It’s now officially less than a month until Christmas.
Half of you are running and hiding as I type; the other half are probably wondering why it’s taken me so long to get on to the topic of Christmas on this blog.
See, I don’t stick to any rules or traditions surrounding when Christmas decorations go up or come down.
In our house, this time of year is pretty hectic with school and uni finishing as well as a good sprinkling of pre-Christmas birthdays.
This year, we’ve also had the added bonus of house-hunting for our move to Brisbane so this whole Christmas-is-coming caper has been something I’ve had to just let happen.
It hasn’t been ignored. Just not prioritised.
Until this week.
This is the week of THE CHRISTMAS PARTY.
Not my party (that’s happening next month in Sydney). No, Mr SY’s party.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you would have read previous years’ posts and understand that it’s kind of a big deal.
For starters, it’s just a small gathering for 1200 plus people at the Brisbane Convention Centre. Last year, Jessica Mauboy was the entertainment. Frocking up is ALWAYS part of the night.
Now, the other thing that happens when you’re a partner at these things is that it can be actually quite nerve wracking.
Your partner sees these people every day. You see them once a year.
So, if you’re going to be stranded with strangers, you want said stranding to happen in close proximity to the bar and you want to bring your best hair and beauty game to the plate (the outfit is important too … but more on that later in the week).
I don’t know about you but if I’m having a good hair day and my makeup is working for me, then I feel more confident.
In the interests of sharing and caring, I thought I’d run through my pre-party beauty preparation. The following Christmas party beauty tips will apply for cocktail and formal Christmas events but equally for other similar events and occasions throughout the year.
Work out your out-sourcing budget. This year, I’ve allocated my dollars to nails, spray tan and hair style. I’m a lazy-girl at heart and I think about where the professionals are best allocated.
My hair stylist is already excited about the New York theme of the evening and is working on something I would be incapable of re-producing at home.
I’ve timed my fortnightly spray tan to be just right for the Friday night event; ditto my gel nails.
The Christmas party is not a time for experimenting at home. It’s a time for doing the stuff at home you know you can do almost with your eyes closed and calling in reinforcements for the rest.
For some occasions, those reinforcements have included a makeup artist, or I’ve booked in at a makeup counter (usually redeemable on purchase of product and very handy if you’re due to re-stock your foundation) but mostly I’ll give it a red hot go myself.
If you want to create a new and exciting look, can I suggest that an hour before kick-off is not the time for playing?
I’m all for a bit of makeup experimentation but play around in the weeks or days leading up to the event. This way you’ll be so confident on the day that it will be second nature – and you’ll have all the products you could possibly need.
Generally speaking a party makeup look is either all about the eyes OR the lips but even if you’re wanting your lips as a focus, it’s still important to define the eyes as you’ll be standing in a dimly lit room. Soft lighting is great for hiding a multitude of sins but we don’t really want to hide our eyes, do we?
For this year’s party, I’m planning a soft, smokey eye and a red glossy lip. The key for this not looking like I’m a washed-up dancer from Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love video (circa 1985 for the young kiddies playing at home) is going for a defined eye but not one that’s competing too much with the lip.
1. Pretty much every makeup artist I know starts with the eyes. Not the foundation. I don’t worry so much about this for an everyday or work makeup but when it comes to special occasion makeup, I follow this learned rule without fail. The reason? When you’re playing with dark makeup colours around your face, there is going to be fall-out. It’s so much easier to deal with that with a wipe when there isn’t any foundation in place. (If you haven’t caught my smokey eye video in the past, click on over here. And if a black or grey smokey eye scares you, then try a bronze one.)
2. Apply your foundation using a foundation brush for even coverage that lasts. Choose your foundation wisely too. For events, I ditch my daily BB cream and opt for a go-the-distance foundation. Apply concealer after foundation. Compulsory extras: an illuminating cream on the top of your cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose. We’re not talking the sparkle and glitter of the same era referenced by Mr Palmer above. No, it’s more about harnessing our inner glow and bringing it front and centre. Finish foundation with a foundation or setting powder.
4. With a red or bright colour lip, I’ll line my lip in a nude pencil first. This helps avoid feathering and bleeding into the fine lines around my lips and keeps the lippy in place. For events I also always go for a long-lasting lip colour in a hybrid gloss/stain that doesn’t dry my lips out but also doesn’t need re-applying after the first sip of champagne.
5. On the night, take the lip colour and a small powder compact with you for touch-ups. At home, have makeup wipes at the ready for when you stumble through the door in the early hours of the next morning.
So tell me, have you got a Christmas party on the horizon? What’s your beauty plan?