Holiday Party Makeup: The Office Party

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Makeup

holiday party makeup

It’s time to put aside those unfinished TPS reports, ladies (they can wait), and reach for the eggnog, because the office holiday party season has officially begun!


Your coworkers might be dancing on tables and acting in ways they normally never would (haaaaay!), but most work parties still call for slightly sophisticated makeup and party attire.

Makeup-wise, that often means classic neutrals (but that doesn’t have to mean boring).

This year, I’m going to El Hub’s office party with his coworkers, and today I started brainstorming my look with tidbits from the eight-piece Prescriptives Lustre Holiday Collection.

It’s a subtle, understated look with bronze, gold and pink that’s pretty enough to get the attention of coworkers without stepping over “that” line.

holiday party makeup prescriptives lustre holiday collection quad
Lustre Baked Eyeshadow Color Quad in Warm, $40

holiday party makeup prescriptives lustre holiday collection blush
Lustre Shimmer Cheek Color in Warm, $24

holiday party makeup prescriptives lustre holiday collection gloss
Moonbeam Reflective Gloss in Rose Gold, $18

holiday party makeup prescriptives lustre holiday collection
Top row: Eyeshadows From the Lustre Warm Quad in Golden White (a shimmery golden beige), Gold Shimmer (a shimmery neutral gold), Copper (a shimmery orangey copper) and Bronze (a shimmery deep bronze); Bottom Row: Lustre Shimmer Cheek Color in Warm, Moonbeam Reflective Gloss in Rose Gold

holiday party makeup prescriptives lustre holiday collection all

Prescriptives described how to get two looks to go with Lustre. Today I used their instructions for one of them, Warm Lustre.

holiday party makeup tutorial

I followed the directions pretty closely, making just a few minor changes…

  • Eyes: Before applying the shadows, I layered MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque on my lids and replaced the Prescriptives Beaming Brown eyeliner with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon. I also added UD Zero along my waterline.
  • Lips: I left out the Bronze Lustre lipstick, instead using the Moonbeam Reflective Gloss in Rose Gold by itself.
  • Face: I skipped sweeping Liquid Powder in Rose Gold over my face and just went with my regular loose powder instead.

holiday party makeup prescriptives lustre holiday collection eye


Last Friday’s teal and pink look was much more colorful than this look today; the colors are nowhere near as bright or eye catching, but I think the look’s still pretty in a quiet, more work-appropriate kinda way (should go well with my favorite black dress). πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 98 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Daniela says:

    I like how it looks glowy and natural. And every bit as pretty as the colourful looks! You probably can’t go wrong with this look… whereas more dramatic looks can go either way. I’ll try this out tomorrow, thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daniela,

      I agree — the shimmery neutrals are practically fool-proof. πŸ™‚

      Do you have this quad, or do you have similar colors in your stash?

  2. Sheila says:

    That is really pretty! And perfect for an office party, it’ll make you stand out without looking too overdone. Thanks so much for the look! I’ll definitely have to try that out.
    .-= Sheila’s last blog post… Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary Video =-.

  3. Rae says:

    This is stunning! (And you’re right; it’s absolutely perfect for the office.)

    Now here’s the big question: what on earth are you wearing for foundation, Karen??! Your skin looks even perfect-er than normal. Please share, we want the deets!
    .-= Rae’s last blog post… On the topic of: love =-.

    • Karen says:

      Heya Rae,

      How is life on your end? I hope that things have slowed down a little for you!

      About that foundation — it’s DuWop Foundation of Youth in Beige. I sorta forgot I had it, but last week I found it and started using it again and remembered why I love it so! If they ever discontinue this I’m gonna pitch a fit!

      • Rae says:

        They *finally* have, thank goodness. Which can only mean one thing: within the week, I will be hit by a CRAPLOAD of work! It’s the law of IB* — if you have a lull in the workload, it means the profs are gearing up to give you a ton.

        I remember loving the sound of that DuWop foundation when you originally mentioned it! The price tag makes me cringe, but I mean… paraben-free, oil-free, cruelty-free, AND it looks that good on you? I might just have to cave and check it out.

