A New Year’s Eve Beauty Guide, Straight from the Pros

After a year of wide-swinging emotions, the arrival of New Year’s Eve means all sorts of good things: closure, celebration, Champagne. Yes, the revelry will be muted; the usual collective goodwill that floats through a crowd of soused strangers will be winnowed down to a party of pod-size proportions. But […]

After a year of wide-swinging emotions, the arrival of New Year’s Eve means all sorts of good things: closure, celebration, Champagne. Yes, the revelry will be muted; the usual collective goodwill that floats through a crowd of soused strangers will be winnowed down to a party of pod-size proportions. But absent the pressure to have a perfect night, suddenly there’s room to dream up a different kind of New Year’s Eve, down to the makeup for the evening. After all, an unprecedented year calls for a free-wheeling send-off. Glitter is just the beginning.

With that in mind, eight makeup artists each propose a distinct vision for a glamorous night in. Romy Soleimani goes long on restorative skin prep, begun the night before, for a fresh-faced look brightened by a Chanel red lip and a touch of Swarovski. Lucky Bromhead, who oversaw Catherine O’Hara’s makeup on Schitt’s Creek, imagines Moira Rose as muse: no better spokesperson for extreme decadence in a state of cooped-up angst. For laid-back cool, Fara Homidi imagines a surfer’s sun-kissed take on disco glam. The idea is an experimental shake-up, or maybe just an indulgent night of skin care. Let the extra fineries usher in something good. 

Fara Homidi

The editorial makeup artist, who recently readied Stacey Abrams and Serena Williams for their respective Vogue shoots and created the cat eyes for Salvatore Ferragamo’s spring 2021 runway, dubs her New Year’s Eve vibe “surf life x disco. Wearing anything neoprene in the color highlighter green will do!” Her makeup prescription calls for “beautifully sun-kissed skin accompanied with splashes of fine glitter on the eyes and cheekbones,” says Homidi. Starting with a base of Chantecaille’s Just Skin tinted moisturizer, she suggests a sweep of Tom Ford bronzer across the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Next comes MAC’s finely milled glitter as an ethereal stand-in for highlighter: “It might look a bit messy, but that’s O.K.! It’s all about placement, not precision.” To finish the look: dark brown eyeliner in the waterline (“a bit more mysterious than a heavy black liner”), plus lipstick in what Homidi calls the “perfect universal warm bronze shade.”

Tom Ford Soleil Glow Bronzer

Dior Waterproof Eyeliner in Intense Brown

MAC Glitter in Reflects Transparent Pink

MAC Frost Lipstick in Icon

Sarah Tanno

The woman behind Lady Gaga’s chameleonic makeup looks understands the importance of dialed-up glamour—even on a night in. Her New Year’s Eve inspiration is “none other than Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface,” says Tanno, calling out the character’s full-on glam and fittingly on-point dress code: It “looks like she is always wearing a nightgown.” Tanno’s look starts with Gaga’s Haus Laboratories eye shadow palette, using the deepest shade in the crease and beneath the lower lashes; for extra glimmer, layer the brand’s molten gold shadow across the lid as well. Tanno suggests piling on mascara, while Haus’s bronzer-highlighter duo will simulate Pfeiffer’s “killer contour.” Sparkly drop earrings are a must (Tanno has her eye on these), as is a glossy red lip that manages to be “super comfortable and mega festive.”

Haus Laboratories Shadow Palette in 4 Everyday

Marc Jacobs At Lash’d Lengthening and Curling Mascara

Haus Laboratories Le Riot Lip Gloss in Werk

Haus Laboratories Heat Spell Bronzer & Highlighter Duo

Lucky Bromhead

Naturally the makeup artist who shepherded Catherine O’Hara’s legendary matriarch through six seasons of Schitts Creek has a fitting vision for the end-of-year festivities. “Waist-up Met Gala (high-impact, avant garde: think Moira Rose celebrates a COVID-friendly NYE) for a socially distanced Zoom toast with dear friends,” explains Bromhead. The showstopper here are spiky decals from Face Lace, “which will make you look like the Aurora Borealis is dancing around your eyes.” The prep work begins with an SK-II treatment mask (multitask this while you arrange the charcuterie board, says Bromhead), followed by Danessa Myricks “flawless” foundation. Her recommended nude lipstick has a comfortable creamy texture and comes charged with good vibes via Reiki. Meanwhile, the MAC mascara stays put “so the tears of happiness at waving goodbye to this past year won’t give you Moira-Rose-officiating-her-son’s-wedding mascara tracks.” 

