Party make-up: Five great buys for the season of sparkle

Go big with clusters of lashes, dewy primers and easy-for-the-lazy spot tanning

From the office party to drinks that turn into very regrettable kebabs, or a tasteful evening at Aunt Joan's that ends with Uncle Mike swearing on your life that he can eat 30 vol au vents in under two minutes (again), party season is a chance to play with make-up. We have now entered the window of the year when full-on make-up is de rigeur. Come January, sparkle and heaps of make-up will return to its rightful place on the faces of 22 year olds posing for Instagram selfies, but for now, anything goes, and we can all enjoy it.

Victoria Beckham Beauty Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturiser (from £92 at is frighteningly pricey, and, technically, any illuminating primer will give you glow and create a nice base for make-up. However, Beckham teamed up with Augustinus Bader to create this product, and Bader is a world leader in skincare technology. This rich cream is reparative and a three-in-one highlighter, moisturiser and primer. Very young skin simply doesn't need it, but for everyone else, provided you have the budget, it's a sensational buy.

The dewy, sheeny skin trend isn't going anywhere. For a more affordable glowgiver, try the latest skincare addition from cult brand, Glossier, Futuredew (€26 at This serum/oil hybrid gives skin miraculous sheen and a pearly luminescence that looks instantly radiant.

If your skin is oilier, and you'd rather keep the glow to powder products, you can't go wrong with the Catrice Grown Up Glow Palette (€7.90 from pharmacies nationwide). This is a real multitasker – you can use it for eyes and cheeks in a pinch, and it brings instant life to a tired December face. Just sweep on with a clean, fluffy brush for a finish that looks so much more expensive than it is.


Not to neglect the body, but my own long-standing laziness balks at the idea of all that faff around tanning. Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Wash-Off Body Bronzer (€19.99) is from the tan range by Jules Von Hep, celebrity tanner and body-positivity enthusiast. The range includes brilliant, lasting tan options, but this one is great for freezing nights when you only feel like tanning whatever is exposed (just a patch of back, or just the legs – we've all been there). It doesn't stain, has an illuminating glow, and it washes off in the shower. Perfect.

In the spirit of laziness and taking shortcuts, I utterly cannot be doing with strip lashes. Even the best of them feel weighty and require frightening dexterity to apply well. I always stick with little clusters, and you'll find decent ones at your local pharmacy. Sweed Lashes Nikki Cluster (£22 at, however, are the creation of make-up artist Nikki Wolff, whose work is knee-weakeningly beautiful. She has developed these lash clusters which blend into your own lashes perfectly and feel invisible, but give eyes a sumptuous fluffiness that screams "special occasion". Just a couple on the outer corners will give the illusion of more eye, but you can pile them on if you're in the mood to go big.