Tis the season for festive get-togethers (cookie swaps, tree-trimming parties) and swanky soirees (martinis & mistletoe, anyone?). As the end-of-year invites pour in, there’s no better time to shake up your beauty routine and try something new to hit the holiday party circuit. Here are five festive, easy trends, from a picture-perfect ballerina bun, to bright lips inspired by a few of our favorite celebrities, that we can’t wait to try. The best part? Everything’s under 20 bucks!
Channel your inner prima ballerina (while showing off a pair of sparkly earrings) with an ultra-chic topknot, a la Reese Witherspoon. Get the look at home with the Conair Bun Maker ($5 at Ulta, snag $10 off when you spend $60 with code 80531), a spongy, donut-shaped ring that you simply roll through your ponytail. Secure it in place with bobby pins and elastic and—voila—instant updo! We recently wore ours to a wedding and our hair remained polished-to-perfection way after the bouquet toss.
GOLD NAIL POLISH
Put the Midas touch on your manicure with rich gold lacquer. We love how it adds an extra dose of richness to Jessica Alba’s shimmering outfit. To DIY, start with clean buffed nails. Prime your canvas with a thin layer of base coat, (we’ve been using Seche Vite’s for years because it fills ridges for smoother application), then top with two coats of luxe gold polish, such as Deborah Lippmann’s in Swagga Like Us ($18 at Neiman Marcus, enjoy free shipping on all orders). Wait a solid 15 minutes to dry, and then finish with a fast-drying top coat.
BRIGHT RED LIPS
The quickest way to brighten up for the holidays? A bold red pout. Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in Red ($19 at Sephora, enter their Beauty Insider program for sweet freebies) is enriched with nourishing properties and mother-of-pearl pigments for deep color and extra shine. The trick to pulling it off is to keep the rest of your makeup clean and minimal—think peachy cheeks and lightly lined eyes, like Olivia Palermo.
If you’re in the mood for something sultry, try smoky eyes like Kate Mara. Victoria’s Secret makes it foolproof, thanks to their user-friendly Smoky Eyes kit ($15, snag free shipping with code SHIPFREE) which comes with 6 different shadows to use on your crease, lids and brow bone, along with a step-by-step guide to achieve the perfectly smoldering look.
Consider it jewelry for your hair: Headbands are making a major comeback (as evidenced by this photo of Michelle Williams), especially those embellished with gems and bits of sparkle, such as this darling piece by Forever 21 ($7, while there, snag boots for 30% off!). It’s a subtle way to dress up your look while lending extra polish, keeping bangs and flyways at bay.