Nice To Naughty Makeup You Can Do In The Car

Go from office holiday party to afterparty with five little products.

Office holiday parties are great for festive eating and drinking on the company dime. But things can be a bit stiff since you don’t want to misbehave in front of the boss. The choice scenario? Make a politely-timed appearance and then feign due diligence to get yourself home--but instead grab your close colleagues and start the afterparty.

Whether you're in the backseat of a cab or an office bathroom, here's how to nudge your makeup from nice to naughty with just five (clutch-size) products.


My “nice” face takes about five minutes. It goes like this: tightline upper lashes with sharpened kohl liner; apply volumizing mascara on top lashes; tint cheeks and lips with Topshop Lip Polish in Gallery.

Look how approachable and non-threatening I look!


Speaking of non-threatening, time to ditch the squares and hop on the back of some babe’s motorcycle and ride off into the sunset, '80s montage style. Take that kohl liner out and waterline your lower eyelid, running over your lower lash line in a second pass. Extend the line past the outer corners in a slight wing.

Using your pinky finger, smudge the line ever so slightly and extend the wing. Cotton swabs are even better than pinkies, if you remember to throw some in your clutch. A folded tissue also works just fine to carve that wing real sharp. If you go over that part again with kohl to intensify, I’m not going to stop you.

Now is the time to swipe that Lip Polish once, twice, three times a diva. See how the color builds? It’s like the perfect juicy red stained lip.

Now for hair. I’ve kept my 'do in a carefully twisted bun. Release thy bun!

It will probably look unruly, but that’s OK. In fact, unruly is GREAT. With a texturizing styling cream, separate and twist the ends to form loose, multi-directional waves. Depending on your hair’s shape and length, you can sculpt this however you like best. I prefer a sort of retro-destruction vibe.

I packed a baby can of Redken Wind Blown Finishing Spray, a dry-finish texturing and setting spray that gives serious hold without any crunch. Spray your ends with this stuff to put your hair in perma-disco mode. Lastly, chucking a leather jacket into the mix never hurt anyone. Plus, it looks cool.

To me, this look is more Naughty By Nature than “I Wanna Be Bad,” but hey, 'tis the season to have it all…and wake up in time for work the next morning.

Now, full disclosure: I have never worked full-time at a conventional office, so office parties for me generally entail being a +1 with my mom, or that one time I dated a venture capitalist (they throw very expensive yet dull parties). But whether you're sneaking out of your parents house post-holiday dinner or just don't want to sacrifice your social life to impress HR, it's good to know you can switch gears with minimal effort--and baggage.

  • What’s your office holiday party style?
  • Any awkwardly posed office party photos or weird instances where Glen from accounting made a slurry pass at you and then called you mom? Please indulge me, I’m office-gossip deprived.