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

(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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.

Bronze trend

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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

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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

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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:

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

EyesMake 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

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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!

Fiona McKim
Beauty Editor,

 As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.