When it comes to touching up your hair and makeup at work, scrubbing your face clean and starting from scratch is not an option. So we asked top makeup artists and hairstylists how to make the transition from sedate to dramatic while using the least amount of products.
The Best Touch-ups Begin at Home
By applying the bare minimum of makeup in the morning, you cut the risk of creasing and caking later in the day. So start with a tinted moisturiser or a sheer foundation, followed by a primer-and-mascara duo (which should deliver a long-lasting coat that doesn’t need a second one) and a neutral, rosy lipstick. “Pack the items you’ll need for the evening: a dark lipstick if you’re planning on a strong mouth, eyeliner and smoky eye shadow if you plan on strong eyes instead, translucent powder to absorb shine and an eyebrow pencil with a spooly brush on one end,” says Tonya Crooks, a makeup artist who grooms the brows of Megan Fox.
Refresh Your Complexion
Whether you’re coming in from a long lunch or heading out the door for the evening, the linchpin of the touch-up is clean, healthy-looking skin. Job No. 1 is to cancel out imperfections: Blot out breakthrough shine with oil-absorbing rice-paper tissues. If your skin is dry, spray your face with rosewater and redistribute your existing foundation with a clean makeup sponge. Cover blemishes or dark circles with a creamy light-reflecting concealer, rub a little cream blush onto the apples of your cheeks and set everything with a light dusting of translucent pressed powder (or the talc-covered side of the rice-paper tissues).
Eyeliner for Evening
The quickest way to define your eyes at night is with eyeliner, says makeup artist Eugenia Weston. “Use a gel liner because it goes on creamily and gives you some playtime, unlike liquid eyeliner that dries so fast it demands precision,” she says. “Using a fine eyeliner brush, draw the line gradually thicker as it approaches the outer edge of the lid, and add a small cat-eye wing if you like.
“Fill in your brows with an eye pencil and brush them upward with the spooly end. And if you’re going for a strong eye, which I think you should because dim restaurant lighting calls for it, stroke on eye shadow in deep plummy brown, eggplant or espresso. If you must have more mascara, wet your fingers slightly to moisten your lashes and soften the old coat. Let dry, and then apply a new one, separating lashes with a tiny metal comb.”
Hair in a Hurry
“If your locks are droopy or oily, spray the roots with a dry shampoo and brush out thoroughly,” says stylist Lia Dominguez. (Dry shampoo will add volume and traction for styling.) Using a rat-tail comb, tease the top for a little height and secure your hair into a French twist with four bobby pins.
“After work, give your hair a good brushing and gather it up into a high Barbie ponytail, which can look fun and youthful,” says Christopher Dove, creative director of The Doves salon. “It also gives a nice sleek curve to the back of your head.” Final touch-up tip: Ditch the plain brown or black elastic band for a slightly wider fabric-covered one in a colour that coordinates with your blouse, dress, shoes or handbag.