Beauty report: How to look good at the Christmas party

Get the best red lipstick and fluttery lashes to take you through the festive season

Sat, Dec 12, 2015
Laura Kennedy

The Christmas party season can be an obstacle course of stressors. Girding yourself to hurl your body out into the vicious December cold is bad enough. The knowledge that you’re doing it all just to listen to Janet from marketing wax lyrical about her children’s amateur sporting achievements can be more than enough to fill you with dread.

As is often the case in socially stressful situations, make-up can be both a comfort and an outlet. This time of year is more crammed with evening revelry than any other, and that gives you licence to be a little more adventurous with your make-up.

Many women will make the extra effort of applying false lashes for a party. They look good on everyone, but are fiddly to apply and I dislike the weighty sensation of them on my eyes. A fantastic alternative is Semi Permanent Mink Lash Extensions (€120), which last four to six weeks and give a certain fluttery glamour to the face. They eliminate the need for mascara entirely, and I find that far less eye make-up is needed to create a healthy everyday, “ready for the day” make-up. Lash extensions are only ever as good as the salon you go to (I went to Dublin’s Elysian Brows, where they really know their stuff), so do your research and make sure you have chosen somewhere clean and reputable. Naturally … Irish perfume.

Party look hinges on a good evening foundation, and Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation (€40 from Brown Thomas) is a sensational combination of coverage and natural looking demi-matte finish. It looks like your skin on a very good day, photographs beautifully and is available in a diverse shade range from the palest to deepest skin tones.

For an incredibly easy but visually fascinating addition to your make-up bag, try MAC Dark Desires Studio Eye Gloss (€21 from December). This limited edition eye gloss comes in three iridescent shades, and looks nothing short of sensational on the eye.

A thick, claggy gloss in the tub, it smooths onto eyelids and leaves them looking glossy and sparkling. This stuff, paired with big lashes, is a party look all on its own. Dabbed with a finger atop a standard dark eyeshadow, it gives an instant grungy effect. It looks frightening and takes a bit of bravery to try, but sets the wearer apart, and doesn’t budge. Try Pearl Varnish for a bare wet lid look, or Spank Me for an iridescent black shot through with multi-coloured glitter.

Red lip is pretty standard at a Christmas party, so why not opt for a non-traditional red? Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (€8.99) comes in a variety of shades, but Call Me Crazy, a violent orange red, is the star of the collection. With a softly sheeny moisturising finish and intense pigment, all the shades of this lipstick are lovely. If you would like a more traditionally festive red, Best of the Best has a bluer undertone, and makes for the perfect Christmas red lip.