        *IB = the International Baccalaureate program that I’m in for no apparent reason aside from that fact that I wasn’t smart enough to realize that I really did NOT want to be rigorously challenged in academics after all…
        .-= Rae’s last blog post… On the topic of: love =-.

        • Karen says:

          I hope you’re enjoying your time off… maybe do something totally indulgent and treat yourself! You have to reward yourself for all your hard work.

          The price of this foundation is killer. Plus the brush tip is kinda annoying. πŸ™ But maaaaan… does it work minor miracles! Maybe next time you go to Sephora get a fat sample (and try to not get addicted).

          So, what does being in the IB do? Is it like an honors program or something?

          • Rae says:

            Superlate comment reply: Ughhh, I don’t actually have any time off yet :/ The term ends this Friday; just a few more days!

            IB is kind of like an international honours program, yes. If you take a higher-level IB class and get a 6 or a 7 on your final (they’re out of seven and are marked on the curve… about two kids from the approximate 500 in the program get sevens each year) they count for first year uni. credits rather than high school credits.

            It’s pretty nuts >.<
            .-= Rae's last blog post… Whoo, my first real "hater" comment! =-.

          • Rae says:

            Ugh, I responded to this a couple of minutes ago and I think ID may have killed my response :/ Darn it!

            Anyhow, my “time off” doesn’t really start until Saturday, as Friday’s the end of term for me! I’ll try to check out the foundation this weekend, though, because it sounds FAB.

            IB is like… it’s kind of like an honours program, but one that’s recognized internationally and one in which (if you do well enough) your highschool marks can count for University credits. (In short, it’s hell!)

            Just as a heads-up: I’m linking this tomorrow morning! Hope that’s okay with you; feel free to lmk if it isn’t =)
            .-= Rae’s last blog post… Whoo, my first real "hater" comment! =-.

  4. Arianne says:

    Karen, that’s really funny! My Holiday makeup look was composed of chocolate browns too! It is very pretty. I don’t usually wear browns for smokey eyes, but I really like the result.

    I like how yours turned out. And that hair! What did you do with it? It’s so chic!
    .-= Arianne’s last blog post… The Holiday Smoky Browns Look. =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Arianne,

      Oh, I love chocolate brown smokey eyes… they’re lovely when mixed with khakis or golds, too!

      Let’s see, for the hair I started by teasing my bangs and then pinning them back with some pins.

      Next, I put the rest of it up in a high ponytail, which I spritzed with Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray for some volume.

      To finish, I rubbed some gel along the sides to get rid of the flyaways. πŸ™‚

  5. Kelly says:

    I like that look on you, very clean and pretty. Oh and I love that snuggly looking sweater!

    I won’t be going to any holiday parties this year, sadly. The hubbie doesn’t have them (he’s Government) and my company one changed venues form the last two years so won’t be that great. No dressing up for me this year!
    .-= Kelly’s last blog post… New BB Couture For Men Collection Swatches and Review =-.

  6. SDpfeiffy says:

    so pretty and sophisticated (not always seen in combination!) love the hair and sweater too πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi SDpfeiffy,

      Thanks! πŸ™‚

      How was your Monday?Mine seemed to drag, argh!

      • SDpfeiffy says:

        Monday was one of those days where I was crazy busy but non-productive at the same time πŸ™ I did finish my Christmas shopping when I bought my hubby a new grill. That was good. (Good and heavy!) PS I ordered the Shred over the weekend. Ai yi yi,

        • Karen says:

          Ohh, you’ll love the Shred. That reminds me, I need to order the JM’s cardio DVD on Amazon today!

          Your hubby will certainly be thrilled with the grill! Boys just love fire, LOL!

  7. Mary says:

    This is so so pretty!!

  8. pinksoysauce says:

    I absolutely love how natural this looks! You look polished and perfect, but the makeup looks light and comfortable as well.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pinksoysauce,

      Thanks hon! I felt very spiffy in this look, LOL! πŸ™‚

      How’s your Monday going?

