Going from desk to dancefloor? Delve into the party season makeup hauls of four industry high-fliers to see which products are actually worth making space for in your hand or clutch bag
Christmas party season is in full swing, so to get our fill of festive beauty cheer, we thought we'd have a good ol' rummage through the beauty stashes of some of our favourite women in the industry. From smokey eye staples to the ‘perfect foundation-moisturiser’ partnership and the smoothest of red lipsticks, these are the products that see them from desk to dancefloor and beyond.
Samantha Silver, co-founder of This is Mothership
“My party season makeup is somewhat low-key these days with two children to juggle - the big nights out are now singular (nighT rather than nightS), with the emphasis on festive daytime activities instead. Yet, I still like to make an effort so I have my staples - the products that I know will last all day, withstand the swiping of tiny hands and won't need touch-up work for a night out too.
“I'm on the eternal quest for a natural looking glow so for me, base is all about multiple thin layers. Over the top of my skincare, I layer Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Morning Aura , £72. I find this gives a radiance to the skin and helps my makeup stay put. Foundation-wise, it's always Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation , £32, buffed in with her genius foundation brush. I've also recently discovered L'Oreal’s new Pro Glow , £11.99, which is great, if a little heavier.
“Concealer-wise, I double dip. Both are by Bare Minerals - first I use their Complete Coverage Serum Concealer , £23, to disguise any discolouration, and then I go in again with Bare Pro Full Coverage Concealer , £23, for any really stubborn areas, like my baby-induced dark circles.
"I've got the knack of a speedy smokey eye down - it's all about the crayons. Chanel's Stylo Ombre et Contour in Contour Clair , £22.50, scribbled over the lid and quickly swiped with the ring finger creates the kind of lived-in smoke that takes half an hour with an eyeshadow palette. My signature wing is Clinique's Pretty Easy Liquid Eyeliner in Black , £17.55, and I like to give my lashes a coat of inky black Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara , £25.
“Finishing touches are always blush to brighten ( Nars Orgasm Powder Blush , £23) and a generous dusting of a matte bronzer.
"Because it's party season, I'm more daring with my lips. I'm awful at lipstick application but Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in Starwomen , £23, is featherweight and a doddle to apply - it comes along in my clutch too.
"A spritz of Chanel Boy , £150, the most utterly special night time fragrance, and I'm good to go.”
Dija Ayodele, aesthetician and founder of Black Skin Directory
"I haven’t worn foundation in over three years, but for a professional finish, I dot House of Glamdolls Glambase Wheel 2 Concealer , £15, where I need it to even out my skin tone. I mishmash the three darkest shades to get my perfect colour. It’s a professional concealer with the power to withstand even the most hardcore party.
"I do my brows using my trusted Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown , £3.29, it’s been a staple in my makeup kit for 20 years. The colour is just right for my skin tone and at £2.99, it’s purse-friendly too. I use an angled brush to apply MAC Embark Eyeshadow , £14, over the top to seal the pencil wax. It’s a basic brown, but worth its weight in gold. Another product that’s older than my children!
“I love my eyes, but I don’t have the time to make them up too much, so I smudge MAC Prunella Kohl Eyeliner , £15, on the lower lash line. It’s a burnt plum shade with a touch of soft glitter. I then use Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil , £19, to highlight the inner corners of my eyes.
"I like the Bronzed Garnet shade, it says it’s a metallic red but on someone as dark as me, it’s more of a golden copper. For lashes, Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara , £8.99, in darkest black does the job.
“To give my red staying power, I line and fill my lips with Make Up Forever Aqua Lip Liner in 19C, £8.40. It gets a thumbs up from me as it literally stains my lips raspberry red (so much so that lipstick is actually only a bonus). My choice of red lippies is vast, but my current fave is MDM Flow Supreme , £18.
