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Night Makeup Tips

Read these 10 Night Makeup Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Make-Up tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Should only one feature stand out?

Focus: Lips or Eyes

When doing your makeup for an evening look, most makeup artists recommend that you choose either your lips or your eyes as the focus.Heavy eye makeup and dark lipstick looks something like the pages of Vogue circa 1984.

If you like intense eye makeup with layers of different shades, thick liner and mascara, then you are better off toning down your lips by doing a neutral shade or keeping them sheer and glossy. If you have great lips and want to play them up with a sassy red or deep plum, then you can use just a touch of liner on the lash line, and a neutral sweep of shadow. If the focus is on your lips, make sure to take care of them by moisturizing and exfoliating so your lip color doesn't look flaky on dry lip skin.

I don't want to carry my handbag, where can I stash my lipgloss?

Secret Lip Gloss Hiding Place

If you are out going out for a night on the town and you don't plan on carrying a handbag or clutch, where in the world will you put your lip gloss? Thank goodness for jeans. The "fifth pocket" was originally made to hold a pocket watch. But, a mini lip gloss fits perfectly into that tiny space! If you are wearing a dress or skirt, hiding your lip gloss is a little trickier. But that's why man invented underwire bras (or at least, we think that's one of the reasons). Stick your mini lip gloss or lipstick in the front-middle section of your bra. The underwire helps hang onto it so the gloss stays secure against your skin and doesn't fall out. Now, you can always be sure to have lip gloss on hand for touch-ups throughout the night. Don't worry—it will be our little secret!

How can I fix my shiny skin in a pinch?

Shiny Skin Fix

If you don't happen to have to have a compact of powder or oil-blotting papers with you, and you notice your skin looks like a gleaming like an oil slick, there is a solution. You're probably familiar with the toilet seat covers found in public restrooms. Well, they are good for more than one thing! Those handy seat covers also absorb the shine and oil from your face, giving your skin a matte look without ruining your makeup. Oil blotting papers and toilet seat covers are made out of the exact same thin tissue-type paper, and if you are in a pinch, either one will fix shiny skin!

How can I master the cat-eye look?

Eyeliner That's The Cat's Meow

Have you ever seen old renderings of Cleopatra? She always had on that thick, dark, winged eyeliner that was intense, sexy and yes, even a little dangerous looking.

The cat-eye look (a la Cleopatra) is a superb way to make your eyes dramatic for night. You can use either a regular eyeliner with a fine point, a cream-based liner with a fine lining brush or when you get more comfortable you can try a liquid liner. A liquid liner tends to create the most dramatic effect, but it is also the most difficult to master. If you have trouble getting the outer wing straight, a little trick is to grab a thick paper business card and use that as your guide. Ideally, you want to hold the card at a 45 degree angle from the outer corner of your eye. Then, just trace the liner right along the edge of the card. Make sure you also apply multiple coats of black mascara, especially paying attention to the longest lashes at the outer corners of your eyes for a super sultry look that is truly the cat's meow.

My makeup is tame during the day, how can I make it special for night?

Extraordinary Night Makeup

For a special night out, do something out of the ordinary with your makeup. Practice first so you don't end up looking like a beauty “don't”.

If you tend to go light on the eyeliner during the day, you might want to try a simple smoky eye with killer shimmery grey eyeliner. Try one that is soft and easier to apply so that you can layer it on and smudge it for a smoky effect. For the first layer of liner, get the color as close to the lash line as possible. Then you can build wider and thicker lines on top of the first one.

The smoky eye look is great because it doesn't have to be perfect. Make sure to wear a neutral colored lip gloss or lipstick, since your eyes will be the focus. If you are really in the mood to be daring, add a couple of individual false lashes to the outer corners of your upper lash line. Your eyes will be fab, and BAM! You are ready for a night on the town.

How do I make my own shimmery body lotion?

