Make-up for special events

A few weeks ago, I was at the salon having a pedicure. Another lady was having her hair and makeup done, for a special event I presume. What irked me was that her makeup totally sucked (unblended orangey bronze and electric blue eyeshadow, need I say more?) AND she seemed totally fine with it! This brings me to a pet peeve of mine: Why would anyone in her right mind pay to have her makeup done, and sometimes terribly at that?! With practice, anyone can do their own makeup for daily wear and/or events. Let me tell you  about how you can achieve this.

Last year, my good friend Debbie was part of the entourage for her cousin’s wedding. She asked me to do her makeup and to give her some tips about how she could recreate the look in the future. For this post, I’m documenting the look that I created for her. I will do a separate post on how to get makeup to last for hours at a time.

Maybelline Clear Smooth Gel Foundation and Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation
Maybelline Clear Smooth Gel Foundation and Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation


Debbie is one of those lucky people with flawless skin. After using a face primer, I applied a light layer of liquid foundation, adding a bit more coverage to the areas that needed it (e.g. a bit of redness around the nose, the occasional blemish). I set everything with a light dusting of loose powder/mineral foundation powder.


Debbie wanted me to use bronze/brown shades for her eyes, so I brought out my much-loved limited edition Smashbox eyeshadow palette. I know I’m not helping by referring to a product that is now discontinued, but you can look for shadows/palettes that feature similar shades and use those to get the same effect.

From the Smashbox Fall 2009 Reign Collection: Baked eyeshadow palette in Monarch

I used the metallic bronze shade all over her lid, blending it well into the crease/eye socket. I then blended the two matte brown shades from the palette and applied the resulting color unto her eyes’ outer corners and into her eye creases. I then used the sparkly offwhite shade (the big circle of color in the leftmost part of the palette) to highlight her eyes’ inner corners.

I lined her lower lashline with a brown pencil, applied false eyelashes on her top lashline, and then applied mascara to blend her top lashes and the falsies.

I also added a bit of emphasis to her brows using the two matte brown shades from the palette. Tip: In a pinch, you can use eyeshadow in place of brow products.

Cheeks and Lips

On the cheeks, I used a light dusting of peach-toned blush. For the lips: After a light coat of lip balm, I applied red lipstick straight from the tube.

MAC Powder Blush in Peachtwist
MAC Powder Blush in Peachtwist
The Body Shop Colourglide Lip Colour in 21 Soft Red
The Body Shop Colourglide Lip Colour in 21 Soft Red


Here are some pictures of Debbie: at the church, during the reception, and at dinner after the event (with her, uhm, make-up artist).

Debbie at the church
Debbie at the church
Debbie at the reception
Debbie at the reception
Me and Debbie
And no, we didn’t wear the same color shirt on purpose 🙂


Disclaimer: Admittedly, I have taken some classes on professional make-up application. However, at the time that I did Debbie’s makeup, I had no professional training whatsoever; my “experience” consisted of watching countless makeup tutorials on YouTube, reading books on makeup application, and (most importantly) practicing on myself and anyone willing to serve as my model. All things that anyone with the inclination and  time can do, don’t you think?

2 thoughts on “Make-up for special events”

  1. Given only five minutes to prep my face before I have to head out the door, I will usually just use the following products:

    – a bit of foundation or concealer ONLY on blemishes
    – face powder
    – black mascara on top lashes, brown or gray eyeliner on bottom lashline
    – blush
    – lipstick that is of the same tone as the blush

    This combo gives me the minimum of definition and color, but it’s enough to make me look presentable. If you do try this out, let me know how it works for you, okay? 🙂

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