How to Glam Up Your Mom Makeup for the Holidays

If your calendar is bedecked with special holiday events this Christmas season, here are 5 tips (from a professional makeup artist) to glam up your mom makeup for a festive night out on the town.

Glam Up Mom Makeup
All photos by Atlanta-based Good Studio Co. (Facebook | Instagram) at Meadows at Mossy Creek.

Every holiday season, I look forward to the array of festive events in December. As a mom of four, it’s not often that I get the chance to dress up for a night on the town the way I did before kids.

Nowadays, the logistics of finding a babysitter for four kids and finding the energy to stay up past 10 p.m. happens about as often as the lunar eclipse occurs each year.

But the Christmas season adds that extra boost of energy and excitement, not just for my kids, but my own tired mom spirit as well. It’s an expectant time when the weary world (even moms) rejoices to celebrate the hope-filled commencement of The First Noel.

So every December, you’ll find a mix of jubilant celebrations to attend that offers us, moms, a chance to get glammed up and join in the merriment of the season. Think Christmas parties, classical music concerts, upscale holiday dinners, company Christmas parties, The Nutcracker ballet performances, Christmas balls, candlelight services, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and more.

Related: Be sure to check out our Atlanta Holiday Guides that cover gifts, tree farms, Santa sightings, and more.

As a mom, this is your chance to put aside your mothering role for a few hours and enjoy a night out. You’ve found the perfect festive outfit; now you need to glam up your everyday makeup for an enchanting holiday look.

Thankfully, that’s where an expert comes in. I gathered some tips from a professional makeup artist who knows her stuff and regularly transforms women from their everyday look to glamorous for special occasions.

For nearly a decade, Noel McDaniel (how appropriate that her name coordinates with this season) has been doing hair and makeup for weddings, engagement sessions, maternity shoots, senior portraits, professional headshots, and more, mostly in Georgia.

glam up mom makeup family shot
Noel McDaniel transformed Claudia, mom of two, for her wedding ceremony to Jacob Nicholson.

Mom Confidence

As a mom to four kids herself, Noel loves to pamper mom clients because she knows what it’s like day-to-day playing all the mothering roles. “As moms, we naturally and willingly put ourselves last, taking care of our family first and never complaining,” she admits.

Though moms often put their needs and desires on pause for their families, it’s OK to say yes to special events, too. And getting glammed up for a holiday celebration each Christmas season is the perfect way to do this.

Instead of shrugging off your mom cape to don your free-spirited woman cloak, you simply layer them on, embracing the complexities of motherhood and womanhood at the same time.

And it’s these juxtaposed complexities that Noel seeks to bring out in her mom clients when they sit in her chair. “Natural beauty is something that comes from within and radiates out,” she says. “My goal is to help women to feel confident and empowered in whatever stage of life they’re in.”

When she transforms a busy mom from her day-to-day look to glamorous, Noel’s favorite part is turning her client’s chair around to face the mirror. “Her eyes sparkle. She smiles,” recalls Noel. “She looks at all angles of herself. Her posture changes and she sees what I saw all along: a beautiful woman.”  

glam up your mom makeup smiling
Makeup artist Noel McDaniel uses her top 5 holiday makeup tips on mom and bride Claudia Nicholson.

5 Ways to Glam Up Your Mom Makeup This Season

Noel firmly believes that makeup shouldn’t be used to hide or mask a woman’s face, but instead, enhance her true beauty. “Something as simple as a little pop of color to the lips can brighten a woman’s spirit and it’s a beautiful thing to witness,” she says.

It’s true: Makeup has a way of giving moms that extra boost of self-confidence we need, especially when we step out of our mom world for a few hours and into an adult realm.

As much as we’d all love to have Noel handy to transform us for every special event, she’s offered the next best thing: 5 tips to help us glam up our own mom makeup.

So if your calendar is bedecked with any special holiday events this Christmas season, here’s how to step up your makeup for a festive night out on the town. And the bonus is: You can find all these products at your local drugstore, grocery store, or retailers such as Target, Walmart, or Ulta.

1. Give a Pop of Color to the Lips

During the holidays, a good lipstick that gives you a pop of festive color is a must. Noel recommends Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid in the color Pioneer or Maybelline Color Sensational Red Revival. And for women who prefer a chapstick-type product, Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm in Cherry Me is perfect.

2. Boost the Skin Base

As the weather changes, so does our skin composition. Noel uses Neutrogena Hydro Boost for all her clients during colder months. This oil-free moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid, which helps plump the skin and gives a good glow. Noel applies this before applying any foundation or makeup.

glam up mom makeup neutrogena hydro boost


3. Showcase the Eye Lashes

The eyes are Noel’s favorite feature to showcase on women, but it all comes down to using a quality (not necessarily expensive) mascara. Her favorite mascara for clients is L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise Voluminous Mascara, which opens up the eye by giving volume and length to your lashes. This is also the best mascara she’s found that gives you the dramatic effect of false lashes without the glue.

4. Highlight the Contours

A little extra glow is another festive must during the holiday season. When applied correctly, a makeup highlighter can give the perfect youthful glow most all women want, especially moms in the trenches. e.l.f. Cosmetics baked highlighter in the shade Moonlight Pearls is an affordable highlighter for all budgets. 

Before applying blush, Noel applies a little highlighter on the outer corner of a client’s face, just above the cheekbone. “This effect gives women a glow that looks like it’s radiating from within,” she says. “I use a fan brush to apply the highlighter, then lightly press it with a damp beauty blender so it melts into the skin and looks natural. Then, I apply the blush right below.”


5. Line the Eyes to Make them Pop

Even with a great mascara that adds length and volume to your lashes, you still need to line your eyes to create a glamorous effect. “Draw a very thin winged liner or very lightly line your top lash line and skip the bottom line,” suggests Noel. “This tactic will open your eyes to brighten them and make them pop.” Noel’s go-to eyeliner is Physicians Formula Eye Booster Ultra Fine liquid eyeliner because it helps to create the perfect thin winger liner while also strengthening and conditioning the lashes, thanks to its enriched boosting complex.

For more information about Noel’s services, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram.

All photos were taken by Atlanta-based Good Studio Co. (Facebook | Instagram) at Meadows at Mossy Creek in Cleveland, Ga.

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As a Georgia native and Atlanta area resident for 12 years, Haley, her husband, and their four kids recently relocated to the foothills of the Northeast Georgia mountains. They now embrace small-town life with the great outdoors at their fingertips, while maximizing their two-acre homestead that includes two dozen chickens, a hive of honeybees, a muscadine vineyard, and a berry patch. Day to day, Haley helps her husband with his small business, manages their on-site Airbnb rental, and wears many (often outlandish) hats for their four kids. But when she has any extra time, you'll most likely find her cooking in the kitchen, being active outdoors with her family, or blogging at