Glitter Free Holiday Makeup Ideas

The holidays are a perfect time to step up your makeup game. Maybe you have an upcoming Christmas party or a New Year’s Eve bash, and you want to try out some bold looks. For some, that means breaking out the glitter pigments and calling it a night. But, let’s be honest, glitter isn’t for everyone. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with a little glitz and glamour, but it can be a little intimidating (and a lot messy) dealing with glitters. You can easily go overboard and, although you envisioned yourself as a sparkling Cinderella, you might end up looking more like a baby unicorn burped fairy dust all over your face (and body, and clothes, and everywhere else. Like I said, messy). But that doesn’t mean you still can’t shine and dazzle this holiday season. In a sea of tutorials that seem to only feature glitter, glitter, and more glitter, here are some glitter free holiday makeup ideas that will still make a wow statement at any event this season.

Ombré Lips

Such a fun take on the classic red lip! There are multiple ways you could achieve this look. I like to line my lips with a darker color, like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Blackmail, then fill in with a lighter shade, like UD’s Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bad Blood. But you could also apply darker lipstick all over and just pat a little of a lighter shade in the center of your lips. You can go as extreme or as subtle with ombré lips, so don’t be afraid to play around with different colors and textures!

Highlight and Contour

If you’ve never tried highlighting or contouring before, the holiday season is a perfect time to take the plunge! It can seem intimidating, but it can be as easy as applying a matte bronzer over the hollow in your cheeks and popping some highlight on the high points of your face. I like to use Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess and theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter. Contouring can really help give structure to your face, and highlighting can make you look more awake and glowing, so trying out this trend is a great way to amp up your makeup for that upcoming Christmas party.


If you love bold eyes, but just don’t want the hassle or fallout from using glitter, try using a cream or liquid metallic eyeshadow! These apply best with a flat synthetic brush (or even your finger!) and look stunning when patted all over the lid! The best part is you don’t have to spend as much effort blending different shadows together. Try a one-and-done gold or silver shade, and you’re set to shine for the holidays. I love the Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in either Comex Copper (seen above) or Pixie Dust.

Vampy Lips

Dark, vampy lips are a huge trend right now, but they can be a little scary and out of a lot of people’s comfort zones. So why not indulge in the festivities and step out of those zones? Dark lips can be mysterious, and are easier to pull off than most people think. I love pairing a dark lip, like the Nars Audacious Lipstick in Bette, with simple eyes and a fresh complexion. Keep the rest of your makeup light and let the lipstick make the statement!

Cut Crease Eyeshadow

This eye look is classic, sophisticated, and easy to pair with any lip option! Cut crease eyeshadow can make your eyes pop and look more awake, and give just the right amount of drama to your whole look. Use a transition shade to help the darker colors blend, then use a sharpened eyeliner or a dark eyeshadow on an angled liner brush to define your crease. Then build up your lid color with a lighter shadow, being careful to keep that crease line defined. While this look may take some time to perfect, the end result is worth it!


What are your favorite glitter free holiday makeup trends? Let us know below in the comments!

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