NYE party makeup tutorial // Bronze smoldery eyes

holiday nye party makeup tutorial sequins smokey eyes

Dress the Population Zoe dress XS in “antique gold” (similar style), plunge front bra (cups run small)

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.

sephora NYE holiday makeup tutorial

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…

asian holiday party makeup tutorial

Bare faced here, with problem areas including undereye circles and splotchy skin

nars radiant creamy concealer custard asian makeup

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 eye cream so would love any recommendations!

laura mercier flawless fluide asian foundation

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!

anastasia contour tutorial asian makeup

Anastasia powder contour palette (also in a cream formula) in “light/medium”

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.

anastasia nose contouring asian makeup

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.

bare minerals warmth bronzer color asian skin

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.

laura mercier caviar eye shadow stick khaki asian eyes

Urban Decay eyeshadow primer, Laura Mercier caviar eye stick in “Khaki”

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.

urban decay naked palette smokey eye

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 filled them in here with medium brown eyeshadow.

sephora-holiday-makeup eyeliner

Stila Stay All Day liner in Black, Too Faced Better than Sex mascara

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!

holiday asian smokey eye makeup sequin dress

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!




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Leave a Comment


  1. Jean wrote:

    Hi Chelsea – yes I have the 32B. I'm usually a 30A or 32A but the cups do run small! The band was also not loose on me.

    Posted 1.2.16 Reply
  2. What size did you get in that plunge bra? I'm around the same size as you. I saw the smallest size they have is 32B…is that the size you got?


    Posted 12.20.15 Reply
  3. I don't know if I'd be able to rock this, but the dress looks amazing on you!

    Posted 12.19.15 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    Thanks! Here's how it looks with gold pumps https://www.instagram.com/p/_CXpq-F3sy/ but I think I'm going to wear it with my Steve Madden Stecy sandals!

    Posted 12.19.15 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – please see Jannyism's comment above about makeup with eyelash extensions! Oil based products are definitely not recommended. I don't use waterproof products nor mascara at all when my lashes are done (they are very sparse right now and mostly gone, so I used the eyeliner and mascara). I know a little mascara is OK, but I just find it hard to fully clean off the extensions so don't take the risk. I'm still trying to figure out how to tell if some my usual products are oil-based, though!

    Posted 12.19.15 Reply
  6. Melissa wrote:

    Love this tutorial! Thanks Jean!

    Posted 12.18.15 Reply
  7. CC wrote:

    What's your experience with eyelash extensions?
    Love your blog!

    Posted 12.17.15 Reply
  8. What shoes did you wear with that dress? Very pretty!!

    Posted 12.17.15 Reply
  9. jannyisms wrote:

    Great question!– I usually look for whether "oil" (oil-based) or "aqua" (water-based) is referenced as one of the first ingredients on the list. I don't usually look for more complex terms beyond that, but if another reader has a better way of figuring this out, I'd love to know! For tinted moisturizers, foundations, bb creams etc that are marketed as oil-free, I'm a little skeptical so I'll usually swipe the product on a sheet of paper and let it sit overnight. If a ring of oil appears around the swatch overnight, I know to be more careful about applying the product around my eyes and lids when I have extensions on. Again, I'm interested to know if another reader has a more shorthand and accurate way of figuring this out!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  10. Mindy wrote:

    I use the NYX micro brow pencil in espresso to define my eyebrows. Then I also use NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Taupe to fill them in. Result is natural looking defined brows! Love NYX products!!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  11. Chocomama wrote:

    Amazing look! Quick question — with your eyelash extensions, is it safe to use the eye products that you're using? (curious because I have extensions and use the same mascara and eye stick). I've heard that products containing oil oftentimes will mess with the eyelash glue and could result in loss of the extension lashes.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  12. Jean wrote:

    thanks for the tip! I love NYX products…only wish I had an Ulta store closer to try their stuff out more.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  13. Jean wrote:

    Thank you guys for the suggestions! I'm a big fan of their other products, so not sure why I haven't tried either of these core ones yet!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  14. Jean wrote:

    Hi Mao ~ thank you for the tips! I've actually been looking at the Freeze 24-7 line but was apprehensive about the price without a sound recommendation! I'm glad to hear you found it to work really well. I'll have to get a sample of both : )

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  15. Jean wrote:

    Thanks, Karen! Just got the clear brow gel recently and am still trying to master it without brows getting too hard : )

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  16. Jean wrote:

    Thank you for these suggestions – I haven't heard of either brand before, but Follain is quite close so I might have to pop in!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  17. Jean wrote:

    I'll have to play with Dipbrow and brow wiz! Thank you for the suggestion : )

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  18. Jean wrote:

    Thank you for the two tips! And I hope you will LOVE the LM caviar stick.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  19. Jean wrote:

    Hi Julia! Thank you for taking the time to comment : ) I hope you love the PJs.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  20. Jean wrote:

    Lots of recommendations for Brow Wiz! Thank you!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  21. Jean wrote:

    I'm excited to give their brow products a try! Each time I'm at Sephora, that station is always crowded so I haven't gotten to play around with their testers. Thank you for the detailed tips & the dupe suggestion too.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  22. Jean wrote:

    Hi Jo! I used to be a Clinique all about eyes user too, but was delinquent in repurchasing when I ran out (to my detriment, apparently!). To answer your questions ~
    1. I have a few old video tutorials for everyday makeup, if you click on the "beauty" tagged category right at the bottom of my post : ) I look forward to updating it soon with a new vid, maybe in the new year!