Create Your Own Shimmer Body Lotion

A light, shimmery body lotion looks pretty when your skin hits the light just right. It also minimizes the appearance of flaws in your skin. But what if you don't have any shimmer body lotion on hand? It's simple to mix up a batch of your own.

First, pick a lightweight lotion. Get out a small bowl for one-time use, or empty travel bottle if you intend on making a larger batch. Add some loose, shimmery eye shadow to the lotion and mix well. If pressed eye shadow is your only option, dig some eyeshadow out with a knife, crush it, and add it to the lotion. Work gradually so that you don't go overboard with the shimmer. If you are a warmer skin tone, stick to shadows that have gold or pink shimmer to them. If you have a cooler undertone, a silver shimmer complements your skin tone the best. You want it to be a subtle glow that just ever-so-effortlessly lights up your skin for that perfect nighttime effect.

Where can I get my makeup done for an important night out?

The Last Resort

Have an important night out but you're less than sure of your own makeup application skills? No problem! Head to the closest makeup counter and have your makeup applied for you. Call ahead the day of the event and make an appointment. If you don't have an appointment, it's still feasible to get into an artist's chair. Most cosmetics companies train their counter people in the art of makeup application on a continual basis. Make sure you buy at least one item from the line to show your appreciation. A lipstick or compact to take in your handbag for the night is always a good option. You don't have to feel pressured to buy everything used on you—just a couple of items will let the artist know that you appreciate their time!

How can I quickly get rid of makeup smudges when I can't wash my face?

The Morning After

So you've hit the town hard, danced up a storm, had cocktails with friends, and sparkling conversation with that witty, handsome stranger. You looked killer in that strapless black dress, with those sensational, smoky eyes. But what do those smokey eyes look like in the morning if you don't remove your makeup before falling asleep? Racccon eyes, anyone? If you were prepared, you should have in your handbag or clutch a makeup remover pen to quickly rid yourself of those raccoon eyes. A makeup remover pen like Sephora's Eraser Pen ($12) will magically remove all those awful smudges, in one quick swipe. Never leave home without it, because some nights you just never know where you and your makeup might end up!

How can I wear brightly colored eye shadow?

Colorful Eye Shadow

A jewel-toned eye shadow looks especially beautiful and glamorous at night. Consider violet, green, gold, aqua, or even hot pink for a radical pop. Press this color onto the center of your lid for a pop of bright color. Do not put the jewel tone colors in the crease of your eye -- unless you're channeling Joan Collins ala Alexis Carrington Colby from the Dynasty days.

Nars Cosmetics makes highly pigmented eye shadows in a rainbow of colors. Their Eyeshadow Singles ($21) are crease-proof and can actually be used wet or dry. Some colors to try are Cancun (fuchsia), Party Monster (lilac with gold shimmer), Goldfinger (bright gold), Emmanuelle (red-coral) and Night Flight (black with bright blue undertones). Or, double up and try their Duo Eyeshadows ($31) in Rated R (chartreuse green and cobalt blue), Divine (shocking pink and Chocolate), and Caravaggio (azalea pink and iridescent violet). Keep the rest of your makeup strictly neutral, especially the cheeks and lips. These brightly colored shadows are a fun way to add a little color to your evening!

Can I touch-up my makeup in public?

Touch-up Etiquette

The most common touch-up is for the lips. After a dinner out, head to the powder room for a quick touch-up. If you are unable to find a restroom, then you might have to discreetly touch-up your lipstick in public. Grab two items from your handbag—a small compact with a mirror and a lipstick. No lip liner, or lip gloss either, just lipstick. And remember - it's all about looks. Silver-plated compacts or bejeweled compacts, or vintage inspired enameled lipstick cases are stunning. These cases no only hold your lipstick, but have the mirror right on the inside of the opening. Lipstick is always classic and not too offensive to be seen with these elegant compacts. Make sure it's done quickly and effortlessly.

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Guru Spotlight
Patricia Walters-Fischer