3 holiday looks with Benefit & giveaway


Believe it or not, when it comes to blogging I’m a bit shy to show my face. In fact, I had a really hard time writing about myself in the first few years of the blog. So much so, that most people called me Lars and didn’t know what I looked like. Ha! Well, I brushed away some of my shyness (I did do #DressTheRainbow after all!) to model three holiday looks with one of my favorite make up companies, Benefit Cosmetics. There’s the “going to the Nutcracker” look, Mad Men inspired look, and winter wonderland look.

I was so nervous this would turn into a vanity project but I proceeded because I have been in a make up slump for the past many years and when it does come time to actually wear some I haven’t the slightest clue how to do it or how to find something that works for my coloring or my ultra dry skin. I had lost hope in finding something that would work for me.

BUT, I’m here today to tell you there’s hope. Ha! No really! And there’s no better time to play with make up than for all those holiday festivities you have on your calendar. What I love about Benefit is that they don’t take themselves too seriously and neither do I, so we had FUN creating these three looks. Because life’s too short to take it seriously!
Retro vibe make up holiday lookwinter wonderland holiday look

So, take a look at the three holiday looks below and find something that would work for you. AND, fun news! I’m giving away a complete set of make up from one of the looks to one reader! Find out below how to enter!

First look, going to the Nutcracker!Going to the nutcracker make up look

My mom was a dancer and I loved dance growing up so we have a tradition of attending The Nutcracker as often as we can. For this look I wanted to mimic the candy land sets in the spirit of the Sugarplum Fairies and little prancing bon bons. I partnered up with make-up artist Jill Peterson to teach me how to get a doll-like, candy inspired look.

How to get a Nutcracker inspired make up look: 

  1. For the skin she used Hello FlawlessFoundation from Benefit
  2. For the eyes she used Stay Don’t Stray Primer to even out the skin tone and keep shadow on longer, Erase Paste to conceal and brighten under eyes, and Roller Lash Mascara
  3. For the brows, Brow Zings powder and Gimme Brow gel
  4. For the cheeks, this part was the most important for the look… Lolli Tint cheek & lip stain for the rosy cheeks! This creates the doll-like look.
  5. On the lips, Jill used Lolli Tint cheek & lip stain! And then topped with Ultra Plus Lip Gloss in “Lollibop”.

Going to the nutcracker make up lookGoing to the nutcracker make up lookGoing to the nutcracker make up look

Celebrity wardrobe stylist, Sarah Lowe styled the three looks and she nailed it! I wanted something fun and eclectic for this look and she selected a fun sweater with the pretty hair bow topper and faux fur (so in this season!) along with a fun and bright long skirt. She added small earrings onto the bow to add an extra fun element.
Going to the nutcracker make up look

Hair stylist Aubrey Nelson convinced me to chop my hair with this adorable faux bob. The perfect style for a doll-like look!
Going to the nutcracker make up lookGoing to the nutcracker make up look

Second look, inspired by Mad Men for a holiday office partymad-men-inspired-make-up

I’m right in the middle of watching Mad Men, season 5. It took me awhile to get into it because the characters all make such poor decisions, you know?! Ugh. I get so mad at them. But I LOVE the sets and costumes and I love seeing the current events interwoven into the storylines. I’m a sucker for all things New York. SO, we did an homage to the styling and feel of the era.

How to get a Mad Men inspired make up look: 

  1. For the skin Jill used Hello FlawlessFoundation from Benefit and Pore-Fessional Primer
  2. For the eyes smudged Creaseless Cream shadow in “my two cents” along the crease and lower lash line. And Creaseless Cream Shadow in “bronze have more fun” on upper and lower lash line for a very sultry dramatic eye. Lined with They’re Real Push-Up Liner for the retro winged eyeliner look. Roller Lash Mascara.
  3. For the brows, Brow Zings powder and Gimme Brow gel
  4. For the cheeks, strong contouring with Hoola Bronzer powder and highlighted with Watts Up! She also used Dandelion blush to smooth out the contouring.
  5. On the lips, Jill used BeneTint Cheek and lip stain and red BeneBalm for bold and hydrated red lips!

Retro vibe make up holiday lookRetro vibe make up holiday look

For the complete look, Sarah paired the more dramatic make up look with an emerald green jumpsuit and elongating tailored vest. And Aubrey rolled my hair into small buns and held them together with bobbi pins. We used a piece of plaid fabric to tie it around the head as a hairpiece.

Retro vibe make up holiday look
Retro vibe make up holiday look

For the third and final look, a Winter Wonderland look perfect for everyday!

I struggle in knowing how to dress for everyday and I think this lighter and brighter Winter Wonderland look is fun idea for this time of year.

winter wonderland holiday look

How to get a Winter Wonderland make up look: 
  1. For the skin: Hello Flawless foundation mixed with High Beam for super glowy skin and Erase Paste around eyes.
  2. For the eyes: Stay don’t Stray to take away any redness on the eyelids. High Beam just a dot on the center of each eye. They’re Real mascara in Beyond Blue
  3. For the cheek: Dandelion blush… And Jill’s FAVE product of the whole day… HIGH BEAM all over the cheeks and skin for super dewy and radiant skin!
  4. For the lips: Ultra Plus in “Lollibop”

winter wonderland holiday lookwinter wonderland holiday look

Sarah found some beautiful fur coats and layered them on top of each other for the ultimate cozy look and Aubrey create a more relaxed updo.
winter wonderland holiday lookwinter wonderland holiday lookwinter wonderland holiday lookwinter wonderland holiday look
Make up has so much potential to take you to another place. I felt like a bona fide star getting all glammed up. It’s fun every now and again to spend a bit more time and energy. I view it as another way to express creativity.
And now, it’s your time to get creative with make up!
To win a complete set of make up from one of these looks from Benefit:
  1. Leave a comment telling me which look is your favorite and where you would wear this look to
  2. Follow @HouseLarsBuilt on Instagram and Benefit Cosmetics on Pinterest 
  3. Bonus votes if you share the giveaway on some form of social media and leave a comment telling me how you’ve shared it.

Contest runs from now until Sunday night 11:59 MST.

Good luck!

And a huge thanks to the following people who made me look presentable on camera!

Photography by Jessica Peterson  |  Wardrobe styling by Sarah Lowe  |  Make up by Jill Peterson  |  Hair by Aubrey Nelson  |  Bottom image by Alizabeth Rinner 

EDITED: congrats to LaTanya who won the giveaway! 



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