Your secret weapon in the shimmer world? A liquid skin illuminator in a neutral tone, Braswell said. Look for a product that somewhat resembles a liquid foundation, but contains small flecks of shimmer.
"The smaller the flecks, the better," Braswell said. Use the illuminator in addition to foundation. Unlike foundation, you won't apply the illuminator all over your face. Concentrate on areas like your jawline and the sides of your nose. This will give you control over how much you sparkle.
Bright eyes, not blinding eyes
A glittery eye is much easier to achieve than a glittery mouth, Braswell said.
Stay away from glitter gels in bright colors. After applying an eye primer, go for a neutral shade of a loose powder that you can dust over your complete eye. Remember to choose something with small flecks of glitter. You don't need to apply additional color to your full eye, but you can apply a darker shadow to the crease of your eye.
Red lips are OK
One of the best parts of the holiday season? The freedom to experiment with bright shades of lipstick. But don't go crazy. You still must remember some guidelines.
For starters, if you're wearing bright red lipstick, "you're not going to use very much blush at all," Braswell said. Generally, you want to pair a red lip with a pink blush and vice versa. You don't want your lip color to match your cheek color.
Also, stay away from glittery lip glosses. "It's really easy to look like you're at the skate center," Braswell said. Translation: In a sea of adult party goers, you'll look like a Justin Bieber fan.
Then, of course, there's the fear of leaving traces of your lipstick whenever you embrace your fellow party guests. To avoid this problem, don't put gloss over a matte lipstick. Another technique? Put liner over the entire lip, dust loose powder over the area and then apply lipstick.
Prepare for your close-up
If you're playing up one part of your face, scale back on the other areas. "Your face needs to flow," Braswell said. Extreme makeup on multiple parts of your face can be distracting.
Feeling self-conscious? If you've followed these tips, think twice before scaling back on your makeup before a party. Remember, people will likely be taking photos, and cameras have a way of draining out your makeup.
Finally, don't wait until the night of your big event to try out new makeup techniques. "You need to have a run-through," Braswell said. Set aside a Saturday afternoon, open your makeup bag and experiment away.