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I Tried 3 “Party” Makeup Looks: Can I Pull Off These Trends?

For someone who loves a good party, I barely change my makeup AT ALL for nighttime, not owning even one eye shadow beyond a cream glimmer, that I don’t know how to apply. I don’t love the look of heavy makeup and frankly think most people look better more natural (i.e. the no-makeup makeup look). But makeup is such a fun way to shift your look, amp it up, try something weird and risky. It’s like the throw pillow of your face—it’s low commitment but can shake things up. So, one day I was lamenting my inability to pull off one of these looks with Noel, one of my lovely makeup artists when she adamantly disagreed and when I said ‘prove it’ she offered to teach me, and you, how to do three different party looks based on the trends she is seeing and products that she loves. She’s been doing this for 20 years and has not only her go-to products for years but also stays on top of what is new out in the market.

Here is what I looked like when I showed up. And no, we don’t Photoshop any faces or bodies on this blog.

Noel Beauty Lores 3

Now, those aren’t my real lashes, I get lash extensions, a luxury I may never be able to quit. Otherwise, you guys have seen me without any makeup a lot on stories so nothing too shocking up there.

First, we are going to start with what Noel does to my face on a normal day, and then we will add those party looks on top, step by step. Here we go.

The Base:

Emilyhendersonpartylooks1 4

1. Before you start, moisturize your face (we used La Mer Moisturizing Cream for my face and By Terry Baume de Rose on my lips). Next, apply primer to entire face. We used Laura Mercier Foundation Primer SPF 30.

2. Apply highlighter to cheekbones and bridge of the nose (Noel does this before foundation for a subtle, inner glow). We used Becca Glow Silk Highlighter. Hot tip: Noel uses liquid highlighter because it melts into the skin better for a more natural look.

3. Using a foundation brush, apply your foundation where needed on face and neck. I had never used this foundation (Face Atelier Foundation in #3) before and I loved it. From Noel: “When ever I apply foundation, I always opt for the sheerest formula I can get away with, because I love fresh looking and feeling skin! I love foundations that have a buildable formula, that way on days where someone might need a little more coverage, I can add a little more than usual.” 

4. Using a finger and small brush, dab concealer (Nars concealer in Madeline) under eyes and over any blemishes or red areas. Noel also applies on my eyelids to get rid of any redness and to prep for eyeshadow.

5. Using fingers, dab a cream blush onto cheekbones then blend with a foundation brush. Noel uses La Mer Lip and Cheek Glow, which is limited edition and sold out most places, but this is a similar product that works well (and is more affordable).


5. Fill in brows with Anastasia Brow Wiz and brush with eyebrow brush.

6. Use a setting powder or spray to lock the makeup for long-lasting wear. We used Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, a product Noel SWEARS by.

Here’s the final “base” look:

Noel Beauty Lores 20


1. La Mer Crème de la Mer | 2. By Terry Baume de Rose | 3. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer SPF 30 | 4. Becca Glow Silk Highlighter | 5. Nars concealer in Madeline | 6. La Mer Lip and Cheek Glow | 7. Face Atelier Foundation in #3 | 8. Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder | 9. Anastasia Brow Wiz in Blonde

The product I bought from here was the Becca Glow Silk Highlighter as under my foundation it truly looks day-time glowy, like I wasn’t wearing any makeup and just looked fresh.

Party Look #1: “La Vie En Rose”


I tell every new makeup artist, in the least diva way possible, that I don’t like deep or dark eyeshadow on me and will most likely sneak to the bathroom and wipe it off after they leave. I think it makes me look sick and old, probably because I’m fair and yes, my lids show my age. But something reflective I could handle and when she proposed a rose gold look, I was obviously down to try. Here is how Noel does it:

1. Start with cream-based shimmer eyeshadow to give the look more depth. We used one by Beauty Pie (currently unavailable) but this is a similar product. Hot tip: Noel starts every eye look with a cream base which will keep the eyeshadow on longer because it gives the powder something to stick to. She also uses the pencils because they are easier to apply. 

2. Using a brush, blend the shimmer all over the eyelids.

3. Next, use gel powder (Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish) eyeshadow and apply with finger. This was SO PRETTY and kinda felt like a rose gold glitter cream.


4. Add a little powder shadow (MAC Eyeshadow in Blackberry) under the eye and in the outer corner of the eye to make the eyes pop.

