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Holiday Style: Vintage Waves and Red Lips

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If you don’t have money to spend on a new dress to wear to a holiday party, I recommend channeling your energies into achieving the perfect hair, makeup and manicure.  You’ll look wonderful in the photos, feel good about the way you look and be “dressed up” without having to spend your hard-earned money on a new piece of clothing.

For today’s hair and beauty look, I wanted to capture the elegant glamour of vintage beauty but give it a modern twist.  Here are the tutorials and the products that will help you achieve a look that says, “Veronica Lake, meet the 21st century.”

Hair. Vintage waves look like they’re a challenge to create, but if you can put your hair in ringlets, you can achieve the perfect vintage wave.  This tutorial from The Beauty Department gives you step-by-step instructions and the visuals to go along with them.  The TBD tutorial is best for shoulder-length or longer hair.  If your locks are shorter than that, I found this YouTube video that will help you achieve a lovely finger wave.

For tools, TBD recommends a parting comb, a 1″ barrel curling iron, and extra strong hold hairspray.  And having done this style myself, the best I can give you is to let the curls cool completely before you comb them out.  The first time I styled my hair this way, I waited five minutes before combing it out.  The second time, I waited 20 minutes by accident and those waves were much smoother and lasted longer.  Also, spray as you curl for good coverage.

Eye Makeup.  I love winged eye liner.  It’s not as heavy as a smokey eye, but it has impact.  To achieve the perfect winged liner, you have two choices: liquid pen and paint.

I used this tutorial to learn how to apply my liner with a liquid eyeliner pen.  It takes a bit of practice, and a steady hand, but once you get it, you’re golden.  As for product, I like the liquid liner pen from Tom Ford or Stila’s Stay-All-Day liner.  I don’t have a recommendation for a drugstore liner, but maybe some readers will share their thoughts in the comments.

If you prefer a gel liner, like Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Liner, you should use this tutorial by Dani Hawley.  You’ll also need a stiff brush to apply it with.

For extra pop, add some false eyelashes using this tutorial from The Beauty Dept. for applying individual lashes.  Or add a gold glitter accent to your liner, like in this photo, using Jane’s gold liquid liner.

Lipstick.  The perfect matte red pout takes a little work.  You need a lipstick (Smashbox Be Legendary), a lip liner and some translucent face powder.  What’s the powder for, you ask?  Check out this how-to post on Makeup.com for how to make your lipstick stay put.

Nails.  Lastly, I chose this nude and gold manicure because it offered a bit of metallic shine without being over-the-top.  I also liked the fact that it wasn’t so bold that you couldn’t wear it to work the next day.

My favorite, barely-there polish is Jin Soon Nostalgia, but you could also use this under-$10 Nails Inc. lacquer in Elizabeth Street.  This tutorial will guide you through the steps to applying the gold stripes, which are made by cutting foil nail wraps into strips.  As for the gold glitter polish, I used Sephora’s gold-glitter top coat over the pale polish.



  1. Melissa says:

    I’ll use Revlon Colourstay liquid liner; it’s pretty good for a drugstore option. It has a small pointed sponge tip instead of a brush tip which I find makes for a more accurate line. I’ve tried a few with brushes and find they tend to bend, causing line issues and flecking. This one is pretty much idiot proof.

    December 19, 2013/Reply
  2. Jenn L. says:

    Wings are actually pretty easy to achieve with gel. Jaclyn Hill does a good tutorial on it, it is pretty easy. Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner and L’Oreal’s gel lacquer liner (I can’t remember its full name, ahh!) are good options.

    December 19, 2013/Reply