So, party make-up. I’m assuming the partying is going to happen straight from work and that most people don’t have time to go home to redo their face first. Most people don’t go to work with a rucksack’s worth of make-up, either; plus, evening bags tend to be on the small side. Hence palettes, where, technically, everything you need is in one case. The trouble is, I seldom find this to be true. Palettes are often gorgeously beautiful, but they’re not often that much cop in terms of what you actually need. You end up with a scenario where two of the trays are nearly empty, one is barely touched, and everything else is pristine, which is both annoying and a waste of money. So, piece of advice number one is buy an empty palette and decant whatever you need into it with a knife, provided that what you need is creamy and won’t fly or splosh everywhere. Foundation, concealer, cream blush, cream shadow, couple of lipstick shades — voilà. Love-makeup.co.uk is one of the many places that will sell you a cheap empty palette with anything from 4 to 35 spaces (from £6).
If you want more stuff to carry about with you, then eye-wise you can’t go wrong with Charlotte Tilbury eye-shadow palettes (£38). These are colour-coded. If you’re the kind of person who goes, “Very pretty, but I’ve no idea what to do with it,” they’re the palettes for you. They will give you amazing eyes with minimal effort. She also does really great eye pencils called Colour Chameleon (£19). Speaking of which, the eyeliners by the splendidly named Anastasia Beverly Hills (£16) stay put for days — actual days — even inside the water line (the “wet” bit of your inner lid), which is handy in the extreme if the party carries on into the next week. And in thrilling news, the world’s best foundation, Armani Maestro, now exists in compact form (£30), so you can stick it in your handbag/pocket. Personally, on rushing out, my freakishly long eyelashes and I would grab just this and a festive lipstick.
Working on the basis of bigger is better, more is more, is Santhilea Magnetic Lash mascara (£25). Not for every day, unless giant falsies are your thing, but really incredible. It will give you insanely long lashes, even if they’re stumpy to start off with. I’ve never seen anything quite like it; lash extensions in a tube, basically.
Nutrition corner. After the party comes the hangover, for which the only remedy is a full English, tea and a full-fat Coke. If the eye bags are very bad, and you are unable to stay on the sofa for several days, you might want to apply a teeny bit of haemorrhoid cream to them — the size of half a pea — and pat it gently on. Nothing else works as well, I’m afraid.