yvonne strahovski

Photo: Chris Craymer

1. Juice It Up
A lime skirt gets an equally bold partner in an orange-red knit tank. "I typically lean toward whites and grays, but I'm in love with these pop-y colors," says Australian-born Strahovski, who plays mysterious newcomer Hannah McKay on the Showtime drama. To make sure the separates work together: Add a thick black belt, which mitigates the clash factor.

Top, Theory, $170, theory.com. Skirt, Tibi, $525, tibi.com. Belt, Lanvin, net-a-porter.com. Shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti, price on request, 212-650-0455. Green sofa: Bijan Royal Antiques.
yvonne strahovski

Photo: Chris Craymer

2. Feeling Blue
A royal blue gown with painterly dashes of black isn't a conventional choice when it comes to holiday dressing. But an edgy leather jacket makes this mermaid-style dress winter-appropriate.

Jacket, Topshop, $390. Dress, Angel Sanchez, Sak's Fifth Ave, 212-940-2714. Headband, Jennifer Behr, $498, jenniferbehr.com.

Photo: Chris Craymer

3. On the Dot
"I'd never think of wearing red and pink together, but this really works," says Strahovski of her eclectic ensemble. How does it make the leap from kooky to cool? The black polka dots and flats unify the colors.

Sweater, Trina Turk, $248, trinaturk.com. Dress, Kate Spade, $498, katespade.com. Shoes, Talbots, $99, talbots.com.
blue blazer

Photo: Chris Craymer

4. A Stunning Complement
"A matching jacket and dress? in this bold color, it makes a statement that works."

Beauty Advice
When you're wearing vibrant colors from the neck down, your makeup should be neutral—but still shine. On the eyes, gold and shimmery chocolate brown are flattering, never flat. Makeup artist Matin Maulawizada blended a rose-gold shadow over Strahovski's lids, then lined her upper lashes with a soft, glimmery brown pencil, smudging the color toward the crease. Matin used Laura Mercier Metallic Crème Eye Colour in Rose Gold and Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Cocoa ($22 and $24, lauramercier.com). Revlon ColorStay Smoky Eyeshadow Stick in Torch ($9, drugstores) will give a similar effect; it's a dual-sided pencil with a shimmery pink on one end, a deep brown on the other. For a lush but subtle mouth, Matin filled in Strahovski's lips with a rosy pencil slightly deeper than their natural color, then topped it with a creamy peach lipstick (to add a rich sheen). Reach for a bright blush to avoid looking washed-out. A cream formula will give a translucent flush.

Coat, Honor, honornyc.com. Dress, ML Monique Lhuillier, $598, neimanmarcus.com. Necklace, House of Lavande, $448, houseoflavande.com.
lemon dress

Photo: Chris Craymer

5. Lemon Slice
This is how to mix citrus tones without looking like a fruit basket: Pair a lemon dress with tangerine heels—the shades are in the same color family but not overly matchy. An embellished belt ties it all together. "There's something very ladylike and old-school about this outfit," Strahovski says.

Dress and belt, Chris Benz, Hampden Clothing, 843-724-6373. Shoes, Gianvito Rossi, Barneys New York, NYC, $635, 212-826-8900.
red dress

Photo: Chris Crayer

6. Red Alert
A proper floral dress gets saucy when it's served up in cherry red. The dramatic crystal hair comb accentuates the flirty attitude.

Beauty Advice: Nailing It
Red nails are eye-catching, festive—a perfect party accessory. This year choose orange-red polishes over classic blue-based versions. They're a little brighter, a little more unexpected, and a lot more fun. Look for creamy colors without shimmer. Two of our favorites: Essie Nail Polish in Fifth Avenue ($8, essie.com) and MAC Nail Lacquer in Impassioned ($16, maccosmetics.com).

Dress, Oscar de la Renta, 888-782-6357. Comb, Jennifer Behr, $525, jenniferbehr.com. Clutch, Nina, $70, Belk.com. Shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti, price on request, 212-650-0455.

Photo: Chris Craymer

7. Happy Mix-Up
Sure, forest green for the holidays is traditional, but a mix of textures freshens this look. "The combination of a knit sweater and a sequined skirt is comfortable and dressy," says Strahovski, who will appear opposite Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen in the upcoming film The Guilt Trip.

Beauty Advice: The Art of The Easygoing Updo
In the polished-yet-playful spirit of these looks, hairstylist Peter Butler swept Strahovski's natural waves into a loose updo.

For the faux-bob effect on the previous slide, Butler separated her hair into upper and lower sections (parting it from ear to ear on the back of her head). He pinned the bottom half into a chignon, then smoothed the upper section over it, tucking the ends underneath the chignon and securing them with bobby pins.

An even easier look is this messy French twist. To get the right tousled texture, Butler suggests using L'Oréal Professional Infinium 2 Hairspray ($24, lpsalons.com for stores) as a first step. Use as few pins as possible to secure the ends of the twist, and leave a couple of pieces loose around your face.

A headband can be a winsome finishing touch—if it's done right. The secrets to success: The band must be thin, minimally embellished (sparkle is acceptable for evening, but bows or flowers—never) and, for ultimate chic, worn no more than two inches back from the hairline. It's a brilliant addition to a loose chignon or twist because it instantly creates face-slimming height at the crown of the head.

Sweater, J.Crew, $650, jcrew.com. Skirt, J.Crew, $425, jcrew.com. Necklace (worn as headband), Rebekah Price, $380, goldphilosophy.com.

Photo: Chris Craymer

8. Tangerine Dream
A sherbet-y shade isn't what you typically wear in winter, but on a frothy evening gown, it's a sweet surprise. Wellies and a chunky cardigan add wit to the formal look. "A knit is a fun alternative to a jacket or coat," says former Chuck star Strahovski.

Beauty Advice: Make a Lasting Impression
After gate climbing, net jumping, pug wrangling, and nine wardrobe changes, Strahovski still looked as fresh as she had eight hours earlier. The key to her makeup's longevity: loose translucent powder. Matin used a thin velvety puff, not a brush, to get the most natural finish and the best staying power. (Try Basically U Velour & Satin Puff, $2 for four; ulta.com.) When you're finished applying your makeup, dip the puff into the powder, brush it against the back of your hand to remove any excess, and pat it firmly over your face.

Sweater, L.L.Bean, $169, llbean.com. Dress, Monique Lhuillier, moniquelhuillier. Boots, Hunter, $135, hunter-boot.com.
yellow dress

Photo: Chris Craymer

9. Canary Island
This season's look is all about mixing and matching styles: plain and fancy, city and country, day and night. A classic trench won't eclipse the sunny vibe of this dramatically slit yellow gown—but it will provide warmth for cooler evenings.

Coat, Burberry, burberry.com. Dress, Rafael Cennamo, Sak's Fifth Ave, 212-940-2714. Earrings, Oscar de la Renta, $225, oscardelarenta.com. Bracelets, House of Lavande, houseoflavande.com. Shoes, Jimmy Choo, jimmychoo.com.

Next: Add elegance to every outfit with silver jewelry


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