Holiday Hair & Makeup Tips

Holiday parties are in full swing, and now that EVERYONE has a Facebook or Instagram account, you know that there are going to be TONS of photos out in the world to document each and every event. Want to look your best so the ex boyfriend who you are still “Facebook Friends” with can pine over what he is missing? Then let me introduce you to my local gem for holiday hair and makeup, Pearls of Chicago Salon and Spa!  Annette and her team treated me to a day of beautification so I could learn all of their tips and tricks for having on-point holiday hair and makeup and I’m so thrilled to share their secrets with you.

All photos courtesy of Avi Berkman of Berkman Studios


First things first…consider the formality of your holiday party (I mean, there is a HUGE difference between your child’s holiday concert and your husband’s work party, am I right?!?). Save the sparkles for night time events (hello, New Year’s Eve!) and instead focus on neutrals with one highlighted pop of color—whether it is coal rimmed eyes or a bright red lip stick) for daytime events.


Remember that your entire look includes your clothing, shoes, accessories, hair AND makeup. It is all connected so you truly want to streamline your look. While trying out different hair and makeup looks with the Pearls of Chicago team, we took the time to match up different necklines to the perfect hair style, as well as found complimentary eye shadow shades that would really make my eyes pop, and it made SUCH a difference.

Start with a fresh face. When Annette was transforming my tired mom face into a vibrant one, she knew to use primer and other products to create a solid base that would not only hold my makeup well, but also be great for my skin. Don’t know where to start? Then head over to the gorgeous Pearls of Chicago and have them guide you through their skin care options. Their salon is fully stocked to make everyone look their best, from pre-teens with acne to grandmas who want to look half their age.


Don’t forget that dirty hair is a good thing. Seriously. It’s the one thing that we overtired moms have going for us. Why is it so good? Because dirty hair holds curls and up-dos so much better than squeaky clean hair. So skip your hair washing session if you want a look that will last and invest in salon quality dry shampoo and hair spray to make styling your own hair more manageable. The Pearls of Chicago team told me that the key items for creating your own up-do is a wide toothed comb, hair pick, clear rubber bands, curling iron…and patience.


Take a look at how my holiday hair and makeup evolved from a simpler style to a more formal look that is ready to ring in the new year. As the Pearls of Chicago team reminded me, it is so important to start slowly when building color (specifically when discussing eye makeup and lip color) because it is so much easier to add extra details as opposed to taking off makeup without smudging and having to start the process all over from the beginning.

In terms of hair, simply curling your hair to see where it will fall and how it will lay, whether side swept or in a more formal up-do, is key to finding a look that will not only stay put, but also look beautiful.

For those of you like me who aren’t great at doing their own hair and makeup, simply mention this blog post when booking your appointment at Pearls of Chicago and receive 20% off your service. That means that you will be effortlessly party ready and get to “feel gorgeous someplace beautiful” thanks to the talented Pearls of Chicago staff whether you book a salon or spa service.

P.S. How GORGEOUS is Annette, the owner?!?!

Happy Holidays!
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  1. Alli Smith says

    I love your hair, makeup, and that lipstick is amazing! You’ve got some great tips on holiday hair and makeup. It’s so true that freshly washed hair does not hold curls like slightly dirty hair does. You look gorgeous!

  2. Amber Myers says

    These are some fabulous tips. I rarely wear makeup, but I do like to fix my hair now and again. And I’m with you on the dirty hair. I wash my hair every few days, not daily.

  3. valmg @ Mom Knows It All says

    It’s nice to get pampered once in a while. I don’t go very often but know that I’m always a little bummed if I do get my hair done because it never looks as good when I try to do it as the day when they do it in the salon.

    • Amanda says

      I’m the same way! Thankfully this time around I took notes…but when all else fails, I’ll just go back to Pearls of Chicago!

  4. Debra Hawkins says

    I love the updo. So elegant! I always struggle to know how to do my hair for Holiday parties, so it always ends up down!

  5. Claudia Krusch says

    I love this updo with the pretty pins. I needed a few ideas for my Holiday party coming up. Thanks for the great tips.

  6. Mellissa says

    Such cute! Definitely bring a simple elegance to any ensemble around the holiday. I’m actually looking for ideas right now. I love the first with the flowy curls and the piece pinned back.

  7. JDaniel4's Mom says

    What great tips! I remember the stylist that put up my hair for my sister’s wedding was so upset that I had washed my hair. You are right about the dirty hair. She really wished I had left mine dirty.

  8. Marysa says

    I love all these hair ideas! It is fun to try some new things when it comes to celebrations. I have a work party coming up and I think these would be great.

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