This article is a full makeup lesson on perfecting the evening party look, specially designed by MAC experts for women who possess basic makeup knowledge but want to take their skill a notch higher.
“MAC makeup artists like to educate our clients,” says MAC specialist Odessa Andal.
For professional-looking makeup, these two steps are key: Prepping the skin and contouring. Contouring involves combining highlights, shadows and neutrals to enhance facial features and bone structure, while prepping and priming means hydrating the skin or making it plump and moist enough to hold makeup.
“MAC artists take their time in prepping and priming the skin, because it’s a huge part of the look, especially if you want makeup to stay for hours.”
Phase One: Prep and Prime
Step 1. Wash your face with your favorite facial wash and spray on a hydrating mist to moisturize skin. Professionals swear by Fix+, which you can use before application to make it last longer, during application to balance and blend product, and after to set. For dry skin, add this optional step: Apply a light coverage of Prep+Prime Moisture Infusion Serum all over the face with a brush.
Tip: Don’t put on too much! Too much base product will cause the makeup to cake. Apply product with light but repetitive brush strokes.
Step 2. Apply highlighter.
Apply highlighter or shimmer first for that sought-after dewy glow. Apply Strobe Cream on areas where the light hits: cheekbones, forehead and chin.
Tip: You can use the Strobe Cream on your neck, chest and shoulders for a sexy glow. This is also great for the beach!
Step 3. Apply concealer to cover imperfections. Remember these key areas: around the eyes, around the nose and around the mouth.
Tip: A common misconception about concealer is that it needs to be really light. If you need to conceal puffy or dark under-eye areas, the key is to match the shade with the cheeks to create a seamless finish.
Step 4. Apply foundation.
With a foundation brush, lightly apply the product on the face. Make sure to cover the sides of the face, near the hairline and the jawline, to cover up any previously applied product.
Tip: If your skintone changes throughout the year (we’re usually lighter during the -ber months and darker during the summer), use the Matchmaster SPF 15 Foundation which contains skin-mimicking properties that follow your complexion even when skin turns a couple of shades lighter or darker. Don’t forget to set your base makeup with powder afterward. Patting and pressing it firmly on the skin is more effective than stroking or wiping.
Phase Two: Contouring and Applying Color
Step 5. Contour with a darker shade.
You may use foundation that is one to two shades darker, or a matte blush in a similar tone. Start in the middle of the forehead, near the hairline, and draw a number 3 at the sides—brush under the cheekbones, then on the jawline. Emphasize by brushing under the cheekbones, all the way to the ears. To finish the contouring, apply a lighter foundation on the areas untouched by the number 3.
Tip: Don’t use anything too orange to keep it looking natural. Andal recommends neutralizing it with a brown blush, like MAC’s powder blush in Harmony.
Step 6. Define eyes.
You only need two makeup brushes in life: A flat brush to apply and intensify color, and a blending brush to diffuse it. Apply a cream-based product, like Paint Pot, then add dimension with a dry eye shadow on the lids and lashline.
Line your waterline for extra intensity. Curl lashes then apply mascara in a diagonally outward motion to emphasize volume.
Tip: Watch YouTube videos for various eye-contouring techniques. Black eye shadow is an essential to every palette because it intensifies and adds dimension to any color. To avoid color bleeding, use liner on the waterline then set it with powder on the lashline. To clean up the mess, brush away excess product and use a highlighter under the eyes, like Prep+Prime Highlighter.
Step 7. Apply blush.
Use pink tones for a youthful look, or brown/peachy tones to look more mature and formal.
Step 8. Apply lip color.
Prep lips with conditioner. For long-wearing color, apply lip liner all over the lips then apply lipstick with a lip brush. For shine that isn’t too overwhelming, apply gloss in the middle of your lips and blend.