Every year, the issues I look forward to the most for almost every fashion magazine out there are the December issues.  The September and March issues, while amazing, are just a little too overwhelming for me, and though I do really love the summer issues of June and July, I always love the December issues because they’re all about dressing up, dramatic party makeup, and trying something fancy with your hair.  It’s glitter, sequins, lame’, metallics, brocade and jewel tones, and if there’s anything I love more than casual autumn style, it’s festive holiday style, because it’s … sparkly!!!

So, what do I do for makeup when it comes to holiday festivities?  There are several options I tend to choose from- smokey metallic eyes, glittery nails, perfected skin, red lips, and shimmery gloss.

I know it’s been quite the year for nail art, but really psychedelic  nails don’t seem appropriate to me until the party invitations start rolling out for Christmas.  I haven’t done real honest-to-goodness statement nails yet, but I do love to indulge in a special, sparkly varnish around December that evokes nothing other than Christmas lights!  Chanel’s Le Vernis in Black Pearl for their Spring 2011 line is kind of a bluish-greenish-silverish shade that I found mysterious and different.  Butter London’s Wallis is a blackish-gold glittery polish that does a good job at giving my nails disco fever.  I’ve often passed by some really cool shades by Deborah Lippmann at Nordstrom, and I’m contemplating picking one up in Let’s Go Crazy.  We’ll see.  I have to add here that my dear friend Hailey snuck a Christmas treat for me right under my nose while shopping together on Black Friday, in the form of Deborah Lippmann’s Forget You.  I love it even more than Let’s Go Crazy because it has a black base color rather than purple!  Perfect New Year’s polish!  Thanks Hailey!

During the holiday season, I tend to make greater use of items like my MakeUpForever HD MicroFinish Powder because photo-taking is more frequent (though Instagramming your photos is kind of the sad, cheap cure for any skin imperfections now).  I also like using shimmery highlighters on my face and chest more during this time, because it suits the festivities and stands out at night.

For lips, I know it could be easy to go the deep bordeaux route in honor of fall, but nothing seems to scream “HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS!” more than a classic red lip.  I get that they’re kind of a year-round staple that are here to stay these day, but red lips just feel so right against a formal, decorative ensemble paired with that faux-fur vest and those killer boots.  The key to a red lip is finding the right shade for you.  I have to admit that it really, really bothers me when I see ladies wearing the wrong shade of red.  If you have fair skin with cool, bluish undertones (check your veins), go for more blue-based reds.  I hear that Revlon’s Fire and Ice is a good choice, along with MAC’s Ruby Woo.  Whatever Dita Von Teese wears will work.  My NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in Cruella seems to fit the category for medium shades, and if you have warmer or more olive skin, try for something more orange or brownish-based, like a tomato red such as MAC’s You Say Tomato or Revlon’s Orange Flip.  The shade that seems to get the most buzz for being universally flattering is MAC’s Russian Red, but I also hear plenty of good things about the NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in Dragon Girl.  Take the time speak to a cosmetics consultant about finding your best shade of red, or do some true online or magazine research.  It’s worth it.  And if you’re going without the red lip, at least go for glittery gloss a la’ Givenchy Gelee D’Interdit in Icy Peach.  Yum.

And lastly, my favorite part- the eyes.  I love a smokey eye any time of year, but making them a little more special with metallic shades of gunmetal or gold jazzes them up just enough.  Sometimes I like to add a little color too, like with this Revlon palette in Sultry Smokes.  I was drawn to it because of the deep navy blue shade it featured; it wasn’t just different shades of black.  Or you could go for a plum smokey eye like Mila Kunis, or an all-over silver wash.  And of course, don’t forget to line the inner rims in a black, inky kohl pencil.

With Thanksgiving just days away, I’m excited to begin adding in little bits of sparkle into my makeup routine here and there.  It’ll have to come with my everyday look, because I honestly don’t have that many parties lined up for December.  Cheers to glittery nails on work days!  xo, MR

P.S.  People StyleWatch magazine used my comments for their “Are You Loving …” feature … again.  See what I had to say in the December ’12/January ’13 issue with Taylor Swift on the cover- it’s a whole six words long!  Although I am disappointed they didn’t use my mention of the word ‘avant-garde’ … must’ve been too high-brow for the demographic.  Whatevs.