The holiday party season is here. Your soiree schedule is set. Before you know it, you'll be reconnecting with colleagues, spreading holiday cheer with friends, and maybe even stealing a few mistletoe kisses — wink, wink. (But not at the company party, of course!)
Although you may still be searching for the perfect party dresses, there's no need to stress about your textured tresses. Here, glam stylist Rodney Cutler shares simple style ideas to dazzle different occasions: the somewhat-structured office party, the coveted black-tie affair with your beau, and that all-night holiday bash you can't wait to crash solo!
The Holiday Event: Office Party
What you're going for: Polished & Professional
Try: Side-Swept Spirals
How to get it: The company holiday party can be fun and festive, but you always want to remember that it's still a professional function. The goal is to strike a balance between formal and casual. Have fun, but don't go haywire. Show a different side of yourself, but not too different. Argh! The etiquette rules may wear on your nerves, but your party look doesn't have to.
First, style your curls as usual, and create a strong part. If you normally aim for the center, try a side part — or vice versa.
"You want to look different from how your work colleagues normally see you, without going overboard," says Rodney Cutler of New York's Cutler Salon.
Then, sweep one side back with two or three decorative bobby pins. You can roll your curls back in one or two sections (to make it a little more formal) or loosely sweep your textured tresses back to one side (for a more relaxed, but still-stylish look). The glitzy bobby pins add a seasonal effect, so don't be afraid to show them — they're part of the holiday style.
At this event, you're only festive, never flashy. No need to be paranoid, but do remember that someone (maybe your boss) will be watching you, so skip the drinking games!
The Holiday Event: Black-Tie Affair
What you're going for: Sophisticated and chic
Try: Tastefully Tousled Knot
How to get it: For this formal, champagne-toasting event, you'll want your most elegant and glamorous side to shine. You have the perfect gown, now it's time for a romantic style that is all your own.
Cutler suggests a twist on the half-up-half-down 'do. First, loosely gather a group of curls from both sides, away from the face, and create a knot in the back. Then, secure it with a decorative accessory, such as a sparkling gemstone brooch or barrette.
"The accessories play up the elegance and the festive season," Cutler says. "But you don't want to look like a Christmas tree and you don't want [the style] to look contrived. So don't pull your curls too tightly, and the knot doesn't have to be symmetrical."
The finished look? Sophisticated, yet natural — and all you!
The Holiday Event: Best Friend's (or any friend's) Bash
What you're going for: Fun & Flirty
Try: Glittery, Beguiling bun
How to get it: When your gal pals throw a party, the invitation screams all-night fun. You want a style that's festive, flirty but still out of your face, as you make your way onto the dance floor, yet again.
Cutler suggests a disheveled bun, with a glimmering holiday twist!
First, gently pull your hair back into a ponytail, but "don't make it perfect — keep the curly texture and movement," Cutler says. Next, head to your local arts and crafts store for a small container of glitter (try red or green for a seasonal theme — gold or silver for extra shimmer) and simply toss it inside the ponytail and sprinkle it on the top layer of your curls. Then, twist the ponytail into a messy bun and secure it with pins.
"When the light hits your curls, the glitter will create a reflection and sparkle," Cutler says, "and that will give the look a really festive feel."
As the night wears on, you can always release the bun to let your hair down . . . and the glitter fly — yet another way to make your holidays sparkle!