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The Expert Way To Do Perfect Party Make-Up

Eggnog, sequins, and mince pies. It can only mean one thing: Christmas – and Christmas parties – are upon us. Which means it’s time to start prepping your ultimate party look. In need of some inspo? We asked the experts for their top tips and tricks for festive beauty. ’Tis the season, after all.

Charlotte Tilbury

“Darlings, I love the festive season and all the parties it brings. My go-to for dialling up my look from day to night is a smoky eye. I always say, smoky eye til I die! My Instant Eye Palette in Smokey Eyes Are Forever gives you a sultry smoky eye in seconds. There are four hypnotic eye glow looks to make every eye colour pop, and an easy-to-use decoded system of “prime, enhance, smoke.” I’m obsessed with the confident look. To add definition, I love to wash the plum shade across my lid like a windscreen wiper before applying the deep brown shade over the entire lid with my fingers. Then I use a smaller, densely packed brush to smudge it along the lash line to thicken the lashes and create a smoked-out effect that Kate Moss, Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek love! To amp up the look, blend the True Black shade into the crease and lash line.”

Val Garland

“Eyes in focus, get lined up, it’s time to flick it!”

Bobbi Brown

“The Jones Road Miracle Balm in Disco is perfect for the festive season – a skin-enhancing sheen of warm bronze flecked with gold and silver pearl. It looks so pretty on the eyes, cheeks, lips and you can use it on the body. It’s multi-purpose, which makes it great to quickly elevate your look. Simply fun for the holiday season, it is festive and pretty. Make sure you break the top surface of the balm with your index finger first and then warm it up to soften the formula. This helps with pick-up and colour payoff.

Add some red for a festive pop of colour with the Jones Road Cool Gloss in Great Red. It is really red – no yellow – bright red. I think it is super wearable with the sheen as opposed to a matte red lip (but think more of a sheen than a traditional gloss). Like my super bright red nails that I love to wear, I adore a pop of colour and not much else. I would wear the red gloss with just mascara and a little miracle balm on my skin.”

Diane Kendal

“Using gems around the eyes is always a hit. Zara has a variety of self-adhesive appliqués in pearl and multi-coloured crystals.”

Pat McGrath

“For a magnificent gleam, prep the eye with a few sweeps of the IntensifEYES Artistry Wand – it will amplify colour and shine for a look that will transcend the spectrum. Exquisite flashes of shimmery colour, like Citrine Envy from our MTHRSHP MEGA: Celestial Odyssey Palette, is a striking way of brightening up the holidays – like Dua Lipa’s memorable moment when she made her runway debut for Versace spring/summer 2022.”

Lisa Eldridge

“Firstly, my signature ‘a la Eldridge’ seamless complexion forms the basis of any look. It’s really about enhancing natural beauty. Apply The Foundation just where you need it to even and unify; pinpoint concealing (one of my most asked-about make-up techniques). It’s all about thin layers, buffed and blended so your entire make-up is in complete synergy, and, importantly, lasts throughout the night with minimal touch-ups.

“Make-up is the ultimate, quick, feel-good accessory in uncertain times. When we are able to go out and celebrate with family and friends I think we’ll be ready to say goodbye to our minimalist lockdown beauty looks: glam is ready to make a comeback! Creativity, colour and play are primeval needs. For this reason, I love my Liquid Lurex Eyeshadows. They’re an easy to use eye embellishment that will see you through the party season and beyond! It has such a flattering formula that is both creamy and lightweight and contains a mirrorball blend of multi-coloured pearls to catch the light. The formula dries to a smudge-proof finish, and a wet look with durable shine that will carry you from dancing till dawn.”

Mona Leanne

“A metallic eye pencil in the lower water line is a great way to add a festive flash that’s still sophisticated. The Byredo Kajal Pencil in Chaandee is a great option.”


“For me, it always has to have either glitter or rhinestones. It could be a little bit or it could be wild. It always works and looks 100 per cent fab. And it gets you right in the festive mood.”

