A Homecoming Dance Makeup Tutorial Featuring Urban Decay Cosmetics

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Makeup Tips/How To


If you’re feeling blue about Homecoming, you’re not the only one. The color’s been a popular choice this season for formals and dances.


MBB reader Cheyda is looking for makeup ideas to go with her blue dress.

Hi Karen!

I am going to my first formal dance (homecoming) in about a week.

I’m wearing a navy strapless dress with my hair down, and I have NO idea what makeup to wear.

I want it to be kind of dramatic, but not too out there. Plus, it needs to stay put.

Any suggestions as far as colors and brands?

Thanks a bunch!


Hi Cheyda,

How exciting! Dances are so much fun. Not only do you get to play dress up, but they’re also great opportunities to try new makeup looks.

It sounds like you want to be noticed without looking overly done. I got you. πŸ™‚

Before we get into details, here are some things to consider:

Photography. Chances are you’ll be in some pictures, so you’ll want makeup that looks good in photos. When I do makeup for pictures, I wear a little more than I normally would. Natural, everyday-type looks, those done with a very light hand, can look washed out under flash photography.

Leading up to Homecoming, take a few practice swings at your look. Go from start to finish and ask friends or family (or use your camera’s shutter timer) to snap some test pictures with the flash. It’ll give you time to adjust your technique before the dance.

Long-wear products. If you plan to dance the night away, you’ll want your makeup to last, so primers, waterproof formulas and long-wear products (like lipsticks vs. gloss) are musts. Layering also helps increase wear time.

To go with your navy dress. I’m thinking a shimmery purplish blue smokey eye with pinkish nude lips and a sheer, matte pink cheek. What do ya think? πŸ™‚ I can see it now… The colors should pop without looking to matchy-matchy or melodramatic.

What you’ll need

  1. A shimmery peachy eye primer like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin ($17)
  2. A shimmery golden beige shadow with glitter like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Midnight Cowboy Rides Again ($16)
  3. A long-wear, shimmery blue eye pencil like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Binge ($36, part of the Super Stash set)
  4. A shimmery purplish blue eyeshadow like Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Frigid ($18)
  5. A black eye pencil like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero ($17)
  6. A waterproof mascara like Stila Lash Visor in Black ($12.50)
  7. A sheer matte pink blush like Chanel Joues Contrastes in Rose Dust ($40)
  8. A nude lip liner like MAC Cremestick Pearl Liner in Gingerroot ($14.50)
  9. A nude lipstick like Benefit Full-Finish Lipstick in Lady’s Choice ($18)


You can find drugstore alternatives (Sonia Kashuk makes some great ones) to most, if not all, of these products. If you’re interested, shoot me a line and I’ll send some suggestions. πŸ™‚



  1. Start with a thin layer of eyeshadow primer over your entire eyelid.
  2. Next, dust a layer of the shimmery golden beige shadow over the primer and along the lower lash line with a something fluffy like the MAC 217 Blending Brush.
  3. Fill the lid using the shimmery blue eye pencil, and….
  4. …with the same pencil, line your lower lash line.
  5. Now, with the MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, pat the shimmery purplish blue eyeshadow directly on top of the blue, drawing the color just barely into the crease. Blend away the edges with a MAC 217 using a windshield wiper motion in the crease.
  6. To blow out the look and really give it that smokey feel, load a MAC 214 Short Shader Brush with the shimmery purplish blue eyeshadow and use it to smudge the blue pencil you lined a minute ago.
  7. Make ’em notice those peepers by lining your waterlines (both upper and lower) with the black eye pencil.
  8. Curl your lashes, and apply two coats of waterproof mascara to both the tops and bottoms.
  9. Now for the apples of your cheeks! Smile and sweep the sheer matte pink blush on them using a fluffy blush brush like the MAC 129.
  10. Finish by lining and filling in your lips with a nude lip liner and one coat of nude lipstick.

All done, and ready to dance! πŸ™‚

urban decay holiday 2009 fotd eyes


urban decay holday 2009 fotd homecoming look eye

urban decay holday 2009 fotd homecoming look

Have fun!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 41 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. mill says:

    wow this is fantastic and so simple! we cant get urban decay products in singapore though, there are sephoras but they stock only a couple of brands.
    The main brands i wish they stocked that they dont:
    urban decay
    Bumble and bumble (but sephora dropped b+b didnt they)
    josie maran

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mill,

      I wish our Sephora had B&B! I love the line and it isn’t always easy to find it here. I often end up purchasing it online.

      I can’t live without their Super Rich Conditioner.