    2. I use gentle dish detergent, and swish the brushes around softly in a cup or in the cup of my hand with warm water to foam up. After rinsing, I just lay out on layers of paper towels or a clean cloth to dry on a plate. Try to angle the brushes down a little on a slope if possible while drying.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  23. Jean wrote:

    Hi Linna, thanks for the tip! That looks like a nifty little kit.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  24. Jean wrote:

    Thank you! Glad to hear there is hope if dipbrow works for brows more unruly than mine ; )

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  25. Jean wrote:

    Thanks for the tip – I love Kiehl's products (and unfortunately so does my husband so they seem to disappear twice as quickly)!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  26. Jean wrote:

    Thanks for the tips (esp the oil free cream ; )! I was debating between trying Hourglass vs the Anastasia brow pencils.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  27. Jean wrote:

    Hi Annie ~ thank you for the eye cream tip. I've never heard of this brand!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  28. Jean wrote:

    Thank you for the suggestion! It looks very pretty indeed from some swatches I looked up.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  29. Jean wrote:

    Great tip! I have the LM powder but have almost never used it due to forgetfulness. I try to let my foundation fully dry before contouring, but have definitely rushed it a few times and got those patchy spots you describe!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  30. Jean wrote:

    Really good point & tip for those with extensions! My lash lady also asserts these care rules each time, but I am guilty of possibly violating them due to not knowing how to tell if my makeup or makeup remover is oil-based. Dumb question, but would I be able to see "oil" listed as an ingredient or would it be a more complex term? (ie. my HG makeup remover is this http://www.lancome-usa.com/Bi-Facil/602581,default,pd.html – I see it has glycol, but unsure about oil).

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  31. I'm sad that Charismatic got discontinued. It used to be my most favorite color as well! It goes so well with my skin tone without trying too hard. Feel free to try Estee Lauder "Discreet" lipstick. It got that beautiful brownish red look if that's what you like. Personally I think it's another pretty close replacement besides Smashbox "Cognac". Let me know what you think!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  32. Jean wrote:

    Hi Amanda, I'm using ELF brushes for eyeshadow, and the bronzer brush is very old…

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  33. Jean wrote:

    No alterations, except for stitching the deep V neckline shut (you can also use a safety pin) 1" as mentioned

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  34. Jean wrote:

    Thanks Jessica & Kristin for jumping in! I would second Ann Taylor petite or Banana Republic petites for a good first basic suit. They often have sales. Make sure to get the necessary alterations like shortening or slimming for a perfect fit since that can make all the difference in the final look!

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  35. Jean wrote:

    Thanks! I'm using a mix…ELF flat & beldning eyeshadow brushes, Bare Minerals flawless face brush for foundation, Real Techniques contouring brush, and old eye smudger and blush brushes from I forget where

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  36. Jean wrote:

    Hi Erica! Thank you & sorry for the delay! It's the antique bronze which was just restocked : )

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  37. Kristin wrote:

    Jean has some great posts on the topic. Check this one specifically!


    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  38. Kristin wrote:

    Hi Jean! I suggest setting your liquid foundation before starting with a powder contour product! If the liquid foundation isn't set or if it's still in the "tacky" stage, powder contours can apply in a patchy way since it'll cling to the moisture in the foundation. (If using a cream contour then apply after liquid foundation and set everything with a powder after.) This will also help your foundation last longer. 🙂 The Laura Mercier Translucent setting powder is a cult favorite. I also like the NARS Light Reflecting powder.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  39. Annie Ngo wrote:

    Love this whole look!!! So glam yet classy all at the same time. Thank you for the wonderful makeup tips. As far as eye creams, I use a product called "Revive" from EVER Skincare. They are a sister company to Stella & Dot. This eye cream will help with dryness, dark circles, and puffiness. And it's very light and absorbs quickly. It is a great product with amazing results! If you would like more info, please let me know.

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  40. This is a really great look for New Years! I really love your beauty tutorials–you get in nice and close with the pictures which is really useful.

    Lifestyle by Joules

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  41. Anonymous wrote:

    My current favorite eye cream is DERMAdoctor kakadu C eye souffle – it's also oilfree for all you lash ladies! I've been using it consistently and haven't had any issues (but I'm mostly using it for prevention, not treatment). Most of the online reviews seem to RAVE about it! It's a little spendy, but so far it's worth it and it's lasted me quite a while, too!

    For brows I have been absolutely addicted to the Hourglass Arch brow sculpting pencil. It goes on super easily and I swear it shaves time off my eyebrow routine.

    Both of these products can be bought at Sephora 🙂

    Posted 12.16.15 Reply
  42. Farrah wrote:

    That's such a gorgeous look, and that dress looks stunning on you! :]

    Posted 12.15.15 Reply
  43. Jean wrote:

    Unfortunately if that's an issue I don't know if it can be mitigated (other than to keep your arms out and not hanging down by the sides, but who wants to do that? : ) However, I think due to being short, the armholes are not as high up on me as compared to the model so I haven't felt the sequins much. A few inches in height can make quite a difference, such as in how the neckline unaltered is very scandalously low on me unlike on the model.

    Posted 12.15.15 Reply
  44. Jean wrote:

    Hi Grace, sorry for the confusion – I have it in "antique gold" which was just restocked today!

    Posted 12.15.15 Reply

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