Look Party-Perfect (and Great the Morning After) -- With Product Recommendations from The Cosmetics Cop

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Beauty expert Paula Begoun provides tips on how to look beautiful for that holiday party, and beautiful the next day.

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In a party atmosphere, you can get away with more luminosity that will really accentuate cheekbones and perk up a dull complexion.

For all its delights, the holiday season can leave people looking and feeling less than their best. After food-indulgent parties and more spiked eggnog than you’d like to admit, you may not be looking forward to photos showing up on Facebook the next day, but not to worry: we’ve got a cheat sheet any woman can use to look party-perfect, plus bonus tips for looking great the morning after.

Freshen up your complexion.

  • If you are headed out to a party straight from the office and only have a few minutes to touch-up, reduce oily shine with blotting papers, and smooth out concealer that may have creased or diminished over the course of the day to brighten the eye area. Stash a makeup sponge and foundation in your makeup bag to spot-apply foundation where needed, such as redness peeking through around the nose, mouth, chin, or blemish-prone areas. Set by lightly dusting with pressed powder and voila!

Get glowing.

  • There’s no quicker way to liven up a dull complexion than with a touch of shimmer applied to the high points of your face. In a party atmosphere, you can get away with more luminosity that will really accentuate cheekbones and perk up a dull complexion. Achieve this look with a luminous-finish blush, or your regular blush + highlighter dusted over cheeks. Check out Beautypedia on CosmeticsCop.com for our top recommendations. And don’t forget to touch up your blush a bit more than usual; in the dim light of a party atmosphere you don’t want to look pale and washed out.

Emphasize your eyes.

  • No matter how tired you really are, strategically applied eyeshadow can help hide your exhaustion and create alluring eyes at the same time. Contour your crease with a soft, matte brown eyeshadow to create subtle but elegant drama and blend in a deeper brown or black shade along the outer corner of your eye for a sultry, smoky look. Add a moderately thick swipe of eyeliner (a deep navy blue can help the whites of your eyes look whiter) and extra mascara or false eyelashes, and finish with cream-colored shimmer applied with a small brush around the inner corner of eyes for a sexy, bright-eyed look.

Note about false eyelashes: Don’t be afraid of them. They can look hot, and almost any M.A.C. counter will be glad to sell you a pair and teach you how to put them on at the same time!

Choose your lip color without fear.

  • Many women simply put on the same color they wear every day for their evening look. Big mistake (think of it like wearing workout clothes with high heels, it’s just the wrong mix). A dress-up event means dressing up your eyes, face, and lips! This is the one time of year to consider wearing red lipstick or some other bright, intense color.
  • Of course, if the intensity just feels like too much, you can always try a rich nude-, pink-, or mauve-toned lipstick and layer it with a high-shine, sparkly gloss for more drama with a twist.
  • Don’t want to worry about lipstick touch-ups? Try one of the long-wearing, 2-step lip paints, such as M.A.C. Pro Longwear, and go for the shimmering topcoat for an extra bit of glam.
  • If your lipstick tends to bleed, lock it in with an anti-feather lipliner like this one.

Revitalize skin the morning after.

  • Upon waking the next day you may feel bloated, a bit hung-over, and tired, but your face doesn’t have to show it. The first step to waking up beautifully actually starts the night before by washing your makeup off. If you’re prone to coming home and conking out before you can make it through your nightly skin-care routine, keep cleansing wipes (see Beautypedia for our recommendations) on your nightstand to remove all your makeup, especially eye makeup. While not optimal for everyday use, at least you’ll be less likely to break out or wake up with agitated skin and puffy eyes.
  • For even better results, find the energy to cleanse your face and remove eye makeup with a non-irritating makeup remover (this will definitely help your eyes be less puffy in the morning). Follow with your normal routine, plus an antioxidant or retinol serum to help replenish dehydrated skin and increase firmness the next day.

Hide the morning-after dark circles with concealer.

  • Look for a concealer that’s light enough to cover dark circles convincingly, but not so light that it leaves a white mask around the eyes. A soft matte finish (rather than one that’s too creamy or greasy) will stay on longer and resist creasing throughout the day. After concealer, you can dab on a sheer liquid highlighter to help reflect light away from naturally shadowed areas. Find products recommendations on Beautypedia at CosmeticsCop.com.
  • Add a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen and a sweep of pink- or rose-toned blush and no one will suspect you were up too late (or had too much of a good time)!
  • Check out Paula Begoun's video for foundation application and for more makeup secrets click here!


Led by best-selling author and beauty expert Paula Begoun, the Paula’s Choice Research Team evaluates and reviews hundreds of skin-care and makeup products, in books such as Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me as well as online at CosmeticsCop.com. Combining cosmetics industry knowledge and expertise, Paula and her team have developed the Paula’s Choice line of state-of-the-art formulations based on reliable, published skin-care research. Products include skin-care, makeup, body, and hair-care products, beauty tools, and accessories. All products are fragrance-free, cruelty free, and environmentally friendly.

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