23 Christmas makeup looks to try out this party season

From shimmery skin to grown-up glitter, these Christmas makeup looks will get you in the festive spirit in no time

A woman wearing one of the key Christmas makeup looks - glowing skin and red lipstick
(Image credit: Future/Zoe Economides)

Having fun with Christmas makeup looks is one of the best parts of the season, if you ask us. Second, maybe, to having a mince pie for breakfast.

Getting to go all-out on those shimmery palettes and bold lipsticks is very fun. Whether you’ve decided to treat yourself to one of this year’s Christmas makeup gift sets, or you want to learn how to apply eyeshadow like a pro, now's the time to really lean into the glitter.

"Christmas time is a makeup artist's dream as it’s the season for full-glam and daring looks," agrees makeup artist Hayley Walker. "We're more likely to experiment and be bold, whether trying a new look or wearing a brighter lipstick than we usually would. Metallics, glitter, and shines are always a big look for the festive season." Hard agree. 

Here, we round up 23 Christmas makeup looks to inspire your December and beyond. We've also included tips on how to wear them and products to get the look, so you can shimmer and shine throughout party season.

Hayley Walker
Hayley Walker

Hayley Walker is a qualified beauty expert with over 20 years of industry experience. Qualified in all things beauty including skincare, makeup, nails, and holistic wellness, Hayley is a trusted source when it comes to sharing expert advice and tips on the latest beauty trends.

23 celebrity-inspired Christmas makeup looks

1. Sparkly copper eye

Jessica Chastain at the 2022 Oscars

(Image credit: David Livingston/Getty Images)

New Year's Eve gives it a run for its money, but there's really no better time for a sparkly eye than Christmas. Metallic tones are an excellent way to make a smoky eye all the more party-appropriate, as seen here on Jessica Chastain in gorgeous copper. If you have blue eyes, this will really make the colour pop. 

2. The matte red lip

Tracee Ellis Ross at the 2022 Oscars

(Image credit: David Livingston/Getty Images)

Nothing screams Christmas more than a matte red lip, and Tracee Ellis Ross wears it so well. The secret to a bold shade like this is knowing how to apply lipstick with careful prep. Exfoliate first, then line the lips with precision and blot to stop it from smudging. 

3. Merry Berry

Davina McCall

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images)

If you want to try a twist on the red lip, use a deeper berry red shade like Davina McCall has here. Darker reds have a more wintery vibe and, if you pick one with more of a sheen finish it'll be more flattering than, say, classic matte scarlet – making fine lips look fuller. 

4. Golden wonder

Jodie Turner-Smith

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jodie Turner-Smith never shies away from a bold make-up look, and she pulls off this stiriking style with ease. The warmth of the gold really works with her skin tone, and we love the combination of a few different golds, as well as darker liner for an impactful, full-blown festive look. 

5. Sapphire shimmer

Thandiwe Newton at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscars after party

(Image credit: JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)

This wonderful blue shimmery eye is a perfect choice of eyeshadow for brown eyes and really makes Thandiwe Newton's eye colour stand out. It's easy to recreate at home using a single bold shadow and a blending brush, just be careful to apply your makeup in the right order. "If you're going for a bold eye look, the risk of fallout is greater than normal," advises makeup artist Saffron Hughes. "Apply your face makeup after your eye makeup to decrease the chance of the dreaded ‘raccoon eyes’, where pigment has fallen underneath your eyes."

Saffron Hughes
Saffron Hughes

Saffron Hughes is an experienced makeup artist, and the resident expert at beauty website FalseEyelashes.co.uk.

6. Iridescent shimmer

Kate Moss

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We wouldn't normally pick Kate Moss as one of the go-to inspirations for Christmas makeup looks – her vibe is normally quite minimalist, with a touch of kohl. This look though, has us swooning. A glowing, iridescent glitter shimmer, paired with an exaggerated wing. It's perfectly paired down with a nude lip, to let the eyes really do the talking. 

7. Emerald eye with nude lips

Tess Daly

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tess Daly looks gorgeous with this emerald eyeliner look paired with the best false eyelashes for a fluttery effect. This deep green shade means the focus is on the eyes, so pairing it with a nude lip keeps it wearable as well as letting this gorgeous colour speak for itself. "Pulling off a bold colour on the eye is usually about decluttering the details and avoiding the complicated shading," says MAC's head of artistry Terry Barber "A block of one colour teamed with a good coat of mascara is usually sufficient to add the drama without resorting to looking clownish."

