Beauty 101: KC makeup artists share their favorite holiday makeup tips and tricks

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This time of year, the number of different makeup looks you have to produce can be dizzying. There are the Christmas parties, the New Year’s Eve outings, the family get-togethers. Practically no single look can work across such a spectrum of holiday events.

To kick off the season, it’s important to have a low-maintenance look you can bank on for those special events you want to put some effort into, like a family dinner, a Christmas service at church, or a gift exchange with friends.

“Pick a feature such as your eyes or your lips or cheeks that you might feel more comfortable with a pop of color or texture you’re not used to wearing in an everyday situation,” said Carley Martin, a Kansas City makeup artist and hairstylist. “It’s an easy way to start, but still a little sassier than your everyday look.”

Meg Haas, owner of Parlor: A Beauty Bar on the Country Club Plaza, is feeling a vintage vibe this year.

“You want a really pretty canvas, maybe a pop of berry on your cheek and a cool winged liner, some big lashes and a pretty brow,” Haas says. “That’s a really subtle, cool statement to say ‘I tried,’ without worrying that everything’s going to come off, or having glitter in your turkey.”

Glitter, of course, comes later. If there is one time of the year to go all-out with your makeup, New Year’s Eve is often the night to do so.

And this year —despite the overall trends moving toward softer looks — will be just as flashy.

“There’s no ‘natural look’ for New Year’s,” said Hilary Embry, who owns the Halcyon Studio salon in the Crossroads Arts District. “New Year’s is always sparkly.”

That shimmer could extend to your cheeks, your lips or your eyes — highlighter and glittery eyeliner are making a comeback this year.

Your look for a New Year’s party or event could also be dependent on what you’re wearing.

“What comes to mind for New Year’s Eve is really drawing inspiration from the wardrobe,” Martin said. “There’s almost always some type of sparkle or a fine shimmer. There are wonderful options out there to extend to your makeup, like a creamy glitter shadow that’s easy to apply with a wand.”

If elaborate New Year’s parties aren’t your scene, there are plenty of other events to get dressed up for. Company parties and fancy dinner parties usually pop up around December. The holiday season is also a popular time for fundraisers and galas.

For events like those — which are fancier than a low-key family affair but not as all-out as New Year’s Eve —finding middle ground with your makeup is possible.

Embry suggests recreating a 1940s glam look with a swipe of simple black eyeliner. If you’re going to go with a glimmery look, make the look softer by selecting a liner with gold undertones, not silver.

When it comes to selecting a look for a company party, keep it simple.

You want to look like you do at work, with a touch of holiday sparkle. Haas recommends highlighting one feature.

“Leave your eyes without all that glitter,” she said. “Do a little soft smoke, or maybe a big pop of a berry lip.”