Prepare To Party

3rd December 2010

The Christmas Party…

… says Mary Linehan, is an opportunity to let one’s hair down with colleagues, to relax with family, to catch up with friends – whatever the motivation, it’s an event for which we all want to look our best.

Very often, however, in this time-poor season, preparing to party is carried out in the Ladies – or even deskside, at the end of a busy day. Here are a few tips from the experts on how to dress up and look the part, no matter how challenged you are for time or space. Dig out that little black dress, and read on…

Kay Montano, Artistic Director of myface.cosmetics, advises, “The Smoky Eye is the season’s most glamorous look – very made up and perfect for the party. You can create this look in seconds, whether in the back of a cab or at your desk. The important element is the iridescent top layer of colour.

1. Apply your shadow with a firm brush in the socket line, blending down onto the eyelid and taking it out out at the outer corner following the shape of the eye. Make sure not to leave any sharp edges; the colour needs to be smooth and blotch-free. Also apply under the eyes to maximise impact.

2. Apply eye pencil along top and bottom lashes, in the lower rim as far as the tear duct. Smudge slightly with a small blending brush or a cotton bud to create that sexy lived-in look. The make-up is meant to be a little bit messy, so don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect.

3. Then apply another light layer of colour to the lid, simply using your fingertip for a smokey smudgy effect. For a more incredible dramatic, wet-looking shimmering shine myface Bling Tone eyeshadows have special light reflective pigments that give eyes an amazing bedazzling look.

4. Lastly, apply lashings of mascara. Drag the lashes out outwards rather than up, again to exaggerate the shape of the eye.”

Kay’s 3 Make-Up Must-Haves:

myface.cosmetics Upload Mascara (£10.29)
myface.cosmetics Blingtone Single in Black Ice (£9.99)
myface.cosmetics Hi Def Eye Liner in Black (£6.99)

Celebrity Makeup artist Liz Kitchiner suggests some excellent top-up tips, keeping the colours you wear during the day as your base and adding some clever extras for instant evening glamour.

“If you’re severely time-challenged,” she says, “gently layer on extra colour to your daytime look. Highlighter is always good for eveningwear. Powder or cream have brilliant, light-reflective, shimmering pigments to bring focus to cheekbones and the eye zone. Brush or dab on the top of your cheekbones and temples.

Lashes are big this season – “and there are some fantastic eye-catching falsies that don’t take too much aptitude to apply for instant drama. There’s a fantastic selection from full-length to singles or corners, and they even come ready to apply. If you do opt for the false lash look, practise a little beforehand to check it doesn’t look ridiculous… the last thing you want is not to be able to bat your lids!”

Kohl pencil is always a useful make-up bag addition. Liz advises making sure that it’s a soft formulation, using it on the rim of the eye and smudging a little underneath to play the vamp, adding, “do be careful though: you don’t want to look as if your eye colour has slipped down because you’ve been wearing it all day.”

If eyes are not the feature to play up, then adding a flash of vibrant colour to your lips will create a dramatic change of image. “Berries, plums, purples and even black will certainly turn heads.”

Liz’s Make-Up Must-Haves

Revlon Beyond Natural Eyelashes: from £3.99
Dior Crayon Khol: £15

Now for the hair. Simplicity itself. Sarah-Jane Green, top session stylist, says, “I would put Carmen rollers the night before for just half an hour, then in the morning twist it up in a pony. You can either let it down and the curls will be soft, or place all the hair to the side and twist into a chignon… you can also buy hair doughnuts to add fullness: they’re easy and very effective! Then place a little clip or flower accessory strategically placed to suit the shape of your face. Monsoon has great hair bits!!”

Then all that remains to finish off your day-to-evening makeover is the nails. Nonie Crème is currently one of the most sought-after nail experts for backstage and catwalk glamour. Her own range of fun, sophisticated and ethically-formulated nail enamels are worn at every red carpet event.

“Wondering how to take your nails from office to office party in no time?” she asks. “Glitter is a wonderful way to be the life of the party. Make sure your nails are manicured the night before. It doesn’t matter what colour you choose as your base shade, although your boss might have something to say if it’s too vibrant… Once you’ve finished getting ready, just throw two coats of butter london’s Chancer (red), West End Wonderland (gold), or Rosie Lee (pink) over that base shade and go from zero to hero in seconds!”

And there you have it – a fabulous Christmas Party look in less time than it takes to finish a festive glass of bubbly!

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