Party Makeup: The Essentials

For a dancefloor-proof look…


I do love a good Christmas party. The best one was when I worked in retail; I was 17 and I somehow managed to sneak my way into a club with the rest of my colleagues after a huge Christmas dinner. It was glorious and I felt so mature – ‘Sorry Mum and Dad, I’ll be back late – I’m out clubbing‘. There’s just a real buzz around a festive office party and I love hearing all the funny stories and scandals that come out of them (pop a comment below if you feel like sharing a hilarious tale).

The other thing I love is getting a bit dolled up. I’m not a huge makeup wearer these days, but I do enjoy throwing on an evening look or elevating what I’ve had on during the day into something slightly more defining and ‘done‘. So I thought I’d put together an edit of bits that do exactly that whilst also not taking up a huge amount of space in your bag or your desk drawer. Only got 10 minutes to do a quick beauty fix-up? I’ve got your back…


Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow. Aside from the fact that this is a bloody good product, this compact is the perfect party partner for me because it’s slim so slips easily into a handbag and has a decent mirror in it which means you won’t be squinting into the camera on your phone to put the rest of these bits on. I don’t know what it is about this bronzer/highlighter combination but whenever I apply it, it just makes my makeup as a whole look more polished, all whilst giving a slightly chiselled effect which I’m am always down for. I tend to swirl a brush into both pans and swish over any areas of exposed skin for a glow à la J.Lo.

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight Cowboy. Glitter is not exactly my bag, but whenever Christmas rolls around I’m game. Dip me in the stuff! Nails, cheeks, eyes – throw it on. Of course I like to keep it in the neutral family, so this U.D number is right up my street. I like to add this gold-glitter-flecked liquid liner on my upper lashline behind a set of heavily mascaraed lashes, for a subtle nod to all things shimmer. Although this also looks awesome tapped over the whole lid on top of whatever eyeshadow you threw on that morning for instant party glamour. Wait for it to dry and it won’t go anywhere.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red & Train Bleu. Ahhhh a good ol’ bold lip. You could basically forgo all of these steps, apply a serious clout of colour on your lips and be party-ready in about two minutes (that’s if you’ve got a steady hand). When it comes to deep reds or berry-tinged burgundies the only product that I like to use are these beauties. You don’t need to use a liner with them because they are already in pencil form and so you can get a decent amount of precision. The matte texture also means that they’re pretty hardy and won’t slip off your lips once you get started on the Christmas canapés.

Urban Decay All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. It’s easy to believe that products like this are complete B.S, but let me tell you – the hype is real when it comes to this stuff (side note: It does also come in a travel-friendly size) . I’m not really a powder-kinda gal, so instead once I’m done with my makeup, I do about a million sprays of this on top, wait for it to dry down and marvel at the fact that makeup is still on my face when I come to remove it 12 hours later. It doesn’t add dewiness, nor take it away; instead it just provides a protective film over your makeup that stops makeup migration. Go ahead, work up a sweat doing the Macarena…

Photos by Lauren Shipley