How to be the Belle of the Ball.
And when the festive season arrives, one is certain to pop through the letterbox.
You'll want to look your very best, so here are a few tips and techniques on applying makeup.
Begin by priming your skin with moisturiser, then apply foundation. Dot foundation on your cheekbones, chin, nose and forehead. Use a sponge to blend the foundation all the way into the hairline and down to the neck. A sponge is more hygienic and makes your foundation go further, as well as preventing your foundation from being discoloured by your fingers' natural oils.
Next, use concealer to disguise any under-eye circles, lines or blemishes. Use a brush to apply concealer around your eyes, then press, pat and blend with your ring finger. This is the weakest finger on your hand, so it won't drag delicate skin. If the dark circles under your eyes are several shades darker than your normal skin colour, you may want to apply a lighter concealer here than in any other area. Apply concealer with the brush to any spots and blemishes. Try to keep application precise, and avoid applying concealer all around the blemish. This will only create a 'halo' effect, drawing attention to the spot.
A light dusting of powder sets your make-up, keeps foundation fresh and gives a refined finish to the face. Yellow-toned powder is the powder of choice for professional make-up artists, as it will counteract a ruddy complexion, highlight dark undertones and soften skin imperfections. If you are using a powder brush, whisk it over your powder, then tap the brush on the back of your hand to remove any excess. If you are using a powder puff, pat it into the powder and then press and roll the powder over your face. Dust off any excess with your brush. Be careful not to powder the cheeks too high near the hairline or around the outer edge of the eyes, as the powder will settle into and emphasise the fine lines under the eyes.
Now that you've got the perfect base, you're ready to start adding some colour. Beginning with blusher will ensure that you're not tempted to overdo your eye make-up. Blusher creates a more balanced overall look, gives your cheeks subtle definition and warms the skin. Smile an exaggerated smile so that you see the 'apple' of your cheek. This is where blusher should be applied. Before you start, tap the loaded blusher brush on the back of your hand to remove excess powder - too much blusher can age a mature face and harden a young one. Always apply blusher from the outer part of the face in towards the centre. This means that you will deposit more colour towards the back of the face, giving the cheekbone a natural depth. Use circular motions rather than linear strokes, blending with your brush.
Blusher can also be used for contouring. If you have a narrow face, applying blusher horizontally at the cheekbones from the hairline to the apples of your cheeks can widen it. To 'lift' your face, apply blusher from the mid-apple of your cheeks and sweep it along the highest part of the cheekbone. To lengthen a short face, apply blusher in a triangular pattern, blending upwards towards the temples. To soften a square face, apply blusher in a circular pattern, gradually making the circles longer towards the ear and accenting the circular pattern at the fullest part of the cheek.
Bronzer is a great way to give your face instant warmth and vitality. In the winter it gives a healthy glow to a paler complexion. For a natural, healthy hint of colour, apply bronzer where the sun might naturally strike your face - around the hairline, on the nose, cheekbones, temples and chin, plus a light touch on your eyes. You may even want to use bronzer in place of blusher.
Unlike foundation or blusher, there is no straightforward technique to eye make-up application, as there are so many different styling options and products. It's worth learning an eye make-up technique that suits your face and your lifestyle.
As a general guide to begin with, apply your lightest eyeshadow colour from the lashline to right under the brow. Use a medium colour as a contouring shade, blending it out and along the lashline then along the crease to form a V-shape. Finally, apply a darker shade to create a wedge at the outer corner of the eye.
For smaller eyes, put the weight of colour on the outer corners of your eyes to open and enlarge them.
For wide-set eyes, use a darker shade at the inner corner of the eye near the bridge of the nose and a lighter shade towards the outer part of the eye.
If you have close-set eyes, try defining only the outer corners of the eyes to make them seem further apart.
For deep-set eyes, use a light colour on the eyelid to lift out the eyes, and a smudge of dark shadow at the outer corners to help define them.
For the most even eyeliner application, pull the eyelid slightly taut to create a smooth surface. Soften the line by smudging and blending, as eyeliner can look drawn-on, severe and harsh if not properly blended.
To widen narrow eyes, emphasise the outer part of the top lid, and open eyes up by lining only the outer corners of the lower lids with a thick, soft line.
If you have close-set eyes, apply liner to the outer corners of the eyes.
To bring wide-set eyes closer together, focus colour on the inner rather than the outer parts of the eyes, using a soft hand when lining the top lids.
To achieve large, round eyes, line the top eyelids, making the line slightly fuller at the outer corners.
Well-defined eyebrows frame and accent your eyes, opening up your face so that you actually need less make-up.
First, shape or tidy your brows. Comb your brows, then fill in with eyebrow pencil to cover bald patches and give a stronger, more defined look. Use feathery strokes and blend carefully.
Start by looking down and coating the top side of your upper lashes with mascara. Next, look up and place the mascara wand right into the roots of your top lashes, sweeping up to the tips with a slight zig-zag motion to work the colour in thoroughly. This will lift and lengthen your lashes, giving root definition and separating them at the same time. Coat your lashes two or three times, allowing them to dry between coats.
To define your lower lashes, use the tip of the wand and gently work the brush horizontally over the lashes. Rectify any mistakes with a cotton bud.
Lip colour is the quickest and easiest way to update your look and transform your face. It's a good idea to use lipliner first to give definition and enhance and improve your lips' natural shape. Lipliner creates a barrier to give your lipstick greater staying power and prevent it from bleeding onto the surrounding skin and into wrinkles and fine lines. Either choose a lipliner to match your lipstick or a natural shade close to your own natural lip colour, which will work with any lipstick.
Begin at the centre of each lip and work your liner out towards the corners of the mouth. You can use lip liner to balance uneven lips, but try to stick fairly closely to your natural lip line.
Next, fill in with lipstick. Applying lipstick with a lip brush gives greater precision and can help it to last longer. Blot your lips with tissue, then apply a second coat of lipstick.
If in doubt about which lipstick to choose, bear in mind that a pink lip colour can make teeth look whiter and the whole face rosier. A shiny texture, especially on a natural lipstick colour, adds dimension to your lips, making them appear younger and fuller. Dark colours and a matt texture make lips appear smaller.