Holiday Makeup Tips From Celebrity Makeup Artist Gina Brooke

Hourglass Cosmetics Artistic Director Gina Brooke, aka the face behind the gorgeous looks of Madonna, Anne Hathaway, Naomi Campbell and Gwen Stefani, gives us the low down on how to pull off fresh, beautiful makeup that is perfect for the holidays.


* “When it comes to chic cheeks, I have a three-dimensional approach that anyone can replicate at home. Firstly, I “warm” the skin by applying bronzer to the high points of the face. Secondly, I add “light” to the complexion by using a highlighter on the apples of the cheeks, down the bridge of the nose and the jaw bone. Lastly, I “color” with blush applied strategically to the apples of the cheeks – smile when you’re doing so for the ideal application. The result is a flawless looking complexion.”

* “Hold the neutrals. Why not try dramatic eyes for an evening event? Nothing says nighttime glamour like a metallic smoky eye. Choose a shadow duo with a black and a metal shade like gunmetal gray, silver or bronze. Using a shadow brush, apply the lighter shade first. Use your finger to blend for a graduation of color. Then apply the dark shade, but avoid applying the black shadow all the way across to the inner corner of the eyes—it makes your eyes seem bigger that way. Blend the two colors together.”

* “I love bold, red lips, and if you haven’t experimented with their power, now is the time to do so. Red instantly transforms the face for an immediately polished look. Start with a neutral liner first. Don’t just fill in the lines. Use the liner over the entire lips to create a base for your lipstick. Using a lip brush, apply the lipstick from the outer corner to the inner corner, and repeat from the other side. Pair your rouge lips with smoky eyes for a gorgeous classic look (refer to look #1).”

* “Gold is an undeniably festive color and the perfect choice to celebrate the season. An easy combination is to pair a gold shimmering eye shadow with a bright coral lip gloss (like look #2) – it’s a sultry look that flatters all skin tones. You could also heighten the impact of the gold shadow by wetting your brush before application. This technique is called “foiling” and it creates a gilded effect on the eyes. Make sure the shadow dries before moving on to another shade.”

* “To ensure your makeup lasts all night, always remember to prep skin with a primer first. It will ensure a flawless and long-lasting makeup application, and will also lock in moisture, which is ideal for cold weather. In addition, using a primer will help the foundation glide on smoothly and blend easily. Look for a luxurious foundation with anti-aging and light-diffusing ingredients.”

* “If you are going to a party where you will be photographed, I always recommend this trick from the Golden Age of Hollywood: Put a thin layer of Vaseline on your teeth to avoid lipstick transferring onto them. Another good trick from that era is to dab concealer on the outer corners of the mouth to create a lifting effect that makes you look like you’re slightly smiling all the time.”

Below are two looks created by Gina for the holidays:

Look #1: Smoky eyes with red lips


Look #2: Gold eyeshadow with coral lips

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.

3 COMMENTS

  1. thsnk you for these articles! helped write a paper for school that was half of my grade thx ssssooooo much!!!!!

  2. These are some of the best makeup tips I’ve ever seen! I’ve always wondered how to get that “slightly smiling” look that celebrities often have. Some of my favorite products for the holidays are going to be the Milani Baked Blush in Red Vino and Mattify Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Fields of Gold. Love how the shimmer in these two products instantly gives brightness to the complexion!

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