What separates a low-key get-together with friends from a full-on party? Some might say it’s the guest list or the venue. For us, it’s the makeup look. Casual celebrations can be, well, causal, while parties generally call for a bit of glitz and glam. In our eyes, the best way to embrace the party spirit is with a standout party makeup look, like a bold smoky eye or a statement-making lip look.
If you need help deciding how to do your makeup for your next celebration, you’ve come to the right place. Ahead, we’ve compiled some of our best tips for creating a party makeup look that lasts. You’ll also find inspiration in the form of 14 distinct party-ready makeup ideas. Whether you’re attending a birthday party, a graduation bash, or celebrating your fave holiday, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover your next party makeup look.
How To Do Party Makeup: 3 Tips
There are countless different ways you can do your party makeup—it all depends on the event and the vibe you’re after. That being said, there are some things to keep in mind when you’re creating any celebratory look. Here are three tips to help ensure your party makeup—whether glamorous, playful, or subtle—is on-point for the party (or afterparty).
1. Prep Your Skin Well
Prepping your skin with makeup primer doesn’t just help your makeup apply smoother and more evenly: It can also help it last longer. When picking a primer, we suggest looking for a formula that’s suitable for your skin type and skin concerns. Those with drier skin, for example, tend to do well with hydrating primers; for oilier skin, mattifying primers may be ideal. For more tips, check out our article Prime Time: How To Pick The Right Makeup Primer.
2. Set Your Look
Setting your makeup is a great way to help it last longer—and it’s an especially important step to take if you’ll be dancing the night away. After finishing your makeup, give your face a generous misting of setting spray to help lock the look into place. At NYX Professional Makeup, we have a handful of different setting spray options. Read our article, Why Setting Sprays Really Work, to figure out which one is best for you.
3. Bring Products For Touch-Ups
Touching up your makeup is a great way to help ensure your look stays fresh throughout the festivities. Throw a few essentials in your bag; that way, if anything does get smudged, you can fix it up in a flash.
14 Party Makeup Looks We Love
Now that you’re armed with our party makeup tips, we’re ready to share 14 glamorous and fun makeup looks for any celebration.
Love your lips? Play them up with Shine Loud High Line Liquid Lip Color. This two-in-one lip gloss features an ultra-pigmented base coat on one end and a non-sticky, high-shine top coat on the other. Pick your favorite bold shade, and swipe the base coat onto clean, dry lips. After 30 seconds, apply the glossy top coat for a burst of shine. You’ll get up to 16 hours of smudge-proof, transfer-resistant wear with an ultra-reflective finish. For maximum impact, we recommend keeping the rest of your makeup minimal: With this look, you want your pigmented pout to be the star of the show.
For those who prefer matte lip looks, we have our XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick. Each of the 32 shades is packed with pigment that delivers all-day color with a smooth, matte finish. Opt for a bright hue to make a bold statement, sans shine, or reach for a softer nude shade to get a more sultry, subtle look.
If you ask us, last-all-night parties are the perfect time to bust out sparkles. Enter: Ultimate Glow Shots. These liquid eyeshadows come in 13 bold shades that leave your lids glowy and shimmery. Plus, the vitamin C-infused formula delivers up to 12 hours of wear without flaking or fallout. Apply your favorite hue directly onto bare lids, layer it over your favorite NYX Professional Makeup powder eyeshadow, or pair it with our metallic Pigments for a seriously lit look.
Classic and timeless, winged eyeliner is a look you can rock to any party, day or night. For a sharp, defined wing, we recommend using a liquid eyeliner, like our Vivid Matte Liquid Liner in Black. It boasts a thin brush tip for precise liner application, and the ultra-pigmented formula is resistant to flaking, fading, and smudging. If you need help perfecting your wing, turn to our article Eyeliner 101: How To Apply Eyeliner Like a Real Pro—it breaks down all the steps in detail.
To stand out at the party (and in pictures), add adhesive rhinestone accents to your look. There are plenty of ways you can wear your rhinestones, but we love using them to accent the corners of the eyes.
First, sweep a shimmery eyeshadow, such as our Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese, onto your lids. Then, create a dramatic wing on your upper lash line with your go-to liquid eyeliner (our pick: Vivid Matte Liquid Liner). Once your liner is dry, adhere some miniature rhinestones at the innermost corners of your eyes and at the outermost edge of your wing. The effect is eye-catching and striking—perfect for getting into the party spirit.
Parties are a great opportunity to test-drive one of those fun makeup looks you’ve saved on TikTok. With our Ultimate Color Palette in Brights, you can create any number of bold and colorful eyeshadow looks. A great place to start is with creating a gradient of rainbow colors on your lids. You can include all seven ROYGBIV shades or pick just a few hues. Either way, just make sure to blend between colors for a gorgeous fade.
