Makeup: How to Make your Daytime Look Work for Nighttime

Many women face this dilemma; trying to figure out how to go from the office to a dinner date or a cocktail party without completely reapplying all of their makeup. Going home to wash your face and apply makeup in your bathroom is not always an option, nor is it necessary. With these tips, you can take your daytime look to nighttime quickly and easily.

Create a Kit for Your Purse

It is not a bad idea to follow the Boy Scout motto of "be prepared." Women today lead busy lives. Be ready for the spontaneous invitation for a night out by keeping a kit of essentials in your purse or desk at the office. The kit should contain everything you need to turn your daytime look into nighttime fun. Stock up on the travel size versions of the products you love so they won't take up too much room in your bag.

Here are some of the potential items to include:

  • Cotton swabs and makeup remover - use a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover to clean up any smudges, especially around the eye area. Over the course of the day, eyeliner and mascara can leave marks under your eyes, which, if left alone, can make you look tired. Removing this smudged product will perk up your eyes right away.
  • Hair brush, a hair tie and spray - if your hair has lost some of its volume during the day, get it back to life with a brush and hair spray. Turn your head over while you're brushing your hair to add volume. Spray the style in place once you've flipped your head back. If that doesn't work, pull your hair back into a band. A sleek, low ponytail can lend a very dramatic nighttime look.
  • Powder - keep your favorite powder and an applicator close by to help refresh your face for a night out. Blot excess oil with a paper towel or blotting papers and then use powder to even skin tone. If you have it, apply powder with a little shimmer to areas you want to highlight, like your cheekbones and décolletage.
  • Blush - use a slightly darker shade of blush for evening events than what you use in the day.
  • Mascara, eye pencil and eye shadow - to transition your makeup from day to night, apply additional shadow as needed and use the pencil to reinforce the lines you applied in the morning. For nighttime, you might want a slightly thicker or smudged line. Touch up the ends of your lashes with mascara.
  • Lipstick and/or gloss - your nighttime lip shade can be darker and more dramatic than your daytime shade. Even if you don't have a darker shade of lipstick, a different color of gloss can change the whole look.

Determine Which Feature to Highlight

While it is true that nighttime looks are usually more dramatic than daytime ones, be careful not to go overboard layering on new makeup. Before you start the process, determine which feature you want to highlight and go from there. Most women choose to focus on either their eyes or their lips.
If you choose your eyes, keep your lips simple. Stick with a nude or slightly tinted gloss, but don't line your lips or use a dark shade of lipstick. If you're trying to play up your lips, keep your eyes basic. Use mascara on the top lashes only and don't use a heavy liner.

Pay Attention to Lighting

If you are applying makeup in the harsh fluorescents of your office or the dim, spotty lights of your car, keep in mind how the atmosphere differs from the place you are going. Most likely, your nighttime destination is a bar, restaurant or party with relatively dim lighting. The eyeliner you apply might not look quite as bold in a dark theatre. The dark lipstick you chose may appear less dramatic over a candlelight dinner. If possible, bring your makeup kit with you and check yourself in the mirror as soon as you arrive at your destination.

Remember the True Essentials

What if you don't have an entire makeup kit with you or available? There are 3 absolute essentials that will help you transition your daytime makeup to nighttime in a pinch.

Those are:

  • Concealer - concealer is your best friend when you quickly try to put on a great face for a night out. Apply the concealer under your eyes for an automatic refresh. By covering any dark circles or makeup smudges, you will suddenly appear awake and alert. You can also use concealer as a spot treatment to disguise blemishes.
  • Black eyeliner - mascara is not included in this bare essentials list because it is assumed that you already have it on from your daytime look. Even if you are not wearing mascara, black eyeliner is more dramatic and when applied correctly can make up for a lack of mascara. Start by lining your top lid only. Go as thick or thin as you wish and consider smudging the line for a smoky look once it has been applied. When you are finished with your top lid, decide if you want to line your bottom lid as well. This is an especially dramatic look that is probably more appropriate for a dance club than a romantic dinner.
  • Lipstick - your go-to lipstick should be a shade that is comfortable for you to wear at night or during the day. It is probably a few shades darker than your natural lip color. As long as it is dark enough, you can wear it without lip liner or gloss without worrying.

Taking your daytime makeup look into nighttime shouldn't be too troublesome as long as you're armed with the right products. Also, keep in mind that while nighttime makeup tends to be more dramatic than daytime looks, choose only one feature to really emphasize, otherwise you run the risk of looking too made-up.