"When attending a black-tie event, you want to feel gorgeous and sophisticated," says Val Garland, artistic advisor for Yves Saint Laurent Makeup. Your go-to makeup? "A classic look, with dramatic red lips and a flick of black eyeliner."
• Sweep a bone-coloured shadow over the eyelids, from lash line to crease.
• Line the lash line with black pencil, flicking it upwards at the outer corner. Finish with two coats of volumizing black mascara.
• For lips that last, dust a translucent powder over the first coat of red lipstick, then reapply.
"If you’re putting your hair back for something special, it’s great to use hair accessories," says hairstylist Guido Palau, creative consultant for Redken. "A black headband is very dramatic, and then you can do a messy topknot — or keep the hair tousled and put in a beautiful comb." Finish with a flexible-hold hairspray so things stay put all night long.
The heady notes of blackcurrant, jasmine and musk in BOSS Essence de Femme Eau de Parfum Concentré ($77 for 50 mL) pair perfectly with this luxe look.
An informal gathering requires makeup that’s polished but practical, says Davis Factor, co-founder of Smashbox Cosmetics. “Just do a subtle wash of colour over the eyelids, and add a light mascara and some lipgloss.”
• Cover up any imperfections with concealer and then fill in the brows with pencil.
•Using a neutral-toned eyeshadow palette, brush the lightest shade underneath the brows as a highlight, the medium over the lids and the darkest at the lash line. Finish with a coat of black mascara.
• Add colour with a gel blush and a swipe of lipgloss.
“Loose, undulating waves are seen on almost every celeb, from Jennifer Garner to Keira Knightley,” says Chris Baran, New York-based global artistic director for Redken. To get the look, apply a heat-activated texturizing spray, then blow-dry the hair with a round brush. Wrap the hair around a curling iron, alternating directions for a tousled, undone look.
Banana Republic Malachite Eau de Parfum ($75 for 100 mL), which contains notes of water hyacinth, peony and sandalwood, is subtle yet sensual.
"Dramatic but sophisticated" is how Factor describes his office-party makeup look, which draws inspiration from the 1970s. "Go to a darker, smokier eye and then pair it with a berry lipstick." Don’t forget an under-eye brightener to cover up dark circles.
• Apply primer, then a light- or medium-coverage foundation and a brightening concealer under the eyes.
• Use a charcoal eyeshadow palette to create a smoky eye, applying the lightest shade across the lid, the medium in the crease and the darkest along the lash line. Black liquid liner and a thickening black mascara will add drama.
• Berry lipstick in a satiny finish — not too matte or too glossy — completes the look.
"It’s not a red-carpet event and you’re not a model, so keep it real," says Harry Josh, creative consultant for John Frieda. Flatirons are the easiest way to take hair from work to play. Apply a frizz-fighting serum before blow-drying, then flatiron, turning the iron up at the ends so they flick out.
Orange blossom and amber combine in the bold, feminine Givenchy Extra-Vagance D’Amarige Eau de Toilette Spray ($80 for 100 mL).
"For New Year’s Eve, you want makeup that is gorgeous and long-lasting because you’ll be dancing the night away," says Garland. "Keep it looking modern by putting the focus on the eyes."
• Using black eyeliner, draw along the entire upper and lower lash lines and blend it out using an eyeliner brush.
• Sweep a bronze eyeshadow from lash line to crease, extending it up at the outer edges of the eyes. Apply two coats of volumizing black mascara.
• Keep lips simple with a dab of beige gloss or lipstick.
"You want to be able to dance, so your hair should be sexy and loose," says Josh. "Drew Barrymore embodies this understated, bed-head look." Before blow-drying, apply a volumizing mousse; once it’s dry, tease the upper layers of the hair with a comb. Use a curling iron to haphazardly curl the layers underneath, then brush through with your fingers.
Jean Paul Gaultier Eau de Toilette Natural Spray Christmas Collector Edition ($119 for 100 mL) is sexy, daring and all dressed up.
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