I can tell you the last time I had a cocktail, because it was last June at a jazzy lounge on Frenchman St. in New Orleans, and when in NOLA, you must drink fruity, froo-froo drinks with silly names like Champagne Supernova, but I can’t tell you the last time I went to an actual cocktail party.
Because I can’t remember.
It may have been 2005. Or 2006? Possibly in Toronto? I’m not sure. My memory gets progressively fuzzier in my advanced age. If I could only take the places in there that store the lyrics to Chris Brown songs and reallocate them to more important things, like dates involving cocktail parties…
Anyway, I’d very much like to go to more cocktail parties, but not for the cocktails or the convo (although they’re usually pretty great too). More for the fun of just getting dressed up and putting on fancy makeup (two of my favorite things to do!).
Dear El Hub,
If you’re reading this, let’s go to more cocktail parties.
Your darling wife.
P.S. Please make tacos for dinner tonight. 🙂
So, this look here. We’re coming up on holiday party season (it’s really not that far away), so I thought it would be good practice to turn it into a tutorial.
I wanted to do something a little different than standard-issue black winged liner and a bright red lip (although that’s a good look, too, and it never goes outta style), because parties are the perfect excuse to try something new, am I right?
I went for a slightly smoky taupe and navy eye with a hint of light blue iridescent sparkle, but I think the special sauce is the bright white on the lower water line and the shimmery white highlight on the lower tear duct. They give the look a bit of a subtle edge and elongate the eye. A warm nude lip and peachy cheeks complete the ensemble.
There’s a little color in the look, which might be intimidating if you’re unaccustomed to wearing anything other than browns and beiges, but I think it’s very wearable.
You could couple something like this with a little black dress, of course, or maybe a gray or white dress (a body con one would be cute if you’ve got the figure to pull it off). Basically, anything neutral would allow the color on your eyes to really pop.
Now, take a dainty chug from that cocktail glass, and let’s get started!
1. Apply primer and powder
Let’s fast-forward, virtually, through our face primer, foundation, concealer and brows — BZZZ! (I went with a fuller coverage base here because I thought it balanced well with the color on the eyes and the full brows.) After all of that, apply an eye primer to your lids, and let it set for a few minutes to give it time to completely dry. Then lightly dust a translucent powder all over your lids from lash line to brow bone.
I always like to dust a powder on top of my primer, especially if there will be a lot of blending up in the mix, like we’ll be doing here. The powder sort of cushions things and gives the lids some slip, so whatever we layer on top will be easier to blend.
(Keep this trick in your back pocket for whenever you do smoky eyes! It’ll make your life so much easier.)
2. Apply a matte taupe into the crease and along the lower lash line
In this look we’ll be doing what I like to call “mirroring,” where we do something on our lids, and then do it again on our lower lash line, and it starts here with a matte taupe.
Sweep it into the crease, and blend out the edges. Then run the same shadow along your lower lash line.
What I like to do here is actually start with the shadow on the bottom, so I’ll take a flat brush, and run it at an angle the follows the lower lash line. This helps to set the angle at the outer corner and serves as a guide for how far I need to go out with the shadow.
3. Clean up the edges with concealer
If you struggle (like I do) getting your angles to match, please know you’re not alone! That’s been one of the banes of my existence for most of my makeup life. Because my eyes aren’t perfectly symmetrical, I almost always have to do some correcting. It’s soooo easy, though, so don’t trip if your angles are less than perfect at this step. If they aren’t, just run a brush with leftover concealer on it along the edges on either or both eyes to clean them up and adjust the angles.
Next, take a smidgen of face powder and, with that same brush, run it, ever so gently, across the line you made to mellow it out.
You don’t want it to look too obvious, ya know?
I like to do this near the start of certain eye looks so I can get the general shape, but I’ll also do it again at the end to clean up the edges.
4. Apply a matte cool brown into the crease and along the lower lash line
Now, sweep a matte cool brown in the crease just below the taupe we applied in step two. Then blend that same color along the lower lash line.
