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Don’t Just Stick To Black
You might think black is the failsafe option for evening eye make-up, but it can often come off too heavy, especially on blondes or those with fairer skin. A palette of deeper neutral shades is bound to be a more wearable option for most.
“Berry-brown and red-brown eyeliners are a flattering way to add drama and definition to the eye in a more subtle way than black,” explains make-up artist Cher Webb. “These reddish undertones make every eye colour pop, creating a sexy, sultry and smoky look in the most flattering way. I like to work MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy into the lash line and blend up and onto the eyelids for a speedy, blown-out, less perfect smoky eye.”
The same rule goes for your mascara. Rather than automatically reaching for black, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover the naturally dramatic effect a brown mascara can have, especially against other warm shades. Brown mascara is especially good for those with blue or green eyes, as it brings out these colours in the irises.
Make Some Easy Tweaks
Whether you favour pale shimmering shades or deeper honeyed tones, the best thing about neutrals is they often work for day to night. If you’re heading to a party after work and don’t have the time (or the inclination) to take everything off and start again, playing with a palette of neutrals means you can build up from what’s there already. A simple wash of taupe shadow during the day can be transformed by a smudge of deeper espresso shadow come evening; just look for moveable formulas that can be easily smudged with your fingers for maximum sultry effect.
A great liner is another option. “Eyeliner is a game changer for taking a look from daytime neutrals into a night-time look,” advises Cher. “Apply the liner on the top and lower lash line and through the waterline to instantly dress it up in seconds.” When it comes to cheeks, you only need a subtle wash of colour to complement your palette and ramp things up for evening. “If you’re keeping your look completely monochrome in neutrals, use your bronzer to sculpt and contour the face,” adds Webb. “Add a hint of colour in peach or pink on the cheeks to add dimension and glow.”
Don’t Overlook Your Lips
Red lipstick might be red carpet colour of choice, but for many of us they can feel a bit too much. Sticking to your regular remit of nudes, especially if you’re looking for a great foil to more dramatic eyes, means you won’t feel too far out of place.
“To ramp up a classic nude lip, try adding a lip pencil to frame, define and create a more voluptuous shape,” says Webb. “Choose matte textures over sheer or glossy finishes or push the boundaries by going for a nude that is a few shades darker.” A creamy, deep brown lip colour will add some extra interest.
Play With Textures
Sticking with neutrals doesn’t mean forgoing experimentation altogether. Playing with textures and finishes is a great way to inject a little more playfulness into your look without straying too far from what you know. Although it doesn’t have the best staying power, gloss isn’t just for lips and can be a fun way to inject some texture without resorting to glitter. For a sexy, lived-in look, try swiping a face gloss or even clear waxy lip balm over the top of smoky eyeshadow shades of mocha and plum to up the sultry vibe. Just bear in mind you might find yourself having to reapply once or twice during the evening.
If you don’t fancy the upkeep involved with a gloss, use cream formulas instead. They’ll still offer a good amount of slip but can be smudged easily over lids in the back of an Uber. Failing that, glitter pots in metallic shades of copper or peach can be pressed onto eyes, cheeks and your cupid’s bow.