Terry Barber

“When you’re doing party make-up it’s not about overdoing it with the glitter and shine to the point where you actually look like a Christmas decoration. Instead, opt for some chic: disco glam with jewel-coloured eyes, plenty of lash and a decadently bold glossy mouth. Provided you don’t overdo it with the foundation coverage and brow defining, the iconic pairing of a strong eye and bold lip will always stay the right side of effortless.”

Mata Mariélle

“My top tip for a festive party make-up look is and will always be a strong bold lip. Lining your lips with a liner then applying a similar lipstick shade will help the colour stay on all night! Red is always fab!”

Florrie White

“Prep your skin well so that your make-up stays fresh while you perhaps become a little hydrated with a tipple or two. I often see foundations clinging onto parched skin. Plump your skin with moisture everyday and night to help it glow through the cold weather and late nights ,and then you can have fun with make-up. I recommend carrying an intense eyeliner in your make-up bag so you can quickly add a smoky eye. I love Byredo Kajal pencils to sweep over your lashes and eyelids, try Neela Neela (a velvet navy blue) with black mascara, or Chaandee (shimmering silver) to sparkle into the night.

Celia Burton

“I’m a big fan of a pop of glitter. Stick to what you usually wear and then add a touch of high shine sparkle. It instantly adds a twist to whatever you’re wearing. Glossier have made these little eye palettes for Monochromes which have both matte and shimmer options that you can mix together.

Wearing eye make-up is always so fun in the winter. You can pull off an intense smoky eye, almost a glossy eye. Try putting a bit of lip balm over your eyeliner to give it a new dimension. You could also have a glossy lip.”

Anne Sophie Costa

“I love the festive times, as I always feel we can go a little further with the use of glitter. For me, it’s super important to have a beautiful canvas to work with, and my first tip would be to go for a beautiful matching blendable foundation, which will give you that beautiful glow instantly. I am lately obsessed with Burberry Matte Glow Fluid Foundation. It will give you an instant glow and make your skin even and natural. I love a glitter or iridescent eye look. The Suqqu eyeshadow is a perfect combination of natural and glittery, as their glitter is very refined and very chic. I like lots of mascara to open and define the eye as well, with a beautiful healthy blush, the new ones from Chanel that come in the stick are super glowing and natural, and the colours are stunning. I will then finalise the look with a gorgeous couture lip – an intense slightly dark colour. For example, Dior has a few matte lip colours that could go really well with the glitter.”

Jenna Nicole

“I love going bold for the holidays. Add some gold or silver glitter on top of your smoky eye to make your look more festive in 10 seconds. Get out of your comfort zone and ditch the nude lipsticks, and reach for those with mauve or reddish undertones.”

Rebecca Wordingham

“I am not a massive fan of primers, I think it can sometimes clog and make foundation tacky, especially a long-lasting foundation which will be full of silicone. An insider trick used by professionals is a make-up sealer; it beats any setting spray. I use Green Marble. Make sure to shake it and take a breath in and close your eyes.

“For eyes, I love using a cream eyeshadow by Kjaer Weis, and then adding a metallic pigment or shimmer on top. This makes the eye beam, picks up the light beautifully in photos and can be applied with your fingers. For extra ‘pow’, I love Pat McGrath eyeshadow palettes, they are full of pigment, and the metallics are beautiful and iridescent.

For the festive season, I tend to always stick to a blurry lip, this way after having a few drinks or eating the look will feel the same. I apply in the centre of the lip and with a fluffy brush, or by patting with my fingers, blending out towards the edge. Any excess on your fingers you can pinch onto your cheeks.”

Camille Yolaine

“Wearing nothing on my eyes but mascara most of the time, I love to go for a classic cat-eye. The bolder the better: it gives a vintage vibe that goes well with any kind of party outfit.”

Alexia Inge

“Although some of our festive beauty habits remain a strong fail-safe year on year (ahem… the classic red lip), this year is all about disco brights and a nod to nostalgia. Following the past 18 months, people are harking back to sepia-tinted times to bring a sense of comfort and fun. Nostalgia continues to inspire beauty trends and culture, from ’70s disco and Studio 54 references to the Paris Hilton-esque Noughties. It’s all about impactful brights, high gloss and two-tone, glitter-laden offerings.”

This article was originally published on Vogue UK.

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