Going Formal- Fancy Party Makeup

This past weekend, my company celebrated 100 years of service. 100 years. That’s an amazing milestone worthy of an over-the-top party. The Centennial gala had been in the works for over a year now, and you know I’m a makeup nerd when I couldn’t stop thinking about how it would be an excuse to USE ALL THE MAKEUP THINGS (aka highlighter, highlighter, and more highlighter). When I’m doing fancy party makeup, I try to remember two things: low lighting and photography. I can really pile on the glow because it looks great in mood lighting and I can be more heavy handed with face products because it photographs beautifully.

Since I knew I’d be taking my time getting ready, and really piling it on, I sat down at my makeup station to document. When I sat down, I only knew one thing- the look must have falsh lashes and lots of highlighter. The rest? I winged it.

My dress was silver with tons of sequins. I wanted warm smokey eyes, and nude lips and face.Here is the result- wanna know how I got there? Keep reading.


What I love about how this turned out, is that it’s a lot of makeup, without looking like a lot of makeup. Seeing the pics now, I’d say this is a very wearable glam look, and I got TONS of compliments on it. It looked great in the low-lighting of the party, and I have no regrets as I flip back through the photos.

I’m going to speed through the process you’ve seen a hundred times by now: Red skin to full coverage. A bit of concealer on the cheeks, and a mix of my two fav foundations- Estee Lauder Double Wear and MAC Studio Fix Fluid. Both long wearing, matte foundations for oily and textured skin. Separate- awesome. Together- AMAZING.

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Then, my sister called. She, too, was attending the gala. So we chatted. And chatted. And chatted. And I neglected to record a few steps. So to catch up, I did brows, a bit of undereye concealer and highlight, patted a light, shiny highlight shade in my inner corner on the eyelid, then lined my upper lash line with a SUPER thick line of brown waterproof eyeliner to start creating shape.

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The best smokey eye shadows that I revisit again and again is from an ancient smokey eye palette from MAC (luckily the shades are permanent and still available). I run the shade Club over that liner with an angled brush to soften the liner, deepen the color, and create a dense lash line. Then I take that same shade on a fluffy shade brush and take it on the outer corner and bring it inward in the crease. To really make my eyes the focal point and make them appear wider, I placed the shadow quite wide on the outer corner. I shaded the brush directly up from the lower lash line (via cat-eye method) then swept it in. With false lashes creating such a large fanned area, I wanted lots of smokey haze to be the backdrop. Anyway, back to the eyeshadow. See how much I love that shade, Club? I think I need to buy a new one…

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Then I took the shade, Satin Taupe (the other shade with lots of pan showing) and swept it on my mobile lid for transition. I grabbed my Makeup Geek Foiled Shadow in Starry Eyed and patted it on the inner corner over the darker shadows for extra sparkle, highlight, and dimension.

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I ran more of the darker shade along my lower lash line, and curled my lashes and applied a light coat of mascara pre-falsh lashes. This helps my natural lashes integrate with the false ones. If I didn’t curl them and coat them in mascara, they’d be sticking out like straight, flat, depressed little clues that the other lashes weren’t real.

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I hope you all know how much I prayed to the false eyelash gods that this would go well.

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You can still see the glue drying in the pick above, but once they were on, I was THRILLED!

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If only my eyelashes were as lush in real life. I ran a bit of eyeliner over the band to cover any glue and tightlined the HELL out of my lash line to  really make those lashes look like mine. (Ardell’s Wispies if anyone was wondering- bought them at CVS).

Got out a new bronzer to try for this fancy event. I was a little more heavy handed than normal, but again, looks GREAT in photos. The bronzer is tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Bronzer. It works. Warm, not to orange. A little deeper than my Pixi go-to, but overall I really like it. I supplemented the bronze with a bit of contour from Makeup Geek’s Barcelona Beach eyeshadow. It’s a little to ashy on its own, but paired with a bronzer, it adds depth and shadow.

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I used the Hourglass Blush in Mood Exposure for a soft pink that wouldn’t be too assertive, but would also prevent serious wash-out in photos. These blushes all have a ribbon of highlighter through them, which served as a great base for my absolute highlighting bonanza with the holy grail Mary-Lou Manizer from the Balm. On the tops of the cheek bones, down the bridge of my nose. swiped on the cupids bow. ALL THE PLACES.

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I may or may not have enjoyed the getting ready process with a delicious beverage.

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Finally, for my lips I used Colour Pop’s matte lipcolor in Cookie followed by a swipe of Tanya Burr’s lipgloss in Champagne Toast. Nude. Sparkly. Perfect.

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Forgive the moody look in the photos, but I LOVED the way this turned out.





Any looks you’d like me to demonstrate? Let me know! You can find me on Instagram and Twitter

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4 thoughts on “Going Formal- Fancy Party Makeup

  1. I may have already mentioned this 😉 but this is my favorite! I am always worried about not looking fancy enough at events without a bold lip color, but to tell you the truth, I don’t always want all that lipstick worrying me when I’m trying to have fun! I feel like this is a look I can accomplish and feel glamorous too. Thanks Macy!

  2. Macy – a follow up question for you. I need a nice matte bronzer. I’m headed to Sephora this weekend, but I trust your advice much more!!! What should I get?

    1. Katie- Two Faced has some nice shades with varying degrees of darkness. They are matte and smell like cocoa! I got a sample of one and I like it a lot. Deep, but not too orange. I use a Pixi bronzer because I’m SUPA pale. Although it has a slight sheen, NARS Laguna is a cult classic- can’t go wrong.

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