Party perfect makeup

We asked makeup artist Julia Stronach for her tips on looking great this party season

Start a few days ahead of your big night out by getting your skin in great shape. Treat yourself to a Dermaplaning facial. It makes a significant difference to how make up sits on the skin. I always recommend this. If you’re very pale, you might want to consider a spray tan or self-tanner for a healthy glow. 

Smokey eyes are always in! Teamed with some gorgeous fluffy false lashes, you’re bound to be a knock out! There are different techniques for different eye shapes. If someone has round hooded eyes, the application will be very different to someone with exposed eyelids that are almond shape, but generally the outer corners should always be dark and defined, and the inner corners nice and bright. Blending is your best friend, so ensure you have the proper brushes for a nice diffused finish! 

The easiest way to do lips is by smiling when applying lip liner. You’ll get a smoother finish. Don’t be scared to over line a little, especially round the cupid’s bow. Use a gloss for a pretty finish! 

Event makeup needs to be long-lasting. Nobody wants their lipstick to come off after a cocktail or two, or their false eyelashes becoming detached. With a potential long night ahead, the secret lies not in what you use, but how you use it. Spend a good bit of time on the base, ensuring it’s applied properly using the correct tools. It’s important to use sufficient amount of your products as using too little can cause it to fade quicker or appear patchy.   


With lashes, it’s really important to ensure they are applied properly and that the inner corners aren’t too close to the tear ducts. This can feel scratchy and cause eyes to water, which in turn will lift the lashes. Always cut the band to size to fit the eye, and carry some spare glue just in case! 

Good lighting is essential when applying makeup, so find somewhere where you can face the natural light. Keep in mind that you lose 30% of the intensity in photos anyway. That’s why you might also look washed out on Zoom, for example. It’s best to be a little heavier-handed than usual.   

I’m sometimes asked how people who don’t wear much makeup can do a five minute party face. If I could do that, I’d be able to retire by 40! Looking
good takes time and preparation. If time is of the essence, the main thing you’ll want to focus on is adding some definition to your eyes, by adding some dark shadow on a fine angle liner brush round the lash lines. Always smudge this out so it doesn’t look too severe. Add some mascara, bronzer and a colourful lip to take you from day to night. 

If you’re still wearing the same makeup look you did five years ago, or five decades ago, then I’d suggest booking a 1:1 lesson with an experienced makeup artist who can tell you exactly what application techniques, processes and products will work best for you. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. We are all so different and our skin, face shape and features change as we age, so out of date techniques can be aging or unflattering! 

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