Face Lace Decals in Spikelihood

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask Set of 10

Urban Minerals Lipstick in Beige Ting

MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara

Marcelo Gutierrez

Gutierrez, who lately oversees the makeup for Christopher John Rogers’s runway shows, understands the power of incandescent skin and a few scintillating touches. For New Year’s Eve, he envisions a solo staycation or a “sexy night with someone at the Standard to switch up the atmosphere and set the stage for something festive, luxe, and indulgent,” the makeup artist says. “Celebrate everything you’ve overcome this year.” Scent is the first step toward setting a mood (he recommends Aesop’s Rōzu), followed by a face mask by Biologique Recherche to make you feel “snatched and glowing,” he says. A rim of black liner along the upper and lower lashes gives the eyes a hypnotic intensity; a smoky sweep of taupe-red shadow, drawn out at the corners, makes the “shape feel a little more feline and dangerous,” he adds. After fluffing the brows and priming the lips, Gutierrez makes the case for an unseen finishing touch: lingerie

Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant

Pat McGrath Labs PermaGel Eyeliner Pencil

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Romy Soleimani

A master of conjuring great skin, the editorial makeup artist has recently lent her understated hand to shoots with Alicia Keys, Christy Turlington Burns, and Dua Lipa. Her idea for New Year’s Eve makeup likewise skews toward dressed-up minimalism. “I am all about comfort, self-care and healing vibes, and of course maximum glow,” says Soleimani, whose skin-care prep begins the night before. After using Tulura’s oil cleanser (a clarifying formula with salicylic acid), followed by a Retrouvé priming pad (to boost subsequent product penetration), she layers on Retrouvé’s serum and does a 20-minute session with the Lyma laser. Day of, Soleimani uses Biologique Recherche’s Masque Vivant mixed with a touch of baking soda for skin that feels “perfectly balanced.” She’s serious about moisture (her go-to face oils are Furtuna’s biphase formula and Circumference’s balancing oil), which means fresh skin is dotted sparingly with Glossier’s concealer. Bobbi Brown’s shadow palette lends dimension to the eyes; a Swarovski crystal, glued to the inner corner of each eye, is a celebratory last gesture.

Retrouvé Skin Brilliance Priming Pads

Circumference Pure Balancing Botanical Face Oil

Bobbi Brown Multicolor Eye Shadow Palette in Bold Burgundy

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in No. 5

Grace Ahn

From Katy Perry’s Smile album cover to her own character-play makeup looks throughout quarantine, Ahn is a master transformer. Her prescription for this occasion is simple: “When I think of celebrating New Year’s (or anything for that matter), I always think of glitter, sparkle, and shine!” The idea for this iteration is a “golden glitter eye with beautiful glowing skin—perfect for all the stay-at-home selfies,” she says. “Dance from the kitchen to the couch leaving a golden glitter trail along the way.” She recommends this Milani eyeliner applied along the waterline and smudged into the lashline; lids are pressed with stay-put glitter from a Pixi palette. Saie’s liquid illuminator gives subtle sheen to the high points of the face. To complete the look, “dab a bit of this glitter mascara on top of your regular mascara or false lashes for the best twinkling effect on the eyes,” Ahn says. 

Milani Metallic Lights Foil Eyeliner Pencil in Brown Burst

Pixi Glitter-Eye Quad in Rose Bronze

Sephora Collection Glitter Mascara Top Coat

Sheika Daley

The makeup artist behind Zendaya’s stunning red-carpet turns knows how to glamorize a low-key night. “You can never go wrong with a soft, shimmery smoky eye in my book, keeping it playful, fun, and in as little steps possible,” she says. The makeup artist first primes the canvas with a suite of skin care from Lancôme, including a hydrogel eye mask and the Génifique serum. The brand’s Skin Feels Good foundation is “super easy to apply and leaves the skin feeling natural and gooey,” she says. Then, with lashlines and brows defined, Lancôme’s five-color eye shadow palette comes into play. “I’m in love with Brun Rose, Blue Hypnotique, Smokey Chic, and Brun Adore,” Daley says of the color variations that can each offer a hazy, sultry definition. A full-volume mascara and a set of cruelty-free mink lashes dial up the drama, while a pale lip acts as an understated ballast. “I’m a gloss girl, but if matte works better go for it,” she says.

Lancôme Génifique Hydrogel Eye Mask Set of 4

Lancôme Hypnôse Eyeshadow Palette in Smokey Chic

Lancôme L’Absolu Gloss

Elora Lane Mink Lashes in Shelley

Inge Grognard

In Grognard’s hands, makeup veers sublime or dangerous, as seen in the dusty hypercolor lids at Dries Van Noten’s fall 2020 show or the bloodshot eyes for Balenciaga. Her New Year’s Eve vision is a different sort of fantasy: “I will pretend to be in a hot country, on a beach—the things I always did during those days,” the makeup artist explains. “I will be dressed up but barefoot, surrounded by tons of candles and the sound of waves around me.” Her pared-down essentials begin with clean skin care. An exfoliating Tata Harper cleanser and Resurfacing Mask help to shed any winter dullness; Grognard follows that up with the brand’s plant-powered serum, a lightweight gel moisturizer, and eye cream. She layers on just “a touch of makeup” from Trinny London to even out the skin. The showstopper is a simple punch of red, via NARS’s Powermatte lip pigment in Don’t Stop. And the last detail, perfect for a tropical vacationer or a reveler in an overheated apartment: “wet hair on top.” 

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum

Trinny London BFF Cream SPF 30

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Don’t Stop

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