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The Highlighter





Sephora PRO Artist Maricela Aguilar explains how to not look like a Christmas tree.

’Tis the season for shimmer, glitter, and the boldest of red lips. ’Tis also the season for snapping pics. Sephora PRO Artist Maricela Aguilar shares tips on how to shine in holiday photos—but not like a tinsel garland. MELISSA LANE 

What’s the trick to looking good in holiday pictures?
“Complexion,” states Aguilar. “Keep shine at bay if you are oily. If you love to have a healthy glow, go for a more luminous dewy finish that will last all day. You want to balance your overall makeup look, so either play up your eyes or lips.” 

What products do you recommend?

“To keep the skin matte all day, use a mattifying primer like SEPHORA COLLECTION Anti-Shine Foundation Primer. Using a mattifying translucent powder like Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder will help with touch-ups. For a luminous finish, use a highlighter like Benefit High Beam that will bring out your features while giving you a healthy glow.” 

“If you’re choosing a bold eye, pair it with a light lip. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Lip Liner in 4C is a great neutral shade, and topping it off with NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita will complement that smoky eye. If you go with a bold lip, go softer with the eyes. Pair your lips with Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Screen Shot to enhance them without overpowering the whole look.”

How do you use them? 

“For the SEPHORA COLLECTION Anti-Shine Foundation Primer, use a flat brush and concentrate most of the product at the center of the face where it tends to be the oiliest, working your way outward. For the Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder, grab a fluffy brush and dust at the center of the face or anywhere there’s shine. When using Benefit High Beam, apply it to your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, a little on the forehead, and on your Cupid’s bow and chin.” 

“To apply MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Lips, line the entire lip with the pencil liner, filling it in at the center. Using a lip brush, apply NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita onto the entire lip, directly on top of the lip liner you just applied.” 

“To get a soft finish with Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Screen Shot, use a flat brush to apply Nectar to the entire lid and browbone. With a crease-blending brush, apply Cinnamon Toast from the outer corners of the eyes, blending inward into the crease. To add definition, use an angled eyeliner brush to place Roast at the base of the lash line, starting from the inner corners of the eyes and working your way to the outer corners.”

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see in holiday pictures? 
“The amount of shimmer on skin. Shimmer and glitter are in for the holidays, but you want to keep the skin and face looking clean and luminous, so use it in moderation. Another mistake I see is not balancing the makeup look. If you’re not careful to pair your bold eyes with a light lip and vice versa, you can easily make your face look very harsh.”

Do you have any personal stories of success (or epic failure) with holiday pictures?
“When I first started using makeup, I had just discovered glitter. I went to a family holiday party wearing tons of glitter on my eyelids, an illuminator to highlight my face, and paired all of that with a bold red lip. My picture was taken all night long, and I was having a great time, thinking I looked great. After getting my pictures back, I realized I looked like a disco ball! The glitter reflected too much light, and I had applied the shimmer on my cheeks too intensely. On top of that, the bold lip was way too intense for my look! From that day forward, I learned that less is more.”


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