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During last year's Marilyn Monroe tour with MAC Cosmetics, we were obsessed with Gregory Arlt and his hilarious nuggets of wisdom. (Who else would call Norma Jean the "Tupac Shakur of Hollywood"?) When he's not being a jokester, MAC's director of makeup artistry is busy beautifying big-name stars like Dita Von Teese, Katy Perry and the one and only Gwen Stefani.
Now that we've nailed down what we'll be doing and wearing this New Year's Eve, we asked our pal Arlt for some help in the primping department. Here, the LA-born "beauty exorcist" shares his top NYE makeup tips and reveals which stars know how to play up their best features.
What is the beauty look for NYE this year?
"I'm really feeling the deep, bordeaux lip that dominated the fall runways this past season. It's all about a deep burgundy lip with a soft, sparkly eye with lots of lashes!"
What top five beauty essentials should everyone carry in their NYE clutch?
"Powder for touch-ups, concealer to hide any evidence you've stayed out past midnight, lipstick/gloss/pencil to touch up with, a black pencil in case you want to make your eyes more dramatic and a little glitter for your eyes or lips."
What is the most common NYE beauty blunder and how do you fix it?
"Not wearing a long-wear lipstick! With all of the champagne toasting, you want your lips to stay on. Apply pencil all over, filling in your lips which acts as a great base, then lipstick over it. Repeat when necessary."
Last season, it was all about a nude lip and smokey eye à la Kim K. Is that look over and we're veering toward a more colorful lip?
"I'm a huge fan of a bold lip for the holidays, whether it be red, wine, berry or even bright fuchsia."
Now, let's talk celebs. Who gives the best lip, cat-eye, cheekbones, hair and edgy beauty?
"There are so many who could fall into each category, but here are my picks: 1) Best lip goes to Kat Dennings, who always has a beautiful red lip that goes from the grocery store to the red carpet; 2) Cat-eye goes to Dita Von Teese because no one does it better than her; 3) For cheekbones, you could seriously sharpen a knife on Tilda Swinton's—she's amazing; 4) For hair, I always love how Rihanna changes it up—it's different every time we see her on the red carpet, and I love that she's not afraid to take risks; 5) The best at edgy looks is Lady Gaga, of course!"
How is LA beauty different compared to other cities?
"LA has a more effortless feeling about it. A casual-chic, if you will, though I will applaud a lot of women I've seen out and about in a bold lip lately."
Where do you go for beauty inspiration in LA?
"I love people-watching in public places. Museums, restaurants, even the mall! You see chameleons of all ages, races and sexes, and that's very inspiring."
· Gregory Arlt [EAM]
· Touring Marilyn Monroe's LA Haunts with MAC Cosmetics [Racked]
· Nine Top-Notch New Year's Eve Looks by LA Designers [Racked]
· Mapped! A Guide to LA's Raddest New Year's Eve Ragers [Racked]