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12 Days of Holiday Style, Day Four: Red Lip — for Day!

red lipstickWe’re into the holiday homestretch now, and for the mamas this means the last week of kids in school, which also means the last chance to run all those secret Santa errands before the nosy elves are underfoot. It’s time to get your game face on — or, really, your party face, even if the party is just a long day of gift wrapping.

For most busy moms, a full face of makeup is impractical for day. We’re just too busy with lunches and carpool and work deadlines and playgroups and all the other things that have to get done during the daylight hours. Makeup — at least, anything elaborate — becomes an after-five treat, something we dig out for date night but skip during the week. My kids are old enough to dress themselves and make their own breakfasts, and yet some days it’s still a triumph if I get a shower before school pickup. There’s no way I’m going to squeeze elaborate hair and makeup in there, not on a normal Tuesday.

But that doesn’t mean I’m willing to go around looking like I just rolled out of bed, and at this time of year especially, I’m all about simple ways to polish up my everyday face. A bright lip is an easy fix; it doesn’t take much effort and it works with even the most casual outfit. I don’t wear much makeup — tinted moisturizer and a little brow filler and that’s about it — but I love a good red lip, even with my nearly-bare daytime face. I typically opt for a sheer red gloss because I can apply it on the fly, without a mirror. My favorite gloss (Clinique’s Long Last Glosswear, in Juicy Apple) lasts for hours and has sunscreen, for extra protection.

A red lip is the classic default party look, but red is also perfect for day; the trick is to choose a formula that works for you. Gloss and tinted lip balm (like Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm) add a hint of color and are ideal for anyone who goes essentially makeup-free during the day, while a lipstick is bolder and makes a more dramatic statement. Choose an option that works with your overall look, but push your comfort zone; if you’re normally a bare lips girl, grab a gloss, but if you’re always carefully made up, bust out the full-on red lipstick. In fact, the holiday season is the perfect time to show that after-five red in your makeup bag the light of day. Literally.

No matter how low-key the rest of your look, a bright red lip is cheery and festive. And isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Tomorrow: It’s party (shoe) time!

Photo: yenhoon

Get Dressed with Susan Wagner

Find more pragmatic style advice at The Working Closet.
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More from Get Dressed:
12 Days of Holiday Style, Day Three: Winter White
12 Days of Holiday Style, Day Two: Bling it On
12 Days of Holiday Style, Day One: Silk Shirt

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