5. Apply a dash of liquid shadow (Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow) on back of hand, and using finger, tap on the center of the lid.


6. Blend lipstick (Bite Matte Crème Lip Crayon) and gloss (Blowzy Ultra Glossy Lip) on back of the hand and with a brush apply onto the lips generously.



1. Sephora Colorful Shadow & Liner | 2. Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish | 3. MAC Eyeshadow in Blackberry | 4. Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow | 5. Blowzy Ultra Glossy Lip | 6. Bite Matte Crème Lip Crayon

What I bought: the Stila metal foil finish. I will absolutely wear this my next special occasion. Although the lip color was really pretty, too.

Party Look #2: “The Cobalt Blues”


I was so excited for this look. Just the one bold line of blue is SO enticing to me.

1. Again, prep eyelids with a little concealer to get rid of any redness.

2. Apply the liner (NYX Vivid Brights) starting from the inner corner of the eye, and continue straight across. We chose a crazy bright blue to get that real pop. From Noel: “Don’t be afraid to experiment with color! Keep it sophisticated by using it sparingly and pair it with toned down lips and cheeks. Emerald green, purple and burnt orange are all fun but wearable options.”

Hot tip: To get the perfect line, use Makeover Remover Q-Tips and wipe any errors/wavy edges. I bought these after the shoot and love them.

3. Apply mascara on lashes (I am wearing lash extensions, so Noel only needed to apply on the bottom).


4. Apply blush (Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Color) on cheekbones.

5. Fill in the lips with lip liner (Sephora Lip Liner)  and finish with gloss (Blowzy Ultra Glossy Lip).


Despite my eyes being bloodshot, I loved this look and am indeed going to try it. I think it’s crucial that the rest of the face (at least for me) looks fresh and not too makeup heavy or yeah, it can look kinda ’80s mom.


1. Nars concealer in Madeline | 2. NYX Vivid Brights | 3. Makeover Remover Q-Tips | 4. Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Color | 5. Sephora Lip Liner | 6. Blowzy Ultra Glossy Lip

Party Look #3: “Red-y Set Gloss”


This might be my favorite look of the three we tried this day: that glossy lid looked and felt so fresh, but still fun.

1. Apply champagne-colored cream eyeshadow (Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick) all over eyelid and blend with a medium-sized eyeshadow brush.

2. Dab a little of the cream eyeshadow on cheeks as highlighter.

3. Apply cream blush (Laura Mercier Creme Cheek Color) with a brush. 


4. Apply sheer eyeshadow (Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder) on the crease (for some depth, Noel says) and blend.

5. Use same sheer shadow and apply under eye with a thin eyeshadow brush. 

6. Use a shimmer eyeshadow and tap on lid using fingers (we used Sculpting Stick by Chanel which has a little bit of shimmer but mostly glossy texture). This is the stuff. This is what I want to buy forever. From Noel: “This product is also stunning on cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and on the Cupid’s bow. Or you can mix a little with a copper or gold eyeshadow and make a gorgeous lid tint.”


For the lips, here’s what we did:

1. Use lip liner (Nars Precision liner in Mariachi) to line the edges of lip.

2. Apply lipstick (Fenty Beauty in Uncensored) generously and let dry.


LOOK AT THAT LID! It was just shine, no color which I think is my jam. I think that I’d rather have a more orange-y red on me (but what do I know).


1. Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder | 2. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick | 3. Fenty Beauty in Uncensored | 4. Nars Precision liner in Mariachi | 5. Sculpting Stick by Chanel

I’m definitely buying that glossy eye shadow pencil and the sculpting stick.

Thank you Noel for brightening my day and face. Sometimes you just need someone to take a small brush and gently stroke your face until you wake up party ready to change your mood. 🙂

Noel Beauty Lores 81 Noel Beauty Lores 84

I want to give a special thanks to my friend and hairstylist Janine (who you may remember from this post) for letting us use her salon for the day. If you are in LA and looking for a GREAT salon with wonderful people, check out Hairroin Salon on Cahuenga Blvd. They do everything from haircuts to deep conditioning elixirs to perms and I cannot recommend them enough. xx

***photography by Veronica Crawford

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Kim B.
4 years ago

Nooooo you do not want a more orangey-red for the last look, that gorgeous red with blue tones is soooo perfect for you.

Emily I am so sorry about your stress about your son, I can only imagine that being a mom is so hard. It is very generous of you to talk about the normal difficulties you face so other moms know that they are not alone.

