Holiday Beauty How-To: Leighton Meester’s Festive Red Lips And Bold Brows

“Holiday makeup” implies many a thing. It’s festive! It’s fancy! It’s … probably a little over the top. You could go the obvious route, with red and green and tons of sparkle and, like, a wreath or pine needles in your hair, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Here, Leighton Meester shows us the perfect way to bridge the gap between classic and festive without throwing an impromptu Christmas party on your face. Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here and break it down real simple, after the jump …

  • Leighton’s brows look extra bold and striking because they’ve been brushed upward to emphasize the arch. If your brows are already full, you don’t need much to recreate this look ? just use a spoolie brush to direct the hairs upward and outward away from the eye, then use a brow gel like MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Brow to hold it in place. For us thinner-browed beings, begin with a brow-filling powder or pencil before using a gel. My favorite tool is the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil because the slanted tip’s formula looks as natural as powder and holds like wax with the ease of a pencil, plus it has a spoolie on the opposite end.
  • Use a fluffy medium-sized brush to shade in the crease and on the lid with a medium tawny brown shadow, like Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Buck, blending the color into the eye socket and up to the brow-bone. There’s a touch of shimmery champagne shadow, like MAKE UP FOR EVER Eyeshadow in Iridescent Yellow Beige 126, blended into the inner half of the eye, concentrating around the inner corner area.
  • Leighton’s eyes look so defined thanks to her makeup artist’s tightlining ? using a dark brown gel liner (Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Clay Shadow/Liner is perfect for the value as it also contains a brush) and a flat push brush, lift the upper lid to push the color into the entire upper waterline from corner to corner, then pull the lower lid down to apply the same to the lower waterline. Use the same brush and gel formula to apply the liner as close to the lashline as possible, angling out to thicken the line toward the outer corner for a wide-eyed look. For thick, plush lashes, you can use falsies if you’ve got a deft hand, or for the less-skilled, the holy grail in “false lash” mascaras: Benefit They’re Real!

  • The trickiest part of this look is Leighton’s lips, because they are flawless. You’ll definitely want to prep the lips beforehand using a scrub followed by a thick balm. Begin by lining the lips using a soft, waxy pencil in bright red ? or, even better, a clear transparent lip liner, like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Ozone. Use a lip brush to apply the vivid red lipstick of your choice (for a true blood red that lasts all night, try Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Psycho), working from the center of the lips outward. Clean up any stray color around the lipline with a Q-tip to create the most defined shape, and finish the look with a dab of highlighter or pale shimmery shadow on the cupid’s bow.