With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to start perfecting some beauty techniques that will help you look your best while hopping the party circuit. ELLECanada.com rounded up the five biggest beauty trends you should focus your energy on this holiday 2011 season.

Holiday beauty tips #1: Smoky eyes

This dramatic eye look can take an outfit from day to night and can convey a little bit of mystery to guests. When working with eyeshadow, Sandra Milligan, founder of boxx cosmetics, says it’s best to avoid eyeliner. “An eyeshadow is much easier to work with than a pencil liner and is forgiving on the delicate skin of our eyelids.”

To get a smoky eye look this season:

• Trace your top lash line from the outer corner to the inner using dark eyeshadow and a makeup brush.
• Sweep a dark coloured powder shadow across your eyelid and into your crease.
• Dust a lighter shadow into the crease blending into the darker eyelid colour with your finger.
• Sweep a neutral eyeshadow shade across the brow bone, blending with the colour in the crease.
• Finish with mascara.

Holiday beauty tips #2: Undone bun

The messy bun is one of the hottest hairstyle trends for this holiday season – and for spring/summer 2012. According to L’Oreal Professional hair guru James Busby all you need is your hands and hairspray to perfect this look. You can check out his online hairstyle tutorials at lorealprofessional.co.uk.

• Spray some hairspray into your locks and rub into your hair.
• Sweep hair back into a ponytail, securing with an elastic.
• Spray more hairspray into your ponytail, working it into your locks with your hands (this will help your hair look “messier”).
• Now you want to twist your ponytail in a rotating, clockwise motion until it forms into a chignon. Twist until the bun sits at the nape of your neck.
• Take a long pin and sew it through the newly formed chignon. Pinch the edges of the bobby pin with your fingers to secure the bun in place.
• Now that your loose bun is secure, lightly pull strands of hair from the bun to create a messy, undone hairstyle look. You can also mess up the top of your head so it doesn’t look as slick.

More holiday beauty tips for getting a gorgeous makeup look for your next soiree, on the next page…

Dolce-e-Gab-bks-a-RF11-1297edit.jpgHoliday beauty tips #3: Perfect eyebrows

The last thing anyone wants to do when they’re at a party is to worry about over-plucked or bushy eyebrows. To avoid such a problem, says Debbie Bondar – the CEO of Face Atelier – use eyeshadow to fill in your brows.

• Using a slightly fluffy eye brush (or a crease brush), apply an eyeshadow to your eyebrow that most closely matches your brow shade.
• Apply the shadow in short, feathery strokes in the direction your hair grows.

Holiday beauty tips #4: Smooth, silky skin

Years from now you won’t want to look back on holiday photos wondering why you wore so much makeup. The goal, then, should be to give your skin a healthy glow. To achieve such a look, Bondar suggests you reach for a good silicone-based foundation – it eliminates the need for skin primer and can be used, in many cases, as a concealer. You can even use such foundation as a lip and eye primer. Why? Bondar says it’s because foundation won’t dry out lips and prevents the dreaded “face cracking” appearance. Start with a foundation brush made of tacklon (synthetic) fibre. Sponges absorb far too much product, says Bondar (which is a waste of makeup and money).

To get smooth looking skin:

• Simply dip the brush into the foundation and apply to the skin, working from the forehead to your chin.
• Make sure your brush strokes are steady and light and never over apply the foundation.
• Be sure to blend the foundation along your jawline and into the skin of your neck (so your face and neck are the same colour).

Holiday beauty tips #5: Bold lips

Creating the perfect pout is the best way to showcase your beautiful smile in photos. Where should you start? COVERGIRL makeup artist Greg Wencel says you should apply a lip liner first under your lip colour. “The old school way to lock in lip colour was to powder the outer rim of your lips before putting on lipstick, but the powder settles into fine lines and leaves your lips looking harsh.”

And how to get the perfect pout this fall?

• Find a lip liner that’s closest to your natural lip colour.
• Apply the liner around the rim and then fill in your lips using a stroking motion from the middle of your lips to the outer corners.
• Apply a bright colour lipstick – like red, which is perfect for holiday – over the liner once your lips are entirely filled in.
• For added sheen, apply a coat of clear lip gloss.

Read more:
Holiday hair and beauty tips
The best lipstick looks for the festive season
8 amazing holiday looks
Holiday must-have accessories