When it comes to night time makeup, I usually stray from using blacks. I’m not a fan of thick eyeliner and prefer eyes to look sultry, yet not heavy or dark. My preference is in using brown and bronze tones. This works particularly well because I have auburn hair, but I believe using a neutral palette works on most skin tones and hair colours. Going for a more natural look is the way to go, and finding a good routine (with good products) that are long lasting, will make this very achievable and help you avoid the urge to use too much makeup.
Prep and Prime
I’ve spoken in depth around a good skin care routine; you can read about it here. So as I have previously mentioned, I always moisturise before applying makeup. It hydrates the skin and will also make for an easier application. After you have moisturised, apply a good primer. My go-to primer is a Laura Mercier that has a subtle shimmer in the formula which makes your skin glow.
A Light Foundation
If I am planning on a late night, whereby my makeup needs to stay put for a decent duration of time, I will always use a really light foundation after my primer as, I guess, an initial base of makeup. I use MAC Face and Body Foundation – it’s super light, almost not like a foundation at all. It’s what I use during the day because of its light weight nature and perfect when you don’t want to look done up but still need some coverage.
I only use concealer for an evening look – I will not bother for day makeup, however I understand for many women, the under eye area is a problem area and therefore this may be used on a daily basis. My concealer is MAC Pro-Longwear and I will apply a small amount under the eye area, the bridge of my nose and on my eyelids, as I find it helps prepare an even slate for eye makeup.
Now come the more involved steps. I have four key eye shadow shades for an evening eye look. These are:
- Firstly, on the inner part of each eye lid and up to the brow bone, I use MAC eye shadow in Ricepaper.
- Next I will use MAC eye shadow in Kid for the main area of the eyelid.
- Thirdly I use MAC eye shadow in Bronze on the outer area of the eye – always making sure to blend these colours well.
- And finally I use MAC eye shadow in Smut to smudge a line only on the outer half of the eye lid. I’ll use this shade again below.
When applying these shadows, I will use the same brush for shades 1 and 2 and then a subsequent brush for shades 3 and 4 (try not to use the lighter shades with darker shades to get the most life out of your makeup brushes). Once you are happily blended, I’ll do thin pencil eyeliner on the top lids using a black Dior pencil – nothing on the bottom yet. Then I will take a firm smudge brush, and grab my MAC Smut shade and do a smudge on the outer ONLY the outer half of the bottom eye line. Eyes will appear brighter if you keep them top heavy and don’t use too much dark products on the bottom. That look is out dated and very heavy – it also doesn’t look natural what so ever. Lastly for the lining, I will use my Napoleon liquid eyeliner and do a subtle wing. There is a knack to creating the perfect wing, but it will come with practice and a steady hand. I will wait till I have powdered and done my proper layer of foundation before I use mascara.
A Heavier Foundation
As mentioned above, I won’t do this step if it’s for day/light makeup. This is just for when I need long lasting makeup or for long events (such as a day at the races when you’re being exposed to all the elements and have an early start/late finish). I always do this AFTER I have done my eyes, because as you’ll find, when applying eye shadow you’ll generally get smudges and fallen particles all over your cheeks – which messes up your foundation anyway. So it’s better to use the real layer of foundation afterwards. I’ve spoken a lot about MAC today because I love their products, but when it comes to choosing a foundation, go with what works for your skin over anything. Many friends of mine are not happy with MAC because it makes them break out. When you find a foundation you’re happy with – stick to it. With that being said, I use MAC Matchmaster Foundation because it works for me.
Powders are often neglected in many women’s makeup routines. But a good powder is light but very effective. It works to even out your foundation application and MAKE IT SET. Keeping it perfect for hours, and also making sure you don’t look shiny/oily. My favourite powder of all time is Napoleon Camera Finish but I also use MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus. It’s also really important to use a good quality powder brush. If you go for a cheap brush with hard bristles, you will notice the application process a lot more difficult, and you won’t be pleased with the results.
I won’t go into detail in this post, but I will urge you to read my earlier blog on The Important Of Eyebrows and stress that this step is make or break for your overall look. DO NOT IGNORE THIS STEP.
Mascara and Eyelashes
If you are planning to wear false eyelashes (and I will do this 9/10 times for an evening look), apply your mascara first – I am using MAC Studio Fix Blacklash but if I’m honest, even better and cheaper products are the Maybelline range of mascaras. Allow your mascara to dry before you apply your lashes. I will write about lashes another time so stay tuned.
Bronzer and Highlighter
I leave this step till the end – I’m not sure why, it just seems to be the final touch and I think it helps with the application if the rest of my face is completed. Please don’t overdo bronzer, it doesn’t look good. A nice contouring look will work perfectly and ensure you don’t look over done and ‘cake face’ as many would condemn you. I use MAC Bronzing Powder. Once you’re happy with the bronzer, a little trade secret of mine is using a highlighter slightly above the line of bronzer. The best product I have come across is MAC Soft and Gentle Highlighter . It lasts me nearly 2 years because it’s not an everyday product and you will use it sparingly.
Choosing a suitable lip colour is like choosing shoes or a bag that go with your outfit. It’s totally going to be about what you’re wearing and the occasion. I own way too many lip sticks, but I swear by 5 shades to get you through any occasion. You can read up about these 5 shades here. The take away is that I believe your makeup look is never complete without your lips. It doesn’t mean you have to have heavy/dark lip colour, even a tinted gloss is okay if you can’t be bothered maintaining lip stick all night long.
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – or comment below with your thoughts.