As festive frolics fill the diary, it’s time to put on your party face. The best place to start? Why, the windows of the soul, says Fiona Adams
The party season is upon us! Time for a new LBD and a bit of sparkle. You may have the dress, but have you given any thought to your party face?
Of course not. Most of us get stuck in our make-up rut in our 20s and doggedly retain our favourite look, often using the same colours, brushes (unwashed, yuck) and decade-old products (double yuck).
A quick way to update is by taking a long, hard look at your eyes. Does that shadow make you look brilliant or bilious? Are you so attached to those Audrey Hepburn flicks? And if your mascara is over six months old, well, you REALLY don’t want to know about the bacterial content.
This season there are a number of looks – all variations on the classic smokey eye. Want to be achingly on trend? Try electric blue shadow with black liner and mascara, or go grungy with heavy black shadow under your eyes (think Goth, but without the death-warmed-up pallor). There’s also a graphic look, using a pencil along your socket line (you may end up looking permanently surprised) and, finally, the ‘greasy’ effect with wet-look make-up.
For inspiration, I went to Kim Douglas at new brand Japonesque in John Lewis, Kingston. Kim numbers pop stars amongst her clients, but also offers sound advice to normal girls like me and soon had me looking glam. Read her tips below.
TOP TIPS FOR PARTY PEEPERS
HYGIENE: Renew your products every three to six months; if you have an infection, dispose of products immediately and wait until it’s cleared up before replacing them. Only touch eyes with clean hands, especially if you wear contact lenses, and never leave eye make-up and mascara on overnight; your lashes can become brittle and break.
Pale skin – you can go for almost anything, including greys, browns and aubergines
Olive skin – rich tones such as browns, dark blues, greens and golds. Go for bold pigments
Darker skin – charcoal grey or layered aubergine
AND NOW THE TECHNICAL BIT…:
1) Invest in a good set of ‘tools’ or brushes. Good quality products deserve to be applied with great brushes. You will get better application, a longer-lasting effect and a gentler feel on the delicate skin around the eyes.
2) Use different brushes for various shades. Never use a brush in both your dark and pale palettes (it is NOT like mixing paints!).
3) Small areas need a small brush. You can’t expect to apply intricate make-up with a tool designed for cheekbones. With something smaller you’re less likely to make a mistake and you can build intensity with control.
4) Always wear a base, such as a translucent powder, under eye make-up. It gives your shadow staying power; you don’t want it migrating to your hairline.
5) When you start applying colour, remember that it doesn’t have to go on all in one go. Tap any excess powder off the brush and build up the effect layer by layer.
6) Blend the powder from the outside of the eye towards the nose. Be careful not to blend outwards and downwards, as this will bring your eye down with it.
7) If you’re curling your lashes, use your curler with a pump action rather than one long press; do this after you’ve applied shadow and liner, but BEFORE mascara.
8) When choosing mascara think about wand design; a thick wand will help to give the effect of thicker lashes, while a thinner one helps to build the illusion of length.
9) To apply mascara, look down into your hand mirror so you can see the roots of your lashes, rather than straight on. If you want to apply to your lower lashes, use the tip (take off excess) and lightly tickle your lashes back and forth.
10) Eyebrows should look natural (avoid the blocky ‘Scouse Brow’). Choose a pencil two shades lighter than your natural brow colour and just use it to fill in your brows lightly.