Terry Barber
Terry Barber

Terry Barber has been with M·A·C for 17 years. Now Director of Makeup Artistry for the UK and Europe, Barber is one of the brand’s most colourful, fashionable and ruthlessly blunt ambassadors. A showman, he loves the energy and creativity of backstage. 

8. Purple Haze

Viola Davis

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Viola Davis loves a bold eye look – really, this entire article could have been written about her. This shimmery lilac eye pipped the others to the post as the ideal Christmas makeup look. It's fun and festive but still feels quite wearable and grown-up. We love how she's kept things monotone by adding a purple-toned lipstick – it all really works together. 

9. Winged-out grey shimmer

Holly Willoughby at the 2021 NTAs

(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images)

Smoky eyes look really Christmassy with a dab of glitter on the lids. This look created by makeup artist Patsy O'Neill on Holly Willoughby features a winged-out black liner, smoky grey transition shades, and a good dose of silver sparkle. This is a particularly great choice of eyeshadow for blue eyes or grey eyes.

10. Classic hollywood glam

Amal Clooney

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Amal Clooney shows that the classics are still as impactful as the more trend-led Christmas makeup looks. This is a favourite of Walker's. "The classic duo for Christmas is a bold red lip with a gold eyeshadow," she says. "This Hollywood-glam makeup look is a timeless festive favourite that suits all skin tones and compliments the sequins and sparkles of festive fashion."

11. Low key lip and dewy skin

Jessica Alba

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

There's no saying you have to have one bold feature for a winning look, as Jessica Alba perfectly demonstrates here. This glossy, brown-toned nude lip is paired with fresh-looking skin and an understated eye for a polished yet effortless finish. Want to achieve this highlighted skin without looking metallic? Hughes advises using a fan brush. "With their unique shape, fan brushes can lightly pick up powder highlighter and dust it along the tops of your cheekbones and bridge of your nose. If you are ever in a predicament where you have applied too much highlighter, don’t panic. Simply go over the highlighter with a powder brush to knock down some of the shine."

12. Brown smoky eye

Penelope Cruz at the 2022 Oscars

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage via Getty Images)

We adored Penelope Cruz' Oscar look, created by makeup legend Charlotte Tilbury. Teamed with soft statement brows and a nude, glossy lip, this sultry brown eyeshadow look defines the eyes and adds instant glamour to any outfit, while the muted lip colour has just the right amount of pink to bring the look together. 

13. Grown-up gothic

Helen Mirren

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dame Helen Mirren doesn't shy away from a bold eye look, as this deep smoky eye shows. The more gothic take on the classic smoky eye is hugely on-trend for 2023 says Walker. "It's a go-to glam look," she says. "This winter, 90s grunge glam will be everywhere, so level up your smokey eye with a wet look finish and glossy, nude lips."

14. Orange-red lip

Sandra Oh

(Image credit: Chelsea Guglielmino/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

A classic Christmas makeup look, red lips come in all sorts of shades and styles. This orange-red lip look, teamed with flawless skin and simple black eye makeup on Sandra Oh, feels more modern than classic red, as does laying off statement bright colours on the rest of the face. "With pops of colour being essential for new beauty, try a vivid orange as an alternative to a classic red lip," says Barber. "Wearing a shot of orange on an otherwise decluttered face will always ensure it is chic, not garish."

15. Classic smoky eye

Sarah Jessica Parker

(Image credit: Francois G. Durand/WireImage via Getty Images)

A smoky eye is one of those eyeshadow looks that adds just the right amount of drama for a special occasion. Classic smoky looks lend themselves well to brown, black, grey, and navy palettes while finishing with a metallic shade like Sarah Jessica Parker's look here is a surefire way to look Christmas party ready.

16. In the navy

Andiw MacDowell

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Andie MacDowell stunned in a bold blue eye earlier this year. With such a statement shade, everything else can be pared back in terms of shade and finish – think a dewier, softer finish to the skin and an understated glossy lip with just a hint of pink. 

