From an extra few hours of sleep to mouthwatering comfort food, Thanksgiving is an invitation to indulge. And at peak coziness, whiling away the hours in front of the fire or watching the cranberry sauce simmer on the stove, taking an insouciant approach to beauty only feels natural. But by the same token, surrounded by loved ones for the first time in a while and with photo ops aplenty, what better occasion to go glamorously festive?
Believe it or not, even burlesque star Dita Von Teese dials back her immaculately coiffed beauty for Thanksgiving—but not at the sacrifice of her signature red lip and blue-black waves. “I like to be comfortable, but I [also] enjoy the theatrics of getting done up,” she says of her Thanksgiving makeup strategy. “Even around people I’m close to, I take that time to present myself in a way that makes me feel good.” She sets her shoulder-grazing lengths in hot rollers for ’40s-style pin curls and, in place of a full face of makeup, relies on a swipe of hyper-pigmented long-lasting red lipstick, like MAC’s Ruby Woo or Maybelline’s Red Revival. “It just gives you this instant lift and doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes, really,” she says.
But in the spirit of enjoying a bountiful feast free of worry, a bold lip may not be the most practical option for all. Makeup artist Patrick Ta—whose clientele is comprised of perpetual bombshells like Gigi Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, and Emily Ratajkowski—suggests focusing on a luminous soft-focus glow using a creamy concealer on the center of the face as needed and a featherweight highlighter to strobe the cheekbones, temples, and other areas of the face where light hits naturally. “It gives you coverage, but also brightens and adds dimension to the face,” he explains. For a bit more va-va-voom, he suggests embracing the autumnal colors of the season like the Hadids, with soft swirls of bronzer on cheeks and a burnt orange or iridescent copper eyeshadow smudged onto lids.
Jessica Alba, who also works with Ta, is keen on what she calls a “daytime smoky eye” for her Thanksgiving makeup. After a coat of Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara on the lashes and rimming the lower lash line in a universally flattering taupe gold liner, she uses her eyeshadow palette to swipe a rich metallic shade into the crease of the lids and a lighter hue on top, to further open the eyes. Alba also suggests having a sheer nude gloss and concealer on hand for touch-ups before family photos. Polished-but-not-too-polished hair is another essential part of her chic yet low-maintenance beauty equation. “I use an iron to curl my hair for brushed-out waves because I can do it in 15 minutes if my hair is already dry,” she explains. And if you’ll be hosting this holiday season, Alba has plenty of wisdom to impart, beginning with allowing yourself 45 minutes before guests arrive to get spruced up. And if you really want to take TLC to the next level, take some “me time” the night before. “I like to do a face mask, hair mask, and take a bath because I know that the next morning I’m going to be up early, on my feet, and cooking,” she says. “So I let myself have that.”
The bottom line is that what makes a woman feel glamorous is totally subjective. But making a standout effort—whatever that means to you—can go far beyond what you see in the mirror. This sentiment is perhaps best summed up by Ta: “No matter what the occasion, when you look and feel great, you ultimately want to stay longer, see more people, and take more pictures,” he says. And on Thanksgiving, isn’t that what it’s all about?