Face up to the party fun

Get ready rock around the Christmas tree with the right primer or radiance booster.

THE advertising is working — all I can think of is slinking around parties, drinking cocktails, eating canapés and wearing something super-fancy.

For Christmas, I’ll be OTT: whipping out the sequins, layering on the Aztec-style jewellery, hobbling in ridiculously high heels, and putting on the ‘party face’.

‘Party face’ is one of the most enjoyable aspects of Christmas parties. I love getting ready in a warm, cosy room with Sufjan Stevens’ Songs for Christmas playing and a real sense of occasion. And Christmas parties always offer a chance to try something new.

For me, ‘going out’ make-up starts with a primer, a radiance booster or a super-serum to set your look. Sometimes, I use two for special occasions, but leave time between applying the products or else things will slide off my face.

If you have normal or oily skin, a primer is best, but a bit tight on dry skin. Primers are great for ‘setting’ your make-up and tightening pores, and with them your make-up lasts longer. Just what you want at a party.

My fave is Smashbox Photo finish foundation primer, €31, but Avon’s MagiX face perfector, €15, is also good. If you have dry skin, a radianceboosting serum is good, or else the much-adored MAC strobe fluid, €20.50. MAC also has a new radiance booster: Prep + Prime natural radiance, €24.50, with a pale, peachy tone. It smoothes into skin, giving it a glowing zing, and with it makeup lasts longer.

If you want to lighten dark areas of the face, opt for a targeted booster, such as Christian Dior’s skinflash radiance booster pen, €34. It’s portable, so you can bring it out with you for the night. which is rather nifty if you need to go straight from work.

Even at this time of year, use a very light foundation, tinted moisturiser, and BB cream to keep the skin fresh and translucent (you can use a dot or two of more substantial base where needed). But if you are going heavy with the eyes, it makes a beautiful contrast to have fresh and light-looking skin.

Try a great, super-light, very moisturising foundation, such as Bobbi Brown’s Extra SPF 25 tinted moisturising balm, €45 — it’s as light as it gets for a base, but really rich and sumptuous.

For medium coverage, go for Yves Saint Laurent’s excellent, new Touch Éclat foundation, €38. For something with a touch more coverage, I’d opt for Chanel Perfection Lumiere, €44, which gives good, long-wearing coverage, while still letting your natural skin tones shine through.

Of course, this Christmas it’s all about the eyes, as beauty’s palette takes the smokey eye into new dimensions, with gorgeous, cool coffee shades, sexy purples, sumptuous minks and a touch of bronze. The festive season is traditionally the time to go for bronze and sparkle, but, this year, a much more restrained and sophisticated look is breaking through with a brown-toned eye and strong matte lip.

It’s very Marion Cottilard, very grown-up and womanly. The main thing is to make sure that you have a great black eyeliner — whether you’re going for new-look purple, warm tobacco, or deep charcoal grey, a black, kohl eyeliner is essential.

Finish it all off with lashings of black mascara, and a sprig of mistletoe. Perfect.


Get-in-the-mood products

Estee Lauder Daywear BB Antioxidant Beauty Benefit Creme, €40.50.

Yes, it’s a BB cream so it’s more on the tinted moisturiser side of coverage, but this is a good option if you’re looking for a base with great skincare properties. It has a wonderful fresh scent and gives light oil-free overage.

If you’re looking for a more cost effective solution, go for 17 BB Blemish Balm, €9.80.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, €31.

This award-winning primer is your one step to great long-lasting make-up. It creates a great canvas for your make-up, which means it is perfect for parties (only use it when you go out and it’ll last much longer, too). It’s oil-free and has antioxidants in it so it’s kind to your skin, too.

Yves Saint Laurent Boréal Palette Arctic Night Pure Chromatics No12, €57.

I went to the Ice Hotel in Sweden a few years ago, and this would have been my eyeshadow palette of choice to bring with me, had it been around then. There’s something very beautiful and glacial about the blue/purple shades here, with touches of bronze thrown in to tone things down. Gorgeous with a simple matte pink lip.

Bobbi Brown Rich Caviar Eye Palette Pure Chromatics No12, €57.

I always love Bobbi Brown eye palettes, and this one is a great bet for Christmas and beyond. You can create a multitude of looks, from nude toned shadows that look great with a strong matte lip and just mascara, to big Christmas party eyes. Perfect for a grown-up festive season. Love it.

Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Rubis Exquis no 182, €25.41.

A red lip is still hot this Christmas, which is great because it’s a really beautiful party look. Wear a strong red with a nude eye, go retro with feline-style sweeps of eyeliner (with Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner), or else team it with a pale bronze for a more modern look. One lipstick, three looks, perfect party wear.


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