Saturday, 16 December 2017

Christmas Party Makeup Picks

Christmas party season is well and truly here, and I'm sure we can all agree that one of the most fun things about Christmas parties is deciding what makeup to wear. Am I right or am I right?

I love taking the opportunity to make the most out of my oversized makeup collection during December, and will be switching up my makeup a fair bit between gatherings. What this post is about to detail, however, is my go-tos and standbys. My tried and true party-proof base faves, and my classic Christmas colour picks. Several of these products have frequented my makeup bag for years, so I know I can rely on them to see me through a night of scoffing festive food and belting out Christmas songs!

A Long-Wearing, Even Base

When I'm Christmas partying, I want to stay looking polished for as long as possible, so I actually bother to prime. I have a few good primers in my stash, but the one I've found does most to keep my excess oil at bay and hold my base in place is the Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Primer (£11). It has a silky cream-like texture which softly mattifies the skin without drying it; it actually feels more like a typical hydrating primer than a typical mattifying one.

Ideally, any party makeup look starts with flawless skin. I don't have that, so I use the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (£33) to fake it. This has been my favourite foundation for years, for all occasions and non-occasions. It gives a good medium coverage which can easily be built to full, has a semi-matte finish that's flattering on a bunch of different skin types, and is impressively long-wearing. Any remaining imperfections, I cover up with the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (£18), which works well both under the eyes and on blemishes, and, true to its name, sticks around for a good while.

Setting that perfected base with powder is a must, and my current go-to is a dusting of the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in 'Translucent' (£29). This is also a good product for some low-key baking, if I really feel like going all out.

Nude Blush and Golden Highlighter

Festive makeup is all about the eyes and lips, so I keep it subtle when it comes to blush. My go-to nude cheek option is the MAC Mineralize Blush in 'Cosmic Force' (£23), which is as colourless as they come - basically a beige with the barest hint of rosiness. I promise it looks prettier than that description would have you believe. It gives a bit of very understated definition to the cheeks. If I'm feeling like something that's a little more flush-like, but still muted and relatively nude, I tend to go for the MAC Powder Blush in 'Blushbaby' (£18). This one's a natural browny pink, with quite a sheer formula - very easy to wear.

The highlighter department on the other hand, is an area where I amp it up. As far as I'm concerned, glistening golden cheeks are Christmassy cheeks. I like to go full-on true gold, which last year meant the MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in 'Whisper of Gilt', but this year I'm putting a dupe to the test. The Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in 'Golden' (£27.50) is the latest addition to my highlighter collection, and it looks just as golden and gleaming. On the off chance I feel like toning it down a little, a pale golden-vanilla like the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in 'Moonstone' (£32) will do the trick.

Gold/Bronze/Copper Eyes

That's right - there are no groundbreaking ideas to be found in this post. Anything in that warm gold-bronze-copper area of the colour spectrum is an easy go-to during party season. The original Urban Decay Naked Palette (£39.50) is a nice one to have to hand at this time of year, because it has a good selection of those typical Christmas party lid shades. There's 'Half Baked' for that festive yellow-gold eye look, 'Smog' for a more sultry bronze option, and 'Sidecar' if you want something a little cooler but still in that bronzey colour family.

Glitter is a popular party pick, but I don't really do glitter. If I feel like playing up the eyes a little more, I prefer something ultra metallic and shiny, like the Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow Pans (£7.95 each) which look, well, foiled on the lid. 'Grandstand' (a rose gold) and 'Legend' (a true copper) are both beautiful and both have 'Christmas party' written all over them.

Alternatively, if I want my statement lip to be the centre of attention, I go for a bare lid and some copper eyeliner, using the ColourPop Creme Gel Colour in 'Show Me' ($6) and the Zoeva 317 Wing Liner Brush (£7.99). There are two ways I like to wear this. Option one: I create a copper winged liner look, applying it as I would any other gel liner. Option two: I apply regular ol' black winged liner on the upper lash line, and wear the copper one underneath the lower lash line, pulling it out into a wing that mirrors the black wing above. (Is this making sense to anyone but me?! Makeup application descriptions can be a real painful read without accompanying visuals...)

Bold Lips

More often than not, I can't resist topping off a festive makeup look the traditional way: with a red lip. My number one all-time favourite red lipstick is the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in 'Cruella' (£21), which is a beautiful, classic, deepened red. It's such a glamorous shade and the finish is perfect - a really chic matte, which meshes nicely with the lips, while still looking rich and pigmented.

That being said, there are occasions when I feel like something slightly less bright than a red, but at least as bold. On those days I reach for a burgundy like the MAC Matte Lipstick in 'Diva' (£16.50), or a deep berry like the NYX Full Throttle Lipstick in 'Locked' (£6). Of course, all of the lipsticks I'm mentioning are matte. Christmas parties are all about eating/drinking/non-lipstick-friendly activities, and matte formulas are the only thing that stand half a chance of sticking around for the night. In fact, it's always a good idea to go with a liquid lipstick, which will generally hang in there for the longest (and I don't know why I didn't photograph any for this post...)

A Finishing Spritz

I highly recommend finishing things off with a few spritzes of setting spray before you walk out the door. A good setting spray will significantly prolong the wear-time of everything on your face. At the moment, I'm trying out the L'Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist (£8.99), and I really like it. Just make sure you give this one a vigorous shake before use; it separates in the bottle, and will leave white splogdes on your face if you don't mix it all up before spraying.

What are your go-to Christmas party makeup picks?
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