As the holiday season shifts into high gear, so does the urge to polish up your look with a few special touches — think red satin lips, ribbons of glossy waves, and smoky eyes with a sparkly twist. Adding a bit of flair is all about balancing a rich eye or lip with a casual bun or chic braid to create an easy sophistication that works in any festive situation. Here we take a cue from the ladies of the red carpet who consistently get this mix right for some dazzling inspiration.
Brushed-Out Waves + Pale LipsAlexa Chung is the poster girl for downtown chic these days, so no wonder her party look is decidedly laidback-but-cool. To get her semi-waves, curl only the lower section of hair below your cheekbones so the effect looks lived-in (not accidentally half-done) and hold the iron vertically so the waves fall back, away from the face. A dab of peach cream blush on the lips is pretty in an understated, dashed-off kind of way.
Shiny Waves + Crimson LipsAshley Greene's classic combo works in your '20s or '60s and never looks tired as long as you keep your hair in beautiful condition (no frizz, no splits) and stroke on a rouge that doesn't feather or fade.
Flapper Faux Bob + Kitten EyeRetro hairstyles run the risk of looking costume-y but the deep side-part and undone wisps keep this style fresh and modern on Coco Rocha. After blowing out hair and curling it with an iron, roll the back section into a faux bob and secure with a long pin. The eyes offer a subtle wink to the twenties with a “kitten” effect, which is like a cat eye but done with a shorter flick of liner at the outer corners.
Chic Top Knot + Cherry Red LipsThe beauty of this hairstyle is that it can be made more or less dressy depending on how tight you pull the knot. Elizabeth Olsen opted to keep it casual, so it plays well against bold cherry red lips.
Soft Waves + Nude LipKirsten Dunst plays up her movie-star good looks with classic Hollywood waves, which are easy to achieve with hot rollers and a paddle brush — run the brush through curls after they've set to form smooth, flowing curves and mist with hairspray. Instead of the expected red lip, go for a beige shade two tones darker than your skintone (the secret to looking youthful, not washed-out) and load up on mascara to finish.
Sleek Bun + Scarlet LipUma Thurman's shiny ballerina bun and glamorous red lips are elegant in a timeless way.