I normally don’t care anything about make-up but I loved this post and that Noel was able to bring you some pampering and relief. You are so pretty, all the looks are great. And, as you said, simple and not overdone!! Fun looking through all these products and hearing the recommendations about the cream blush and eyeshadows.


Paula Carr
4 years ago
Reply to  Kim B.

Yes! With this coloring (very similar to mine except I have darker hair), a red with blue in it is the the BEST shade of red.

4 years ago

This was a fun post! But, I can’t help but wonder now what you would look like with a non-neutral eyelid look. Especially since you said you don’t like dark eyeshadow colors … but then in the same breath reminded us to take risks with our makeup… 🙂 I’d love to see a dramatic “cat eye” liner look with maybe a bright pink lipstick (paired with a funky fluffy ivory sweater) for a fun party look for you. You nail the dewy natural make-up look very well. I’m inspired to try a sparkly eye shadow look on myself now, since I usually avoid the shimmery stuff… so thanks!

Natasha Pike
4 years ago

Oh, Emily,
Your story about your dear, darling son brought a lump to my throat. We’ve been there too. I even wrote a blog post about it, which hopefully might help you both:
It was the first post I ever wrote, and needs work, but I’ve resisted the temptation to perfect it for obvious reasons!
My son is now 10 and his new happy-go-lucky approach to life makes me grind my teeth sometimes, but it doesn’t reduce either of us to tears. ?
Good luck!

4 years ago

I thought the shirt under the red blazer said “MILF,” and it was a wild ride of emotions over the two seconds that followed.

4 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

I initially thought it said “Emily” which I would have loved, too.

Emily, you are GORGEOUS (maybe you hear that every single day, but I don’t think most of us ever hear it enough, nor do we believe it when we do hear it) and you look beautiful. You’re a great Mom, too, and you are spreading your talent around to bring more sunshine into the world. You’re doing fabulously. xo

4 years ago

Ooo that last look is beautiful! I might splurge on the sculpting stick and eyeshadow stick. I’m pregnant and feeling a little bleh. Maybe a little shimmer for the holidays would make me feel more like myself! 🙂

4 years ago

Love that you tried these looks! I’m like you in that I wear little makeup and mostly feel I’ll-equipped at pulling off more than the mascara, blush and a dab of lip color. I look forward to trying one of these suggestions.

Also, sorry to hear about your struggle with your son. My daughter brought me to tears when she was 8 with a struggle over feeling like she had to exercise every evening before bed. We told her over and over again not to worry, but she just wouldn’t listen to us. Bedtime started to become unbearable. We finally figured it out…she has OCD and regardless what we said it would never be enough. In fact reassuring was just the opposite of what she needed. We are working with cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure/response to help her deal with her worries, which includes perfectionism. Hope you can find relief with your son because it is so heartbreaking to not be able to help them. You might check out Unstuck, a short documentary about kids and OCD. Also, the website is a nice resource. Big hug to you.

Julie P
4 years ago
Reply to  Jinger

Emily you look amazing. Seriously, no clue you had a meltdown that morning.

I’ve been watching YouTube videos of shimmery eyes to wear for special events, and your product suggestions are very timely! That sculpting stick may just be purchased…

Btw when I think this readers suggestion of looking into professional help for OCD may be spot on.


Mariya Zafirova
4 years ago
4 years ago

Whoa… Uptown Prairie meets Glam! You look fabulous.

I do pretty basic minimal make-up for every day (and most evenings) but I will step it up for costume parties. This week we attended a Murder Mystery Party (theme: Mafia Wedding with a little side of murder) so I glammed up for my best “Married to the Mob” big hair, big makeup and tons of jewelry. My big surprise; how good I looked with red lipstick. I’m in a rosy brown rut most of the time.

For Halloween, I’m going as one of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo. So red lipstick again and the famed mono brow.

Charlie sounds like he’s going to grow into an interesting adult. He has caring, creative parents who are great role models.

Tina Schrader
4 years ago
Reply to  Patricia

Kahlo sounds awesome for a Halloween costume! Original. 🙂

4 years ago

Love the blue liner ~lewk~

Elizabeth Bear
4 years ago

Love the tutorials and you look amazing in red. Fun to see what Noel used. Side note: your sweet little and not wanting to make mistakes. Big hugs to him and you for feeling his frustration. XO

4 years ago

Okay so I am with you and love when I can get a glimpse of what they really look like. However all of these looks are stunning and I could still see you in them. My favourite was the first but I even liked the second which I thought for sure I wouldn’t like. So beautiful and your make-up artist is so talented!

