Beauty Fix: How to do a faux bob, the best way to wear matte nail polish and other hair and makeup tips for the holiday season

Holiday Hair Holiday Makeup

Every week we take on your questions about makeup, skincare, hair and more and provide all the answers. This week we’re helping you prep for the holiday season with hair and makeup tips that will take you from Hanukkah dinner to Christmas brunch to New Year’s Eve—and everything in between. We suggest a product that will virtually double your entire nail polish collection, reveal the best bright-blue eyeshadow and share a new hairstyle for that big night out. Have a question we haven’t answered? Email us at

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Sigma Beauty P82 Precision Round Brush Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Metal

I want to recreate the bright-blue eyes at the Prabal Gurung Fall 2012 show for New Year’s Eve but I’m not sure of the type of product to use—or how to apply it. Help!
The beauty look for Prabal Gurung Fall 2012 was created by the wildly talented Charlotte Tilbury and the eye she fashioned is anything but subtle—so of course it would be appropriate for a night out, New Year’s Eve especially! While it’s always an option to modify a runway look for real life applications (not everyone can pull off blue eyeshadow up to their brows like Jourdan Dunn), staying true to the textures and tones used is a fantastic way to maintain the overall impact of the beauty look. For the look in question, opt for a creamy eyeshadow that is easy to blend and build up on the lid to your desired intensity, such as Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Metal in “Electric Blue” ($9, at drugstores). This long-lasting cream-gel hybrid will most definitely stay put well after the clock strikes midnight.

My preferred method of getting this shadow onto the lid is with a synthetic blending brush, such as Sigma Beauty’s P82 Precision Round Brush ($16,, with has a rounded top to blend away any harsh edges. When applying the bright-blue shadow, play with the shape: At the show, the shadow was fairly winged outwards and upwards, but if you seek more of a rounded, 1920s eye, go for it! Finally, smudge a bit of satin-brown or grey shadow along your lower lashline, as per Tilbury’s original look. While the runway look involved stark contrast on the lid between bright-blue shadow and more neutral colours (such as grey, brown and teal), your real-life interpretation can be more blended together and cohesive on the lid. The rest of the face should be pretty subdued to keep focus on the eye, so mascara, a swipe of bronzer and a dab lip balm should keep things pretty low maintenance—so you can focus on toasting 2013!

Essie Matte About You

I have so much nail polish, and do really love doing a glittery manicure this time of the year, but I’m kind of bored with what I own. How can I mix up my manicure this holiday season without adding to my already-massive collection?
You are preaching to the choir, friend! As a person who has a penchant for virtually anything shiny, and I have amassed an obscene amount of shimmer, glitter and holographic polishes—and everything in between. That being said, we all have those moments when we’re somewhat uninspired by what we have or we just want something new. My favourite way to breathe new life into my nail wardrobe is most definitely by playing with a matte top coat, such as Essie Matte About You ($12, Try it over any nail colour you love already, but you’ll really see the change in dimension when applied to a shimmer or glitter polish. If the whole nail being matte isn’t your thing, try a matte nail with a shiny tip. First applying the matte top coat over the entire nail. Once it’s dry, adding shine back to the tip of the nail with a swipe of a normal top coat. Adding a matte top coat into your polish collection increases your stash size by just one bottle but gives you limitless options when the mood strikes for a quick change.

Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum Joe Fresh mascara

I’ve tried to wear false lashes before, but I can’t seem to get past the feeling and weight of wearing them. What’s another way to boost my lashes?
I know the feeling—I wore a pair recently and the weight of the false lashes was definitely something I was acutely aware of, to the point of being downright distracting. While I still turn to individual falsies for a big occasion, it can be necessity to find something that’s more comfortable to apply and wear on a day-to-day basis. A lash serum worn as a mascara primer, like Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum ($35,, is ideal, as it contains hyaluronic spheres to plump the lashes and protein extracts to strengthen lashes. This lash serum combined with killer volumizing mascara, such as Joe Fresh Lash Plump mascara ($8,, builds volume brilliantly.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning

My face never seems to be quite on par with my body in terms of colour–my face is so much paler than my body! How can I fix this discrepancy without going too dark?
This is a concern that many of us grapple with year-round, but it becomes glaringly apparent in the winter. Our bodies may still have the slightest trace of colour from the summer, but our faces quite literally pale in comparison. This is typically due to the fact that we wash our faces and exfoliate them significantly more than our bodies, so the cell turnover is far more frequent. If you’re not wild about the several-shade difference between your body and face, employ a self-tanner. The key is to choose a self-tanner that will not take you from ghostly pale to George Hamilton overnight. A subtle and gradual self-tanner, such as Clarins Liquid Bronze Self-Tanning ($36, can help you mediate the reunion between your face and body. At night, apply the light fluid to a cotton round and swipe it over the face and neck or any area you’d like to see slightly more radiant by morning. Repeat the process if you’re looking for a bit more colour. If you ever feel like the faux tan has become too strong for your preference, just exfoliate. And if it makes you feel a little bit more alive in the winter, then continue the process throughout the season!

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

I’d like to wear my long hair up for nights out and am looking to try something new. What’s an easy style that’ll stay put?
How about a style that keeps your hair pinned up—but actually looks like it’s down? And by that I mean a very on-trend and easy-to-do faux bob. On freshly washed hair, mist a wave-enhancing spray like Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray ($36, to give hair a texture that’s ideal for this style and will allow you to abstain from busting out a curling iron. Let your hair air dry and then finger comb it to separate any waves. Gather hair into a ponytail at the nape of the neck, securing with an elastic. Pull the hair elastic down towards the end of the length of your hair, stopping 4 to 5 inches shy of the end of your ponytail. Holding the ponytail lateral to your shoulders, begin to roll it under and inwards to the nape of your neck, finally tucking the ponytail end underneath and securing it to your head with bobby pins until it feels secure. Pull a few tendrils loose around your face to soften the look. Finally, marvel at how good you look with short hair!