Use make-up to complement that dress

You don’t have to invest bags of time or money to look a million dollars during party season.

Use make-up to complement that dress

The sparkly and decadent beauty offerings illuminating shelves at this time of year, make Operation Glam a breeze.

Two-fifths of women spend up to two hours preening before a big festive night, according to a recent survey.

But there are clever shortcuts you can take by playing up your best feature, whether it’s tinsel-inspired eyes or Santa-red lips.

“The new rule in holiday make-up is about what makes you feel glamorous,” says make-up artist Bobbi Brown.

Give yourself the gift of glam this party season.

SANTA RED: If your pout’s your party showpiece, look to matte, red lips that take mistletoe kisses and canapes in their stride.

“There’s nothing more chic than a red lip with neutral eyes,” says Brown.

“Matte products are dense and last longest — they contain less moisture than other products, so they adhere to the lips and don’t fade as quickly.”

Blot your lips and reapply your red for extra longevity. Take the colour up a notch with a gloss in the same colour as your lipstick, or pop a metallic gloss just to the centre of your pout to give them an instant plumping boost.

GLITTER BUG: Like Christmas pudding on Dec 25, metallic and glitter eyes are a party season tradition you can’t avoid.

Play up molten metallic eyeshadow by making it the focus of your look and toning down blush and lips.

“To nail the metallic trend, try using two shimmering shades,” advises Una Tynan, founder of Blank Canvas Brushes.

“Sweep a deeper metallic shadow on the lids, blending into the socket line and stay below the brow bones to create a halo effect on lids. Apply a lighter metallic shadow on the inner corners to complete the look.”

For extra razzle-dazzle, adorn eyes with a sweep of sparkling eyeliner as a finishing touch.

ANGELIC GLOW: You might be the wild one at the office Christmas party but ensure your face says otherwise. Strategically placed highlighter can give you a wide-eyed innocent look and lift your cheekbones to rival supermodel Kate Moss.

Make-up artist Rae Morris says: “The golden rule of highlighting is that the colour you choose must be the same as your skin tone or lighter, and must always have a shiny or shimmery finish.”

Use a gold metallic cream or pencil in the inner corners of your eye, under the brows and on cheekbones to illuminate your face under the disco ball.

LASH DECOR: Fluttery false eyelashes are ideal if you want an instant glam transformation. Forget the natural-look lashes and think showgirl eyes, with dazzling accents of bold colour.

“Popping on a pair of false lashes can instantly transform tired eyes and make them look brighter and sexier,” says Amanda Elias, facial therapist.

“If you’ve never applied lashes then practice, practice, practice — five minutes before you’re due to leave the house is not the time to try false eyelashes for the first time.”

FESTIVE FINGERS: Aim for the best dressed hands on the dancefloor.

“Matching your lipstick to your nail lacquer is a hot make-up trend,” says Pat McGrath, Dolce & Gabbana creative advisor. “Jewel-like colours are a perfect complement to any Christmas or New Year outfit, just like a piece of jewellery.”

Add some razzle dazzle with a top coat of shimmering gold glitter polish for the ultimate festive mani.

SEASONAL SMOKY: Ditch the monochromatics and take your eyes up a notch with a show-stopping colour; the perfect accessory for a LBD.

“Swap the traditional take on the grey smoky eye with a sultry yet subtle blend of purple and blue,” says Kay Montano, make-up artist for M&S Beauty. “These shades really enhance the colour of the iris so play with different shades this party season.”

For a subtle look, try a fine line close to the lash line or concentrate your party piece colour on the inner corners of the eye.


Kivara Absolute Cleansing Oil, €20.

We tend to lash on the make-up during winter to add a bit of colour to our pasty skin. But what goes on must come off. Try this sublimely scented cleansing oil for an instant result.

Unlike other wash-off cleansers, this beauty results in a silky soft finish. It comes with thistle, which makes it good for oily skin, and jojoba to nourish and gently cleanse pores. The price tag may seem high but it lasts an age.


Illamasqua, Blizzard Christmas Nail Varnish, €15.38

Be brave. Be bold. Have fun. Brush on this seriously sparkly nail varnish and you’ve got an instant ice breaker. It’s not cheap but we guarantee you’ll want to wear it over and over.

Eylure Katy Perry Lashes Oh My, €9.95

Bat for Christmas with these over-the-top false eye lashes. The party season gives you every excuse to glam up and get in touch with your inner diva — and what better way to catch someone’s eye than with this fun falsies?

Lancome L’Absolu Rouge, €23.40

Turn heads with this sizzling hot lipstick. A bestseller, it’s creamy and dreamy, giving a lasting pop of matte colour. If you’re going all out on the lips, remember to balance the look with barely there eye shadow.

Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Old Hollywood Eye Palette, €67.50

Smoulder on and off the dancefloor with this versatile palette which comes with glitter and flat finishes. With nine shades to choose from, you get to pick and mix the look you want to create, from Greta Garbo to Marilyn Monroe.

Benefit Rockateur, €28.90

Want to rock the night away? A brush with this multi-coloured blusher will set you apart from the crowd with it’s hint of festive gold. Now all that’s needed is a sprig of mistletoe.

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