Look party-ready this Christmas and New Year with our pick of the best party season beauty must-haves.
From hard-wearing foundations that refuse to slide, to waterproof eyeliner and stay-put glitter, these party picks are probably as close to festive miracles as products can be.
1. Illamasqua Precision Ink Eyeliner In Abyss: £20, very.co.uk
This is the blackest, hardest-wearing, waterproof liquid eyeliner you’ll probably ever have the pleasure of using. Super-thin applicator makes cat flicks and creative designs easy to draw, and the formula is pretty much unsmudgeable.
2. Paul & Joe Blotting Papers: £10.50 for, selfridges.com
Whether it’s a result of sweating in the kitchen or dancing for hours, skin looks shiny when you get hot and bothered and your make-up will have slid around a bit. These clever little papers blot off any excess oil or make-up that’s not in the right place and leave the skin ready for any extra product.
3. MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash Mascara In Black Extreme: £19.00, maccosmetics.co.uk
We’ve been searching for a flakeless, long-wear mascara for years. MAC’s latest innovation is an exciting find, giving perfectly black, lengthened and defined lashes that last… And last… And last. So well, in fact, it needs an oil-based cleanser to take it off.
4. Lipcote The Original Lipstick Sealer: £3.69, boots.co.uk
This clear sealer isn’t just good for securing your lipstick for hours, but also waterproofing eyeliner, sticking glitter and taming unruly brows. A multi-purpose classic product no party make-up bag should be without.
5. Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in Beige Gold Shimmer: £19.50, johnlewis.com
Although the bullet looks very gold and sparkly, once on, this is a subtle rose-champagne gold that adds a little shimmer. Because of the light reflection it also makes lips appear plumped up.
6. Stargazer Glitter Liquid Eyeliner: £3.00, stargazer-products.com
If ever there’s an acceptable time to wear glitter, its Christmas. Stargazer’s liquid eyeliner is a great option. Thanks to its thin brush applicator, you can add a touch of gold under eyes or on cheeks, without getting glitter everywhere.
7. Too Faced Glitter Glaze: £18, debenhams.com
Add some festiveness with these top-coat eyeshadows in Silver Spark, designed to layer over your daytime eyeshadow for some party sparkle – brilliant if you have to go into the office on New Years’ Eve.
8. Kiko False Lashes Concentrate Lengthening Top Coat Mascara: £7.20, kikocosmetics.co.uk
Christmas week can mean multiple-party days but adding to mascara that was put on 10 hours previously, isn’t easy to do without clumping and flaking. Kiko’s brilliant range of Top Coats, can be used with your usual mascara straight after application, or throughout the day to renew the look you’re going for.
9. Topshop Long-Lasting Lipstick In Black Widow : £8, topshop.co.uk
IndyBest is a big fan of Topshop’s good-value make-up. You’ll be hard-pushed to find a lipstick as long-wearing, richly pigmented and comfortable as this for less than £8. The deep plum shade adds a great edge to any classic Christmas look, too.
10. bareMinerals Shimmer EyeColour Eyeshadows: £12.25, feelunique.com
Aside from its skin-enhancing, natural mineral foundations, bareMinerals has a great range of long-wear, high-pigment eyeshadows. Metallics like “Drama” and “Black Ice” are particularly great at adding a touch of festive glimmer to a smoky eye.
11. Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo Aussome Volume: £2.29, boots.com
A handbag-sized dry shampoo that injects some pre-party, va va voom into office-limp locks. Just spritz, tousle and go.
12. Beauty Bay Nail Polish: £2.50, beautybay.com
Get in the festive spirit, right down to your nails, with multi-glitter Fairy Lights Twinkle on Fifth Avenue and a shot of silver sparkle with Tinsel Sparkles on Michigan Avenue.
13. Cover FX Cream Concealer: £23, houseoffraser.co.uk
No under-eye bag is too laden from the evening before, no blemish too swollen and no inflammation too angry to be visibly soothed by this breathable, blendable and comfortable to wear concealer. Doesn’t chalk, flake or move and treats as it covers, too. Water based. See also Cover FX’s brilliant powder illuminator.
14. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H: £28.50, boots.com
A great foundation should look like your skin, but better, and feel like your skin, but softer. This long-lasting, easy to blend formula does exactly that, doesn’t block your pores, doesn’t contain oil and generally doesn’t need re-touching, either. Comes in 18 different shades, including darker skin tones.
15. Caudalie Divine Legs: £26, caudalie.com
An ultra-lightweight tinted fluid you can sweep on pale winter limbs for an instant sun kissed glow. It dries immediately and can be washed off next time you shower. If your outfit demands legs are out, this will perfect your pins in a flash.
16. Nars Illuminator In Orgasm: £22.50, narscosmetics.co.uk
Winter skin can look a little on the dull side. But it needn’t. A sweep of this super easy to blend, water-based illuminator across cheekbones and eyebrows will leave you with an enviable glow. Mix a little in with some foundation for a dewy finish, too.
17. Color WOW Root Cover Up: £28.50, feelunique.com
If you're irritatingly between colour appointments just as the party season kicks in, fear not, Color WOW have come up with the best root solution ever. It’s a clever little compact with a waxy colour block and a stiff brush, just sweep on roots to cover re-growth or grey. Available in six shades from black to platinum blonde.
18. Lancome Hypnose Drama Eyes Palette in Parisian Lights: £37, lancome.co.uk
For dramatic, smokey, golden-toned party eyes this is your go-to palette. There are five shades with a five-step illustration in the lid to show which one goes where, it's a beautiful smokey look – and simple to do.
19. Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial: £45, chapman.net
A multi award-winning serum-oil packed out with a potent cocktail of vitamins, peptides and omega oils that brighten dull skin, calm stressed or irritated skin as well as smoothing, lifting and plumping. So, it’s pretty much everything you need for the morning after the night before. Smooth on before you fall into bed and wake up with a surprisingly bright and radiant complexion.
20. Charlotte’s Magic Cream: £70, charlottetilbury.com
The morning after the night before is never a good look on anyone, which is why you need an emergency pot of this skin remedy in your bathroom cabinet. Make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury has been using a secret mix of complexion-boosting goodies on models backstage for years to transform lackluster, tired skin. It floods the skin with moisture and smoothes and lifts for a long-lasting dewy finish. Cheat your way to a full night's sleep with a layer of Magic Cream
21. This Works Perfect Eyes Recovery Cream: £28 for 15ml, thisworks.com
And finally an eye cream that noticeably transforms the under eye area, instantly. Cucumber, aloe and arnica treat the dark circles and de-puff tired eyes, leaving peepers refreshed and revived. And no matter how you feel or what time you fell into bed, your eyes won't give it away.
Verdict: We obviously recommend that you take your make-up off when you get home from an evening of yuletide cheer, but if you are at all worried about the worst happening – falling asleep with a full face on - opting for breathable, mineral-based formulas, like Cover FX or bareMinerals is the way to go.
Other great products to try out include Illamasqua’s Pure Pigment powder eyeshadows, Nars’s brilliant The Multiple cream cheek and lip colour and any of the TopShop range. If you have more than one event to get to Kiko False Lashes Concentrate is a superb mascara for adding more layers later in the day without clumping. And finally, for outstanding party skin recovery, you can't beat Charlotte's Magic Cream – the best in the business for the morning after.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
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