Festive Makeup Essentials for Christmas

When it comes to makeup, my routine is more or less the same throughout the year. But when Christmas time rolls around, I’m all about the glitter and red lips. Whether you’re glamming up for a Christmas party or just fancy switching up your routine to get in the holiday spirit, here are some of the festive makeup essentials you need in your makeup bag this Christmas.

festive makeup essentials for christmas

Glitter Nail Polish

Glittery nail polish is one of my most important festive makeup essentials. A bit of glitter never fails to make me feel Christmassy! One of my favourites is Barry M’s Starlight which is a beautiful mix of gold holographic glitter and tiny little stars. Unfortunately it was a limited edition shade, but Barry M’s regular Glitter Nail Polish range is full of lovely colours.

I also recently treated myself to Essie’s Crack’a’Colour Christmas Gift Set (well, when it’s Boots 3 for 2 and you only have two gifts in your basket… gotta get one for yourself) and I love the muted pink glittery shade A Cut Above. It looks lovely applied in an ombre style with the darker Bordeaux shade underneath.

In terms of non-glitter polish, you can’t go wrong with some classic red and deep burgundy shades in your festive makeup bag. I love Dior Vernis Nuit 1947 and Big Apple Red by OPI.

festive makeup essentials for christmas

Flawless Base

When you’re wearing a strong lip colour or a smokey eye for a Christmas party, you need to start with a flawless base which is why the No7 Instant Radiance Foundation is one of my festive makeup essentials. This foundation is amazing for making your skin look flawless without being too heavy. It’s also nice and radiant (hence the name) but isn’t too dewy, so it’s perfect for creating a natural looking base with medium coverage.

If you need something a little more heavy-duty, try Estee Lauder Double Wear Light which is another of my all-time favourite foundations. It has a light to medium buildable coverage which creates a flawless matte base which still looks quite natural. Set it with a tiny bit of powder, and it does not budge at all if you need it to last all night through dinner, drinking and dancing at the Christmas party.

festive makeup essentials for christmas

Red Lipstick

Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some red lipstick. Make sure your bag of festive makeup essentials includes at least one or two of your favourite red lip colours. I really like Bobbi Brown’s Lip Colour in Red which is a classic red shade. It has a creamy finish so it has just the right amount of shine and it’s really comfortable to wear. If you prefer your lipsticks matte, I can’t recommend MAC’s Russian Red enough – it has seen me though many Christmas parties!

Matte lip creams are also a great option for festive makeup as they’re long lasting and don’t require much topping up if you’re busy partying the night away. The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets are lovely and comfortable to wear, and the bright-yet-deep shade Personne ne Rouge is ideal for Christmas.

festive makeup essentials for christmas

Illuminating Highlighter

If you can’t go overboard with the sparkles and highlighter at Christmas, then when can you? Another of my festive makeup essentials is a good highlighter to give you a nice glow. MAC’s Mineralise Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle which is a pretty light golden shade. It can be quite subtle if applied lightly, or go all-out and build it up to create a beautiful glow.

I also love liquid highlighters to apply underneath my foundation or to add an extra glow to my cheekbones, and the NARS Illuminator in Copacabana is one of the best. It’s more of a pearly pink shade and it’s super pigmented so a little goes a long way.

What are your festive makeup essentials?


Freelance social media and digital marketing consultant with a penchant for writing blog posts, drinking sickly sweet cocktails and exploring the cobbled streets of Edinburgh.


  • Megan says:

    I’ve been loving the Nars highlighter as base under my makeup, it gives such a gorgeous slow! Red lips are always a winner, Russian Red is perfect and Essie glitter polishes are always the best. Set in Stones is my favourite. x

    Megan | http://www.meganjean.co.uk

    • Gillian says:

      I definitely need to add more Essie glitter polishes to my collection, A Cut Above is the only one I have so far but I’m feeling the need for lots more sparkle! x

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