When you look at pretty much any Balmain picture ever—runway shots, campaigns, editorials (I mean… Jacquetta in Bon? End of slideshow above. Too good.)—you’ll notice that despite the decadent Swarovski-laden micro-minis, the quilted jacquard velvet jackets, and what look to be 10-pound belts, the girls’ faces are bare. Like, really bare. Backstage at the most recent show in Paris, the only makeup on the table was concealer, an eyelash curler, and an eyebrow brush. Why? Because, when going full-throttle with the glitz, the most appropriate hair and makeup seems to be something super pared-down. But ‘tis the season to get fancy, so, let’s do this: the definitive ITG 2013 Holiday Party Look, from head to (mistle) toe.
Dress You know what? GO FOR IT. Wear sequins. Go to Balmain, or go to a thrift store (Emily did) or eBay and find a 1990s sequin minidress from “Caché” or “Pizazz!” or some other mall store, and get that shit tailored. Shorten it; maybe cut off some sleeve—channel your inner Nicolas Ghesquière. And guess what? The end result will probably look like Balmain, or maybe even Chanel, and when it falls apart after wearing it once, it doesn’t matter because it was $5 ($50 with tailoring) and it served its purpose. Invest in staples like a perfect “nothing shoe” (i.e. , that look like you’re wearing nothing and give you Gisele legs), a badass clutch (the goes with everything, day or night), and, perhaps most importantly…
Jewelry We’ve been on a bit of a ring rampage for the past…while. They’re not just for engagements, graduations, and inheriting. In the jewelry game—hell, in the accessories game—rings are, and have been, where it’s at. Everywhere we look, there's stacks on stacks on stacks. The weighty, , in white gold, please and thank you, are our current favorites...and isn't it convenient that it's the season of giving. (*wink *)
Skin “The 30 minutes we spend on makeup usually, we spent cleaning and massaging the face,” Tom Pecheux said about the Spring 2014 Balmain beauty look. “It’s not pleasant for the skin to be dirty. Hair, fine. Mind, yes. Skin, no.” So, to repeat an obvious, undeniable, and annoying fact of life: everything starts with good skin, especially a no-makeup makeup look. Get (back?) into the zone with our Isabelle Bellis video (click here); treat yourself this month despite being run ragged. And remember, moisturize. That is all.
Makeup There is actually great beauty (har, har) in a stripped-down face this time of the year. By focusing on one dramatic element—in this case, the mouth, because Riri Woo was just reissued (sold out already online, but will be in MAC stores 12/12!)—you needn’t worry about much during an already frantic evening out. Just make sure you have the basics covered: dewy is great, but not in photos. Try on for size (as in, sparingly: think T-zone, with your fingers)—Pat McGrath invented it with iPhone selfies in mind. Dust translucent powder (Emily’s been caught with ) over your face, then, tap some over your eyelids and the tops of your cheeks for the subtlest rose-gold glow. Finish with —it has the craziest brush we’ve seen in a while, but nothing beats it for grabbing outer lashes.
Hair I was [confession: Emily, here. Hi!] never really able to pull off “bed head” hair before 1) going blond, and 2) stealing the silk pillowcase from Mackenzie. Something about the combo makes my wet nighttime hair turn into a Kurt Cobain-y, swirly halo by morning that I have to tame into some sort of attractive arrangement. BUT! This ideal outcome is primarily due to, I believe, the ample amounts of I massage onto my towel-dried noggin before falling asleep. Aura, who did the Big Blond-ing, told me that camellia oil is the big kahuna of good-for-hair oils and she is right. Anyway, the point is: if you’re wearing a sex-drugs-rock-n-roll, Vegas/Moscow-ready ensemble, make sure the hair is easy-breezy. See for inspiration: Jane Birkin, Anja Rubik, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexa Chung—you know, the usual suspects.
Nails When you’re wearing rings, which you should be, that’s kind of the main event south of the wrist. Skip polish and instead, pick up a vial of —just in from Japan.
Emily Weiss photographed by Mathea Millman in New York on December 1st 2013, wearing her own vintage dress, , and Saint Laurent shoes. This feature is brought to you by Piaget.