Holiday Makeup 5 Easy Steps to Create Eye Drama

By Daniel Thompson
December 1, 2014

Achieve this season's holiday eye makeup look.

Achieve this season’s holiday eye makeup look.


The holiday season is a great opportunity to amp up the eye make up. With the many parties and events which, invariably, require some level of formality there is a real emphasis on formal clothes and, in turn, formal make up. Eye make up is one of the most easy ways to add flair and drama to your style. Here is my step-by-step method to creating a dramatic holiday look with your eye make up.

1. Create highlight all around the eye.
The idea is to create a halo effect both across the lid and underneath the eye.  Using a great highlighter, rather than a concealer, will create the light without the “made up look.” Generously apply the highlighter to “blank” out the skin.

2. Use a neutral eye shadow base with shimmer and apply to the entire eyelid – lash to brow.
This creates a reflective underlay that will shine in soft light without being overly sparkly.

3. Contour the outer corner with a deep, rich matte eyeshadow.
I prefer to match this to the colour of the evening dress.  Use black for black cocktail dresses and navy for navy cocktail dresses.  If you are wearing a formal gown in a colour choose a complimentary shade of eye shadow – for example a red dress with brown eye shadow works very well.  Gently soften the matte eye shadow to create “smoke.”

4. Metallic shimmer overlay.
The eye make up can be amped up with shimmer particles and this can be done in a number of ways – use metallic eyeliner at the base of the lash or press shimmer powder across the entire eye make up (without smudging the existing work), or, my personal favourite – in the negative space between the latte shadow and the underlay gently blend in metallic shimmer eyeshadow that matches the jewellery you are wearing with your dress – gold with gold, silver with silver and white with platinum. If you are wearing diamonds avoid using a gold eyeshadow and if you are wearing coloured stones match the eyeshade to your favourite stone setting.

5. Eyelashes.
This is the time to invest in eyelashes.  Of course there are the good old fashioned glue type but these are not my favourite to use. I prefer using single inserts and intensifying only as needed, rather than an entire strip of lashes.  Another great choice is lash extensions – these give all the benefit of false lashes without any of the work:  simply have them applied once and they will stay on for weeks.  You have to have this done by an aesthetician.  Last but not least is fashion lashes – these are actual accessories to your outfit and can really create flair.  Look for butterfly wing patterns or tiara patterns or jewelled lashes – there is an endless choice.

Pictured: Daniel Thompson Beauty Eyeshadow Palette Rendez-Vous; Daniel Thompson Beauty; Celestial Shadow #4; Daniel Thompson Beauty Absolute Light; Daniel Thompson Beauty Mineral Eyeshadow #CME12; Shu Uemura Fantasy Lashes

More Options: Highlighters Department Store: Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Touche Eclat. Drugstore: Smashbox Photo Op. Metallic Shadow Department Store: Guerlain Fard Metal #01 Drugstore: Make Up Forever Glitters Sand. Underlay Shadow Department Store: Chanel Ombre Essentielle #45 Drugstore: Lise Watier Ombre Souffle Supreme Fairy Tale. Contour Shadow Department Store: Dior Fusion Mono Matte #91 Mass: Urban Decay Matte Eyeshadow Evidence Lashes Inserts: Eylure Short Inserts Extensions: Misencil Extensions.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2014/15 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.