Grown-up women on Instagram demo party makeup that’s actually flattering and we can’t wait to try

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to party makeup.

    You know what you like and what suits you, so why rock the boat by trying a bold new look that you may regret every time you pop to the loo and catch yourself in the mirror? Well… I’d make a case for experimentation being fun, creative and, crucially, a great excuse to treat yourself to a shiny new product or two.

    Also, you don’t have to stray too far outside your comfort zone to freshen things up, if you love a bold lip simply change the shade or texture. If a dramatic eye is your thing swap classic smoky for a modern bronze. There are a million variations on glamorous makeup out there, and Instagram is a fantastic source of visual inspiration.

    If you’re not sure where to start amongst the millions of beauty accounts, I’ve got the ball rolling on scrolling so you don’t have to – enjoy! Here is a small selection of grown-up women demonstrating great party makeup, and our product recommendations to replicate the look.

    Party makeup trends

    Bronze trend

    View this post on Instagram

    Off out on a Monday. Wtf. I plan to be home by 9pm. Was nice to have the excuse to play with @samchapman @nicolachapman’s Sam & Nic Edit box for @esteelaudercompanies, to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. *Almost* everything on my face is in the box – @maccosmeticsuk Strobe cream, @bobbibrownuk bronzer, @smashboxcosmeticsuk Ablaze eye palette (I’m wearing a wee bit of Bobbi Brown Long Wear shadow stick in Golden Bronze underneath the shadows), @esteelauderuk Sumptuous Rebel Length mascara (I’ve got it locked down with a final coat of Double Wear mascara) and some @bumbleandbumbleuk Dry Spun Finish spray in my hair. There are more bits in the box, but my lips and cheeks aren’t included: @smashboxcosmeticsuk Beverly Hills Blush, always sharp lipliner in Audition, and @maccosmeticsuk lipstick in Hug Me, patted on lightly with some @stilacosmetics gloss over it – gloss! This happens as rarely as Monday nights out. The Sam & Nic Edit is £28 and includes 15% off future purchase. Out now. All beauty products are #presssamples. Post not paid or sponsored. Jumper from @boden_clothing, earrings by @isabelmarant – both bought. #TimeToEndBreastCancer #breastcancerawareness #breastcancerawarenessmonth #esteelauder #pinkribbon

    A post shared by Sali Hughes (@salihughes) on

    Beauty journalist, author, podcaster, broadcaster (the list goes on…) Sali Hughes is an excellent and source of beauty inspiration as well as honest advice. This warm bonze eye look pulled in nearly 4,000 likes, and no wonder. A simple wash of bronze shadow makes an otherwise pared-back face look party ready, and intensifies blue or grey eyes.

    As well as a typically witty caption Sali helpfully listed every product she used to achieve the look, most of which are available in the Sam & Nic Edit Beauty Box for Esteé Lauder, £28, for a limited time only, or shop for the individual products below.


    Smashbox L.A Lights Lip & cheek Colour in Beverly Hills, £26,  Always Sharp Lipliner in Audition, £16

    Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, £32

    Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette in Ablaze, £25

    Estee Lauder Sumptuous Rebel Length + Lift Mascara, £26 (Topped with Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara, £24)

    MAC Lipstick in Hug Me, £17.50

    MAC Mini Strobe Cream, £12.50


    Fresh highlights trend

    View this post on Instagram

    To all older gals: Shoulders and collarbones are ALWAYS bits you can show off, no matter how you feel about what time and gravity have done to your skin (who agrees that area is a lovely part of the body?)! I may have put on a bit of weight recently but showing off these bits means no-one's the wiser as I tend to stay bony round there – it's all a confidence thing, amirite? 😉 I recently created this glowy makeup look for @makeuprevolution… I thought it was too pretty not to share here. The glow is actually from their new Glow Revolution setting spray and I freekin LOVE it. In fact I smothered myself in the stuff for the Vuelio Awards the other week when I wore a one-shoulder gown: I was glowing like a glow worm in a sparkles competition, lol 😆 • Disclosure: not an ad, but I *was* compensated for creating the image for Revolution Beauty to feature on their Insta feed…! • • • • #redheads_of_insta #redheadsdoitbetter #redheadshavemorefun #over40beauty #over40style #styleover40 #glowyskin #glowymakeup #collarbonesfordays

    A post shared by Catherine Summers 🇬🇧 (@notlamb) on

    Highlighter has the power to make skin look amazingly glowy, but IT can go wrong. Avoid holographic ‘unicorn’ powders or cool tones as they can look greyish and muddy in daylight. Influencer Catherine Summers (@notalamb) shows us how it’s done here using Make Up Revolution Glow Revolution, £10, a bargain illuminating spritz for face and body that hydrates, sets makeup and adds radiance. To complete the look I’d suggest an aubergine toned skinny liner (Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil in Fig, £18, is flattering and won’t smudge) and L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Plump & Shine in 104, £8.99.

    SHOP NOW, £10 at

    Shop now, £8.99 at

    Autumnal tones trend

    Make Up Artist Katie Jane Hughes (@katiejanehughes) is well worth a follow for a huge variety of makeup ideas, all flawlessly executed. This recent look caught my eye for ticking all the glamour boxes but also being very wearable – amongst the flattering bronzes, browns and tawny reds there’s not a single shade here that feels intimidating. If you prefer a less dramatic look try the eye or lip only, but it’s the combination, which KJH has dubbed ‘sultry sepia’ that really makes an impact. No wonder it racked up over 18k likes. Here’s everything she used:

    Elemis Dynamic resurfacing serum, £89
    Glossier Invisible shield, £20
    Glossier Future dew, £23

    Make Up Forever Ultra HD Concealer, £20.50

    Spectrum Dark matter palette, £29.99, Spectrum Cosmic Drops , £12.99 (launching November 13)

    Cheeks & Lips

    Live Tinted Huestick in Found, £19 (ships from US) –  For a UK alternative I rate Nudestix Gel Colour Lip & Cheek Balm in Pulse, £20 

    SHOP NOW:£19, at

    SHOP NOW, £29.99 at (From November 13)

    Midnight lips trend

    A-List makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has over 1 million followers, and no wonder. Her feed is a veritable beauty buffet of red carpet looks, vintage inspiration and sneak peeks of her mega-selling make up line. This look caught my attention for it’s simplicity, impact and, let’s be frank, for being a look that us mere mortals can actually hope to achieve. Keeping everything around a bold lip ultra-natural looks fresh, modern and far away from ‘overdone’ territory. Here Lisa has used True Lipstick Colour in Velvet Midnight, £26, from her own collection which as you can see looks fabulous on a variety of skin tones. If you’re worried about highlighting an uneven lip line or visually ‘slimming’ your lips with a dark shade, use a liner to create a neat, full shape and prevent the colour bleeding. Maybelline Colour Sensational Shaping Lip Liner Midnight Plum, £3.99, should match up.

    SHOP NOW, £26 at

    If you’re worried about highlighting an uneven lip line or visually ‘slimming’ your lips with a dark shade, use a liner to create a neat, full shape and prevent the colour bleeding. Maybelline Colour Sensational Shaping Lip Liner Midnight Plum, £3.99, should match up.

    Happy partying!

    Latest Stories