We all know how it goes. You've had a busy day crammed with work, and then you have 15 minutes to zoom out the door to an event. Sigh.
I just watched an episode of Project Runway where designers had to make a look that translated easily from day to night. Contestants had complex strategies -- wear two pieces, stay in all black, or make sure the look is sleeveless. All of this extreme thought, just to make an outfit that the judge could wear to the office during the day, then to a cocktail party and book signing in the evening. The makeup department had much less to worry about.
Some of us have it down to a science. Michelle of PinQue blog explains that "Feeling good is all about looking good, so when I have only a few minutes to get ready for an evening out I throw on a simple dress, an amazing pair of heels, pile on the jewelry and instantly feel amazing. With a few minutes to spare, I powder my nose, swipe on some lip color and throw my hair into a high tousled pony and out the door I go. It doesn't take much to help a girl feel fabulous, and a pair of pretty pumps and beautiful baubles are the perfect way to get a dose of instant glam in minutes." Good call, Michelle.
The general consensus on a nighttime look is consistent -- go darker! More eyeliner, a bit more eyeshadow, and mascara can take your look to a whole new level. This is the time to take a chance, live a little, and glam it up!
Since there isn't a lot of time to do a full application of foundation, concealer, and powder, choose one or two. I'm a fan of covering any blemishes with a stick foundation. When I'm not in a foundation mood, I'll dust loose or pressed powder all over the face for matte skin. If you're taking pictures, you'll look amazing with a soft, sexy sheen. Lonek8 of Practical Pablum is a fan of a good highlight: "I take some liquid highlighter and blend it into my cheek bones, the arch of my eyebrows and the inner corners of my eye. Brightens up the whole face and gives you a glowing, candlelit look no matter where you are!"
Before you get started, Kat of Living Like the Kings reminds us to use a makeup remover cloth and wipe away flaky or clumpy makeup. An artist wouldn't start with a disheveled canvas, then paint a masterpiece on top!
Ah, the smoky eye. This seems to be the dictionary definition of a hot nighttime look! I've seen more women than I can count that pack black eyeshadow all over their lids, let it run down under their lower lash line, and run out the door. This makes me sad. The recipe for a smoky eye is quite simple. You just need darkness all around the eye. It doesn't have to be harsh -- even soft, smudged color in darker hues can give you the desired effect. Cheryl D of Little Bit Quirky uses purples or grays for the evening. I typically use black, gray, or navy. The possibilities are endless!
I'll be straight with you. I love makeup -- but I refuse to take forever applying it! Here are 5 easy steps to creating a smoky eye (this will work on it's own, or if you're taking your daytime look to an evening look):
- Start by lining your eyelid with a darker liner. I prefer pencil liner for this because it is easier to smudge. This will also work with cream liner. Also, line the inside of the waterline, as well as the lower lash line.
- Using a soft brush, a pencil brush, a cotton swab (or your finger!), smudge the eyeliner. You want it to look a little messy, which really lets the effect work.
- Add mascara. A lot of it.
- Wipe off your smudge brush. Grab a dark eyeshadow (the color of your choice), and smudge the shadow into the liner. This adds more "mystery" to your look, smoking it up a bit more. (Optional)
- False lashes! They aren't the easiest thing to do with a couple minutes to spare. Grab a pair from the drugstore, and practice putting them on ahead of time. You won't believe how amazing they make your eyes look. (Optional)
The quickest way to transform your daytime look is a darker lip color. It takes 10 seconds to apply a lipstick or lipgloss that changes your entire look instantly. Plums, reds, burgundies, you name it. Becky of The Branches is also a fan of a deeper lip color. She says "If you really want to stand out go for a darker shade of lipstick at night, it makes you appear more dressy." Maximum effect with minimum effort.
Whether you're heading out to dinner with friends, a cocktail party, or a red carpet event, it doesn't take hours to look hot!
Erin Bailey is Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Scandalous Beauty: "The Urban Beauty Blog"