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Image: Two women sitting at a table putting on makeup.

Spread Holiday Cheer with These 13 Festive Looks

Sometimes, the best way to beat the holiday blues is to flaunt a fabulous face.

When we glow and sparkle on the outside, it’s hard not to start to feel better on the inside. Festive gatherings, whether in person or on Zoom, present many great opportunities to play with makeup.

Whether you like to keep your look subtle and in the neutral zone or you have a passion for glitter and liquid liner, the holiday season offers many chances to dig deep in your makeup bag and experiment.

Be outrageous if you’d like: there are no rules when it comes to cosmetics, and you won’t be fined for going off the beaten path. If you’ve always wanted to try a bold red lip, or maybe you love the way (vegan) false eyelashes look but haven't yet taken the plunge, 'tis the season to try out new things!

Consider all of those colors you normally don’t dare to wear; the pot of glitter sitting in the bottom of your makeup bag; the purple-tinted lip gloss that has gone unused (until now): you may discover a new favorite product that you end up wearing year-round.

During the holidays, you can spread some cheer with bold and beautiful looks. Here at Kinder Beauty, we’ve collected our festive favorites from all-vegan cosmetics brands, because there’s no reason that any animal should suffer for the sake of makeup. We can light up the night with holiday colors and shimmer without hurting anyone.

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Gorgeous Greens


Whether you opt for olive or go for an emerald hue, green is one of the most versatile shades of makeup. This glamorous green from Pacifica Beauty’s Stellar Gaze Eyeshadow Palette is perfect for celebrating the holidays.

While you’re lighting up rooms with your stunning eyes, you can rest assured that the products you’re using are earth-friendly, since the cardboard palette is made from 100% recycled paper.


Pop of Red


A red lip never goes out of style. Keep the rest of your makeup simple and paint your pout with your favorite shade for a polished, high-impact look. Here, NYC-based stylist Kamara Williams wears Milk Makeup’s lip color in O.G. Red.

Whether you choose poppy, crimson, cherry, or vermilion, your lips are sure to make a statement. Red lipstick isn't only for nighttime events, either. Sporting it during the day will lend power to your look at all hours.


Confetti Nails


You’ll be bringing some holiday cheer to your computer keyboard when you tap away with neon nails. This French manicure from Zoya’s Easy Neon collection has a colorful twist, offering all of the brilliant shades you will need to achieve this fun look.

Don’t be afraid to bring your own vegan nail polishes to the salon. If you ask nicely and respectfully, chances are that you’ll be able to get a mani-pedi with your preferred products. 


Beautiful Browns 


For a more natural look that still brings a lot of oomph, try painting your eyelids in Menagerie Cosmetics’ shadow singles in shades Kelp, Cub, Chase, Pride, and Animal Kingdom as they are modeled here. You can control how strong your look is by adjusting how much shadow you layer on. You can go lighter for your daytime look, and then touch up with another layer or two before going out for the night.  

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Lovely Lavender


Lavender eyeshadow has the power to take us to another time and place, whether it’s a 70s disco or a spaceship. This gorgeous look would work as well on the dance floor as it would in a magical land far, far away. The holidays are a great time to try out that fun look you’ve never dared to wear before, so why not experiment with shades of plum, lavender, and lilac? These colors pop even more when paired with a subtly pigmented shiny gloss.


Glittering Nights


There is probably nothing you could add to your makeup collection that is as festive as glitter. But is it bad for the environment? The answer is no, if you purchase it from cruelty-free and vegan brand Medusa’s Makeup, which makes biodegradable cosmetic glitter.

Glitter will beautifully amp up just about any look, bringing some sparkle to your night. Medusa’s Makeup offers cosmetic grade glitter in different sizes and shades including Glittergasm, a mix of both tiny and chunky-sized glitter particles. 


Understated Sparkle


Though glitter can be bold, it can also be subtle. Hourglass Cosmetics’ Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Ray offers a sultry sheen of shimmer that works as well for a holiday dinner with family as it does for a night out dancing. This uncomplicated look is 100% stunning, perfect for the holiday season and special occasions throughout the year.


Fun Pastels


Who says pastels are just for summer? The pale shades of Pacific Beauty’s Longwear Eyeliners are a great way to brighten up gray wintry days. Swipe your favorite color across your eyelid where it meets your lashes to add some pop to a neutral look, or play with different shades as shown here for something more dramatic. These will pair perfectly with a clear gloss or a pale pink lipstick.


All Aglow


What’s terrific about highlighters is that they can take just about any makeup look to a whole new level. Menagerie Cosmetics offers shimmering Polar Lights Highlighters in shades Aurora Australis and Winter Solstice that are fantastic for a holiday look. Winter Solstice reflects in gold, green, and blue tones, while Aurora Australis offers a subtle golden pink sheen. The polar bear on the cover of the case lets you know that these are just right for winter celebrations.


Purple Pout


For a little bit of drama (the good kind) this festive season, try a bright purple lip. Menagerie Cosmetics offers a velvet matte liquid lipstick in a fun magenta to brighten up your makeup routine. With such a strong color, there’s no need to go heavy with eye makeup (though these rules aren't written in stone!). You might want to try a neutral shadow with this pop of purple.


Mighty Mascara


Mascara can do amazing things. A few swipes can take a neutral look from day into night. Keep Pacifica Beauty’s Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara in your handbag or glove compartment in case of last minute holiday gatherings. BONUS: Pacifica is available for purchase at major retailers including Target and Ulta Beauty.


Shimmering Lips


These shimmering lip glosses from HRT Cosmetics offer just a little bit of glitter if you’d like to keep your holiday look low-key. Wear them with just foundation and mascara, or nothing else on your face at all. With their subtle sparkle, you can sport these throughout the year to bring a festive vibe to any occasion.


Double Duty


The holiday season is a lovely time to play with color. This fab look was created with all-vegan Milk Makeup’s Lip + Cheek in Quickie.

With a statement lip it’s okay to keep eyeshadow subtle, but you can never go wrong pairing it with dramatic black liquid eyeliner. Whether you choose to build up a polished look, or just add a little color to your cheeks and lips, this is a stellar product to keep on hand for last-minute plans.

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Maya Gottfried is the author of books for children and adults, including Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary and Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal.

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