As soon as that party invite hits your inbox, thoughts begin to travel towards hairstyle ideas and party makeup inspiration, of which we here at Byrdie like to provide you with ample amounts. But finding a doable makeup look that is flattering, easy-to-achieve, a little bit fancier than your norm, but not totally out of your comfort zone is unfortunately only half the challenge. You are still going to need to work out how to apply your chosen look so that it lasts all night. And for that you'll be wanting a generous serving of makeup tips.
It'll come as no surprise that we can help you with that: In a bid to make sure your foundation looks on point in photos, your eye shadow stays put all night long and you get your highlighter application just right, we've assembled an army of the best makeup artists in the country to share with us their fail-safe party makeup advice. Keep scrolling to find out the clever makeup tips they had to share.
1. Always use an eye shadow primer
"Primer is key under your eye shadow to make it last all night," explains Anna Priadka, Nars global artist. "Plus, it will make your eye shadow look 10 times more intense." She knows what she's talking about: We can seriously vouch for Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (£20), which does not cake or gather, no matter how creased your eyelids are, and you'll find some great drugstore options here too.
2. Ditch the SPF
Unless you're going to a beach party (which I think we can safely assume you're not, considering this is the UK, it's December and we swear we just saw some snow outside), ditch the SPF you apply so militantly in the day. That includes foundations that include some kind of sun protection, too. "When taking pictures, remember that you'll most likely use a flash in a nighttime party setting. This means any light-reflective products or SPF will bounce off the backlight and give a ghostly or excessively shiny result on camera," explains Nilofar Mussa, head of artistry at Illamasqua.
3. PRECISION IS KEY WITH HIGHLIGHTER
Highlighter may be a one-product route to the glowy skin of your dreams, but makeup artist Liz Pugh recommends that you go steady with the application. "Be careful with your highlighter, especially on the cheeks. Keep it precise to the top of the cheekbones as if you venture too far onto the cheek area, it can be a little unflattering in pictures." A simple rule of thumb is as follows: "Try to keep the central panel of the face (T-zone) shine-free to avoid looking oily," explains Mussa. A fan brush like Spectrum's (£5) is great at applying a subtle wash of iridescent shimmer.
4. INSURE YOUR LIP COLOUR
No matter how careful you are, lipstick is notoriously hard to keep in place, but there are some tricks you can do to help the cause. First, "use a lip liner in the same shade as your lipstick over the entire lip first," explains Florrie White, makeup artist and Clinique global ambassador. "The lip liner will then hold on to the lipstick and also prevent it from bleeding over the border."
Amy Conway, Bobbi Brown pro artist has another suggestion. "Layer your powder blush on top of your lip colour to set it in place and give a gorgeous matte finish that will last all night long." It was hard, but we've pulled together our list of the best red lipsticks here.
5. MOOD LIGHTING REQUIRES GREATER INTENSITY
If you're not used to wearing a lot of makeup in the day, it can feel a little odd to amp it up for a party, but according to Mussa, it's a must. "Remember, this is party makeup, and a party setting will most likely have low-level warm mood lighting," she explains. "Don't be afraid to push the intensity of your makeup a little further, as this will save you hours of FOMO topping up your makeup in the bathroom every hour."
6. CONCEAL FALSE LASHES
False lashes will give you that Bambi-eyed effect, but it's important to disguise where the lash strip ends and your natural lashes start to make them look more realistic. "When wearing false lashes, line the upper lash line with a slick of eyeliner such as Illamasqua's Precision Gel Eyeliner in Infinity (£21). This will mask the edges of the false lash strip. You'll be thankful when you look at your pictures the next day," Mussa warns.
7. DOUBLE UP ON MOISTURISER
Dehydrated skin is the arch nemesis of makeup, and if your skin is lacking moisture, it will often start sucking it in from your foundation, which is why patches, streaks and odd little tide marks can appear mid-evening. "In order to make makeup last much longer, especially during party season when your skin may become dehydrated from drinking too much or central heating, I like to really up the moisture intake for my skin," recommends Lisa Valencia, makeup artist and Simple ambassador. "By spending that little extra time prepping your skin, your makeup will have an ultra-pro finish, a warming glow and it'll also last much longer." When it comes to nourishing moisturisers, we've found the best ones for dehydrated skin here.
8. HEAT YOUR LASH CURLERS
Curling your eyelashes will add to that open-eyed effect (even if you've just spent a long day at work), but Pugh has a brilliant tip for making your lash curlers work harder. "Apply a little heat for added curlability," she says. So try holding them on a radiator for a couple of minutes, or blasting them with a hair dryer for a few seconds. Be careful not to get them too hot, though. Shiseido's Eyelash Curler (£19) is arguably the best but Pugh has a soft spot for Christian Louboutin Beaute Les Yeux Noir Lash Amplifying Lacquer (£55). "It's my favourite mascara that stays put giving the look of false lashes," she says. "It's the blackest black and I've put it through its paces on shoots and it never fails."
9. FINALLY, TAKE IT ALL OFF AGAIN
When you're a few glasses of champagne down, it can be all too easy to climb into bed without removing your makeup, but when faced with hungover skin the next day, you'll likely regret it. "Keep a pack of wipes next to your bed for the sorts of nights when you want to take your makeup off in a hurry," recommends Valencia. Simple Water Boost Cleansing Wipes (£4) are drenched in micellar water so they're super gentle on the skin but hardy enough to remove even waterproof mascara.
Now that you're armed with the best advice out there, why not try on these three fancy-yet-modern party makeup looks?
Opening image: Mango