Get the perfect party make-up look with our top tips
Once you’ve found the perfect party dress, managed to track down the perfect shoes to go with it (that you thought existed only in your imagination), and the accompanying bag (a clutch, obviously), there’s only one thing left to pin down: the perfect party makeup looks to go with it.
As any self-respecting party girl knows, the key aspect of all party makeup looks is durability – whatever you paint on your face, running, fading or smudging is not an option. You don’t want to spend the entire night sneaking away to the bathroom to redo your eyeliner (the queues are bad enough), or having to do a lipstick check every time someone points a camera at your face, right?
That goes for our hair too: there’s nothing worse than spending the best part of an evening with your hair in rollers, or in terrifying proximity to a pair of hair tongs only for those curls you’ve so painstakingly created to fall flat and limp within an hour of you leaving the house. Especially those times when you endured multiple burns to get there (having to keep your hands under cold water cuts heavily into valuable beautifying time).
So whether you’re looking for tips on how to do a smoky eye, painting on the perfect red lip, applying a base with sweat-proof staying power or creating a hairstyle that’s going to survive the dance floor as long as you do, we’ve got all your must-have party makeup looks covered. From bronzer that sculpts your cheek bones and restores your glow, to mascara that refuses to flake or crumble away, to foolproof eyeliner that creates perfect cat eye flicks in seconds, we?ve got all the insider tips and know how to help you create the ultimate party look that lasts and lasts. It?s going to be the night of the century. We can feel it.
Start by creating a flawless base, as an uneven skintone can draw attention away from dramatic looks on your eyes and lips. Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base, is a brilliant multitasker – just mix with a little foundation for an all over glow, or dab on the skin after make-up to reflect light on cheekbones, brow bone and cupid’s bow.
The swinging Sixties are back in for AW14, so while we might avoid frosty white lips, Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara Extreme Black gives beautiful doll-like length to lashes in a sooty black shade that would make Twiggy proud. Go bold and layer it on lower lashes too for a truly trend-referencing look.
If you can bear to bare your legs (because, lets face it, party dresses do look better without tights) Then here’s your secret weapon – Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs. Ignore the slightly scary American tan can, as this a breeze to use and gives a natural, streak free and, long-lasting result. Simply spray into your hand, apply evenly over legs and wait for 60 seconds before getting dressed.
Everyone should have one of these. Use this rotating hot air brush for the last 10% of your hair drying time to create tension, for smooth strands and salon-like bends at the bottom. We’ve never created such a convincing blow dry look at home as we did with the Big Hair and this new model comes with Ionic technology to condition and add shine.
During the busy, and often boozy, party season combining skincare and make-up is really a no-brainer. This YSL Forever Youth Liberator Foundation combines the benefits of the best-selling YSL Forever Light Creator Serum with medium coverage and a satin finish. The texture is lovely and silky, so won’t dry out between cocktails, canapes and the conga, plus long-term anti-ageing benefits will plump, nourish and protect your skin.
Forget piling on the liquid foundation and the pressed powder – a two-in-one version is the only way to go. Clarins Skin Illusion Loose Powder Foundation is quick to apply – and mistakes are impossible. Simply use the built in brush to sweep the ultra fine powder across your skin. Texture is even and matte, colour is balanced and the overall look is practically flawless.
It may be blowing a gale outside but you’ll be smelling as sweet as a summer breeze with Aerin Lauder’s Gardenia Rattan Fragrance. Feminine, floral and evocative of nature, this is the perfect antidote to heavy party ‘power’ scents.
As you would expect, every beauty products Dolce & Gabbana touch turns to gold – including this gorgeous little pot of molten purple shadow. The creamy texture makes creating a dramatic smoky eye child’s play, or smudge a little into lower and upper lash lines for a beguiling flash of violet that will really ‘pop’ against green or hazel eyes.
Groomed eyebrows are the cornerstone of a polished party look and this Mac Veluxe Brow Liner is the simplest way to go about achieving them. Use light feathery strokes to draw in any sparse patches, then allow it to dry to a matte powder finish before brushing brows up.
Rimmel London excel at all things eyeliner related – their soft kohl is legendary – and this Scandaleyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner is no exception. The tip has a unique shape, meaning you can create fat wings or skinny flicks, depending on your party look.
If you need to beef up your brows from day to night, this handy little pot of Laura Mercier Brow Definer is the business at not only adding definition and colour, but setting them in place too. Not only that, but if you stash this in your clutch bag it can work as an emergency shadow, liner and grey hair disguiser.