Susie N
4 years ago

Wow. Loved this. Loved how you showed the products after you showed us how you used them. Kind of like a tutorial for dummies!! Thanks. Loved the red lipstick!!

4 years ago

Those red lips look so good on you.

Krista S.
4 years ago

Thank you so much for keeping it real as a mom and not just pretending everything was fabulous on the day of the photo shoot. We’ve all had hard mornings like this (with the puffy eyes to prove it), hang in there! Despite not being much of a makeup person, I loved reading about these 3 looks and am inspired to branch out a little with my next special occasion look. Kudos to Noel!

4 years ago

You are so pretty. I like look number one. It just highlights your natural beauty.
Ok so crazy question? ? I have the kindest son and he recently moved to LA from NYC. He has had a challenging time with things lately and I’m just so proud of how he has persevered. He is 28 and just rented a room in an apartment with some other people. Anyway I thought how fabulous it would be if you would maybe be so generous to decorate his space for him? Feather his nest ❣️ I think you’d adore him as a wonderful person and I’m sure he’d feel the same about you. Of course I don’t know you but I’ve followed your work since hgtv design star. What do you think? Would you be able to fit him in your busy schedule? ♥️

Shana Weber
4 years ago

I forgot to add that maybe spending sometime with my son might show you they do persevere. But oh I know how heavy our mom hearts can get watching them struggle. Keep a positive strength going for you both. Share your own struggles with him as well. And lots of love of course ♥️

Roberta Davis
4 years ago

That took guts to be photographed after such an emotional morning, but I’m sure it lifted your spirits! All the looks are nice. The red is a bit bold, but for a party, maybe just the right thing! Or maybe I’m just not used to seeing you with so bold a color.

4 years ago

You’re so wonderful. Even though I’m not a mom, I’m a kindergarten teacher and I so fully understand that struggle.

I don’t know anything about makeup but so loved reading all of this anyway! <3

Amy Elizabeth Jones
4 years ago

Love!! These all look good! I would also vote to see a smokey eye on you! Let’s keep the makeup tips coming because I also have no idea how to choose and apply products. Very helpful and inspiring post.

4 years ago

Emily Henderson you rock a red lip! But what I really dig about all of these looks is that they let your natural beauty shine through…no cake fake insta face bake! Kudos Noel!

4 years ago

Been there and feel your heart woes! I am a non perfectionist firstborn mom of a perfectionist firstborn (birth order is a whole different amazing topic). Best question I learned from Dr. Kathy Koch (look her up. Celebrate Kids, inc.) to ask my perfectionist during a crisis “what CAN you do.”. It’s a great springboard. Also, “what’s the worst that could happen if you can’t spell this?”. It doesn’t change anything about how loved you are, etc etc… And you are learning and growing, etc etc. It’s hard to see then struggle. But also good to watch them grow through the struggles and to come alongside and guide in the process. Butterfly coming out of a caccoon, turtle out of an egg and all that….

4 years ago
Reply to  Jb

I second the “what CAN you do?” approach. My oldest, now fifteen, is a perfectionist. I think she’ll always be one, but she can pull back and recognize when she’s feeling tension rise from the tendency. She has gotten a little better at managing, rather than freaking out or lashing out, and I think that, in part, comes from consistently approaching her schoolwork, sports, etc with an idea going in of what she CAN actually do.

Heather H
4 years ago

Your comment about raising a perfectionist child totally resonates. My oldest is a perfectionist–she is 8 now, but she gets so defensive sometimes and down on herself and sneaking and crying and all of that. I just have to tell her over and over and over again that it’s okay to make mistakes, but I also will continue to try to help her improve.

Paula Carr
4 years ago

I’m so jealous that as fair person you can wear a bright red lip. I always feel that I come over like Bozo the Clown. You look gorgeous. Humph!

