How to Step Up Your Look for a Holiday Party

When I get invited to a holiday party, two questions immediately pop into my head: 1.) Will there be free alcohol? and 2.) What do I wear? The latter question often leads to a lengthy internal monologue and trying-on frenzy in front of my closet, and consequently, a trip out to buy an overpriced dress for the year’s holiday party circuit. And while that new dress makes me feel like a million bucks, it simultaneously reminds me that I am very, very broke.

So, it’s no surprise that when I found out The Everygirl would be hosting our FIRST holiday party in our FIRST office, I was super excited, but also well aware that I could not (and would not) be buying a new outfit. When I brought up this self-imposed rule to the team, I realized I wasn’t alone. We were all guilty of wanting to step up our holiday looks without spending a fortune.

This year, instead of shopping in the clothing department, we shopped the beauty department, and turned to our friends at Kohl’s for help. We made a day of it, popped the champagne, put on our favorite holiday playlists (Bublé all day, er’ day), and jazzed up our holiday looks that made us each feel like a million bucks—but actually cost us less than $50 each.

Here, we walk you through our holiday party prep using each of our own favorite beauty products from Kohl’s to make our skin, hair, eyes, and lips look their best. And because we cherish our beloved, go-to products so much, we’ll be gifting them them to our friends, our sisters, moms… coworkers… you get the point.

You can do the same for your loved ones (and yourself) this season, and while you’re at it, save $10 on your beauty purchase of $50 or more. (It even runs through Dec. 24, for all you last-minute shoppers).

Cheers to making more of our loved ones merrier this year—without breaking those holiday budgets.


IN HER WORDS: “I own like, four shirts. Honestly. I wish I could say that this “capsule wardrobe” that I’ve created was intentional, but the truth is that I spend any discretionary funds on throw pillows or wine. Even though I keep my makeup really simple for everyday, I rely on bold lipstick to give my basic ensemble a boost when there’s a special occasion. While it’s tempting to just slap on some lipstick and call it quits, I’ve learned that exfoliating your lips first makes a huge difference in the final product. Next comes the lipstick, and finally, a gloss, which is great for the moisturizing factor, and it also keeps the whole look from being too harsh. Voila! Out the door and ready to go.” – Caitlin Timson, Social Media Manager

bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub ($18)
theBalm Read My Lips Lip Gloss ($15)
theBalm Girls Lipstick (in amanda kissmylips) ($17)



IN HER WORDS: “Come winter, my skin is a cosmic black hole when it comes to moisture. Every last drop I apply gets sucked in, never to resurface. I can serum, moisturize, and exfoliate all day long, but ultimately it’s still dry. Of course like most women, I want what I can’t have. And that’s dewy skin with the perfect hint of shimmer for the holiday party scene: starting with our office party. My beauty routine is typically quite simple: moisturizer, a CC cream, powder, and bronzer. But this season, I’m adding a shimmery top coat with illuminating powder to disguise the dryness, contour the heck out of my non-existent cheekbones, and give the magical illusion of sparkly Christmas Elf cheeks. Shiny gold blush brush not included but will be added to my ‘Gifts for Me List’ pronto.” – Alaina Kaczmarski, Cofounder

CARGO’s HD Illuminating Palette ($34)
Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection 300 Tapered Blush Makeup Brush ($19)



IN HER WORDS: “I’m sort of a minimalist when it comes to wearing makeup because a. I don’t want to spend 45 min applying makeup and b. I have no idea what I’m doing. Most days, I throw on some moisturizer and foundation, and fill in my brows. When it comes to going out at night or attending an event, I like to do something that will stand out a little more than a filled-in eyebrow. Since a bold lip feels a little too bold for me, I usually focus on making my eyes pop by adding liquid liner and a little shadow, so this year I’m gifting myself this incredible eyeshadow palette and liquid eyeliner pen.” – Danielle Moss, Cofounder

LORAC PRO Palette 3 with mini eye primer ($44)
CARGO liquid eyeliner ($20)



IN HER WORDS: “Confession: I haven’t chopped off my hair since I was a freshman in high school. Do I have attachment issues? Definitely. I could be wearing full makeup, but if I’m having a bad hair day, it’s all over (hence those 14-year-old post-haircut tears). So, it should come as no surprise that I’d rather ditch the time spent on foundation, eyeliner, and blush, and focus on my locks. I prefer ‘beachy waves’ to tight curls, since my hair is fine and doesn’t always hold. I’ve found that a wand is better at achieving that look than a curling iron, so I used Conair’s Infiniti You Curl, which I’m gifting myself this season (and probably one or two of my girlfriends who are similarly obsessed with their lovely locks). I added some hairspray for extra hold and felt like I was stepping out with my holiday hair on point.” – Kristen Mitchell, Assistant Editor

Conair Infiniti You Curl ($29.99)

How do you plan on stepping up your holiday look this season (while on a budget)? Share with us in the comments below!


This story was sponsored by Kohl’s but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.