The Summer Party – The Face. Step 5… The Finishing Touches.


Step 5 – The Finishing Touches

The icing on the cake, the pièce de résistance, whatever you want to call it – these are the final flourishes that will finish off your look.

On the playlist – Nicki Minaj ‘Superbass’

First up its lips! You might be tempted to just grab your favourite lippie and go in all guns blazing, but to really get the most out of your lip colour you need to take some time and give your lips a little TLC.

  • Start by removing any dead skin with a lip scrub – there is nothing worse than lipstick applied onto dry lips that will almost immediately start flaking off. Take the scrub and rub in circular motions with your forefinger or if you really want to get those lips silky smooth a good tip is to rub it in lightly with a childs toothbrush (a normal toothbrush is too abrasive). Not only does this smooth lips, it also has the added bonus of plumping them up a bit.
  • Apply a little lip balm (not loads or anything you put on top will just slide off), rub in and wait a couple of minutes until there is almost no surface residue left.
  • Next, to perfect lip shape and improve staying power you’re going to need lip liner! Choose a liner that matches your lipstick (or if it’s a colour that isn’t too strong or dark, a liner that matches your natural lip colour will work perfectly well for loads of different lipsticks).
  • Part your lips slightly and, following your natural lip line as closely as possible, start from the middle of your cupids bow and draw lightly towards the outer corner. Repeat this going the other way, then do your bottom lip in one fluid motion. If you’re not confident about getting the shape right, using a light hand at first, then going over it once you’re happy really helps.
  • Totally fill in the rest of your lips with the liner – this helps avoid that weird halo of colour around your lips once your lipstick wears off a bit and will act as a waxy anchor for it to stick to.
  • Moving onto lipstick, repeat the patter you just did with the liner – applying straight from the bullet with the top lip first in two halves, then the bottom lip in once smooth motion. Swipe on a couple of layers until you are happy with the coverage.
  • Finally finish it off by blotting – a more advance version of blotting that loads of makeup artists seem to recommend is to place the tissue/loo roll flat over your lips rather than between them and then dab your translucent powder over the tissue.
  • To avoid an embarrassing lipstick-on-the-teeth type situation, put your forefinger in your mouth, gently close your lips around it then pull your finger out – all the lipstick that might have ended up on your gnashers is now on your finger instead!

Now it’s time for those final, final titivations (take a celebratory swig of that prosecco – we’re in the final stretch!)

  • At this point I like to touch up my face with a little more highlighter on my cheekbones and setting powder wherever I think I need it.
  • If you really want your makeup to be 100% secure, especially if you have a problem with oiliness, then you might want to try a setting spray. These are generally mattifying sprays that promise to really seal in everything you’ve just done. Hold the spray at an arms length and spray it so the mist falls over your entire face – DO NOT RUB IT IN, just let it dry naturally.

Don’t look now, but I think you might be done!! Finally your face is acceptable to be shown to the outside world – ladies, if you’ve followed these steps to the letter I promise almost no one will boo and throw tomatoes at you – success! If anyone turns up at the summer party with some nice looking make-up on I will be taking full credit.

All joking aside, I hope you’ve found at least some of these tips useful in your quest for a fabulous face. I’ll see you in the Royal Armouries bathroom for touch ups!

My Personal Favourites…

Lip Scrub – Lush Mint Julips


Not only will the texture of the scrub smooth lips, the tingly mint flavour helps plump and freshen – it’s also made from totally edible ingredients and tastes delicious so if you fancy eating it off have at it! (Get it: Lush)

Lip Liner – MAC Lip Pencil in Soar

Mac S

This lovely mid-tone browny pink will work with sooo many different lipsticks (which makes the £13 price tag hurt a little less) and is also perfect to use on its own with a little lip balm for every day wear. (Get it: Debenhams, John Lewis, Amazon)

Lipstick – MAC Lustre Lipstick in Capricious


I am a total lipstick addict and have a thousand recommendations for different colours and types of lippie, but my ultimate all-rounder award goes to this little baby from MAC. It’s the perfect YLBB (Your Lips But Better) shade, goes on and lasts beautifully and is gorgeous for day or night – mine is right down to a nubbin, time to re-buy!! (Get it: Debenhams, John Lewis, Amazon)

Setting Spray – NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray Matte Finish


Urban Decay’s ‘All Nighter’ is the cult setting spray on the market at the moment, but I find this NYX version works just as well for less than a third of the price (£7 vs. £23.50 – so a real no brainer). (Get it:  Boots)



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