It’s December, which means our diaries are jam-packed with dinners and red-carpet events. After sending off our RSVPs, it’s time to start thinking about our look. Whether you’re working from the head down or feet up, you should never leave beauty to the last minute. It’s a time when you can get creative and show off your personality, so why not experiment with the season’s top trends? Here, some of the region’s leading talents share their favorite looks for you to try for yourself. 


“Blues, purples, pinks and reds are coming in this season, with undertones ranging from cool to warm and saturation from transparent to full tone,” says Dubai-based makeup artist Mariam Khairallah. That means one thing, “It’s Holidisco season!” she declares. For those looking to make a statement with this 70s inspired look, Khairallah explains, “The perfect formula is MAC’s Prrrplexing! Shadeshifter Duochrome  eyeshadow, to create a dual chrome effect.” Use it on the center of the eyes and then apply lashings of jet-black mascara. 


Moroccan hair guru Ilham Mestour’s coveted style comes from the 1920s. Cue the finger wave, a method that sees hair set into tight curls. “Finger waves are not that hard to create, though you will struggle your first few tries,” says the hairstylist. She suggests washing your hair first and applying a leave-in treatment. Using lots of mousse is the next step. “Before you start forming each curl, rub the mousse through your hair, so the product is distributed evenly. Then, begin molding. Take your comb and your index finger to smooth your hair into a C-shape. Place your index finger down and use another finger to hold the hair in place to sculpt the ridge. Depending on your hair (and how hard or easy it is to mold), you’ll have to reapply the mousse continuously,” she advises. 


Lebanese makeup artist Hala Ajam knows there’s nothing better than showing off your natural beauty. “It’s a great party look,” she says, “Girly, but also sexy.” Draw inspiration from the ethereal look she created for Egyptian actress and singer Sherine. Here, she created a natural glow, working with cleverly placed contour and highlighter. “It looks like damp skin, almost wet. Then I used banana powder on the center of the face to brighten her overall complexion,” explains Ajam. To elevate the look, she contoured the eyelid with bronzer and worked with a shimmery pigment on the inner corner of the eyes. “I used L’Oréal’s Voluminous Waterproof Mascara to finish it off. It opens up the eyes, nothing too dramatic, so there’s a softness,” she concludes. 


If you’ve got some statement outfits lined up for the festive season, then an updo like Sara Sampaio‘s makes for the perfect pairing. Created by Lebanese hairstylist Georges El Mendelek, the look is, he explains, ” Easy for anyone to recreate at home.” Begin by brushing your hair with a flat brush, add some serum or spray and sweep into a low ponytail. “You then have to twist it into a round twisted braid and secure with pins,” he adds. Use a spray to tame any flyaways. If you’re looking to elevate the look, El Mendelek says, “Add some glitter to the bun. It’s fun and unexpected.” 


Egypt-based makeup artist Shariff Tanyous is known for his statement red carpet beauty. For those looking to up their style game, he says, “Makeup can transform your entire look from zero to one hundred even if you’re wearing simple jewelry and a dress.” His top tip for the season is to focus on the eyes. “A bold eyeliner and lots of metallic,” he suggests. Make like Egyptian actress Salma Abu Deif and don’t shy away from color. “People need to use more color, especially during the party season,” Tanyous says. He suggests going with a swipe of pink. Bold yet feminine.