It’s easy to rely on old favorites like a classic cateye and bold red lip when it comes to holiday makeup. But sometimes it’s nice to keep things simple and natural when surrounded by the glitz and glamour of the holiday season. We love a fresh-faced look inspired by natural tones that still looks polished and ready for a night out on the town.

Today, we’ve teamed up with St. Ives to bring you three holiday looks perfect for gals who like their makeup on the minimal side. No base face here! ;)


Dang girl! Props to our marketing intern Elise Cofield for lending us her gorgeous visage and beautifully braided updo.

Scrub a Dub Dub

To get things started, it’s time to scrub that face of yours.


Depending on your skin type, we recommend one of these scrubs. St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub is great for helping prevent breakouts during holiday party season, while St. Ives Nourished & Smooth Oatmeal Scrub + Mask is amazing for fighting that dreaded dry winter skin. St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub is a great all-around scrub to give you a fresh face and super smooth palette for applying your party looks.


Elise is using the Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub because she wants to have vibrant refreshed skin that will make putting her makeup on a breeze!


1. Start off by applying face scrub evenly all over your face.

2. Starting at the top of your forehead, work your way down toward your jawline. Begin making small upward circular movements with your fingertips. The upward motion is important because you are lifting your skin up instead of pulling it down (think face lift vs face drop!).

3. Repeat this movement, working these small circular motions into the crevices of your nose, around your mouth and slightly down your jawline. Be sure to avoid your eye area.

4. Rinse your face thoroughly, again making sure not to get any product in your eyes.

Now, you’re ready to apply your makeup — minimally, of course ;)

Look 1: Subtle Smokey Eye


In the glitz of the holidays, sometimes a subtle look is just what you need to stand out. This look is for the minimalist gal who’s looking for a touch of drama to help showcase her beautiful eyes. The key here is achieving the smokey eye look with a very natural application.


First, set the scene by getting your base makeup on and adding a pale pink blush. Follow our flawless face foundation tutorial to see how it’s done. Then, it’s time to accentuate your eyes.


1. Apply a bright shimmering white eyeshadow to your brow bones and the inside corners of your eyes to highlight.

2. Using a fluffy dense eyeshadow brush, apply a charcoal shimmering eyeshadow just above your lash line, blending up and letting it gradually fade into a lighter gray as you move toward the creases of your eyes. This will give you a very subtle yet still playful smokey eye.

3. Skip the eyeliner on this look for a softer finish and go straight for the mascara, applying a coat or two on both your upper and lower lashes.

4. Seal the deal with a lipgloss or lip stain that matches the underlying hue in your lips to keep them from standing out too much and taking away from your eyes.


This gorgeous soft charcoal look complements her gray tie dye dress beautifully. If you feel like throwing it back to summer camp days, you can totally try making your own tie dye dress using a black tank dress and a little diluted bleach! You’ll definitely turn heads at all your holiday soirées ;)

Look 2: Strong Brow and Peachy Glow


Feeling like a bold badass? Let your brows set the stage for your chic holiday look. What’s so great about a bold brow is that you can completely change your look by adding a little shadow or brow gel. We went with a slightly warmer color than Elise’s natural brow. This hue pairs perfectly with the glowing gold highlight.


Follow the same flawless face tutorial from the last look to get ready for the following easy steps to complete this look. The difference here is that you’ll add a peachy blush, which will bring a nice pop of warmth to this ultra cool look.


1. Grab a brow shadow or gel that is slightly deeper or warmer than your natural hair color and apply in the same direction that your hair grows using a flat, angled, firm synthetic brush. To blend fully, brush over your eyebrows with an eyebrow brush or an old mascara wand that has been cleaned — this will soften the boldness without taking away too much product.

2. Apply a couple coats of your favorite lengthening mascara to your upper lashes only. Then use a flat eyeliner brush and a medium brown shimmering eyeshadow to line your lower lash line — which is a great balance to the slightly dramatic mascara on your upper lash line.

3. Highlight your cheekbones, bridge of your nose and slightly above the cupid’s bow of your lip with a golden shimmering highlighter. The best way to achieve this look is to use a flat synthetic brush and stipple (small tapping movements) onto your skin. The tapping motion will allow you to add the makeup without wiping off any of your foundation or leaving you with unblended lines.

4. To keep the radiant vibe going, apply a shimmery clear or soft pink lip gloss with your finger to keep it subtle but effective.


Love that luminous finish!

Look 3: Mixed Metal Eye + Pomegranate Pout


This one’s for the gal who loves a powerful pucker. Perfect under the mistletoe paired with a sparkly cocktail dress, this look is a great way to wear a bold lip color and edgy eyeshadow in a balanced and beautiful way. The mixed metal shadows are stunning and still soft enough to keep most of the attention on your dramatic pout.


Again, start by following this tutorial to get your base makeup game going strong. For your bronzer, go a little more dramatic to keep up with the final details of this look.


1. Apply a shimmering silver eyeshadow to your brow bones and inside corners of your eyes. Then blend a bright shimmering gold eyeshadow onto your eyelids and along your lower lash line. The contrast of the two metals will give you a soft, subtle and reflective finish.

2. Keep it bronzed! Apply a bronzed-brown eyeliner on your upper lash line. Be sure to avoid your lower lash line so that the look does not get too heavy. Use a bronzed-brown mascara on your upper lashes. The matching liner and mascara will give the illusion of long, full lashes without that spider lash vibe that you can sometimes get if you go too bold with black eyeliner.

3. Time to add some drama to those lips. We chose a pomegranate (orchid meets red) lip color that instantly brightens up Elise’s entire face.

4. Pucker up! ;)


We love how the pomegranate lip dresses up the entire look in a matter of seconds.


Which look is your favorite? What are your favorite holiday makeup looks? Talk to us in the comments below.

This post is a collaboration with St. Ives.

Hair and Makeup: Misty Spinney
 Photography: Kurt Andre
 Modeling: Elise Cofield