      • pinksoysauce says:

        Okay, I suppose. I’m snuggling and studying for a test tomorrow in my room right now, and it’s past midnight so I suppose I should get ready for bed soon. Ugh. It’s so cold out as well – 6 degrees Celsius! Yikes. I’m hoping for a snow/ice/cold/wind day. πŸ™‚ How was yours?

  9. Lisa says:

    you look absolutely gorgeous in these shots! (btw, cute sweater too!)

  10. I love this look! It’s really subtle and warm, definitely something you could wear to a holiday party, or just everyday. That lip gloss color is really pretty and pigmented πŸ™‚ I like!

  11. Kypris says:

    Stunning, in an understated manner! I love this type of look – but funnily enough, I find it hard to make it look really good as I’m not very good yet at making the right shape and blending… but I guess practice makes perfect, eh? Just another excuse… πŸ˜‰

    • Karen says:

      Totally! And the great thing about it is it always washes off! πŸ™‚

      One trick that’s helped me with blending: when you think you’re done, blend, blend, blend some more!

  12. Jane says:

    Karen ,

    You should totally consider lining you lower water line in a thick black line..Like the indians do the kajal..I am an indian too..similar complexion as yours..I am telling you lining the lower water line with a dark black line gives you a uber feminine beauty. Try it and post the look here , please πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane,

      Sometimes I do that — it looks great with smokey eyes!

      I can’t do it every day, though, because I feel like it brings attention to my dark circles (boo).

      Do you have a waterline liner that you love? I really like MAC Blacktrack and Cargo Plant love liners.

      • Jane says:

        black track in the fluid line ? Wow..i didnt think of that..although i like MAC powerpoint , UD 24X7..the best i have is a herbal kajal called shehnaz hussain..its all is a famous indian brand of herbal cosmetics.

        • Karen says:

          It works great! I use a push brush like the 212 to apply it. Oh, and UD Zero is fab too!

          I love the liners that are super dark and black! It’s hard to find one that doesn’t turn green.

  13. Marian says:

    I always read your site but never comment. I have to step up and say that you look stunning! This look is understated but very sophisticated…..very classy! This is my favorite makeup on you that I’ve seen!

  14. Babybubblz says:

    I love this natural look! It’s very understated but I’d do a double take on you and wonder what’s so special about that girl that just walked by. Haha.

    My friend recommended I try their lipgloss, this swatch looks gorgeous!

  15. Wendy says:

    You look absolutely gorgeous here Karen! Wish I had your skills!
    .-= Wendy’s last blog post… New Drugstore Products: Physician’s Formula, Milani =-.

  16. eboogie says:

    Hi Karen,
    Would you reccomend against using red lips with this look at a holiday work party?
    .-= eboogie’s last blog post… Where did all my comments go?! =-.

  17. Tavia says:

    This look is so nice, simple but I love the colors and actually most of the products from the Prescriptives Lustre Holiday collection. πŸ™‚
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Clinique Top Rated Gift Sets for Holiday 2009 =-.

  18. jane says:

    omg. i LOVE the look πŸ™‚ it makes you look glowy and amazing!

  19. Niharika says:

    Hi Karen,

    I love your blog but this is my first comment. I am a newbie to makeup and I absolutely love this neutral natural look and would like to give it a try. However, I am in Hyderabad (India) and do not have access to Prescriptives. Could you please suggest dupes of the shades in MAC/Loreal/Maybelline. Also I am NC30/35, will this look go with my skin color.
    Thanks for all your trouble.

  20. BlovetBeauty says:

    u really suit this bronze look.. a total bronze goddess!
    .-= BlovetBeauty’s last blog post… A Mini Update:) =-.

  21. Roxanne says:

    I think you look very sophisticated! Might try this look myself. Love the hair by the way!!

  22. gio says:

    I love this look, it’s simple yet sophisticated and perfect for an office party. You look beautiful and glowy!
    .-= gio’s last blog post… How to care for oily skin =-.

  23. Sarah says:

    This will be my first holiday party in a long time, and now I can’t wait to try out this look! I kind of love everything from the hair to the sweater – like people have been saying, its the perfect natural with a bit extra!

