All-Night Holiday Hair and Makeup Tricks

How to master a lasting, festive look

One of the perks of reporting on things that make us look good is access to the pros who know those trade secrets best. While the ladies of Westchester Magazine were treated to pre-holiday-party mini-makeovers last week here at the mag’s HQ, I interrogated the (very gracious) Daniela Picolo of Pure Salon in Yorktown Heights and Westchester makeup artist Ashley Lauren on nailing special-occasion looks.

For a hairstyle that lasts—be it a sleek blowout or glam waves—Picolo suggests getting it done an hour or two before go-time (same goes for at-home DIY). And to further ensure bendy looks keep their shape past the canapés, she says, “Out with hair spray and in with hair wax.” A spritz of Redken spray wax ($18 at Pure) kept my loose curls looking just-done and touchably soft through the next day.   

When in comes to dressy events, Picolo says, it’s all about volume and shine: “Don't straight-iron; big, voluptuous hair is in!” If cold air tends to deflate your ’do, try medium-to-large Velcro rollers for body. (Put in damp, blast a little with the dryer, and let sit for a couple of hours while you do your makeup and dress.) Also popular? Braided looks, like delicate waterfall styles, while Picolo loves a classic chignon.

On the makeup front, Lauren proved the value of a consultation with an expert, who can demo and write out a step-by-step strategy for bringing out eyes, perfecting skin, or elevating things for an evening out. (No time for an appointment? Stop by the cosmetics counter at your nearest department store.) For all-night sipping, mingling, and pic-taking, she says, start with primer on eyes and face, which helps color better adhere and stay there.

As for doing that sparkly outfit justice, Lauren stresses the importance of mascara, liner, and blush. “Don’t go too wild. Experiment beforehand,” she says, adding, “Contrast is good, so don’t wear a green dress with green makeup.” And for a natural-looking but still festive finishing touch, play with false lashes before the big night. “It changes a whole face.”  

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