Friday 5 December 2014

"Rockin' around the Christmas Tree...." Festive Party makeup

It's that time of year again when it's acceptable (well more or less) to embrace the glitter and the sparkle.  Aware as I am that I am no longer 15 (hello ever increasing lines and wrinkles) I do like to add a touch of festive glitz and glamour to my look. Though I have to be careful of the fine line that I can tread between a bit of party glitz and a drag queen!

We want to look luminous and radiant when we are out at this time of year and the one word of caution I would say when using glitter makeup etc is that we don't want to emphasise our lines and wrinkles and so we need to be careful where we apply any glitz.  Try not to put it on areas that you wouldn't want to draw attention to. So be careful around the eye area - we don't want people drawn to look at our crow's feet! Or if you want to go the whole hog with the glitter and highlighter why not? A good pair of dangly earrings should help distract people.

Party  Makeup


A good base is essential for flawless evening makeup.  You want the look to last and don't want your makeup sliding down your face by the time you sit down for your starter. A primer is a good investment as it helps the foundation stay in place and go on smoothly. I like the Smashbox one. You can also apply a product such as Clarins Beauty Flash Balm first as this helps to brighten the skin  Then, I like to start by applying a layer of highlighter under my foundation I like to use either MAC Strobe or NARS and then apply my usual foundation. Or you can mix the highlighter in with your foundation and apply it like that.

I then apply my concealer. If you are going for a heavy smoky eye or glitter there tends to be fall out from the products on to your face. So one thing you can do is to leave your concealer, and even your foundation if you like, until after you have applied your eye makeup.   What I do is hold a piece of tissue under my eye and hope this catches any fall out and have a cotton bud with eye makeup remover nearby.

For evening makeup I do tend to apply slightly more concealer under my eye than in the day as I think it helps to reflect the light and makes me look more awake. I then have a quick brush with my powder.

Bronzer goes on next, the quickest and easiest way to explain how to apply bronzer is to make a number 3 motion on the side of your face. I like to suck my cheeks in and brush where the hollow is with my bronzer to contour my face slightly.  I also brush a little down my nose too.

I then apply my blusher. I wouldn't go for a sparkly blusher. There is so much going on makeup wise that I don't think you want shimmer everywhere (if you go for a bold lip as your evening lip try and match the colours slightly or in the same colour palette and just have a light dusting of blusher as the dark lip is such a statement in itself). I then do another quick powder brush to help things stay in place.

On to the highlighter. I have two products I like here, the MAC Strobe (as above) or the TopShop Glow. I like to apply highlighter to the top of my cheekbones (dotting it on and then blending it in with my finger), under my eyebrow bone, down the centre of my nose and a dot above my cupids bow and on my forehead (I will do a future post on highlighting and contouring). Be careful to blend it in and to not apply too much as you want to enjoy the baubles not look like one!



I do believe eyebrows frame your face and I like to make mine darker and more prominent in the evening. I give them a brush through with an eyebrow brush, then fill in any sparse areas with a matt brown eye shadow on a thin brush. Then I apply the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara which is like a mascara for your eyebrows. It darkens them and gives them more definition and to look slightly fuller. I would say apply lightly or it can look like 2 caterpillars stuck to your face. Not the look we are going for!


You want your eye shadow to stay put and not crease so you can use a primer. Rimmel do one as do Urban Decay but I use my MAC Paintpot in Constructivist.  It gives a colour but also a base for your eye shadow to stick to. Smoky eyes are my go-to evening look (I will do a whole post on smoky eyes with a video hopefully soon) and I tend to go for a bronzy or silvery/grey look. My current favourite is the bronzy one and these gold and bronze colours are great for this time of year and their warm tones suit the majority of people.

Over my Mac Paint Pot I like to sweep a warm mid colour brown. I like to use a MAC one maybe called Mulch (but am afraid the name has worn off my pot) over my eye lid and also under my eyes about three quarters of the way along. (Actually before this I sweep a shimmery, creamy shade under my eyebrow to help open up my eyes). I then like to apply a dark brown shadow to the outer corner of my eyes lids and up into the crease of my eyelid and at the corners under my lashes too.  I then use a lighter colour (the lightest of the 3 I use) on my lids on the 1/3 nearest to my nose, the shade I like to use is MAC Amber Lights.  Then using a clean eye shadow brush blend it all in, getting rid of any obvious edges.  Good blending is the key to glossy looking eye makeup.