"It’s such a sexy and smooth red, exactly what I need to go from mummy to diva. Finally, I finish with a dusting of MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Dark Deep , £25.50, using a big fluffy Bobbi Brown powder brush. I call it my 'luxe in five minutes' look.”
Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and author of The Skincare Bible
Photography: Amit and Naroop
“After cleansing and using a hyaluronic acid serum, my regular routine for a night out follows a rather typical pattern. First, I use Smashbox Oil-free Photofinish Foundation Primer , £26 - I’ve used this for about 18 months and find that it’s good at improving the texture of my skin, particularly over my left cheek where I suffer with indented acne scarring. As it’s oil-free, it tends not to clog my pores and make my blemish-prone skin any worse.
“For my foundation, I use a 50/50 mixture of Vichy Dermablend 3D , £23, and Nars Velvet Matte Tint , £30. I’ve used both of these products for years and they provide a great level of coverage for acne and pigmentation. Nars Creamy Concealer , £23, is another long-standing favourite of mine - I use it under my eyes and on any spots, blemishes or areas of pigmentation after foundation.
“Next, I’ll apply MAC Mineralise Soft and Gentle Skinfinish , £25.50, and MAC Love Joy Mineralise Blush , £23, on, and underneath, my cheekbones.
“I then use Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner , £5.29, to line my upper eyelids, usually with a cat-flick at the ends. I’ve used this eyeliner since I was a teenager - it’s great for making my eyes stand out and gives great control.
"I use a lot of mascara and am a big fan of Laura Mercier Full Blown in Black , £21. I often apply several coats for a dramatic effect. I then like to use Smashbox Smoky Eye Palette , £24, and usually mix two shades - STFU and Rock Me - for a dark green/grey overall colour.
"I finish my eyes off with a thick line of Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof Eyeliner , £13.60, to the lower lash line.
“As I make my eyes the statement, I usually stick to lip balm to balance it out. I like Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Intensive Lip Treatment , £20.
"I used to use this a lot when my lips were dry while taking Roaccutane and I’ve stuck with it ever since. On the rare occasion when I wear lipstick though, I usually mix Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk , £24, with L’Oreal Lip Paint Matte in Dead Lips , £6.99.”
Kate Shapland, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Legology, and Co-Founder & Head of Content of The British Beauty Council
“Party or not, it’s always the same base in winter for me: Guerlain Parure Gold Fluid Radiance Foundation , £58, over Avene Rich Compensating Cream , £16.50.
"I’m a firm believer in the perfect foundation-moisturiser partnership. Not all face creams and foundations work well together though, (sometimes the base collects and moves around over the moisturiser) so you need to try different combinations until you nail it. Parure is about as perfect as a medium-coverage, satin-finish foundation gets, and it’s scented with rose, so when people kiss you hello, they get a nice surprise. It’s this kind of detail that separates the brilliant from the mediocre in beauty. I apply it with a sponge over my entire face (eyelids and lips) and neck.
“Cream or powder, blusher is always a bubblegum pink, ideally with an iridescence that gives the top of the cheek a sheen. My current favourite is Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Las Salinas , £30.
"I wear more eye makeup now than I ever did - which is going against the grain because you’re supposed to dial it down a bit with age. I love a dark plum or gunmetal shadow eyeshadow, and I’m back into black liner too with black mascara. Chanel Illusoire Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow , £23.40, works well with Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Liquid Eyeliner , £23, and O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara , £22, on my upper lashes (both in black) - they make for a great party eye.
"I have a stash of cotton buds to blend and tidy everything up - they work a treat with a bit of saliva (shifts mistakes quicker than water because it’s thicker). My complete lip craze is Glossier Generation G in Jam , £14.
"It’s matte (such a joy after all that sticky gloss) but the trick with this one is not to over-apply it, otherwise, it goes bobbly because it’s so highly pigmented. It just needs a couple of layers to give a perfect berry stain that doesn’t compete with your eyes. That’s it, coat on, out the door.”