We all have a colleague or cousin who's ALWAYS flawless - impeccably groomed and impossibly polished without ever looking too 'done'. So, if you have a gathering planned that requires a pared-back but elegant look - something sure to impress Auntie Jean while ensuring you don't risk upstaging the Christmas tree - here's how to dazzle this season when glitter and sweet wrapper hues aren't your jam... 

'The Classicist' knows how to nail a tonal beauty look for instant 'I made an effort' without... effort. An easy formula to master, equipped with a palette of toffee-toned shadows, a nude lip and barely-there contour you'll quickly be giving those envy-inducing (and head-turning) rivals a run for their tailored shift dresses! So, whether you're a Glamazon or always look a little more, dishevelled (NOTHING wrong with that!), here's proof that you needn't go all out with shimmer and sequins to dazzle your way through December. 

The perfect opportunity to show there's a sophisticate beneath your grungy surface, we’ve broken down the ULTIMATE make up look for family festivities in three easy steps (you’re welcome). Universally flattering, there's no one who won't suit a soft wash of neutral-toned shadow, an elegant brow and a whisper of lipstick. And, because there aren't any harsh lines or bright colours, this soignée effect can be channelled with minimal skill - whether at home or squashed in the back of a taxi en route to your grandmother's Boxing Day buffet.  

Just as gorgeous with jeans and a t-shirt as skirt suit and those Chanel slingbacks, challenge your niche ("scruffy sibling") and adopt a new spirit of metamorphosis! It's cool to be chameleonic so why not turn up at the pub and stun your BFFs by looking sleek and 'put together' in an understated way?

Start with a creamy (convenient!) stick foundation - we love {Anastasia Beverly Hills} handbag-friendly confection - then buff with a brush or use fingers to 'melt' and ensure undetectable coverage. Brighten under-eyes and disguise boo-boos with BY TERRY's {Touche Veloutée}, then enhance your bone structure with subtle sculpting - Charlotte Tilbury's bestselling {Filmstar Bronze & Glow} is remarkably user-friendly (no weird 'stripes').

For eyes, the incredible {Soft Glam Palette} boasts a spectrum of wearable (non-scary!) hues, while Jouer's {Crème Eyeliner} blends beautifully for a soft, smudgy smoulder that's perfect for desk or dancefloor.

Finish with lashings of Benefit's {BadGAL Bang Mascara} for formidable length and incredible volume, then cloak lips with Charlotte Tilbury's 'your lips but better' hue: a quick slick of {K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick} in 'Bitch Perfect' and you're set to take on whatever the day may throw at you. You'll look like a swan even if your feet are working overtime beneath the surface...

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