5 Must-Try Beauty Looks for Inaugural Balls and Parties

Washington’s in-the-know hair and makeup experts dish the latest trends, tips, and product recommendations for inauguration week.

By: Kara Manos

Your calendar may be filling up with inaugural balls and parties, and while what you wear is important, figuring out what hair and makeup will complement your look is equally key. Here, we’ve enlisted the expertise of five go-to makeup and hair experts in the District to make sure you pull off a look that’s as memorable as the occasion.

The Red Lip

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The classic red lip has always been a go-to, and this season it’s hotter than ever. Kari Slansky, makeup and eyebrow esthetician at Violet Hair and Skin Care, suggests Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous in Palpitante. “It’s a universally flattering lipstick that looks cherry red in the tube but wears with a hint of fuchsia, which looks great on all skin tones,” she says.

Loose Curls

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In a city with an ever-evolving style scene, if there’s one expert who has seen it all, it’s makeup and hair guru Erwin Gomez, owner of Karma by Erwin Gomez. “As the style scene in Washington changes, so are the looks of what used to be a more conservative Washingtonian,” he says. Instead of a formal updo, go for loose curls. Gomez suggests using Unite “Boing,” a curl-enhancing cream that offers just the right amount of hold.

Bold Brows

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According to makeup artist and eyebrow specialist Adrian Avila of Nectar Skin Bar, the secret to standing out in the crowd is this: “Think the glow of Grace Kelly with the full, bold brows of Elizabeth Taylor—the real one, not Lindsay Lohan,” he says. Stash the Kevyn Aucoin “The Precision” pencil to add fullness and definition to brows.

The Smoky Eye

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A party staple, the smoky eye never goes out of style. Makeup artist and First Lady Michelle Obama’s go-to Carl Ray suggests partygoers stick to plums, navy, and dark charcoal shades. “MAC has a bevy of long-lasting eye shadow hues, and with heavily kohl-lined eyes, you can pair it with a nude or pink lip,” he says.

The Sideswept Bun

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Hair stylist Luigi Parasmo says sideswept buns and loose ponytails for evening events are a popular request at his namesake salon. To keep your style polished both on and off the dance floor, he recommends stashing Oribe Superfine Hair Spray in your clutch. “It’s purse-friendly and will keep your red carpet hair shining all night,” he says.

Kara Manos writes about all things beauty in the District on her blog, Politics of Pretty.