What is the best make-up for a glittering party season?

Never mind taste and sophistication. Glam up: we have entered ‘the glittering’

Party-season make-up from Stila, Mac, Catrice and Chanel

Party-season make-up from Stila, Mac, Catrice and Chanel

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There is a time for the elegant subtlety of pared-back, skin-first make-up. That time is not now. We have entered what I like to think of as “the glittering” – a six -week period in the midst of the grimness of winter when it is advisable and enjoyable to take inspiration from that classic style icon, the Christmas tree. Words such as “tasteful” and “sophisticated” are dispensed with, and we all get to have a bit of fun. At other times of the year, sparkle and sequins may raise the odd begrudging eyebrow but during party season, even curmudgeons can get on board.

If you’re still reluctant, consider that a festive make-up is more affordable and wearable than some of the more delightfully vulgar seasonal garments. There is a gold sequin dress from LK Bennett which I have taken to googling winsomely, but which I cannot afford and would never have anywhere to wear. Instead, in homage to that spectacular and impractical garment, I will wear an equivalent bolt of gold sparkle on my eyes.

If you want to dig into the sparkle but are unsure where to start, Stila 3D Dazzle Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Set (number 1 in photograph; €36, Harvey Nichols Dundrum) features three of the best entry-level glitters (warning – they are gateway glitters; addiction may result). Since it is a creamy liquid product, you won’t get dropdown or have a nightmare applying it. The Kitten Karma shade in the set is like no glitter you have ever seen. It is like someone melted money on to your eyelids, without the grievous injury.

For the more adept at application, Mac Shiny Pretty Things Mini Glitter & Pigments Kit in gold (2; €30, Arnotts) is a delicious set from Mac which is excellent value. Two glitters and two powder pigments give you options for different eye looks, with even a light application of the glitter looking like fairy lights for eyes. If you are going intense on the eyes, you can of course go intense on the lips but I love a nude lipstick to keep the focus on the eye. Be careful – you can pick up an entire party season look at MAC without batting a lashed eyelid. Its Cremesheen Lipstick in Babetown (3; €20, Arnotts) from the Christmas collection is a beauty basic that will see you through the summer, but in a flashy silver bullet that thrills the inner magpie.

Party season looks are all about manipulating light so don’t stop at the eyes. Catrice High Glow Mineral Highlighter (4; €5.50, Penneys) is the best affordable highlighter around, particularly for paler skin. For even more intensely festive light reflection, nothing tops a glossy red lip. Wear Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in Flaming Lips (5; €31, Brown Thomas) alone or over your favourite red lipstick for a juicy, iridescent effect that’s just perfectly too much. Don’t be afraid of amping up your look over the next few weeks. Everyone (yes, everyone) can wear fun, dramatic make-up.

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