A busy filmmaker and mom of two, Antoinette Parkinson, 39, has eliminated makeup from her daily life. "I'd still like to dress up my face for a night out," she says, "but now I'm afraid of overdoing it." To help her keep her vow to be more adventurous this holiday season, we brought in makeup artist Troy Surratt to walk her through five easy steps to a gorgeous party face. (After which, she happily let down her hair.)

Step 1.
With a damp makeup sponge (Surratt likes the contoured edges of the Beautyblender), pat on a liquid foundation, which will give your complexion a sheer, dewy finish. Focus on areas where your skin tone is uneven—usually around your nose and across your cheeks. Use a large brush to dust a translucent loose powder all over to set the foundation. (Stash a pack of blotting tissues in your bag to absorb shine over the course of the evening.)

Step 2.
To add a warm glow, brush a slightly shimmery bronzer along your cheekbones—blending it from the apples all the way to your hairline.

Step 3.
Apply a sparkling cream shadow (Antoinette is wearing Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow in Tiger Eye) on your lids, concentrating it on the area from your upper lashline to your crease. Then apply the shadow in a sheerer wash just beneath your browbone.

Step 4.
Brush on two coats of black mascara, or try false lashes. (Surratt loves MAC 33 Lashes—a full fringe that doesn't look unnaturally thick or vampy.) The key to easy application: Lay a makeup mirror flat on a table in front of you so you're looking down when you press on the lashes.

Step 5.
With a lip brush, apply a classic crimson lipstick. (Antoinette is wearing Dolce & Gabbana Lipstick in Ultra—"a beautiful, universally flattering red," says Surratt.) Define the edges of your mouth, particularly your cupid's bow, with a lip liner that matches your natural lip color. The liner will also keep the color from bleeding after that first glass of Champagne (or kiss).

Parkinson happily lets her hair down to complement her new party look.

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