    And I’m going to have to try that DuWop foundation – your skin looks gorgeous and I refuse to give up on foundation entirely! (So far EVERYTHING has made me break out.)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sarah,

      DuWop Foundation of Youth is amazing… it’s just so darn expensive!

      What kind of undertones do you have? The shades tend to run yellow.

      • Sarah says:

        At this point I’m willing to pay if it won’t mess up my skin. I’ve tried Clinique, MAC (powder and liquid), Laura Mercier, Neutrogena, and thats all I can remember off the top of my head. Luckily I only got samples of most of them.

        I have red undertones, that vary from VERY RED to kind of red. Would the yellow counteract the red, or is that not how it works? Sorry, I just figured out about a month ago that I was cool toned – I’m a bit slow on the uptake πŸ˜‰

        • Karen says:

          From what I’ve read in makeup books, most makeup artists recommend finding a foundation with similar undertones. I think honestly the best way is to do it how you’ve been doing it — get samples and live with it for a while. Things I like to check when testing a new foundation: 1. ) how it looks in different lighting, 2.) how my skin feels (does it feel heavy?) and 3.) how much coverage does it have.

          It takes a long time to find a foundation you like! Hang in there… you’ll find your holy grail soon enough. πŸ™‚

  24. Sarah says:

    This is so beautiful. You look so gorgeous and radiant! I’d also like to see it with a red lip! πŸ˜€
    .-= Sarah’s last blog post… IÒ€ℒm So Hard Core It Hurts =-.

  25. Julie says:

    I really like this look. it’s natural and very fancy. It’s an everyday look as well a holiday look that fits well everywhere.

  26. Sarah says:

    This may be one of my favorite looks on you (I go for neutrals); you look absolutely gorgeous!!!! and your face looks stunning with your hair swept back and up!! love it!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks hon! πŸ™‚

      You can never go wrong with neutrals. What neutral colors do you like to wear? I like golden browns, warm browns, golds and bronzes.

      • Sarah says:

        I like a lot of the same; although I’ve been obsessed with BB metallic pewter shadow lately. I also love Kitten, which is universally’ve tried that one, right?

  27. Gabus says:

    i have to say, this is my favorite makeup look on you. You look all glowy and pretty.

  28. ERin says:

    That quad is really pretty! It reminds me of a quad Chanel would release. Gorgeous, but understated at the same time.
    .-= ERin’s last blog post… Review: Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter =-.

  29. Ashley says:

    I like this look a loooot! Actually, this is how my make up looks almost every time I wear make up. It’s very easy to do since it’s neutral πŸ™‚ I’m a fan of poppin’ colors but neutral always wins for me.
    .-= Ashley’s last blog post… Almost December! =-.

  30. Karen B says:

    This is a really beautiful look! I think I can emulate it with the MAC eyeshadows I’ve got in my palette (hello gorgeous neutrals!) and I’ll try it out if I get a party with the staff.
    I was wondering if you could give me some ideas for my cousin’s wedding I’ll be attending next week on Saturday. The colours of my dress are grey and peacock blue and purple. I however only have the purple e/s from the Ungaro collection and MAC Scene (greyish). I don’t know how to work with the grey though. I was going to do a smokey eye but my attempts so far were awful…

    • Karen says:

      If you can get the smokey eye down by next week then go for it; otherwise, I’d suggest skipping it because unless it’s perfect it won’t photograph well. You could always do a neutral lid and then line the upper and lower lash line with purple or blue shadow applied with a wet brush. Add false lashes if you can! It’s an easy way to do color, and it can look dramatic depending on how thick you go with your lines!

      • Karen B says:

        I think I’ll try to work the smokey eye. I’m definitely going to do a dramatic liner but I think I’ll skip the falsies as I’ve never worked them before. Also the wedding itself is catholic and it starts in the afternoon so falsies might not be the look I’d be going for…
        I think a nice purple eyeliner would be nice πŸ™‚ Do you think a base of Blacktrack fluidline would be a good idea?
        Thanks for the tips.

