Holiday Makeup Trend with McKenzy Windham: the Red Carpet Look

Do you want to look red carpet-ready for upcoming holiday festivities but don’t know where to start? Never fear! Makeup artist McKenzy Windham is here to guide us on recreating the hottest look this season: a red lips-cat eye combo that’s guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd.

Windham knows her stuff; she works at Kiss N’ Makeup just down the road from Dancers Shape and frequently helps women look their best for special events. For red lips-cat eye inspiration, Windham looks no further than Taylor Swift, who expertly pulls off this look. Windham advises women who are emulating a celebrity’s makeup to be sure to adapt the look to suit their age and complement their skin tone. “The key to successfully replicating this look is playing up one feature. In this case, it’s the red lips. You also want to be sure to keep the overall effect light, bright, and soft,” Windham says.

To begin, start with a clean, smooth canvas. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply an antioxidant serum, and follow it with a moisturizing sunscreen. For the last, critical step, smooth a silicone-based primer on your face. “Primer is important because it evens out skin texture and tone and helps makeup last longer,” Windham says.

Here’s what you’ll need for the look:

  • A felt tip black eye liner for the cat eye,
  • Soft shimmer eye shadow,
  • Black mascara, Foundation,
  • Bronzer or blush,
  • Red lip liner, and
  • Red lipstick or gloss that works for your skin tone.

Personally, I’m terrified of red lipstick because I’m afraid it will make me look like a harlot. I don’t even own a tube of the stuff. Windham says she hears that concern from many women, and she has a formula for choosing the right shade. If you have fair skin, choose a color with a blue undertone. Women with olive skin need a shade with a warm undertone, and those with dark skin can pull off a red color with a brown undertone. If you’re still intimidated, Windham suggests starting with a lighter berry shade and working your way darker as you become comfortable with a bold lip.

Once you’re ready to begin makeup application, start with the eyes. “Eye makeup can be messy, so it’s best to do that step first before you’ve applied makeup to the rest of your face,” Windham says. Sweep soft shimmer eye shadow from your eyelid to just above the crease. Use a clean brush to blend the color upward onto your brow bone.

To apply the felt tip black eye liner, pull up gently from your brow bone to expose your lash line. Start from the inner tear duct on your upper lid, and use light strokes to paint into the lash line and outward. Stop at the outer corner of your upper lid. To create the cat eye, consider how dramatic you want it to be. Using the felt tip liner, place a small dot where you want the cat eye line to end. The farther the dot is from the outer corner of your upper lid, the more dramatic the look. Place the liner on the dot you made, and trace a line back to the outer corner where your line ended. Add even more drama with a coat of black mascara.

Once your eyes are complete, you can apply foundation. Follow that with some bronzer or a pop of blush on the apples of your cheeks. Finish the look with daring red lips. Outline your lips and fill them in with liner. Next, apply the lipstick. For some extra holiday flare, add highlighter to cheek bones. “This is a bold look, so you don’t want to go overboard with shimmer. A little extra light reflection is all you need,” Windham says.

Before you step out for that soiree, step back from the mirror. Look at the front and sides of your face to ensure you don’t have any smudges, lines or imbalances.

Kiss N’ Makeup uses Senna Cosmetics for the red lips-cat eye look in Lasting Illusion skin matte foundation, Crimson lip liner, Venetian Red cream lipstick or Maraschino lip lacquer, black pinpoint micro tip liquid eyeliner, Silver Lining Glow eye color, and Voluptulash mascara. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Kiss N’ Makeup at (512) 388-1150. Like their Facebook page to stay on top of happenings at the studio.

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About the Author: Crystal Zuzek

Crystal Zuzek is an Austin-based writer with more than a decade of experience in the journalism industry. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in the magazine sequence. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, going to movies and concerts, and spending time with her husband, Patrick, and her dachshund mix, Saffron.