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Is adding sparkle to my holiday makeup ever appropriate?

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The question

I'd love to do something special with my makeup for holiday parties this year. Can you suggest some ways of introducing sparkle tastefully?

The answer

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Aside from maybe adorning your nail tips, there is nothing tasteful about sparkle in a holiday makeup regime. After the age of 18, sparkle should be avoided at all costs, unless it's being used in a costume situation and even then it is questionable.

To keep things classy, avoid sparkle and instead turn to its mature, more refined sister: shimmer. When using shimmer for the holidays, my best suggestion is to choose one area of the face and add it to that one area alone. Shimmery jewel-toned shadows are big this season, as are smoky brown eyes with a hint of glint. If you prefer glittery lips, opt for a rich, bold red and top it off with a clear, iridescent gloss.

If neither of these sounds like your cup of cider, I suggest using a highlighter to add a glow instead. Try grabbing Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! cream-to-powder highlighter and aim for the top of your cheekbones, the brow bone and around the cupid's bow of the lips. Stick to using shimmer on one feature and you will avoid a sparkle overdose on your holiday party circuit.

Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty specialist who has appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV. Follow her on Twitter: @baharniramwalla. Have a beauty question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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