So you’ve got a big night out and you want to look your best. You become the modern-day Michelangelo, and your face is the Sistine Chapel – or it will be, when you’re finished. It’s time for the true artistry that every woman has the chance to indulge in: makeup designed to accentuate, highlight, and draw the eye.
Let’s start with the base, the canvas or… ceiling… if we continue with the Sistine Chapel analogy. The bare bones; the brickwork you have to deal with.
Hair: Pull it back off your face to give you a clean canvas to work on.
Skin: Should be freshly clean, preferably double-cleansed. While ‘night out’ suggests darkness, if it’s summer, you might still need a light layer of SPF to protect your skin.
Teeth: No matter how good you are with makeup, yellowed teeth are going to bring your efforts crashing down. Go to this site and discuss solutions with your dentist if you have a problem with staining.
Lips: Exfoliate your lips with coconut oil mixed with sugar. This is an especially important step if you’re planning on wearing matte lipstick.
So now you’ve got your canvas and you’re ready to go. What comes next?
Yes, eyes. It’s surprising to many women; it’s somewhat ingrained into us that we should apply our foundation and base first. But think about it: if you make a mistake with your eye makeup, then it’s going to ruin your base. Eyeshadow drops beneath your eyes, an errant miss with a mascara wand – one slip and you’ve got to start over from scratch.
Your eyes go first.
Eyelid Primer: If you want your eyeshadow to last, it’s an essential.
Eyeshadow: Go for a smoky eye if you’re feeling dramatic. For something more subtle, use a dark colour to contour the eye socket and a lighter shade on the lids. A dot of white on the inside of the eye can make you look more awake.
Eyeliner: There are various tools you can buy to give a flick to eyeliner, though a piece of cardboard held at the right angle has the same impact. It’s cheaper, too.
Mascara: Apply mascara in a zigzag motion, focusing primarily on the upper lashes. Too much on the lower lashes will result in the panda-eyes we all want to avoid.
With that complete, you can move onto finishing the look:
Primer: It doesn’t matter how good your foundation and concealer are; without a good primer, they’re sunk. Silicone-based options tend to be favoured, as they provide a smooth surface without cloying the skin.
Foundation: Always choose a foundation shade based on a jawline swatch, not one on the inside of your wrist.
Concealer: Use minimally over particular blemishes.
Contouring and Highlight: Be careful with contour or you stray into the full Kim Kardashian appearance (that even she has disavowed). Strobing – just highlighting the areas where light naturally hits your face – provides a far more natural look.
The final brushwork on your ceiling – er, face – should go to your eyebrows. Use a slanted brush and a cream to add individual extra “hairs” where they are needed. Powder is more likely to drop, but can create a more natural look.
You can then use a setting spray or powder if it feels necessary – but if you’ve used primer, this can sometimes be overkill.