You've got the outfit. You're set on accessories. But you're strapped for time as you rush from work to party, maybe going from Los Feliz to Santa Monica (or
or any of our other geographic challenges) with no time to stop by home to fix your hair and makeup.
Help is at hand for the time-challenged after-work party-goer who wants to look her best but has to achieve that special holiday look in the office bathroom. We rounded up some tips from a trio of experts: L'Oreal makeup artist and "Project Runway" expert Collier Strong; movie makeup artist Cindy J. Williams, whose credits include the new film
; and celebrity hair stylist Mitch Stone, who has styled clients for photo shoots in fashion bibles that include Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle.
Do whatever you can ahead of time. Get a manicure/pedicure the day before the party, and pack a small bag with some basics you'll need to achieve or maintain your looks: makeup, hair tools or accessories, eyedrops to bring tired eyes to life, a toothbrush, toothpaste and mints.
"The quickest way for going from the office to a party is simply with a dark eyeliner — what that does is add drama to the eye in the simplest way, and you can just throw [the eyeliner] in your purse," says Strong, adding that you can smudge it out with Q-tips.
If you have a bit more time, go for a smoky eye. Strong says that an easy way to achieve it is to use an eye shadow quad with complementary colors for a complete, easy-to-tote-and-to-apply look. (Two to try: Clinique's Pretty Day Into Night Looks holiday set, $36, and Bobbi Brown Day to Night Eye Palette in Warm or Cool, $45.)
Strong suggests applying one coat of mascara in the morning, then just before you leave work to dash to the party, use an eyelash curler and add more mascara.
Williams says black eyeliner on the upper lash-line will give a smoky evening feel, but "especially for the holiday season I wouldn't be afraid of color with a little bit of shimmer on the lid."
"For 'Burlesque' we tended to use a lot of color — deeper tones such as a nice plum or a darker forest or emerald green," she says. "Blend it really well. You can also bring that color a little bit underneath as an eyeliner." (One to try: Smashbox Burlesque Beauty Collection, $35.)
Bold lip color is a great way to make a sophisticated and strong holiday statement. "Even if you have hardly any eye color on, a red lip is amazing," Strong says. Long-lasting lip color — including glosses made by L'Oreal, Smashbox, MAC, Stila and Lancome — are widely available.
For a quick and simple look, Williams recommends getting a makeup consultation ahead of time to find a red lipstick with the best undertones for your
, and wearing it in concert with a strong, elongated, defined brow. "The right red lipstick and a stronger brow completely change your look — sometimes that's all you need to do," she says. She cautions to avoid too much gloss if you'll be dancing a lot because if your hair is loose it might stick to it.
To further ratchet up your holiday party makeup, Strong suggests bringing a shimmer shadow and applying that on the inner corner of the eye, on the brow bone, "And you can also mix it with a little lip gloss or lip balm on the back of your hand and highlight the tops of the cheek, underneath the lower lip and above the upper lip and on the tip of the nose for an instant highlighted effect on the skin," Strong says. "That brings more attention to the face and adds a little pizzazz." Or use a face highlighter such as Benefit High Beam, $18.
You don't need to start over, washing your face and applying all new makeup. Just be ready to freshen things up a bit.
Strong recommends carrying a compact of translucent powder — or even loose powder wrapped in a tissue (aluminum foil works, too) — for touch-ups. Blotting papers are also an option. "What is your routine normally? Take that and just amplify it," Strong says. "If you wear a primer, tinted moisturizer, foundation or concealer normally, you may need a little touch-up before you go to the party."
You'll be in good company. Strong says, "I've worked with actresses for 16 hours a day, and we certainly don't wash off after eight hours and start over. Usually when I'm doing a beauty commercial we do the close-ups last. We just maintain, and that looks just as fresh."
Stone says holiday hair is all about volume and that curly-haired girls are lucky. For the volume-challenged with stick-straight hair, he recommends some favorite products to try: L'Anza Powder Up Texturizer, $16.99; Phyto Phytovolume Actif Maximizing Volumizer Spray, $28; Prive Concept Vert Volumizing Froth, $28.99; and Bumble and Bumble hair powder, which he says is less volumizing than the others but mattes oil to create clean-looking hair as well as body.
If you have very short hair like
, Stone says that you can mess it up a bit before the party or change it by adding a shaping product such as a paste.
For long hair, Stone recommends rolling your hair in the morning (he likes to use Caruso Steam Rollers). "Use bobby pins or pin curl clips to secure rather than their curler caps," he says. Leave curlers in for 20 to 30 minutes, then put your hair up in a ponytail for the workday. "That keeps the curl sort of set into it," he says. "For the party just let your ponytail down, turn your head upside down, get some spray in your roots and you can also tease your roots a bit and then flip your head back up to give yourself volume. That is going to give you a full-bodied holiday look…tease at the crown for a terrific 'Mad Men'-like bouffant."
As an alternative, wear your hair long to work, and then put it up before the party. Stone suggests pulling hair up in three sections. First take each side and tease it, pull it back and up, twist and pin to the side of the head. "That accents the cheekbone," Stone says. Then put up the section in the back, pinning it to the head in any way you like. "Don't be afraid to play with it," Stone says. "If you don't like it, just take it down and start over." Add sparkly, decorative hair accessories to dress up the look for the holidays.