If it looks janky, don’t worry. At this step it totally should, but it’ll start coming together in a moment.
Also, don’t worry if your blending isn’t perfect here either. Take it easy on yourself, ya overachiever! 🙂 You are 100% allowed to correct things along the way.
5. Apply a satiny navy onto the mobile lid and lower lash line
Pat and blend a satiny navy onto your mobile lid, which is the part your lid that moves when you blink, concentrating most of the color in the outer corner (you want to keep that outer corner nice and dark for depth). Now, run that same shadow along your lower lash lines.
6. Apply a shimmery light blue in the center and inner part of your lid, as well as your lower lash line
Next, apply a shimmery light blue in the center and the inner part of the lid, and yup — you guessed it — take it along the lower lash line, too. Blend that sh*t like the rockstar you are!
7. Tightline your upper water line
TIGHTLINING! It’s what’s for dinner. So grab your blackest black liner, and tightline your upper water line.
8. Apply a navy liner along your upper and lower lash lines
Why stop lining there? C’mon, let’s push it a little further. 🙂 Apply and blend a navy liner along your upper and lower lash lines for greater depth.
9. Apply false lashes and/or mascara
Since this is a good makeup look for going out, false lashes fit well, but they aren’t mandatory. You could also just apply mascara to your upper and lower lashes.
I went with the falsies, and because symmetry plays a big part in this eye look, I picked a pair that are pretty much identical in length from the inner to the outer corner, except for a little extra length in the middle.
9. Apply white liner on the lower water line and a shimmery white shadow along the inner part of the lower tear duct
Ooh! Now this is my favorite part because, after this, everything falls into place.
OK, first, you gotta run a Q-tip along your lower water line to remove any black eyeliner or mascara.
After you’ve done that, try not to blink, because you don’t want that lower water line to have any moisture on it. If it’s dry, whatever you layer on top of it will stick.
Good. Now, apply a white eyeliner along that lower water line.
Give it about a minute to set, and repeat with another layer for more intensity.
Now take an angled brush, and apply a shimmery white shadow to the innermost part of your lower lash line, just along the tear duct…
Both of these things will instantly open up your eyes and makes ’em look BIGGER, brighter and slightly elongated.
10. Apply bronzer, blush, highlighter, lip pencil and gloss
To balance with the cooler navy and blue tones on the eyes, finish up with a warm nude lip, bronzer (under my cheekbones, around the perimeter of the face, across the bridge of my nose), a warm peach blush (apples of my cheeks) and highlighter (down the bridge of my nose, on my upper cheekbones, on my Cupid’s bow).
And there you go! You’re all done, babe, and ready for cocktails!
If you try this look, please, PLEASE send me a pic or tag me on Instagram (I’m @karenmbb) so I can see it on you. 🙂
- Foundation, concealer and powder — Diorskin Nude Air in 040 Honey Beige, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Biscuit and Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder in 40 Dore
- Brow filler — Urban Decay Brow Beater in Dark and Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
- Eye Primer and Powder — NARS Pro Prime and NARS Loose Powder in Beach
- Matte taupe eyeshadow — Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Cendres, taupe shade
- Matte cool brown eyeshadow — Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Cendres, cool brown shade
- Satiny navy eyeshadow — Guerlain Ecrin 6 Couleurs in Beaugrenelle, navy shade
- Shimmery light blue eyeshadow — Guerlain Ecrin 6 Couleurs in Beaugrenelle, light blue shade
Black tightline liner — Chanel Waterproof Eyeliner in 88 Noir Intense
- Navy liner — Guerlain Ecrin 6 Couleurs in Beaugrenelle, navy cream liner
- False lashes — Eylure 154
- Mascara — Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
- White eyeliner — MAC Fascinating Eye Kohl
- White Shimmery Shadow — theBalm Nude ‘Tude Eyeshadow Palette in Sassy
- Bronzer, blush and highlighter — Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette in Streak
- Lips — MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Double Time and MAC Vamplify in Spanking Haute
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,