In an ideal world, we’d all be equipped with a glam squad – better yet, a glam room, Kardashian-style – to get us primped and preened for big events.
But the harsh reality is, sometimes (read: most times) we have to do our own hair and make-up. Sigh.
If you’ve got your day-to-day routine down pat but need a little extra help in the after-dark department, keep reading: follow the steps below for selfie-ready success.
1/ Prep your skin
Prepping your skin is just as important as the make-up application to follow. Do as celebrity make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury does and apply a face mask to freshly cleansed skin: we love the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask (a Victoria Beckham favourite) and the SK-II Signs Eye Mask to nix signs of fatigue.
Follow with your usual skincare but be sure to include a primer to help your look stay in place all night: the Giorgio Armani Prima Skin Perfector is an office favourite.
2/ Combat shine
When it comes to red carpet make-up, there’s good shine, and there’s bad shine. Good shine: anything that makes the high points of your face (think cheekbones and brow bones) pop; bad shine: the grease you get on your T-zone. Boost your natural glow by dabbing highlighter cream along cheekbones, brow bone and just above your cupid’s bow and nix shine along your T-zone with a light dusting of translucent powder (try M.A.C Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder). And always pack blotting papers in your clutch for touch-ups.
3/ Fix your lips
The key to pulling off a statement lip is all in laying the groundwork. Use a gentle lip exfoliating scrub the day of your event to buff away dead skin, then follow with a moisturising balm. Pre-lipstick application, use a dedicated lip primer (try Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Lip Service) to provide a smooth base for your product, then frame the lip with a pencil close to your natural colour to prevent feathering. Pro make-up artists like to apply the lipstick colour with a brush, rather than directly with the bullet, for an even finish – blot once then reapply to boost your look’s staying power.
4/ Master eye-make-up
Make-up artists agree: blending at least two eyeshadow colours will give the eyes dimension and a subtle smoky effect without looking overdone. Blend outwards to elongate the eye area, and always precede mascara with an eyelash curler to open up your peepers to full effect. For eyes that look come-hither-big even when the cameras are flashing, rim your lower inner lash line with a nude pencil (white will look too harsh). You can even try a touch of shimmer powder in the inner corners for added brightness.