What girl doesn’t enjoy playing in makeup on some level? I definitely do! And, thanks to YouTube gurus, I’ve gotten pretty good at beating my own face over the years. One thing I know to be challenging for a lot of us is sustaining a look for the duration of a long event, especially when food is involved. And when you’re hosting a dinner or party, it’s even more stressful because you are serving, introducing, cleaning, etc. all night and hardly have time to step away from your guests. Since it’s prime time for events right now I thought it would be helpful to learn about simple ways to combat that this holiday season. Between Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and all the other gatherings that may occur, you and I will likely host or attend multiple parties. I’m not a beauty blogger by any means, though, so I tapped someone who IS an expert.

Ashley’s 9 to 5 is in accounting and finance but her 5 to 9 is all things beauty–hair, makeup, skincare, you name it! We met in our sorority at Baylor (our hair and makeup skills have come a loooong way since then) and she has become one of my closest friends. After getting her degrees, she underwent formal training to become a makeup pro so this girl can do everything from balance a budget to create the perfect smoky eye. Through her business, Bella by Ashley Monique, she beautifies everyone from brides to girl bosses…and even me. 🙂  I sat down with her to get the best tips and product recommendations we need to look flawless all night long.

Dinner Party Perfect Makeup Tips with Ashley Byrd

Q: What is important to keep in mind when applying makeup or getting it done for an event?

“Knowing your skin type is key! I can typically tell right away if a client has dry skin, but I always ask my clients if they tend to get oily and if so, where? This helps me to correctly prep the skin. Many people (myself included) have combination skin, dry in certain areas and oily in our T-zone. That is critical to note because it dictates which primer to use and where, which foundation brand to use, and it helps the artist select the right concealer.”

Q: As a hostess, you never want to leave your guests unattended for too long but makeup meltdowns happen. What’s a good, discreet product for quick touch-ups?

“A flesh-toned pressed powder is a must have. Hosting is a busy task and with all that moving and shaking you’re bound to work up a sweat. You’ll want to keep a powder on you so you can step away for a second, pat the oily areas, and get right back to your guests.”

Q: To me, lipstick is the makeup gateway. It’s the easiest thing to experiment with and can help you look put-together all by itself. It’s also so easy to smudge while eating and drinking! What are your recommendations for lip color to last through dinner and drinks?

“Regardless of which lipstick you choose to apply, it is important to first condition your lips. Some formulas are more drying so moisturizing is critical. Next, take a tissue paper and blot off any excess. The last (and most important) thing for a dinner party is applying a long-lasting lipstick & keeping it in your purse for a touch up when you’re done eating. I personally love Milani Amore Matte Lip Crèmes. They are inexpensive and give a bold, long-lasting matte finish!”

QWhat one product do you recommend to keep the face in place all night?”

“Primer! A solid base not only keeps your makeup in place all night, it also helps reduce the appearance of pores giving you a smoother finish. Pro tip: Apply primer to the eye to intensify your eyeshadow colors.”

Q: Any pointers on maximizing the staying power of a fragrance?”

“I suggest taking either Vaseline or Aquaphor and rubbing a small amount into your wrists and neck, then spray your perfume atop the areas. Prepare to smell amazing all day long!”

Q: Every oily-skinned girl (including me!) needs to know: what’s the best blotting product?

Shiseido Sweat & Oil Blotting Paper is my absolute favorite. It’s a gentle sheet that removes shine without moving your makeup and at only $12 a pop it’s just a few bucks more than Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, the leading drug store product.”

Q: After I throw (or even attend) a party I just want to crash. Taking off my makeup at this point can feel like a chore but I know it isn’t good to sleep in it. What is a good, no-excuses product to use for times like those?

“I recommend Neutrogena Cleansing Towelettes. They work for sensitive skin by breaking down and removing dirt & oil from the skin.”

Q: What are your top three products right now and what does each do well?

“(1) I’m obsessed with the Sigma Beauty Flat Kabuki Foundation Brush (F80) it distributes and helps blend my foundation quickly and easily. (2) Inglot Pigments have my heart right now. With all of the holiday parties and events happening, my clients are looking for over-the-top glam and these loose pigments deliver every time! I apply the product directly to the lid and inner corner for a glittery festive look. (3) NARS Taj Mahal blush is another favorite of mine! In the winter, I love to warm up the face and this is my go-to. It is a burnt orange blush with hints of golden shimmer and OMG when applied to brown skin is just orgasmic! It absorbs just enough into the skin to give you a natural, fresh-faced, radiant glow.”

Q: What is one product/step/tip you can’t do your makeup without?

“Concealer! Even if you don’t contour, under eye concealer will be your best friend when you’ve had a long week and the lines under your eyes show it! I use MAC Studio Fix Concealer to fill in the lines before I apply my foundation, then go on top of the same area with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer.”

***One thing we did not cover is nail polish so I want to share a few of the items that work well for me. As someone who cooks and works with my hands a lot around the house, it is hard to keep my nails always looking neat and chip-free. [I’ve never done acrylic and rarely do shellac.] These are some of my favorite at-home gel polishes and they’re very affordable!

This post is little different from what I usually share. Let me know below if you want to see more like it. Thanks for reading!Signature Dash of Jazz