Your Best Red

Pick the Holiday Hue that Suits Your Look

Alexa Chung rocks red lips and a bag all at once.

Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The holidays call for festive colors in your look, but don’t let that scare you. You can easily summon up the holiday spirit in your wardrobe without having to break out the reindeer sweater. (Actually, please don’t break out the reindeer sweater.)

Red is this season’s favorite hue, but don’t fret if you’re having trouble finding your best red. There are countless ways to add a dash of seasonal flair that will still complement your personal style.

Take cues from stylists and beauty gurus on how to navigate through your closet and makeup drawer and still weave in some sparkle where it's most flattering for you.

"The holidays are all about fun with glamour, and fabrics like silks, satins, brocades and velvet will instantly make a simple silhouette look more festive."

- Samia M. Grand-Pierre, wardrobe stylist and fashion blogger

Finding Your Best Red

Lighting is an important element in finding your red. “From bright acid tones to deeper burgundy ones, the trick to finding the best hue is to try on various shades in a place with as much natural light as possible.” said Samia M. Grand-Pierre, wardrobe stylist and co-editor of
Harsh lighting, like the glare you find in dressing rooms, changes your skin tone, Grand-Pierre warned, leaving you with a less than realistic view of what works best for you. If you’re shopping during the day, try to find a mirror near a window and hold up your dresses or tops one after the other to check them against your complexion.
Even if you simply aren’t into bold scarlet dresses or sweaters, you can still inject red into your look by letting a little pop of it show through a layering piece. “Try a red camisole with a heather gray or camel-colored V-neck sweater,” Grand-Pierre said. “It can easily look much more chic and updated.”

Celebrate Through Textures

Texture is a seasonal factor, too.
“The holidays are all about fun with glamour, and fabrics like silks, satins, brocades and velvet will instantly make a simple silhouette look more festive,” Grand-Pierre said. “Velvet leggings, for example, layered with a slim turtleneck, a gold brocade blazer and sparkly necklaces can be like a walking party.”
Sequined skirts are a good staple for your holiday parties, Grand-Pierre said. “It takes you from the dance floor to a black tie in no time.”

Glistening Accessories

You also can use accessories to raise your holiday flavor quotient. Wearing sparkly earrings, a gold belt or suede emerald pumps is fun way to bump up your look with color.
And remember that it’s always a good idea to invest in pieces that can take you beyond the season. Scour the vintage stores, because they usually boast great costume pieces with personality that will last beyond a few wears, Grand-Pierre said. Her personal favorite to add to your jewelry hunt is Estate Jewels by George and Raf (
Hair ornaments, such as rhinestone clips and red-tinged feather headbands, double as interesting visual elements with a lot of seasonal cheer. And nothing says the holidays have arrived like a little glitter, right?
“Fasten a skinny glitter belt to a silk dress, or team glittery heels with high-waisted jeans and an angora sweater,” said New York City-based stylist and blogger Ariel Kaiser. “Even gold glitter nails add an element of glam to literally any look.”

Holiday Makeup

If your head is already spinning, take baby steps. “The easiest way to add a pop of the season's color to your look is a red lip with your jeans and tee,” Kaiser said.
Mehwish Khan, a Chicago-based makeup artist and blogger for, suggested MAC Russian Red for a rich, matte red; MAC Ruby Woo for women with fair skin and pink undertones; or Nars Shanghai Express, a semimatte brick red that beautifully suits olive skin tones.
“If you’re a newbie and deep, rich colors make you nervous, tone down the intensity with a reflective gloss,” Khan suggested. “I like to use one with a golden shimmer. Keep the gloss near the center of the lip to avoid bleeding lip color.”
Want to push it a bit more? Add a dab of golden eye shadow to the center of the lip. “It’s a little unexpected, but the ombre effect on your lips really makes for a fun and interesting multidimensional look,” Khan said.
Sparkly eyes can just as easily brighten things up at your next holiday party. Try shadows with shimmer or glitter pencils, which can add a beautiful touch to a clean face. (Scotch Tape works wonders for catching any glitter that falls under your eyes or onto your cheeks while you’re applying your sparkly shadows.)

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