If you are in a hurry or don't feel you could apply this makeup an eye shadow chubby stick could work for you. I like the look of the Rimmel Scandal'Eyes  You literally draw these over your eyelids and can then either use a brush or finger to blend them out and neaten up.

Then for the fun!  Apply the glitter to the middle part of the eyelid. I like to use TopShop gold one (I cant find it on-line) or Barry M Dazzle Dust in Aphrodite I also use a pink one which you wouldn't think should work but somehow it does. MAC, also have some great glitter products which I love.  I put the glitter on my middle or ring finger (emptying some on to the back of my hand first) and then press it on to my eyelid. Start small. It is easier to build up than to take away. You want enough so the flecks catch the light. If you don't want to use an actual glitter a shimmery eye shadow applied in the same place will still catch the light and open up your eyes.
If you want to use glitter, but all of the above either sounds too much makeup or too much work, you can apply glitter straight on to your lid. The TopShop glitter comes with cream (neutral colour) that you put on to your lid first and then can press the glitter on. You could apply glitter straight on to your eye shadow primer.

As this look is all about looking glamorous and luminous I then apply some highlighter to the inner corner of my eyes and under my eyelashes too. I use either a Barry M pencil or MAC Pigment in Vanilla which I apply with a small thin brush.

Depending on how party like you are feeling, you can either go the full hog and apply some silver or golf glitter eyeliner on the top lid I like Collection Glam Crystals but Urban Decay also do one.  Weirdly, these eyeliners are actually easier to apply than a black liquid eyeliner as you don't have to be so precise.  I tend to either do a glittery eyeliner or glitter eye shadow but not both. If I am not using a glitter eyeliner I would use my black liquid eyeliner and line the top of my eyelids. You can flick it out if you like but I tend not to as there is already so much going on. Lastly, I apply black eyeliner to the inside of my water line.

Eyelashes next. False eyelashes are the ultimate party night out accessory. I am not that good with false eyelashes. I think they make me feel like a drag queen as I seem to always buy the ridiculous over the top ones! But I know they are very popular and they do look good. Individuals are also a good idea and I also like ones you apply just to your corner lashes as I like the appearance this gives.  False lashes are surprisingly easy to apply. Just make sure you wait until the glue is tacky and use a pair of tweezers to apply them. The glue will dry clear but I like to apply a bit more black eyeliner to make them look seamless. However I would just curl my lashes and apply mascara though I tend to layer more coats than normal to up the drama slightly.


With a dark eye it is the done thing to go with a nude lip (eyes or mouth not both - it's a bit like boobs or legs not both) and this does look fab. I would use a nude lip liner and outline your lips and then colour in your whole lips with the liner. I am currently loving MAC Spice. Over the top apply a layer of a nude, shimmery lip gloss. I really like Rimmel lip glosses. 

I have to admit though I often go for a bold lip as well as a dark eye. I would use one of the reds I mentioned on Facebook the other day but I think MAC's Ruby Woo or the L'Oreal Color Riche Julianne Red would look great. I would recommend a lip liner if you have one as it stops the lipstick from bleeding and if you cover your lips with a lip liner before applying your lipstick it acts as a primer for the lipstick or gloss you are using (try and get the colour of your lip liner as near to the colour of your lipstick as you can. We don't want to be looking like Pamela Anderson in the 90's). At the end I sweep a little powder over my lips to help set the look (obviously not if I am wearing gloss). A lip brush will give you the most professional and long lasting look but I tend to go over my lips with the lipstick and then use my finger. I don't always have the time or patience for a brush.

I keep reading that glitter lips are all the rage but I think that is a trend best kept to girls under the age of 25.  They look fantastic on these young girls whereas I would look like a clown!

If the idea of a bold lip and dark eyes seems too much, and to be honest it is, then you can go for a bold red lip. On the eyes I would do a neutral cream eye shadow and then a thick sweep of black liquid eyeliner with a nice flick at the end. A classic but classy look.

You are now ready for a night of drinking and dancing. I am thinking of doing a little follow up post on makeup for the morning after!


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