Festive season is upon us, and for those keen on a little glow and sparkle, a well-honed holiday makeup look is a must. Given that there’s every excuse for a little extra shine, smoke, and, yes, sculpt, who better than the reigning king of contour Mario Dedivanovic to be our guide for a scene-stealing look?
“It’s that time of year where you can really have fun and feel more confident trying something new and different,” says Dedivanovic of executing a deliciously daring holiday makeup strategy. “You tend to be a little bit more bold and playful.” Here, the pro behind Kim Kardashian’s preternatural glow reveals his holiday party-ready tricks and techniques, from crafting a perfect canvas to executing his signature “soft sculpting” and “lip lift” techniques.
Activate a Luminous Glow
After prepping the skin with a veil of emollient moisturizer, such as Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream, to keep makeup set for longer, Dedivanovic suggests upping the wattage for a look that “glows at night” by tapping Elizabeth Arden’s balmy Eight Hour Cream onto the center of the lids or lips for an “extra bit of glossiness.” For a natural luminosity, use a featherweight liquid foundation like the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation or something even lighter like Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer that will blend seamlessly into the skin for subtle, nearly imperceptible coverage.
Sculpt and Highlight Imperceptibly
“Now that everyone knows how to contour and it’s become part of their everyday beauty routine, people are realizing that you can achieve a sculpted look with a lot less makeup,” says Dedivanovic of pioneering his “soft sculpting” technique. To apply bronzer, use a tapered contour brush and a powder formula that’s not too warm or red-toned like Dedivanovic’s Makeup by Mario Soft Sculpt Bronzer. Start slightly above the hollows of the cheeks, then “blend upward to subtly lift the skin and add some warmth,” instructs Dedivanovic.
“This will create a natural sculpt.” Then, add a wash of contour on the eyes for an overall more “natural, monochromatic” effect. For highlighting, Dedivanovic recommends wetting a highlighter brush before dipping it into a powder highlighter, such as his Soft Glow formula, and applying it evenly and softly on the high planes of the face so that it builds for a “melted” effect. “Instead of the product sitting on the skin, it feels like it’s a part of it,” says Dedivanovic.
Smoke the Eyes Effortlessly
“When I think of the holiday season, my mind goes straight to creamy metallic eyeshadows you can apply in one swipe,” explains Dedivanovic, whose Master Metals eyeshadow palette pigments can be transformed with a few drops of his pro mixing liquid to create a molten, liquid foil effect. If you’re partial to powder, wet one or more of the bold, shimmering shades from holiday party-ready The Nudes 3 palette with a brush and blend into lids to smoky effect. Alternatively, when using eyeliner, rim the upper and lower lash lines with an eye brush to blend out the lines for another “instant smoky eye.”
Give Yourself a Lip Lift
“I’m just loving matte lips right now,” says Dedivanovic. “For the holidays, it’s all about those bold berries and deeper reds—they’re very wearable.” To create the illusion of fuller lips, look to Dedivanovic’s TikTok-viral “lip lift” strategy, which consists of slightly overlining the upper lip line, paying most attention to the Cupid’s bow area, and the bottom lip, extending the liner upwards towards the outer corners of the mouth, then diffusing and blending the lip liner with a brush.
Then, to up the impact, go over it with a matte lipstick, such as his Ultra Suede formula in warm crimson Alicia. For a flawless finish, take a little bit of foundation or concealer and use a brush to refine the edges of lips, starting from the inner lips and brushing to the outer corners. “Especially for more mature women, it gives you a mini lip lift,” says Dedivanovic. Once the lip is in place, add a sheer layer of translucent powder to set it and prevent feathering as the night goes on.