If you need some guidance, cool tones like blues and greens look great on those with fairer skin, while sunset shades like pinks, reds, and yellows complement warm skin tones well. Keep in mind that if you’re going super-bold with your eyes, you’ll want to balance it out with a neutral lip so as not to overpower your look.
Another way to draw attention to your eyes is with a smoky eyeshadow look. For this, you’ll need an eyeshadow palette (we recommend the Ultimate Color Palette in Warm Neutrals), as well as some brushes for blending your colors out. Sweep a medium shade over your lid, then buff a darker hue into your crease for depth and drama. Blend the colors together well—you want it to be a soft, smoky gradient—then add a touch of highlight to your inner corners and brow bone. For added intensity, you can use your crease shade to darken your lower lash line.
Catch the attention of your fellow party-goers by lining your upper and lower lash lines with a bold, metallic eyeliner. There are several options in our Epic Wear Liner Sticks collection, including pigment-packed shades of silver and bronze. The waterproof and smudge-proof liner delivers up to 36 hours of wear, making it perfect for all-night dance parties.
Glowy and Sculpted
Glow big or go home—that’s our mantra. With this look, you’ll be channeling your inner ‘80s partier and rocking a radiant, contoured visage. Creating it is easy; reach for the Wonder Stick Contour and Highlighter Stick, which features a creamy matte contour shade on one end and a coordinating shimmery cream highlighter on the other. Use the darker shade to carve out your cheekbones, define your jawline, and contour your nose. Then, flip the stick over and highlight the high points of your face. Finish the look with our Dewy Setting Spray for an extra dose of glow.
There’s something undeniably chic about using the same shade on your cheeks, lips, and eyes. And—better yet—it’s as close to effortless as you can get. Here’s how to do it. First, pick out the shade of Wonder Stick Blush that best suits your skin tone. Then, use it to add a flush of color to your cheeks. Apply a similar shade of eyeshadow and lipstick for an effect that’s equal parts glam, understated, and ethereal.
You don’t need to be born with brow-grazing lashes to rock a bold lash look. For lengthy lashes, we recommend Jumbo Lash! Longwear False Lash System. Included in this set is a pair of our classic Jumbo Lash! Vegan False Lashes, plus the Jumbo Lash! 2-in-1 Liner & Lash Adhesive you’ll need to apply them. Just line your upper lash line with the pigmented adhesive liner, let it dry for a few seconds, then carefully pop on your lashes. You’ll get up to 12 hours of fluttery, jumbo lash wear without the need to pile on mascara. When you’re done for the day (or night), don’t forget to save the lash strip—it’s reusable up to 15 times.
Ombré lips look like a makeup artist masterpiece, but it’s a super easy look to put together. To nail your ombré lip look, you’ll need two lipsticks. One in a lighter color, and the other, a few shades darker (the more contrast between the two shades, the more dramatic your end result will be).
Apply the darker shade to the outer third of your lips, and use the lighter shade to color the center of your pout. Then, press your lips together or use your fingers to blend the edges where the colors meet. Done right, you should have a soft gradient of color.
We love this look because you can customize it to suit your beauty vibe. Using complementary hues (like pink and red) produces a more subtle end result, while opting for contrasting shades is playful and unexpected. Both, however, are worth adding to your party makeup repertoire.
If your party persona leans more playful than polished, this look should be right up your alley. It’s a modern take on the classic cat eye, using colorful eyeliner rather than the standard black. You can achieve it with our Vivid Brights Colored Liquid Liner in the shade of your choosing, as well as some bold black mascara (we recommend On The Rise Volume Liftscara).
Use the liner to draw an exaggerated wing along your upper lash line, then sweep the mascara onto your upper and lower lashes for a ‘60s-inspired mod look. Feel free to play around with the shape of your wing, too: With this look, the more unexpected, the better. You can also take the look to a whole new level by using a second shade of eyeliner to outline your wing.
Not all parties call for bold colors and glitter. Sometimes, you just want to look like you—but better. Those occasions require a low-key, no-makeup makeup look. Start by prepping your skin with Marshmellow Smoothing Primer, then conceal any imperfections with our medium-coverage Bare With Me Concealer Serum. Next, define and tame your brows with Thick It Stick It! Brow Gel, and finish your low-key look with a swipe of lip gloss. Our pick: Fat Oil Lip Drip, which provides a subtle hint of color and leaves your lips feeling moisturized, not sticky.
Next: Looking for more fun makeup ideas? Check out our article These Prom Makeup Looks Will Last All Night Long.