4 years ago

Sending lots of love for the heart struggles. And yes- you look stunning of course. Super fun post. She did a great job honoring your wishes yet creating 3 easy looks. Gorgeous! I’d add for folks like me- I love eye shadow and have large lids- I find that a shadow primer works better for securing my shadow than concealer. Urban decay makes a great inexpensive one. Layered over this I do powder form shadows (great palattes by urban decay or tarte). Any cream shadow gives me big creases that age me, and/or end up a bit tacky/sticky. Pretty sure it all just has to do with your individual skin texture on your lids. Mine must be Oiler. Have also found the cream shadows not to work on hooded eyes as it rubs off on the skin hanging over the lid. At least with the Stila and Bobby brown brands I’ve tried. I’m not the expert so I’ll cut this off- just thought I’d add a few cents for folks that have struggled with eye make up. I love it! (Lip stick on the other hand… not so much) Maybe the experts can weigh in on the longevity of the… Read more »

4 years ago

As an early childhood educator I volunteer with Title One kindergartners. Here’s a tip for those perfectionist kids. I wear mismatching earrings. They don’t show because I have longer hair. When the child starts fussing, I show them we ALL make mistakes, and show them my earrings. Whoops!
Show him your mistakes, and that you are still lovable you.
Good luck.

4 years ago
Reply to  Deb

This is so sweet. They are lucky to have you.

4 years ago
Reply to  Deb

That’s absolutely amazing. You’re a thoughtful educator.

4 years ago

I really love all of these……….the pop of blue seemed to really brighten you up!!

I also have a perfectionist child. She is 10 now and getting better at handling it. and honestly i am getting better at handling it too. When the situation is not happening I have taught her breathing techniques, walking away (like from the piano), try again later, etc. Especially when they are young, it’s hard to pull them out of it when the meltdown is happening. It’s so hard to just lean in!!!!

I just started following @parentingwithperspectacles on instagram and she has an interesting approach and talks a lot about perfectionism. Best of luck-it’s been comforting to read these comments and hear what others approach is which wouldn’t happen unless you were so honest! Thank you!

4 years ago

We’ve had amazing progress with dealing with mistakes since kindergarten started. The change has been night and day. I teacher said they’ve really been working on it but she thinks the biggest help is being surrounded by her peers making mistakes without the meltdown. Her doc encouraged us to model making lots of mistakes. Oh, and in school they’ve been doing activities around having a “growth mindset” and a big part of that is making mistakes allows them to learn and grow. It’s been really hard the past year and we’re not past all perfectionism meltdowns but the progress since K has been amazing….I hope you get to see that soon too!

4 years ago
Reply to  Claire

Yes!! Love the fixed versus growth mindset approach, my daughters school teaches a lot about this too!!

4 years ago

What a fun post! Thanks so much! Love that sequin top! Dress? Can u share the source?

4 years ago

Emily, have you ever tried Bodyography Glitter Pigments? Despite the name, they’re not really glittery, just extremely shimmery to the point where they look glossy and wet on lids even though the product is dry. I bought one shade and now I want them all!

Tina Schrader
4 years ago

Bless you. Mothering is tough, no doubt! But I believe your husband when he says you’re great at it. 🙂 And you look beautiful! Your makeup artist is very talented, but she has a good model to work with. As to the crying, I can relate. I can remember one time where I was like a open spigot; I couldn’t have stopped sobbing if I tried — over nothing! You could’ve come up to me and said, “Tina, you look gorgeous! Just stunning!” and I would have broken out in another round of sobs. It was hormonal, I believe, but I was unnerved by it. Bless you again. I think you’re doing great. 🙂

4 years ago

When did she apply sunscreen? That is the most important step for daytime, isn’t it?

4 years ago

Whoa! I just spent some monayyy!
I love love love tiger fashion, makeup, all around Person Styling posts….
We have the same complexion so I think it’s all going to work. Where’s, we have opposite body types (pear and proud).
Thank you!
I’m sorry you were having one of those days tho…

Jen W
4 years ago

Thank you for sharing and showing your vulnerability. My 2 sons struggle with perfectionism and performance anxiety. The tantrums are heartbreaking and exhausting. I haven’t found a silver bullet yet, but figure we just keep showing up with all of our own imperfections, loving them to the best of our abilities. Mine see a therapist to work on their negative self talk and growth mindset, and one of her favorite resources is big life journal for kids. It’s helped to have something we work on together, and gives us a common language for talking about our feelings.

Libby C.
4 years ago

Wow! I love that red lipstick on you! And Look #2, I would wear as a daytime look, for sure. All so pretty on you!

4 years ago

Love all the looks!

4 years ago

Gorgeous! And look at those gorgeous teeth and smiles. Thanks for sharing.