Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.
Christmas party season is upon us, which means lots of booze, lots of glitter and lots of makeup. Whether it’s formal Christmas events, or last minute ‘Sure we haven’t seen the lights up in town’ pints, there is no doubt that there will be plenty of people hurriedly glamming themselves up in work toilets across the nation.
The thing about doing your makeup in the work jacks, is that you a) don’t have all your stuff (or if you do, you have to carry it all around with you/leave it in work which means a makeup free morning/fate worse than death) and b) you don’t have a lot of time, or at least don’t want to spend a lot of time in what is often a fairly grim toilet.
On that basis, this week I’m going to show you three simple looks which elevate your glam levels quickly, easily, and with minimal extra product required. Simply start your day with your usual foundation etc. applied, and either no eye shadow or some neutral eye shadow. Throw some concealer, powder if you use it, and highlighter in your bag, as well as the below ingredients and you should be good to go.
Look One: Shiny Red Nose Lips
Nothing says Christmas like shiny and red, eh? Fortunately a shiny red lip also screams glam and is easy to apply. First, check out your skin. If your foundation is still looking half decent, there’s really no need to start again. Use your concealer to top up any problem areas, and if you have a facial spray at your desk, lash some of that on (you can get it for cheap in Penneys these days, and it’s great at freshening makeup). If you feel your brows are looking dusty and tired, apply some brow mascara which will liven them up again. Dust a bit of powder where you don’t want to shine, and throw on your shiny red lip. I used No 7′s new Matte LIquid Lips, which are really comfortable and come in a great range of colours, but are not at all matte. They never quite dry down, so keep a shine, but are not sticky and uncomfortable, which is great for those of us who abandoned gloss fifteen years ago and are only coming back to it now. I’m wearing the shade Fearless.
You may feel like this isn’t enough, but trust me, it is. There are few things as chic as a bold red lip with the rest of the face kept simple.
Look Two: Flicky McFlickerson
A bold eyeliner flick is the central point of this look, and to make it a bit more festive, I applied it in a colour which isn’t black. I KNOW. MAD. Navy can be a great alternative to black if you want to do something different, so I used Shiseido’s Inkstroke Eyeliner in Kon-ai Blue (dark green would look great on brown eyes). It comes with it’s own handy mini-felt tip applicator, which is handy for when you’re on the go, thus perfect for this scenario. A brush would be better, but this does the trick. If you’re afraid of applying eyeliner, check out this earlier column for some tips. The real secret is practice, to be honest. Update the rest of your face via spray, concealer etc. as above.
A soft pink lip works well with the blue, and I applied some of it to my cheeks to give them a boost too. If you’re going for green, a peachy lip would be gorgeous. In this case I used another No 7 Matte Liquid Lips, this time the shade is called Inspire. Amp up your highlighter, if you’re a fan of highlighter, and you are ready to party!
Look Three: Smokey Mountain Christmas
In my opinion, a smokey eye is the quickest and easiest way to take your makeup from day to night. All you need are a couple of reasonably dark eyeshadow crayons and a blending brush. In fact, even one will do. Start by freshening the rest of your face as above. Use the crayon to draw all over your lid and to apply a line just under your bottom lashes. It doesn’t matter if it looks messy, in fact, if it doesn’t look messy you’re some kind of magician. Then, immediately, get in with your blending brush and smudge out all the edges. The beauty of eyeshadow crayons is that they apply smoothly and blend easily, but they also set quickly to last, so if you don’t get blending straight away the jagged edges will be set and you’ll be fecked. The crayons I used here are Kiko Milano Sparkling Trail Eyeshadow in 06, and Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chamelon in Black Diamonds. I used the blue Kiko shade across the entire eye, and the black Charlotte shade just in the outside corners, again blending away as I applied. I used a Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush.
A matte peachy lip keeps this look from edging into ‘too much’ territory, and can also be used as a light blush. Then highlight the bejaysus out of your temples and cheekbones. I used Fenty Beauty Killawatt in Hu$tla Baby.
Now, you’re ready to go!
Finally, if party season isn’t your thing, that’s cool too. When I was unemployed and a bit lonely I found the December party chat really isolating. I wasn’t getting invited to any parties, and couldn’t relate at all to the idea of glitzy affairs. So, next week, we’ll talk about having a night in dedicated to skincare. Honestly one of my favourite things to do.
Isadora is a brand you may recognise but not have actually used much. Recently they relaunched with a simple line of classic staples, one of which is their new Natural Matt Foundation (19.95). If a velvety look is what you go for, this one is for you. It promises to look like real skin, while maintaining a flawless finish. You can test this out in Shaws departments stores and leading pharmacies nationwide.
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