NEW YORK — New Year's Eve is different: Your outfit can sparkle, your jewels can dazzle, your hair can glisten. You can wear a tiara, for goodness sake. It's a night when glitter is good, and the more the better.
But you don't want to be left with a shine hangover, either, so that means finding a way to reuse some of the splashier pieces in less showy ways over the next 12 months.
You might be marking another year on the calendar, but brightness and light is what keeps you looking youthful and your mood elevated, designer Elie Tahari says. You'll get more bang from your bling if you start off with white or at least colorful clothing instead of black, he explains.
"We are all looking for the same thing: light, truth and joy," he says. "Light and sparkle — all that comes from within, but what's on the outside is a reflection of the inside."
So, Tahari asks, why not a beaded bag or glitzy shoe with your everyday, maybe even tired, navy or black outfit? Or, better yet, a sequin skirt. There's no age restriction here, he says, just a playful attitude.
New Year's Eve is the excuse to test-drive an oversized, vintage-inspired statement necklace or chunky chain bracelet that mixes sparkle with tough-girl tarnished metal or spikes, suggests Blythe Harris, chief creative officer of Stella & Dot. After you've gotten compliments on the bold new look, you'll be more willing to wear it again, she says.
Break the Little Black Dress cycle and try a tuxedo jacket, cropped, slim pants, metallic high heels and dangling earrings dripping in fringed crystal, chains and cubic zirconia. "You can take some license on New Year's that you can't other times, but you might like it," Harris says.
Stila makeup artist Sarah Lucero is a fan of shimmer, and she predicts it's a trend that will last for a while. It meshes with upcoming spring fashion trends, including colorblocking and garden prints, she says.
With makeup, you can layer subtle shine, mixing it with moisturizer as a skin illuminator or as a top coat over black or navy liquid liner, applied close to the lash line. Take full advantage of any romantic candlelight with glitter eye shadow right on the center of the lower part of the lid, Lucero says.
TV's "Glam Fairy," Alexa Prisco, will pile it on for a night on the town: a dab of glitter gloss in the middle of bright red lips, sparkle swiped in the hollow of the cheek, shiny legs thanks to a homemade cocktail of gold shimmer powder and body lotion.
The most successful looks all start with dewy, well-moisturized skin, she says, because the double-edged sword of shine is that it draws attention — indiscriminately to assets or blemishes.
"You're only as good as your canvas," Prisco declares.
Rose gold is a nice flattering metallic for almost every skin tone, whether it's in makeup, jewelry or other accessories, adds Lucero, who acts as Stila's director of education.
Mixed metals is the motto of Stella & Dot's Harris. A stylish, modern mashup would include pieces with beads, crystals and other embellishments, in a variety of textures, shapes and motifs.
Her tip is to find one common thread, such as reflective hematite, to tie them together but otherwise purposely go wild.
"I pretty much will buy anything that sparkles right now," says Alli Webb, founder of the Drybar chain of blow-dry studios. That means stuff for her hair, too, of course. She currently is alternating between a glitter gel and beaded headbands and clips. Some clients are asking for tinsel to be threaded into the hair, giving a holiday twist to the feather trend so popular earlier this year.
The easiest "pizazz," she says, is a loose bun with a sparkly headband, which makes you look dressed up in an instant, but if she has the time, Webb says it's worth it to do a braided updo and secure it with a crystal clip. And on Dec. 31, she'll definitely plan a few extra minutes to primp.
"On New Year's Eve, you want to look like the best version of you," Lucero agrees.