Festive party season: Best make up looks

With the constant round of after-work drinks and Christmas parties, we often end up spending more time than ever worrying about those pesky dark circles when it comes to the eye area. However, the right eye make up can minimise the appearance of fine lines, conceal under-eye bags and make dark circles disappear, so working out how to boost its staying power will leave you looking bright-eyed and bushy tailed all night long.


Powder patrol


Whether you’re crying with happiness at the present your other half’s just given you or simply sweating it out on the dance floor, keeping your eye make up in place can be tricky. The powdery nature of eye shadows means that they’re especially prone to smudging. “To prevent eye shadows from slipping, sliding and creasing, dip a cotton wool pad in toner and swipe over closed eyelids – this helps to reduce any excess oil on the lids,” explains Chase Aston, international make up artist at The Body Shop. “Then take an eye shadow primer and apply over the top lid. This smoothes the surface of the lid while ensuring shadows glide on and stay put, all through the day and into the night.”


Product suggestion: Benefit Stay Don’t Stray Stay-Put Primer for Concealers & Eyeshadows, £19.50, Boots

Mascara minefield

Preventing mascara smudges starts from the moment of application. “To avoid the dreaded panda eyes, after you’ve cleansed, toned and moisturised, take a tissue and press over lashes to remove any excess oil,” advises Chase Aston. “Then take a soft eye shadow brush and dip into a translucent or clear loose powder and lightly dust over lashes. This will bind mascara to lashes and help to avoid slippage.”

Product suggestion: Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara, £18

Wax on, wax off

Eyeliner is especially prone to smudging. “To ensure a longer lasting, smudge-proof finish, always use a waterproof pencil, liquid or gel liner as these have more grip and staying powder than the regular wax formats,” advises Chase. “When applying the eyeliner, take a matte powder shadow in the same shade as your liner and trace along the lash line. This will soak up any excess oil along the eye line and unsure that your liner won’t budge.”

Product suggestion: By Terry’s Crayon Khol Terrybly, £22, SPACE.NK

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray, By Terry Crayon Khol Terrybly, Brown Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara

Perfect pinkies

If you’re running late, skipping a top coat might sound like a good idea, but in reality, you’ll only end up spending more time tidying up chips and cracks.
“Top coat is a must,” says celebrity nail technician Zarra Celik. “Apply over the nail, then seal the top edges. Also, make sure you apply two thin, even coats of nail colour underneath. To keep your nails looking strong and healthy, file, lightly buff and apply cuticle oil every two weeks.”

Product suggestion: Revlon Red Carpet ColorStay Nail Enamel, £7.99, Boots

Firm foundations

When it comes to foundation, opt for liquid foundations over powder ones, which have less staying power and are more likely to dry out skin at a time when it needs all the hydration it can get. “Stick to cream formulas for your foundation,” Bobbi Brown suggests. “A cream formula will help to further hydrate the skin, plus it’s less likely to fall into lines and make them more noticeable.” It’s also important to take your time applying foundation, especially during the festive period when you’re more likely to wear heavier make up than usual.  “Use a brush to apply your foundation when you’re trying to achieve medium to full coverage,” suggest Bobbi. “Make sure the bristles are made of a high end synthetic material, so the foundation won’t streak and the bristles won’t swell with age. I also recommend using the warmth of your fingers — foundation spreads more evenly over the skin if it’s at room temperature.”

Product suggestion: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H, £27, nationwide

Perfume protocol

Finally, while dousing yourself in fragrance may seem like a good idea when you’ve got a long night ahead, it’s not necessarily the best way to ensure your perfume lasts all night. To begin with, avoid dabbing it behind the ears. “The sebum-producing glands here will interfere with the perfume and alter the scent that develops,” explains master perfumer Roja Dove. Spraying vast amounts of perfume is also a bad idea. “The alcohol is an astringent and in the long term will cause the skin to dry,” says Roja. “Instead, wear it on your wrists, elbows and collarbone. These pulse points are the areas of our body where the blood is very near to the surface of the skin. The warmth the blood provides helps the scent to evaporate. Also, dab it onto arms and legs – these are the places which move and you need the combination of movement and warmth to bring a scent to life.”

Product suggestion: The Body Shop Love ETC Solid Perfume, £5 

Revlon Red Carpet ColorStay Nail Enamel, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H, The Body Shop Love ETC Solid Perfume