Matching your makeup to your outfit
Matchy-matchy is tacky. "If you're dressed to the nines, your face should be low-drama," says makeup artist Jemma Kidd. That means if your clothes are bright, stick to a neutral palette; if your outfit is metallic, avoid shadow and lipstick with shine, and go with smoky eyeliner.
Playing up your eyes and lips
Make a decision—it's one or the other, not both. If you accentuate your eyes, wear lip gloss in a shade that's transparent, like champagne, says makeup artist Troy Surratt. If you focus on your lips, do the reverse and brush on soft brown eye shadow.
Shining too brightly
There should be only one disco ball at any party. To make your skin look dewy, apply shimmer—not glitter—strategically (and sparingly) to one feature. On the eyelids and inner corners, try a creamy shadow or a gleaming highlighter; apply a powder highlighter on the cheekbones; or go with a sparkling nude lip gloss.
An unbelievable bronze
"Women often choose a bronzer that's too dark for their skin and blend it all over their face," says makeup artist Mally Roncal. The trick is picking the right one: Make sure it's a powder and that it's golden, not orangey or muddy brown. (If you're fair, look for a bronzer that's tan or honey-colored; for medium skin, a medium brown or terra-cotta bronzer is ideal; and for dark complexions, try a deep, coppery shade. Just don't go more than one shade darker than your skin tone.) Load it onto a powder brush, tap off the excess, and then start applying it to your jawline, nose, cheeks, forehead, and even your chin.
Take a lesson from Midas: Not everything you touch should turn to gold (or silver, or copper, or bronze). Choose two features—max—to highlight with metallic makeup.
Red lipstick that bleeds
Crimson looks best when it's painted on with precision. Start with smooth, balm-coated lips. To keep the color from bleeding, trace the border of your mouth with a liner that matches the natural color of your lips, then fill in the rest. Apply lipstick with a small, synthetic lip brush: Start in the center of the mouth and work the color outward.
Too much powder
A little of the powdery stuff goes a long way. Before you head out, apply a light dusting of loose powder or a very fine pressed powder to help your makeup stay put and keep shine to a minimum. Later,after dancing, don't cake on more powder to get rid of the shine. Instead, use oil-blotting sheets.They're quick, disposable, and you don't need a mirror to use them.
Beyond a tube of lipstick, pack these makeup essentials to keep your look going strong all night long:
* Concealer. Nothing kills your confidence like a blemish that shows up out of nowhere.
* Cotton swabs rolled in eye shadow: store them in a cigarette case, and freshen your shadow in seconds.
* Black eyeliner. As the night progresses, line the inner rim of your eyes with it. All of a sudden, you feel sexy. It's instant fierceness.
* Bold cream blush. Pack the brightest one you have, and blend it on the apples of your cheeks to refresh your look.Even if you don't have any color left on your lips or eyes, it always works.
* A light-colored lipstick or gloss. Any pale pink shade will do.