It’s not a lipstick and it’s not a lip balm, Dior Addict Lip Glow is a magical hybrid that deserves some space in your party bag. As well as smoothing and hydrating parched winter lips, this also contains whizzy ingredients that play off your natural lip colour to brighten and plump.
There’s a fine line between dewy and shiny in matters of complexion, but luckily all you need is Mac’s Fix+ spritz to tread it with aplomb. A couple of pumps on top of your base will give you a lovely glowing, satin-like finish and ensure your make up won’t go anywhere.
You might be tired of hearing about L’Oreal’s Elnett hairspray, but there is a very good reason it has such legendary status – it really does hold all night without the stickiness of other hairsprays. Simple. Genius.
For a subtle and flattering take on a smoky eye, seek out toasty brown and pearly metallic cream shadows, smudge up to the crease on your lid, then blend, blend and blend some more. Bobbi Brown Long Lasting Cream Shadow in Antique Gold is the perfect molten shade for festive fun.
If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and have yet another do to attend (lucky you!) here’s a nice pre-party fix: Apply Dior Hydra Life Beauty Awakening Rehydrating Mask for ten minutes to leave skin super smooth and create a beautiful base for foundation, which will glide on top easily and won’t sit in your pores.
Why should your hair be left out of the sparkly festive fun? Oribe 24K Gold Pomade will help define your style and weaves a golden shimmer through your hair – apply little by little at first so you don’t weigh down your lengths.
It’s not the most glamorous part of your getting ready ritual, but there’s nothing like a sparkly smile to make you feel confident (not to mention fresh breath – a party must) Oral B’s Tri-Zone Toothbrush removes tons more plaque than a manual brush and gets to those hard-to-reach bits between teeth too.
A fingerprint of gold shadow over the eyelid is the party equivalent to your everyday nude taupe. Don’t layer it up too much; keep it soft and sheer for an elegant update that’s super fast to achieve. Try L’Oréal Paris Color Infallible Eye Shadow in Bronze Goddess.
You don’t have to be Beyonce to want a bit of body bling, this shimmering lotion will even out limbs, cover bruises and spider veins and add a pretty glow wherever you decide to rub it on. Scott Barnes Body Bling Platinum also moisturises, sets in record time and then washes away with ease.
For smoky eyes made simple try Dolce & Gabbana The Ruby Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Femme Fatale – wash the lightest tone up to brows, the pinky hue just above your lids, work the tawny shade into your crease, then define the lash line with the sooty shade.
You know the rules, either lips or eyes but never both! so if you’re planning a smoky, sultry eye for your next party, team simply with a beautiful nude lip. Our pick is Clarins Rouge Prodige in Tender Rose
Another party hit from Rimmel, because nothing says glamour like red nail polish, and this vampy tone from party queen Kate Moss will look perfectly festive on fingers and toes.
If perfect party hair could be summed up in one word, that word would be big. To achieve a full bouffant, work a volumising product, like Kérastase Expansion Spray to damp hair, rough dry the roots, working in the opposite direction to the way your hair falls, against gravity. Then reapply a small amount and dry in as usual. This layering technique helps to build volume without weighing your hair down.
Shimmer highlights are a must, but you can’t put them everywhere: Stick to brow bones, tops of cheekbones, collarbone, cleavage – anywhere that catches the light and makes skin look beautiful. Try the beautiful Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow
Choose the strength of your scent according to the evening ahead. For long-lasting wear throughout the evening choose an eau de parfum with a powerful base of ingredients that linger on the skin, like this zingy and energising Liz Earle Botanical Essence No.1
Parties are a great time to experiment with new colours and textures, so why not give Aveda Color Options Eye Shadow Transformer a whirl? This cute solution with natty little brush changes any eyeshadow into an eyeliner that really stays put – take to your favourite palette and create a rainbow of new looks.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, make-up that goes the distance is all about primer, even on your eyes. Give your eyeshadow serious staying power with Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray Primer which not only smoothes creases and covers veins, but really will not budge.
Forget memories of sticky pouts that trap flyaway hairs in the wind; non-sticky, beautifully glossy MAC Lipglass is your friend, promise.
If you want a classic, pillar box red lip, use a bit of your foundation or concealer to prime the lips and take out the redness for a uniform base, then apply a creamy lipstick like Rouge Dior Lipstick in Nocturne
NARS make all the besr blushers, ones to make your cheeks pop and then ones like this that whisper prettily in the background and let your lips and eyes do the talking. Super fine and effortless to apply, Nars Blush melts into the skin and look truly beautiful under any light.
Primer is a make-up essential and works with skin to reduce pores and fine lines, before you apply your foundation. The best ones under party lights are the gel creams, like Laura Mercier Foundation Primer.