INSTYLE: ‘Tis the season to be jolly and look festive. Whether you want subtle sparkle or are planning to wear a full-blown eyeliner look for your holiday work party, there’s no shortage of inspiration for Christmas eye makeup.
Here, a pro makeup artist gives us the scoop on what kind of looks to expect this season, along with a gallery of celebrity inspiration you’ll be bookmarking ASAP.
Meet The Expert
Jahara Jennaè is a professional makeup artist specializing in TV, film, bridal, and editorial.
Sugar Plum Fairy
Want to wear a hint of color and sparkle? This shimmering sugar plum eyeshadow is perfect for Christmas, especially paired with a bold lip and flutttering lashes. Jessica Chastain is the perfect canvas for this holiday look.
Naughty and Nice
Playing up your eyes can be a little naughty and nice at the same time, as seen on Jennifer Hudson here. “Jennifer has never been afraid of a little glam, and we see that here,” says Jennaè. “With her dress being more festive, she leaned right into a classic holiday look. Metallic on the eye, a classic bold liner, and a beautiful red lip, letting us know she is holiday-ready and wants to be seen!”
The Right Kind of Charcoal
“Shay is an edgy queen not afraid of the drama, as we see here with her chosen smoky eye. I prefer looks that emphasize one or the other, the eye or the lips. This is a great example of that”, emphasizes Jennaè. This deep navy smoky shadow situation on Shay Mitchell is a welcomed departure from standard black and dark brown tones.
When wearing smoky shadow looks, it’s best practice to ensure the under-eye area looks hydrated and bright. Applying a brightening eye cream during prep, like ILIA Bright Start Retinol Alternative Brightening Eye Cream ($46), can help make a difference, especially when you feel you look a bit tired from all the holiday festivities.
“Christmas is a great time to push the envelope with makeup,” says Jennaè, which is why experimenting with top and bottom lashes worn in unique ways is such a great idea for the holiday season. Zendaya’s look channels that of a doll whose eyes are perfectly doe-eyed with flushed cheeks reminiscent of a winter stroll.
Sugar and Snowflake
“I love bringing in snow-like effects to my eyes for Christmas,” says Jennaè, who recommends Haus Lab’s Bio Radiant Gel Highlighter Powder ($40) for a pop along with false eyelashes and winged eyeliner. Lady Gaga never ceases to amaze us with her makeup creations and always leaves us wondering what she’ll wear next.
It’s Giving Sparkle
Jodie Turner-Smith knows how to rock a bold makeup look and proves just that with glitter eyes and lips. When it comes to Christmas eye makeup, Jennaè feels it’s best to rid yourself of rules. “Avoid the rules and do what feels good! With so many outlets telling us what is cool, I feel as though people aren’t just doing whatever they want anymore. Push the envelope, forget what’s ‘cool,’ and go for it!”
Pop the Champagne
There should be no shortage of champagne for Christmas, and eyeshadow counts too! On Jennifer Lopez, this champagne-toned sparkly shadow look paired with false lashes and smudged-out eyeliner is a total win. Plus, it is an alternative to the all-over smoky shadow look that can be worn repeatedly to every holiday party you’ve RSVP’d yes to.
Icy, shimmering shadows can be worn at Christmas time if you want to wear more of a soft shadow look yet still come off as celebratory. Lucy Hale shows us that just the slightest shimmer on the eyes can make a big impact, and pairing it with defined lips and cheeks makes it all the more flattering. Tom Ford Beauty Eye Color Quad in Nude Dip ($90) is an ideal shadow palette to recreate this look, as it has shadows with a beautiful shimmering finish.
That Christmas Twinkle
Go bold with glitter this Christmas; we promise you’ll look chic. Emma Watson demonstrates how glitter can enhance the eyes in the most glamorous way possible without dominating the makeup look. “I think Christmas is the perfect time to push the envelope with your eye makeup,” says Jennaè. “Glitter in clothing is very popular, so adding a little pop of glitter to the eye seems fitting.”
Rockin’ Around With Liner
Taylor Swift has always shown us that bold eyeliner can truly transform your makeup look in seconds. A touch of shimmer in the inner corners of the eyes paired with bold liner on the top and bottom lash line is a stunning Christmas eye makeup equation. You’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree with this eye makeup look from morning till night.
All Eye Want for Christmas
“Janelle Monáe has such a beautiful face shape and jawline, so sharp liner looks on her are so flattering,” says Jennaè. “Looks like this are perfect if you like a little drama on the eye but don’t want to feel like you’re overdoing it. Color in the crease brings dimension while still keeping it subtle.”
A Total Sleigh
Priyanka Chopra Jonas never ceases to amaze us with her makeup choices, and this abstract liner look will slay every Christmas event you attend. Liner is applied to the top and bottom in a wing shape slightly different than your classic wing, inviting you to try something new this holiday season.
Keke Palmer always serves on the red carpet, so it’s no surprise we fell in love with this cat-eye look instantly. If you want to go extra bold, layer an inky liner along the top and bottom lashes.
Let it Snow
Just as the first snowfall of the Christmas season brings joy to all, this shimmering eyeshadow dazzles. “I love the clean and simplistic finish of this look on Olivia Wilde,” says Jennaè. “Focusing on the skin and her amazing cheeks, this look is perfect for the girl who wants to give off effortless vibes. The soft sparkle on her lids is festive and pairs well with the bold, but neutral sparkle in her jewelry.” Victoria Beckham Beauty Lid Lustre in Chiffon ($36) is a gorgeous sparkly shadow that’s easy to apply.
There’s nothing better than a classic winged liner—or is there? We absolutely love this graphic winged liner look on Bebe Rexha paired with a pair of drool-worthy statement earrings. If you’re going to go bold with eyeliner, go big with it. You’ve got nothing to lose!
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Smoky eyes are the gift that keeps on giving, as there are so many variations of this chic trend. Here, we love the delicate balance of shading and shimmer on Julianne Moore. The center of the eyes pop with a highlighted shadow, and the creases are defined just right.
Winter is Coming
There’s nothing better than getting into the Christmas spirit with some metallic eyeshadow. Kerry Washington proves it with this light-catching gray shadow look we can’t take our eyes off. Paired with a bold top liner, lashes, and glossy lips, the look inspires us to pull out our metallic shadow palettes and get to work.
“The monochromatic nature of this eye look is perfect for Selena’s soft features,” says Jennaè. “It complements her red dress perfectly and is a great balance to a nude lip.” Selena Gomez proves that if you wear a lot of red during the holiday season, a monochromatic shadow look is an excellent pairing with such a vibrant hue.
Ho Ho Holographic
What’s Christmas without a little holographic shimmer on your eyes? Subtle yet charming, some shimmering shadow on the lids catches the light with every blink, allowing your eyes to be the focus without even having to try. A black liner and metallic accents on the lips pair beautifully with this eye look on Lupita Nyong’o.
When gathering around the fireplace this Christmas season, there’s no better eyeshadow look than a smoky eye. Bookmark this look on Winnie Harlow as inspiration for all of your upcoming festive eyeshadow looks.