Party Season Makeup Must-Haves


I may not go to many parties these days, but I still have those memories of late, sometimes sweaty, always fun nights locked away somewhere and if asked to I could recite the lyrics to Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’ and the dance routine to the Macarena – wait, what? They don’t play that anymore? Well, come Christmas I do end up staying up past 10pm on the odd occasion and from my past bedtime adventures I’m reminded that makeup really needs a few tweaks to make it night-proof, so here’s my pre-party edit. A few items to spruce up with and keep in your desk drawer so you won’t be wincing at the pictures on Facebook come in the morning…

A PRIMER. Ahhhh, the good ol’ base level formula that means your pores won’t chomp up your makeup leaving you barefaced come lunchtime. Great stuff. There’s a formula for everything – oil halting, redness reducing, sweat proofing – but personally I’m into the hydrating ones at the moment that give an extra layer of moisture to the skin while still imparting their priming properties. Right now, it’s the Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer that I’m reaching for.

AN SPF-FREE FOUNDATION. Finding an SPF-free foundation formula is like finding a needle in a haystack, but they’re a good thing to come by as SPF can be one of the main reasons that your face looks like Casper and a completely different shade to your body in photos. My favourite one is the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation as it can be worn pretty sheerly, or built up to a full coverage formula that will still be there even after you’ve whipped your hair back and forth.

A CONTOUR. I always find that a good bit of contouring helps control the ‘moon-face’ look that I can sometimes get in photos, especially when flash comes into play. I usually skip blusher as two minutes on a dance floor and I look like I’ve been at the gym for an hour, so a bit of contour helps give dimension to my flat face. Of course there’s the Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium – the only item in my stash that I’ve currently hit pan on – but if you’re feeling spendy and prefer a cream finish (easier to blend, but not as long lasting), then the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate may be more up your street.

A BOLD LIP. If there’s one thing that looks good in photos it’s a bold lip. You can spend yonks on eye makeup, but with a wide-eyed look and a bit of flash your fancy blending work has all but disappeared, but an ‘in yer face’ lip that’s taken two minutes to perfect is there, it’s present and it looks rocking. My personal favourites are the MAC Lip Pencils, a drying option but one that says put or the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil which are slightly less moisture zapping, but still bring the longevity. If liquid lipstick is more your thing then give the Bourjois Edition Velvets a go which coat the lips in an opaque, shine-free layer of colour in just one stroke.

A SETTING SPRAY. Think of hairspray, but for your face – that’s what you’re getting here. Use it as your final step to lock in everything – base, eyes, lip colour – the lot. I find three or four sprays all over my face, with a couple of seconds to let it dry off and you’re good to go. I’ve never found one that’s as good or better than the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, but I’m open to recommendations – hit me up.

There’s just one thing left to say. ‘Eyyyyy Macarena, aiiiiiiii‘.