Cheap, cheerful and compact are my key criteria for Christmas party make-up

Weekend festivities might allow for a slightly more relaxed time getting ready, but any after-work shindigs usually entail a bit of a bun fight for precious mirror space in the ladies' loos. Ease and speed, then, are the order of the day, and toting a small selection out with you – concealer, blusher, lipstick usually does the trick – means you can touch up after you've been busting a move on the dancefloor. Or in the stationery cupboard. Ahem.

Lasting perfection concealer in warm medium

£4.19, Collection,

Good coverage and nicely blendable – this will be even more handy the morning after, when the only thing competing for size with your hangover is your under-eye bags.

Scandaleyes shadow stick in deep amethyst

£4.49, Rimmel,

The soft pencil goes on smoothly, and won't drag on delicate eyelids. Quite sheer with a glossy sheen rather than shimmer, this can be built up to a nice pop of colour.

Aquarium collection nail paint in Atlantis


Glitter is almost mandatory for such gatherings; limiting it to your manicure is the best way to get in the spirit without being mistaken for a disco ball or deely bopper.

Instant dry drops

£5.99, Bourjois,

Cinderella's fairy godmother doesn't have anything on these quick-drying drops which can take nails from business-casual to party-ready in no time.

Liquid illuminator in Gleam


Exercise caution where shimmer is concerned, but a few dabs of this rose gold highlighter will have you looking radiant, even if you don't feel it.