  31. Megan **** says:

    This look is subtle, yet AMAZING! πŸ™‚ You look gorgeous! I loooove doing neutral browns for casual days, but this is a look that will work really well for a night out, as well. I really like your sweater, too, because those comfy turtlenecks make putting your hair up & out of your face, look all put together! I love days when I dont have to style my long, too thick hair & still look done up. πŸ™‚

    Your teeth are a beautiful white too! I had to mention this & ask what (if anything) do you use on your teeth? Have a *great* Tuesday! [Although this is Monday’s post I am commenting..] *

    • Karen says:

      Hi Megan****,

      I used Zoom whitening a few years ago; now I just brush and floss 2x a day and use a whitening toothpaste. πŸ™‚

      • Megan **** says:

        Hey! Sorry such a late response, but do you mean Zoom as in the professional whitening process at the dentist? If so, about how much did that cost you? (If you don’t mind my asking..) & How long does that take?:)

  32. Stef says:

    This look is beautiful, your skin and eyes look aMAYzing!!! But don’t you think a slightly darker lip is necessary? It is a holiday party after all! It just seems slightly underdone to me, but I’m not the makeup guru that you are!!! And I haven’t worked since before the kids came, and they’re 4 and 7! I’m totally going to be picking up that collection!

  33. Kelley says:

    I love that look – very wearable and very put-together at the same time.

    I have to know where you got that sweater – too cute!!!

  34. Mia says:

    That look is freaking gorgeous on you! You are seriously hot! Love it πŸ™‚

  35. Tatiana says:

    What a lovely, natural make up look! I love that it looks natural, but that it has some sparkle too! πŸ™‚ Shall try it with similar eyeshadows from my stash!

    BTW You look gorgeous Karen!

  36. Christy says:

    Love the colors. I went with the MAC Sorceress palette for my work Christmas party, but we were in a pub and went bowling afterwards.
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… Volturi Twilight Gift Kit Pack Review & Swatches =-.

  37. K says:

    Our office party is on the 18th, and I don’t even know what I will wear, much less my makeup! I love your look, and I’ve been thinking that I want to try gold on my lids. Maybe…
    .-= K’s last blog post… A Return Means….Return =-.

  38. Veky says:

    You look really stunning dear! πŸ™‚
    This looks suits you very well πŸ™‚ You look so fresh and healthy, that’s so great πŸ™‚ I really envy you, your skin is gorgeous! πŸ™‚
    .-= Veky’s last blog post… Recenzija: MAC Shadestick u nijansi Penny =-.

  39. Gina says:

    gorgeous! and your sweater looks so COZY!
    .-= Gina’s last blog post… Give Thanks =-.

  40. Jenny says:

    That foundation is HOT. I will definitely have to shimmy my bum over to Sephora this weekend and use it with my $20 gift card email thingy that expires soon. I’m not sure if you mentioned it, but what color foundation are you using with the DuWop brand? The eyeshadow palette looks lovely and makes your eyes pop.

  41. Alaina says:

    My boyfriend and I are planning a winter extravaganza, and I need to look pretty, but not overdone. This is perfect. Thank you so much!

  42. Anita M says:

    Hi, I love your glowing look. I am of your color, so please tell me what foundation do you use as well as what concealer.

  43. Catherine says:

    Oooh I love this! So pretty and polished!
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… New NOTW – Gold Glitter Tips and Heart Gem on Zoya Ginessa =-.

  44. Tiffany says:

    So pretty, Karen! This is one of my fave looks on you!

  45. Your eyes pop out. Really pretty.

    In a non-makeup-related note, what font did you use for that pink text in the first photo? πŸ˜€

    .-= All Women Stalker’s last blog post… 5 Holiday Ideas to BlogStalkÒ€¦ =-.

  46. Wendy says:

    Great look — your skin has the perfect amount of “dewiness”! πŸ™‚ Have you tried anyliquid highlighters from Prescriptives that you like?

  47. Wendy says:

    Great look — your skin has the perfect amount of “dewiness”! πŸ™‚ Have you tried anyliquid highlighters from Prescriptives that you like?
    .-= Wendy’s last blog post… Beauty Books On My Holiday Wishlist =-.

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