13 Holiday Party Makeup Bag Essentials to Vamp Up Your Look

By Taylor Stephan Dec 15, 2017 5:34 PMTags
Branded: Target Makeup Bag Essentials

If there's ever been a time to step up your makeup game, it's during the holiday season.

Like clockwork, your end-of-year itinerary is suddenly booked with back-to-back celebrations and, since you never know who you'll run into, you'd be wise to be makeup-ready at all times. In other words: Now is not the time to simply swipe on some lip balm and call it a day.

All in all, this time of year calls for more: more lip color, more highlighter, more glitter—the works.

Feel like your makeup bag could use a restock? We've got you with these holiday must-haves.

Shadow Brush Set

Question for you: Have you ever met a holiday makeup look that didn't include some version of the smokey eye? It'll take some practice, but with this four-piece brush set, you'll master it in no time.

BUY IT: Eco Tools Soft Smokey Eye Set, $15


Iridescent Brush Set

Whether you're packing on the blush or perfecting your contour, the right tools make all the difference. Our pick: This iridescent set that's just as pretty as it is functional.

BUY IT: Sonia Kashuk™ Holiday Cosmetic Brush Set, $18

Metallic Eyeshadow Palette

Bright eye shadow may not be your everyday look, but ‘tis the season to vamp it up. Whether you're feeling soft pastels or moody blues, sky's the limit with this pigment-packed palette.

BUY IT: BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes 28 Color Eyeshadow Palette, $13

Blush Palette

Truth time: No flirty makeup look is complete without a little blush action. It doesn't matter what shade of rouge you're after, this neutrals palette makes mixing and customizing yours as easy as ever.

BUY IT: BH Cosmetics Blushed Neutrals, $21

Voluminous Mascara

Whatever eye shadow color you go with, it's mandatory that you finish it off with some drama-inducing mascara. Hint: We're all about this collagen-packed formula that delivers big volume with just one coat.

BUY IT: Maybelline Volum' Express® Colossal BIG Shot Mascara, $7


Makeup doesn't stay on forever, but you can make sure it stays on all night with a little prep work from a primer. Bonus: This cult favorite is slightly shimmery, so it'll give you that perfectly subtle glow when layered under foundation.

BUY IT: Honest Beauty Everything Primer Luminous Base, $27

Metallic Lip Color

Normally, you're more of clear gloss girl—we get that. But come on people, it's the holidays (aka the perfect time to go for a bold lip). Step it up even more with a glossy, metallic lip color that has "come and kiss me" written all over it.

BUY IT: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Lip Paints Metallic, $8

Gold Nail Polish

Perfectly painted nails always make you feel more pulled together, that's a fact. For the holidays, however, swap pretty pinks and casual neutrals for flashy golds. The more glitter, the better!

BUY IT: essie® Nail Polish in Good as Gold, $9

Plumping Lip Gloss

Say your event is slightly more casual or takes place during the day. A shine-enhancing lip product is always a solid, low-key choice. This one is a multitasker, too. It's moisturizing, instantly plumping and has a cool tingling feel. Amen!

BUY IT: Revlon Kiss Lip Plumping Creme 500 Cashmere Creme, $10

Liquid Eyeliner

In between perfecting your cat-eye and packing on the mascara comes one important step: eyeliner. If precision is your aim (when is it not?), make your holiday eye makeup stand out with this easy-to-use wheel-tip liner.

BUY IT: Revlon ColorStay Exactify Liner, $10

False Lashes

Your natural lashes are beautiful (especially now that you've coated them with mascara), but still want more? These luscious false lashes are just what the occasion called for.

BUY IT: Eylure False Eyelashes Vegas Nay Luxe Collection Bronze, $9


Even if your complexion is pretty close to flawless, you're better safe than sorry with this hydrating tint- and-conceal treatment on hand. Throw it in your clutch for on-the-go touchups between dinner and drinks.

BUY IT: Pixi Illuminating Tint & Conceal, $25

Makeup Pouch

Lastly, with all this fabulous new holiday makeup, you're going to need somewhere to put it. Enter: This just-festive-enough beauty pouch that'll hold your faves when you're at home or on the go.

BUY IT: e.l.f. Play Beautifully Beauty Pouch, $3


Now, who has New Year's plans?