17. Feeling frosty

Diane Kruger

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another take on the blue trend is to go for a glittery finish. According to Walker, it gives the look a totally different effect. "Those wanting an edgier look, take inspiration from a winter wonderland and opt for a frostier makeup look with whites, silvers, and blue shimmering eyeshadows finished with a glossy nude lip," she recommends. "The cool-toned colours in this ice queen makeup look complement all skin tones and add shine to sparkle season."

18. Glisten up

Emily Blunt

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Great skin is always on trend, but it's an especially gorgeous Christmas makeup look to focus on glistening, radiant skin. Even if you don't feel particularly glowing this party season (a full month of drinking and cheese-coated carbs will do that to you), there are ways to cheat healthy skin just like Emily Blunt. 

19. Raspberry kiss

Priyanka Chopra

(Image credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Raspberry ripple – but make it seriously fabulous! Actress Priyanka Chopra shows how it's done here with beautiful raspberry pink lipstick, a soft smoky eye, and statement jewellery. The trick here is matching the all-out glamour of this Christmas makeup look with a beautiful hair-up style

20. Upside down eyes

Jennifer Lopez

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have hooded eyes, it's easy for intricate eyeshadow looks to get lost. Mastering makeup for hooded eyes means getting creative, and a great way of making a Christmas makeup look work, is to bring your shimmery shadow underneath your eyes, just like Jennifer Lopez. This opens up the eyes and is a stylish new take on shimmer. 

21. Soft pink sheen

Maggie Gyllenhaal at Cannes Film Festival 2021

(Image credit: Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic via Getty)

This soft pink look is surprisingly subtle and easy to recreate. Using all Charlotte Tilbury products, Maggie Gyllenhaal looks elegant and full of festivity, we'd recommend finding the best cream shadow with a sheer finish and applying it over eye primer to recreate the look. We love the matching pink glossy lip, too. 

22. Bejewelled eyes

Lupita Nyong'o

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to play with colour and textures, and there's really no better opportunity to step out with a glitzy eye. Contrasting bold hues like Lupita Nyong'o styles are a definite statement. Walker is a fan of this out-there look. "Why not experiment with stick-on jewels to really up your glam game?" she suggests. "Simply apply the jewels in the creases of eyeshadow for a 60s festive feel or simply apply along your eyeliner to really make your eyes stand out."

23. Glazed port lips

Salma Hayek

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Not quite the sort of port lips you spot in the mirror after the cheese course on Christmas day. This ultra-deep sheeny lip showcased by Salma Hayek is glamorous, fabulous, and ultra-modern. You will need to work with precision to attempt this at home. A steady hand, lip liner, and your matching lipstick will see you on your way to this winning look. Don't forget to check your teeth before you leave the house!

How to choose your Christmas makeup looks

  • Think about your usual look. If you turn up to a Christmas 'do with a full face and false lashes, but a natural makeup look is normally more your thing, you might feel uncomfortable. Choose a look that you feel great in, not one that just isn't you. Of course, if you feel great with full glam on special occasions, as you were!
  • Identify an area to accentuate. Pick one area you want to 'pop', be it lips, eyes, or dewy makeup on the skin, and then play to your strengths. If you know how to apply eyeliner well, try a feline flick or a bold smoky eye. If not, a little sparkle on the lids looks fabulous. Want your lips to look fuller? A matte berry hue can make lips appear smaller, but glossy lips and a creamy nude shade will work wonders. 
  • Practice makes perfect. Don't attempt to master how to apply lashes five minutes before it's time to leave the house. There's nothing wrong with going with what you know, technique-wise, then ramping up the drama with a bolder shade than usual. Or if you do want to try something new, give it a go beforehand so you know what's realistic for your skill level and what suits you best.

With this gallery of Christmas makeup looks, there's something for everyone. Whether you're a red lipstick aficionado, or you're all about eyeshadow, we hope we've inspired you to really lean into the sparkle this Christmas.  

Lucy Abbersteen

Lucy is a UK-based beauty journalist who has written for titles including Marie Claire, Glamour and OK!, as well as contributing to woman&home. Her work covers everything from expert skin and haircare advice to beauty trends and reviews of the latest products. During her career she regularly speaks to the industry's leading hairdressers, dermatologists and make-up artists, has covered backstage at London Fashion Week and interviewed many a celeb about their beauty routine.