Welcome to Blogmas 5! So far so good in this challenge of 25 posts in 25 days! Have you read yesterday’s blog about Christmas In My House yet?
Today I’m talking about one of my favourite areas and something my friends and I can chat about for hours – makeup. Whether it’s the latest eyeshadow palette, lipstick range or the new highlighter on the block, we’re obsessed by it. And we’re not the only ones.
You only have to head over to Pinterest, YouTube or open a magazine before you’re faced with the latest makeup tutorial or ‘must-buy’ products in the stores.
So I thought I’d do a post during my Blogmas journey on makeup looks for the holidays. Many of us have lots of Christmas events this month; work lunches, evening drinks and full-on parties. I have my own fair share of events and I wanted some advice on how I could achieve the perfect looks. So I reached out to makeup artist Anu Malhi.Anu has been in the business for over 14 years and has trained with some of the makeup industry’s leading brands, including M.A.C. Her high level of knowledge, experience and passion led to her setting up her own Academy.
As director, Anu has a team of experienced hair and makeup artists working in her team and even runs regular courses throughout the year to train others interested in the field from her own makeup studio.
As you know, I’m always transparent from the outset in all my posts when working with brands. Anu is family, but that’s not the reason for me working with her on this post. I reached out to her because she is highly experienced and I have always loved the looks she creates.I can do decent makeup on myself but for a post offering advice and suggestions to others, it was only right I went to an expert.
So on a cold Monday morning I drove to Anu’s studio and asked her to create three different looks for the festive season. Just so you know, I’m still very tanned from our holiday in the Dominican Republic in October so Anu had to work that little bit harder to balance the different colours I have going on at the moment. You will notice my arms still look very brown!
I will list all the products we used as I go along but we kept all the base products the same and just swapped out the eye makeup, blush and/or lips to create something new.
BASE PRODUCTS USED IN ALL LOOKS
MAC Full Coverage Foundation – C40
MAC Studio Finish Concealer – NW35
Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit – Medium
Nip + Fab Liquid Gold Highlighter
Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter – You Light Up My Life
NYX Makeup Setting Spray – Dewy Finish
Eyelashes – Anu Malhi lashes
We went for a chocolate brown and warm neutrals look, which works for day and night. Anu created a slight wing with the eyeliner, smoked out the lower lash line and applied blusher. I must admit when I looked at the blusher palette I winced a little as the colours look really bright and garish.
But of course, when applied with a light hand and a good brush, you can always make colours work and I was impressed with the pigmentation because Anu only used a little product.Anu sprayed and teased my hair into three big twists and just piled them on top of my head. The rest of my hair was swept up in to a high pony tail. Anu says this is a simple hairstyle which can be worn for both day and night looks.
We tried this look both with and without a jacket. My faux fur jacket is a nice chocolate brown and Anu suggested we click a few photos with it on, just so we could see how warm the browns on my eyes looked.Even though people opt for outfits in all sorts of colours, I mostly opt for black on a night out. I wore a simple black halter neck again just to see how well the makeup works with dark shades.
Kiko Bright Duo Baked Eyeshadow – Ombretto
Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eyeshadow Pallette – Amber
MAC Liquidlast Liner – Black
Urban Decay Glide-On Pencil – Perversion
Urban Decay Mascara – Perversion
Nip + Fab Blusher Palette – Blushed Brights
Kat Von D Evertlasting Lip Liner – Lolita
NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick – Sandstorm
For this look, Anu wanted to try a half-up, half-down look with my hair. She’s a big fan of Kim Kardashian and often wears her hair like this herself. I’ve never done this hairstyle before so I was eager to try it out.Anu used a fake pony tail as I had forgotten to take my hair extensions along! She tightly combed the front section of my hair from ear to ear into a high pony tail and pinned the hair piece on top.
I actually liked the style and have decided I will try it out this season when I go to one of my events. Anu added glitter to my eyes, keeping the eyeshadow the same as in Look 1.
I wanted to try a dark lip with this look whereas Anu was keen on a nude lip.So we decided to experiment with both. I like a dark lip but I don’t usually wear heavy eye makeup and dark lipstick at the same time.
I think it looked great for a full-on glam night out but it isn’t something I would wear for just an evening. If it was the latter, I would go with Anu’s choice of a nude lip, which you can see here. We both agreed that with the heavier eyes, this lip colour worked much better.
LOOK 2 – PRODUCTS USED
MAC Glitter – Gold
MAC Mineralise Skinfinish – So Ceylon
Kat Von D Everlasting Lip Liner – Homegirl (Dark lip)
NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick – Cherry Skies (Dark lip)
NYX Lip Liner – Chocolate (Light lip)
NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick – Tea & Cookies (Light lip)
For the final look, Anu left my hair down. It’s how I mostly wear my hair when I can be bothered to straighten it, so we thought we should see how a certain makeup look worked with my regular style.
We debated between a silver or a pink look for this, and pink won. I haven’t worn silver eye makeup in years and it’s unlikely I will start now – even for a Christmas party. I am a fan of pinks though but never quite know how to make them work on me.Anu created a cut crease for this look. I’ve had makeup artists try this on me at weddings but I’ve never tried it on myself.
Watching Anu do it made me realise you can make any look work with practice and the right product. The colours were highly pigmented but they weren’t sickly, as I feared pink could be.Again we tried this look with a faux fur jacket to see how well the colours translate.
LOOK 3 – PRODUCTS USED
Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette – Blessed, Coco and Doll Face
- Make sure you prep and prime your skin properly for a long-lasting, flawless finish. Always use a moisturiser followed by a good primer before applying anything to the face.
- Prep and prime your eyes before applying eyeshadow and set them with a finishing spray
- Don’t neglect your lips. Prep and prime them first. Always use a lipliner before applying your lipstick for staying power. Take a lip brush and lipstick with you so you can top up when needed.
- Use a good setting spray to finish
- Clean your brushes. It makes a huge difference to your makeup application
- Don’t cake on layers of makeup, especially during the daytime
- Don’t sleep with your makeup on
- Don’t wear a foundation or concealer lighter than your skin, it’s a big no-no
- Don’t follow a trend that may not suit you. What works for one person might not work for you
ANU’S FINAL ADVICE:
- Chocolate browns and antiques work really well and go with any kind of outfit
- You can go for a cut crease for something a little different and it looks amazing both day and night
- Warm orange shades work well especially in the winter months but you can work this look all year round.
- It’s easy to make the transition from a day to night with any look. You can glam it up with a bit of glitter or a brighter lip or add a bit of smokiness to the outer corner of the eyes, darken the blush and add more highlighter
- If your outfit has pink shades, opt for chocolate browns and a nude lip
- These looks will work no matter what you’re wearing – a party dress, a cami top or a sparkly outfit.
ANU’S TOP TIP:
- If you’re going out and want your make-up to pop and last, exfoliate your skin on the same day. It makes your skin plump and gives your foundation a more flawless and radiant finish.
ANU’S CURRENT FAVES:
- My ‘go to’ highlighter is You Light Up My Life from Too Faced. It has all the glam and staying power that you need.
- My favourite eyeshadow palette is Huda Beauty’s Desert Rose. You can never go wrong with this whether it’s daytime or evening. It’s a palette for all occasions.