Make-Up Tips for the Party Season

Some clever ideas to help you look your best.

By , Columnist


To achieve a luminous look, without spending on an expensive foundation, add a drop or two of an illuminating liquid such as Revlon Skinlights to your normal foundation. Mix well in the palm of the hand before using.

Cosmetic consultants are trained to match foundation to the colour of your skin. If you are pale and prefer a slight ‘lift’ in winter, try using a facial self-tan first, then get the foundation matched.

Instead of using foundation, try a tinted moisturiser, preferably with sun protection. This might be all you need in a sunny climate or for nighttime. If you still want a foundation, try a light to medium consistency. Heavier foundations are fine for studio lights, hiding blemishes or scarring, but can add years. Take care using face powder; too much settles in lines and can be very aging. If you must use powder, follow by a tissue pressed flat on the skin to remove any excess.

To emphasise cheekbones, look into a mirror, push your mouth into an O shape and you should find your natural cheekbone line. Use bronzer/blusher on and above this line, moving the applicator brush upwards and outwards. Experiment by using bronzer, very lightly, on the actual cheekbone line, and blusher above it, blending carefully.


Concealers such as Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat work wonders in reducing under-eye darkness, but you should only use them in the lines, not on the whole area. For that you can try using a lighter coloured foundation mixed with a drop of moisturiser and blend very thoroughly to avoid a panda look. Also use concealers in lines from nose to mouth, and mouth to chin.

Use a primer such as L’Oreal Studio Secrets sparingly on areas you really need to touch up, like the outer corners of the eyes or over any fine lines near the mouth. Then use a foundation of top of the primer; you should notice the difference immediately.

To minimise a sagging jaw line: look in the mirror, then push your chin forward, suck your cheeks in, and you should see the natural jawline once again. Use a concealer such as Touche Eclat or a matte one such as Rimmel Hide the Blemish- it must be lighter than your skin tone - and touch up the area between chin and ear right on the jawline. Blend gently outwards and upwards. You can also use a dusting of bronzer below the jawline, under your chin and outwards, but blend carefully.

A quick trick to refresh the face: put one or two drops of moisturiser onto the palms of your hands, rub together, then press them lightly over your cheeks. Blot with a tissue.


Lots of women avoid mascara as they find it too messy. The trick is to have a clean, spare brush and either brush through the lashes with this after applying mascara, or transfer the mascara from the first brush to the spare one and use the latter instead. Wash this brush regularly.

Eyelash curlers should be used before mascara, not after, as they can pull out the lashes. A simple substitute is a warm (not boiling hot!) teaspoon. Use the curved side to press your lashes upwards before applying mascara. You can also use your own clean fingers pointed palm side upwards to gently press your eyelashes up.

Fill in missing eyebrows or reshape them using an eyebrow pencil, which is slightly lighter than your eyebrow colour. Line up a pencil from the side of your nose to just beyond the inner corner of your eye — this marks where the brow should begin. Line up again to just beyond the outer corner of the eye — this marks where the brow should end.


Keep dark eye shadow colours for the outer crease of the upper eyelid, from the centre of the eye, and blend upwards and outwards, but not beyond the end of the eyebrow. Use a highlighter from the centre of the lid inwards, between the corner of the eye and the nose, and below the eyebrow from the centre of the eye outwards


Always use a lip liner first. This should be at least as dark as your natural colour. If you can find one, use a lip stain instead of lipstick, as it will last longer. Failing that, fill in your lips with the lip liner, then use lipstick, blot with a tissue, then follow with a lip gloss.

Remember: dark lipstick can make thin lips look even narrower. If undecided, chose a warm pink, rose or coral shade. Blue / purple based lipsticks can make you look ill.


To avoid lipstick-stained teeth, make a pout, run your index finger in and out of your mouth, then wipe the finger clean with a tissue.

Generally, the stronger the eye make-up, the more muted the lipstick should be — and vice versa. Unless, of course, you are extremely glamorous and can get away with anything!


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Margaret Holder has been writing about the Royal Family in newspapers and magazines for thirty years. She also broadcasts frequently on the BBC, both radio and television. She reckons she has now written more royal documentaries than anyone else in the world. Some are still being shown on channels in…

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