Beauty School: How To Do Black Tie Makeup Without Looking Like A Clown

I’m going to a (fancy!) black tie gala, and I’m at a total loss for how to do my makeup. How do I get a (fancy!) evening face without looking like I painted everything on?

The easiest way to avoid looking overly “done” is to opt for a classic makeup look. Your goal should be sophisticated, grown-up glamour and elegance — think Grace Kelly. A crucial element is a totally flawless complexion, so allow plenty of time to prepare the skin well, and apply foundation to ensure a long-lasting base.

First, cleanse and exfoliate the face thoroughly; apply a hydrating mask and a generous amount of moisturizer. Use a hydrating eye serum as well. Nothing says “painted on” more than flaking foundation.

Start with the eyes, that way you don’t have to completely reapply your face if shadow smudges. Tidy the brows and emphasize the arch. Pat a little concealer or primer over the lid to neutralize any redness. Apply pale beige of cream eyeshadow over the lid from the lash line to the browbone, then blend a slightly darker neutral shade into the socket crease. Using a gunmetal eye pencil, draw along the upper lash line, working the tip between the lashes for added volume. Draw just under the lower lashes and soften the line with a smudger. Curl the lashes and apply lengthening mascara.

Prep the face well and apply illuminating primer. Choose a foundation with a matte finish and work it thoroughly into the skin. Apply concealer where needed, then dust lightly with translucent powder. A touch of highlighter on the points of the cheekbones and chin contours the face into a perfect oval. Then create a natural glow by sweeping a little pink powder blush onto the apples of the cheeks and blending it along the cheekbones.

For the lips, dab concealer around the lip area and over the lip itself. This will remove any redness so that the line of the lips will be sharp and defined. Spend time drawing the perfect symmetrical outline with a red lip pencil. Fill in the color with the pencil and smooth it out with a brush. Apply a creamy scarlet lipstick over the top, blot, and reapply for long lasting finish.

Jemma Kidd is a world-renowned makeup artist who has painted the faces of Naomi Campbell and Jerry Hall, and now she’s here to solve all of your beauty dilemmas. Not only does she have two makeup lines of her own — Jemma Kidd Make Up School and JK Jemma Kidd — she’s also worked with Max Factor, Rimmel, and Stila. Yes, she’s a total beauty guru. Have a question for Jemma? Email it to info@styleite.com!

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