  2. pinksoysauce says:

    Thank you for this guide! My homecoming is in a week and because I will probably wear a little black dress, I’m going to try experimenting and use your tutorial but in darker colors. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pinksoysauce,

      Cool. πŸ™‚ A little black dress is always a classic look. What accessories are you going for? Will you be wearing colorful shoes? That’s my fave combo — a black dress with a pop of color on the feet!

  3. Noemi says:

    Aw, I really like that look ! It’s really pretty . I Love Urban Decay’s Frigid eyeshadow . I mistakenly bought Goddess instead of Frigid & seeing this look makes me want it again . Sigh .
    For some reason I’ve never thought of taking pictures of my makeup before going out for an event . No, it’s probably because I’m always taking pictures & avoiding cameras like a plague . Hm . Good idea nonetheless . I hope you have a good weekend :]

  4. Rae says:

    AAHHHH I love this! Dark blues and violets are my absolute *favourite* eye shades… you look gorgeous, doll!
    .-= Rae’s last blog post… When you don’t want to wear a face =-.

  5. Maggie says:

    Oooh, that is pretty! πŸ˜€
    .-= Maggie’s last blog post… EOTD: Twilight-Inspired! =-.

  6. Kate & Zena says:

    That’s so pretty. I went very natural for my senior homecoming as I was having a good skin and hair day. I used tinted moisturizer, my usual cheek color, pink gloss, vanilla eyeshadow, teeny bit of eyeliner, mascara and a very “natural” set of fake lashes that were the same length as my own.

    How’s the moving in going, Karen? I hope it’s going well.

    On the home front, my allergies are masquerading as a cold. I would say I have a cold but I’m lacking the one necessary ingredient for my colds–fever. I’m a balmy 99.0 which means I’m actually cooler than normal. I’ll tell you one thing–I hate scratchy throats, sneezing and runny/stuffy noses. And what’s worse, my zinc pills are missing. The one time I need the zinc to help boost my immune system and I can’t find the bottle!

    By the way, I managed to finish Zena’s costume last night (I was on a roll). All I need is film and I can’t get that until next week! She looks so cute too!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kate & Zena,

      Yay for finishing the costume, boo for the allergies masquerading as a cold. I hope you feel better soon.

      Phase II of the move commences today. I need to clean the place thoroughly before I start putting stuff away. I’m a little OCD when it comes to home cleanliness, and I don’t really feel like a place is mine until I can scrub every last inch of it. It’s gotta happen soon because these boxes are driving me nuts! That’s gonna be pretty much my entire weekend.

      What are you doing today? Studying?

  7. CC says:

    You look positively radiant, Karen! My tip for Cheyda: If you haven’t tested the mascara before and don’t absolutely have to have its typical volumizing/lengthening effects, I suggest a waterproof eyelash tint mascara. Revlon used to make one (Revlon Outlast lash tint) that NEVER flaked or smudged on me. I’m looking for a substitute since they discontinued it…Anyone have any ideas?

  8. TJ says:

    I haven’t gone to homecoming dance in a loooonggg time, but I really like the look. πŸ™‚
    .-= TJ’s last blog post… Ouch. Hee hee hee. =-.

  9. tali says:

    Ahh you look gorgeous!!! Oerfect homecoming look- great tips. BLOTBLOTBLOT if there are gonna be photos.. oil absorbing papers or blot powder is a must have!!
    .-= tali’s last blog post… Hourglass Eye Liner & Lush Christmas =-.

  10. stunning blues and I really am in loove with URBAN DECAY. Their eyeshadows and liners are so intense and beautiful!
    .-= Blovet Beauty’s last blog post… NUDE, Deep RED & BLACK Lady Gaga Inspired Lips & Halloween Looks! =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Blovet Beauty,

      Most of their eye products really are amazing. I don’t care for the cream liner (too hard to work with), but I do love their pencil liners, shadows and Sin Potion Primer!

  11. Patti says:

    Cool! I don’t have a homecoming dance but I do like this look.

    I can’t wait for the Sephora FF Sale so I can get my hands on the UD 24/7 liners!!

  12. tabby says:

    This is lovely. I have to say again how much I love the way you include the individual swatches that make up the look. It is really helpful.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tabby,

      Glad that you like this one! πŸ™‚ Please let me know if there’s anything else I can include in the tutorials to make them even more helpful.

  13. Tiffany says:

    You look so pretty! I might try makeup like this for my next night out. Your hair looks so cute as well!

  14. pinksoysauce says:

    Hi Karen,

    I was planning on sterling silver accessories and black heels but I love your idea about shoes that pop so I’ll definitely consider that! My only qualm at this point is that the little black dress I have is a bit too formal for Homecoming, which stinks because I really want to wear it. So I may end up wearing something else, but you gave me a great idea to experiment with (both make-up and shoe-wise), so I’m looking forward to whatever I end up doing. πŸ™‚ Love the blog! You rock! πŸ˜€

  15. bomi says:

    it’s freaking GORGEOUS karen…
    it’s sooooo gorgeous especially because you brought the blue down to the lower lashline.

