For today’s beauty post I’m sharing a more amped up holiday party look with Sephora, which will be perfect for New Year’s Eve parties! It’s a little dramatic for daytime wear but looks great for a night out and is long-lasting based on the products used. Rather than my usual festive red lip, I went with a more neutral shade to accompany dark bronze smoldery eyes. Sidenote on this sequin dress (here’s a similar pretty option w/ higher neckline) – I thought it was a smashing style but wasn’t planning on keeping it due to the scandalous super plunge neckline on me. Turns out the V-neck is very easy to stitch up a little by hand to a point you’re comfortable with, so I closed it up here about 1 inch. The dress is high quality with thick & sturdy material which helps “hold” everything in, and an XS fit me well.
Here’s the products I used for today’s look…there’s some longtime favorites, and also a few new discoveries I’ve been enjoying. A gift idea I love for beauty-loving friends is to pick a few of your favorite products or palettes and package in a cute, functional makeup bag. I thought this pebbled clutch-sized one (comes in 2 colors) was adorable and can fit quite a bit! Alright, let’s get started…
Bare faced here, with problem areas including undereye circles and splotchy skin
NARS’ radiant creamy concealer in “Custard”
Concealer. This NARS concealer is one of my current top favorite products, which came highly recommended to me by a makeup artist. A little really goes a long way, so even my travel-sized tube has lasted me for some time. The formula is very creamy and brightening with good coverage, and blends seamlessly into my skin without looking cakey. You can already see a big difference compared to the bare faced shot. For everyday makeup, I can usually just apply this to my problem areas and skip foundation if I’m running short on time.
While concealer shopping, I was told on more than one occasion by SAs that I should apply eye cream before makeup due to a visibly dry undereye area…yikes! I don’t have a go-to one so would love any recommendations!
Laura Mercier Flawless Fluide in “Linen”
Foundation. I usually dot on foundation with my fingers then buff lightly using a brush in a circular manner. My skin started getting too dry for my favorite powder foundation (MUFE duo mat) so I went back to liquids. I’ve been toggling between using Bobbi Brown moisture rich and Laura Mercier Flawless Fluide, and sometimes mix the two. I’m not a fan of the Flawless Fluide packaging which gets a little messy by the opening, yet still repurchased just due to the dewy, natural-looking finish and great color match on my skin.
Online reviews for most foundations tend to be all over the place, which is understandable since everyone’s skin is different, and how you apply the product can make a big difference. My best suggestion for finding a good foundation is to go into a store and consult a makeup artist, then ask for samples to try back at home!
Contour (optional). I’m using my Anastasia contour palette, but you can also use a matte bronzer. I suck in my cheeks and apply an initial streak along the hollows that appear, then draw that color out both upwards (scooping from my temples to around my upper cheekbone) as well as down along the chin at an angle.
For the nose, I use an eyeshadow brush to lightly draw two light lines from each brow down to my nostrils, then blend outwards away from the center.
Face Color. I’ve gone back to one of my favorite products back when I just started using makeup – good ole’ BareMinerals “Warmth.” I swear, a little goes far so you’ll never run out of this, and I don’t see mineral powder going bad. Make sure to tap just the smallest amount onto the lid then swirl with a light and fluffy brush, tapping off the excess. I go a little heavier at the apples of my cheeks, then do a light dusting over the rest of my face and down the neck.
Eyshadow. Be sure to prime your lids for a smokey eye look since it will make a notable difference in the pigmentation and staying power of your shadows. I’m using my everyday staple Laura Mercier caviar eye stick as a base color. I can’t live without this thing! A few tips to get the best application: a room-temperature stick will swipe on more fluidly than a cold stick (If needed, I usually warm mine up in my back pocket or bra real quick), and if you want a smoldery line, you have to blend immediately with fingers after applying to your eyelid, otherwise the creamy formula will set.
You can actually continue layering the caviar stick for a full smokey eye, but I wanted to add more dimension and a little more shimmer for the holidays. I patted on a dark taupe eyeshadow (UD Darkhorse) to the outer uppers of my lids, and then a lighter copper brown (UD Half Baked) on the inner corners to brighten up that area. Next, use a small fluffy blending brush and sweep outwards to blend. Lastly, I applied a little black shadow (UD Creep) to the outer corners of my eyes for some smolder.
Eyeliner. I love a clean, dark black wing-tipped line to really make the eyes pop. I’m using Stila Stay All Day liner and also love Lorac Front of the Line.
Fill in brows. My brows are the bane of my existence – as you can see from all the pics above, they’re coarse, spotty, and grow in all different directions. I’ve yet to find a good brow person in Boston that makes them look any better. I filled them in here with medium brown eyeshadow, and would love to hear any favorite products from those with similar troublesome brows!
Mascara. I mentioned back in this post my eyelash extensions experience, but I haven’t gotten refills in a while so they’re a little sparse. Typically you should not curl your lashes nor need to apply mascara with extensions on. I’m using Too Faced mascara here which came with one of my eye palettes. I’ve asked several ladies with amazing lashes what their secret is, and the answer has often been this mascara!
Lipcolor: Ever since my beloved MAC Charismatic lipstick got discontinued, I’ve been shopping around for similar, reddish-brown neutral shades that flatter my skin tone. This Smashbox lipstick in “Cognac” is pretty close, with less orangey tones than Charismatic. The formula is creamy and easy to glide on my usually dry lips. I resisted a bolder lip since I went heavy on the eyes here, but think a berry would also be pretty!
Summary of products used, in order of application:
Concealer: NARS’ radiant creamy concealer in “Custard”
Foundation: Laura Mercier Flawless Fluide in “Linen”
Contour: Anastasia contour palette in “light/medium”
Blush/bronzer: BareMinerals in “Warmth”
Eyeshadow primer: Urban Decay
Eye colors: Laura Mercier caviar eye stick in “Khaki,” Urban Decay Naked palette
Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day in Black
Mascara: Too Faced Better than Sex
Lip color: Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in “Cognac”
Thank you Sephora for partnering on this post!