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Celebrate Your Style This Holiday Season

Nov 27, 2007
Looking and dressing stylish for this festive time begins with getting organized. Look at your social schedule and plan each event ahead of time so that you will be prepared no matter what type of event you're attending. Factor in each detail of your outfit, including accessories, shoes, jewelry, and handbag.

Perfect party dressing

- A black suit.
- Something in sequins.
- A little dress. It doesn't necessarily have to be black as this season vibrant colors are a nice change from the traditional black dress. Don't be afraid to stand out in purple or red.
- High heels, evening sandals, and a clutch bag in a new metallic like pewter or bronze.
- All out glamour in a metallic frock.
- Add "bling" with a chunky gold necklace or a colorful bauble that adds texture to your outfit.
- Something red.

Here are some suggestions about what to wear for different types of holiday functions. Read your invitation and be aware of dress codes.

Casual - Dressy jeans with a sparkly top and a pair of the season's hot shoes such as the Mary Jane platform.

Family party or open house - A cardigan sweater set with a skirt or pants will work by adding some glitz with your jewelry, metallic sandals or heels. Make a statement with jeans, a beaded top, or a short leather jacket. Note: If you are going to attend a religious service, before or after a party, then you really need to dress appropriately for that occasion.

A party at your own house where you are the hostess - Since you will be on your feet most of the time, look for comfort. A skirt or pants with a satin top and comfortable shoes such as a ballet flat.

The office party - Please remember, that an office party is really a festive business meeting and that certain etiquette must apply. Forgo any bare skin, even if that's what you see all over TV and in the media. Never go braless to an office party, wear a halter top, or anything with a plunging neckline. Keep in mind that, even though you are there to have fun and it's a party, you really are socializing with people you work with so make sure that you don't dress in a way or do anything that night that you'd regret the next morning. Go for a classic look like, a satin dress with a sequin Bolero jacket.

After five cocktails and dinner - A tailored suit in satin or velvet or a black suit with a sequin top will look very trendy. Carry a small clutch in silver or gold.

Semi-formal affair - Mix classics like trousers, or a skirt in a rich fabric like velvet, with a white long sleeve blouse in silk or satin. A drop-dead gorgeous short strapless dress with earrings, shoes and a bag in gold or silver. Try a new combo like a deep, dark chocolate dress with bronze or cooper accessories, or a rich wine color that's almost Merlot and pair that with silver or pewter accessories.

Black tie affair - All out glamour. A tuxedo suit or a gown.

Makeup tips for a holiday look

Holiday parties can cause havoc on your skin, so a good idea is to get a facial and a brow wax beforehand. Remember, great makeup can do only so much. It's the skin that is the canvas that you are applying the color to. And make sure you adjust your skin care routine during the winter months when you are spending more time indoors, in artificial heat. It is very important to keep your skin well hydrated day and night.

Lipstick- A bright lipstick will energize your ensemble and immediately update your look. If you wear one of the new red lipsticks, make sure that you do a very muted or soft eye. If you are doing a very dramatic eye, then you want to keep the lips soft and neutral.

Eyeliner - The dramatic or smoky eye is really in, but not everyone can use a liquid eyeliner which requires practices and a steady hand. Best bet - use a kohl pencil which is easier to handle and will give you a better line. The best way to do a liner is to use the pencil and smudge along the lash line, using short strokes. Then you can take a small smudgy brush and just go over it. What you really want to create here is color not a definite line.

Some tricks for creating that smoky eye look:

No matter what color you use, it's the gradation of color that is the most important thing to consider. The color should be the darkest by the lashes and then lighten up as you go up towards the brow bone. Go for violet or chocolate brown as opposed to a deep black, which can be too goth and can age a women's face and skin.

A professional makeup artist trick that will help you avoid the "raccoon eye."

When you're putting your eye shadow on, especially dark shades, apply some loose foundation powder under the eye before applying the shadow. This will catch all the fallout. This way, when you're done, all you need to do is sweep away the powder with a brush.

Lashes - One thing every holiday face should have is great lashes. Use a thickening or lengthening mascara. For thin lashes, use defining mascara and use two coats. You can enhance any mascara by using a coat of eyelash primer under the mascara. This will add volume.

To complete your look, don't forget some fabulous perfume. One of the tricks that I use is, when I am getting dressed and still in my underwear, I spray the air and then walk into the mist. This way you don't run the risk of getting the perfume on your clothes.

Follow these simple suggestions, and no matter where you go during this festive season, you will step out in style. Coco Chanel once said. "A girl should be two things, classy and fabulous."
About the Author
Georgia Donovan is a fashion stylist and makeup artist who helps women raise their style consciousness and elevate their self-image. Click here for more ideas, tips, and articles, and a complimentary subscription to her newsletter.
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