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After Dark Neutrals

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As we move towards party season now’s the time to start thinking about your makeup look. Will it be your usual failsafe black smoky eyes? Or maybe you’re keen to try out a palette of brights? If you’re unsure which direction to take then allow us to point you in the direction of neutrals, one of the easiest and most flattering looks around that’s proved a hit everywhere from the catwalks to celebrity red carpets. Easy to wear and even easier to create, we spoke to Space NK Senior Pro Artist Arif Khan to get all the tips and tricks on how to wear it your way this party season.

Build Up Your Look

If you know you’re heading out straight from work to a party or drinks, then it’s wise to think ahead and plan your daytime makeup look so that it can be easily tweaked later on. Neutrals are an easy and suits-all option that work for both day and night. Space NK Senior Pro Artist Arif Khan agrees: “A big trend on the runway for this season was smoky neutrals. It’s all about having a nude colour palette on the eyes, lips and cheeks [in the day] and then for the evening I would amp up the application, top up with eyeliner (black or brown to make eyes stand out and lashes fuller) and a coating of mascara.”

Try Kevyn Aucoin Emphasize Eye Design Palette in Unblinking for a fool-proof set of neutral eyeshadows. A word of advice for your daytime look – keep everything light and blendable so that you don’t create heavy layers that are hard to build on top off later on.

Find Your Shade

Neutral shades really come into their own when worn on the eyes but what colours you opt for is a personal choice. If you’re unsure which will suit you, take a tip from the experts: “You can never, ever go wrong with a brown smoky eye! It flatters every skin tone, every eye colour and will not clash with any outfit choice!” says Arif. If you don’t fancy brown, then look to shimmering versions of your favourite day time shades or enhance your eyes with jewel tones befitting of the season. Rich metallic champagne is a chic choice for evenings, while coppers and pewters add a flash of decadence to lids in an instant.

When it comes to your lips, neutrals such as nudes and browns work well for everyone and are the perfect foil to neutral eye and cheek colours, you just need to find the right shade for your skin. Anyone with cool undertones in their skin – pink, blue or red hues – tend to suit lip colours with similarly cool bluish undertones  while those with warmer undertones – peach, olive or golden – can opt for red or orange-based browns.

Choose Your Formula

Once you’ve chosen your colours now’s the time to think about how to wear them. Rather than simply opting for neutral shades of powder shadows why not amp it up with a cream shadow that will give a touch of iridescence. You could also try adding a slick of clear gloss across your eyeshadow for a wet-look neutral look. “You can even top your shadow with a glitter such as Chantecaille Luminescent Eye Shade in Cheetah for fuss-free glam, says Arif.

If you don’t want to pair lipstick with smoky eyes, then lip gloss is a burgeoning trend and one that’s happily low maintenance enough to suit even the most diehard party goer. Hourglass’ Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Glosses come in a selection of brilliantly versatile neutral shades and leaves lips feeling cushioned and soft but not sticky.

Pack The Perfect Kit

If you’re creating your look from the confines of your office desk, then you need the perfect on-the-go kit. Choose multi-purpose products or palettes which cut down the need to cart a heavy makeup bag with you. Charlotte Tilbury’s Luxury Eye Palette in The Sophisticate has great day to night options for smoky eyes while NARS’ Endless Orgasm Palette has everything you need for a faultless all-over look.

Another option is to find minis of your favourite products, just don’t forget to pack your brushes to allow you to make the transition quickly. “The perfect set is the Space NK Ultimate Eye Brush Set with 4 brushes and a makeup bag. You can pop your touch up products inside the makeup bag and keep your handbag makeup smear free” advises Arif.

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