  16. Rosie says:

    TOO FUNNY KAREN! My name is Rose Dust, so you know i have that blush. I did my daughter’s makeup for homecoming last night, and used all UD for the purply smoky eye. My choices were UD Primer potion (the regular one) Urban Decay S&M shadow (metallic gray) topped with UD Deluxe eyeshadow in Mayhem(dark purple) and highlighted brow with Grifter (glittery pink) She Forgot mascara but she has gorgeous natural lashes, unlike me… I would have needed two coats of something waterproof. love your coloumn

  17. Kate & Zena says:


    We normally never cleaned the house unless it was dirty whenever we moved. Moving into military housing means your house is immaculately clean when you get there. The only thing you need to do is move in and mow the lawn as the lawn typically isn’t mowed.

    I hate living in a maze of boxes too! You have to move the boxes around so you can get to where you need to!

    I’m a bit better today. Scratchy, sore throat is gone and no more runny nose. Just a stuffy nose predominantly.

    Today, I’m probably going to be doing more reading as that’s all I have this week. I didn’t do any reading last night as I just felt too icky to concentrate on a textbook! Who wants to read about gay/lesbian/queer literary criticism when they feel icky? Not me. I read Puss in Boots online instead for fun. Puss in Boots was one of my favorite stories as a kid.

  18. Sarah says:

    I love this! I’m going to my Homecoming next week, but I’m wearing a purple dress – do you think this would work? Or are there other colors I should substitute for?

  19. Stef says:

    I really like the tutorials that you do Karen. With the number of the product used by the eye. It’s really helpful when recreating a look! Thank you so much!

  20. lexi says:

    I think it’s so cute that you did a homecoming dance look – I would have loved this if I had this as a reference 15yrs ago…haha

    I think my homecoming look was foundation that was too light for my face- heavily eye-lined top lash line in black and ofcourse it winged out, bright red lips and too dark shaded eyebrows!!

  21. Shivotra says:

    Karen you look so gorgeous. Love this look, will do this for myself soon.

  22. Catherine says:

    This is beautiful!
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… FOTD – MAC Vintage Gold & life update =-.

  23. Stephie says:

    Aw. What a fantastic look! I wish I knew more about makeup when I was in HS. I could have rocked looks like this to homecoming and prom instead of paying for them..
    .-= Stephie’s last blog post… Shopping SUCESS =-.

  24. Jen says:

    I love it! I have most of these products too (except the Sin UDPP, but that will be remedied next week when I visit Sephora). I think I’ll try it out soon. Thanks for the detailed tutorial!

  25. Marce says:

    Wow, this look is gorgeous! I love purple, blues, and the combination of both had me hooked!
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… MAC Love That Look – Swatches & Review =-.

  26. Rori says:

    Hi Karen, I’ve been lurking on your site for about a year, but this post moved me to finally leave a comment!
    I LOVE this look, and I have most of the products so I tried it out…gorgeous!! I’ve never been able to make eyeshadow look so good!
    One question though, HOW on Earth did you stop Midnight Cowboy Rides Again from making you look like a glitterball?! I have such a love-hate relationship with that eyeshadow!
    Anyway thank you again for this post…I love your blog!
    .-= Rori’s last blog post… Kylie Tours Wearing Gaultier! =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rori,

      It’s nice to mee you!

      Diluting the color before application helps a ton.

      Also, the type of brush along with color placement makes a diff. For non-glitterball looks, I like using a flat, dense eyeshadow brushs like the MAC 239 to apply shadow on the lid. The 239 gives me more control over the product and allows for precise application.

      Another one to try: a fluffy brush like the MAC 217 to lay down a light wash of color over the entire eye. πŸ™‚

  27. Rori says:

    Nice to meet you too! And thanks for the advice, shockingly I only have ONE eyeshadow brush! I’ll have to visit my nearest MAC asap and try out your suggestions! hope you’re well
    .-= Rori’s last blog post… Kylie Tours Wearing Gaultier! =-.

  28. Tavia says:

    I like this look πŸ™‚ I usually don’t use these colors, but they look really nice on you:)
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… How to get Lancome Plum Irresistible Look =-.

  29. Kelly says:

    I absolutlely LOVE this look. i am going to homecoming in 2 weeks.. do you have any idea what i could do with a black dress with gold sparkles. i want it to be fun but its hard with gold and black. plus i have dark brown eyes!

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