Consider a colorful cat eye or a metallic-centric option.

By Rebecca Norris
November 24, 2020
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woman wearing mask at holiday party
Credit: Getty / AleksandarNakic

The holidays will undoubtedly look different this year. Whether you're attending a small outdoor gathering or an immediate family only celebration indoors, you will likely be wearing a mask for some or all of the event—that means adjusting your makeup accordingly a necessity. Covering the lower half of your face renders bright red and winter-ready berry lipsticks impossible to show off, so we're turning our focus to the eyes, instead. Here, celebrity makeup artist Carmindy Bowyer shares her favorite ideas for bright, celebratory eye makeup that works well with face masks.

A Natural Smokey Eye

A smokey eye doesn't have to be dark or moody. On the contrary, Bowyer says that there are plenty of ways to make this special occasion look more wearable. "The trick? Use no more than three shades of sheer shadows," she says, noting that you will need a light, medium, and dark tone. Luckily, there are plenty of three-plus shadow compacts on the market (we like Dior's 5 Couleurs Couture Eyeshadow Palette ($63, which comes in a myriad of color combinations).

Before you apply your shadow, however, Bowyer suggests lining your upper and lower lash line with a black or inky-gray eyeliner for depth—try Marc Jacobs' Gel Eye Crayon in (Iron)y, ($26, Then, apply the darkest of your three shadows along the lid from your lash line to the crease, and smudge the same shade along the lower lash line. "Use the mid-tone color in the crease," she instructs. "Lastly, apply the light highlighter shade under the brow and on the inside corners of the eyes." And, of course, don't forget mascara.

Dramatic Cat Eye

"I love playing up the eyes when wearing a mask, and this fun eyeliner look will definitely get you noticed," she says of her festive rendition of a cat eye, which speaks to many of the colors we see throughout the holiday season. To begin, you will need three different eyeliner crayons for your top and bottom lids, plus your waterline (using them together results in a modern look). A bold sapphire hue looks pretty on the upper lash line and into the wing; Bowyer recommends a dark gray along your lower lashes, and black in the waterline. Revlon's ColorStay Eyeliner ($8.99, comes in every shade you will need.


Never underestimate the power of metallic eyeshadow. "Just a pop of metallic on the eyes acts like a glistening accessory during the holiday season," Bowyer says. "My Stargazer Long Wear Shadow Sticks in Glistening Gold, Golden Rose, and Polished Pewter ($21.89 for all three, are like jewelry for the eyes. Whatever daytime or nighttime look you are wearing, add a festive flair by simply swiping on a little creamy sparkle on the center of the lids or inner corners of the eyes."


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