Party season essentials

Grace Timothy

Grace Timothy - Credit: Archant

Beauty writer Grace Timothy on sparkling through a month of late nights

OK, make-up is hardly an ‘essential’. But if the stratospheric rise in sales of lipstick and nail polish throughout this recession are anything to go by, it’s more than just an occasional treat these days, and through Christmas it can be a cheaper way to play dress-up than shopping for a new outfit.

Whether you like to make statements with your eyes, lips and nails or prefer to keep it au naturel, the festive season calls for the big guns of beauty: glitz, glamour and exceedingly long lashes. But here’s the thing: make-up – like most beautiful things – has a shelf life, and chances are your party favourites from last Christmas are a little worse for wear this year. Think yourself lucky then that there are so many festive coffrets available, both to gift and to wear for the various parties that are already lining themselves up in your diary. Here are my personal favourites from the 2013 collections to suit all skin tones, and for expert application, celebrity makeup artist Lee Pycroft to show us how it’s done.


The all-out smokey eye

If you love your make-up and want a real dose of unadulterated glamour, Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Eye Palette, £59, is the palette for you.

“Start by pressing one of the pale golden shimmery shadows firmly on to the lids for a smooth coverage – it’ll open up the eye area and give a radiant look. Next, contour the sockets with the taupe or grey shade making sure to blend softly, defining the shape of the eye. Push the black shadow into the roots of the lashes, then draw the line out into a feline flick. Use the pale, silvery shadow to highlight the centre of the lid and around the inner eye area, to illuminate and add extra WOW-Factor! Use loads of black mascara on top and bottom lashes, focusing on the outer lashes, making sure they are styled inwards and upwards and there is a gap between the top and bottom outer lashes. This helps create an upward tilt to the eyes.”

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The hair secret

It’s dry shampoo, but not as we know it: Philip Kingsley One More Day, £13.50, is my top buy this month.

Not only does it perk up day-old hair for the season’s hectic timetable of unmissable parties, but it’s also got serious volume-boosting prowess, and contains zinc and allantoin to keep flakes at bay. One to sneak into the desk drawer for post-work impromptus.


Understated glow

For a more subtle look, Benefit Luv It Up Palette, £19.50, has everything you need for a pretty pick-me-up without making too strong a statement. And it’s nigh on impossible to mess it up.

“Start by applying Thanks A Latte over the lid to the socket line – blending well to an invisible edge – and into the roots of the bottom lashes. Follow with peachy Nude Swings along the sockets of the eyes for a pretty warmth. Use a dot of Call My Bluff just under the brow to give a lifting effect. Apply a small dab of RSVP to highlight the centre of the lids, running the excess along the top of cheekbones to give a radiant glow to the skin. Finish with mascara to top and lower lashes – brown will look softer against the pinks and peaches – and finally warm lips with Dandelion lipgloss, the perfect link between eyes and lips.”

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