Top stylists show you how to look good this festive season

When there are so many Christmas and New Year parties to host and attend, who has the time to spend an hour on their hair and make-up? The top stylists show you how to look good for the soirees

Expertly applied make-up does not always have to take up too much of your time.

Top make-up artists have been trained to perfect seemingly complicated looks - such as a glitter smoky eye - in a jiffy for photo shoots, the stage and the runway.

Learn some of their tricks and you can look glamorous in less than 15 minutes.

Nars Hong Kong lead make-up stylist

Invest in a handy monochromatic palette

Always keep one, such as Nars' Duo Eyeshadow In Pandora, around. You can use the matte black powder to create a winged liner. Add more on the lids if you want a smoky eye. If you want a more intense colour, just dampen your brush before picking up the powder. Then dab the white shade on the middle of the lids and inner corners of the eyes to give the make-up dimension.

Go for a bold lip

With or without winged liner, a bold lip will always add sophistication to your make-up.


When choosing a lip colour, there should be three main considerations: the vibe you want to give, the event and your skin tone.

In general, bright pink and orange lipsticks make you look energetic, reds keep you looking polished while dark reds and plums convey a sense of mystery.

To get the right shades for your skin tone, visit the counters to ask the beauty adviser for help.

Create a false-lash effect with multiple mascaras

If you are a novice at putting on false lashes, this tip will save you time while giving you dramatic- looking lashes.

The truth is, one mascara does not do it all. So pick two: one for volumising and the other for lengthening. Layer one over the other until you get the effect you desire.

Think outside the box when using products, especially when you are pressed for time

For example, a lipstick is really not just a lipstick when you can also use it on your cheeks.

Apply the stick directly onto your cheeks and blend with fingertips.

The best part? Your lip colour and cheek colour will always match.

Symmetry is crucial

Guerlain international make-up artist

Actress Camilla Belle goes for a symmetrical smoky eye look. PHOTO: AFP

Make-up mistakes can be reversed in seconds

There is no need to remove your entire eye make-up and start all over again when your liner or shadow has gone off course. All you need is a highlighting pen, such as Guerlain's Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator. Apply the liquid highlighter thickly over the areas you need to correct and wipe it off with tissue. The mistake is corrected and the rest of the eye make-up does not end up looking patchy. Highlighting pens are pricey, so use them only during emergencies.

Learn to use the mirror

Symmetry is important, especially when you want bold eye make-up looks. Your eyeliner should look perfectly angled and the eyeshadow should also be blended evenly on both sides. Go close to the mirror when drawing precise lines, but stand a small distance from the mirror when blending your make-up. It is hard to tell if you are creating the prefect subtle contours when you nose is up against the mirror.

Do not smack your lips

Never smack your lips after applying lipstick. This will smudge the colours and take up more time when you have to redo it.

Fuss-free glitter power

Celebrity make-up artist

Glittery make-up can be fuss-free

Singer Taylor Swift's glittery eyeshadow (left) is striking while recording artist Carrie Underwood uses a highlighter strategically on her face. PHOTOS: AFP

All you need is glitter cream eyeshadow. Brands that offer these include Shiseido, Chanel, Dior and Burberry. Sparkles that come in a cream shadow will almost never fall all over your face. Using a cotton bud, keep the darker colours - grey, brown, black and navy - close to the upper and lower lash lines.

The lighter shades - cream, beige, pink and lilac - can be blended over the entire lid with fingertips and can also be used as a highlighter.

To use loose glitter on your eyes, apply eye cream on your lids and leave it to dry for a few minutes. Then press glitter onto the skin and it will stay on all day and night. To remove stray glitter, use a clean mascara wand to brush them off.

Use a highlighter strategically

While highlighters look beautiful on the skin and are a sure-fire way to make your face paint look festive, use them sparingly.

You want the light-reflecting powders to accentuate your best features, not turn your entire face into a lightbulb. So apply it only on the nose bridge and entire length of the cheekbones. If you have a narrow forehead, use highlighter on it to make it look broader. Want a longer chin? Dust some highlighting powder on it too.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2015, with the headline 'Looking good for parties'. Print Edition | Subscribe