by Baze Mpinja
There’s no such thing as a magic wand that can instantly take your look from day to night, but the extra-pretty date makeup looks here are the next best thing—they’re that easy.
Go for major lash drama.
Sometimes size does matter—when we’re talking about lashes, of course. Long mega-thick ones make any woman look instantly sexier, as Miley Cyrus proves. To apply false lashes, don’t look straight into the mirror. Put a makeup mirror on a table instead so that you’re looking down on it. “You’ll be able to see what you’re doing, and the strip will land right on the lash line,” says celebrity makeup artist Mai Quynh.
Another option: Just pile on mascara.
To add thickness to skimpy lashes, lightly dust them with translucent powder before applying two coats of mascara. They’ll look almost fake (in a good way). To avoid a tarantula lash situation, declump with a lash comb. Balance out intense eyes with sheer, neutral blush and gloss.
Try a blue-bronze combo.
Next time your BlackBerry buzzes with a last-minute invite, try this quick makeup duo. It’s gorgeous on Gabrielle Union, and it’ll look amazing on you, too (really!). Grab a shimmery navy eyeshadow and use a brush to sweep it on from your lash line to just above the crease. Feeling daring? Use your finger to blend it all the way up underneath your eyebrow. Finish with two coats of mascara. Next up, your cheeks: Dust gold-flecked bronzer over the apples of your cheeks with a big fluffy brush, blending out toward your temples. Apply a bronzy lip gloss and—presto—you’re gorgeous.
Go for the old-Hollywood vibe.
Starlets from the 1950s (and the cast of Mad Men) would surely approve of Scarlett Johansson’s stunning retro makeup. For her eyes, sharpen a black eyeliner pencil, then tap the tip with your finger before you start—you don’t want it to be too pointy. Apply the pencil along your lash line, sticking close to the roots and extend it out a quarter inch. Raise your eyebrows while lining to stretch your lid and get a smoother effect. Layer liquid liner on top for staying power and more intensity. To add a fresh twist to this classic look, try an orangey-red lipstick. Apply it with a tiny lip brush for precision. And don’t forget to bring your tube along for touch-ups. Faded red lipstick can look like a Kool-Aid stain—not so sexy.
Or go for the old-Hollywood makeup remix.
If you like Scarlett’s winged-out liner but are shy about trying flaming red lips, don’t press the panic button. Take a cue from Beyoncé and go with nude gloss instead. Look for a lip color with a hint of pink or peach in it—it’ll keep you from looking like an extra on C.S.I. To avoid goopiness, dot some gloss in the center of your lip, then blend it out with a lip brush.
Embrace pink for a day-date.
Meeting a cutie for brunch? A bit of soft pink blush and matching lipstick give an I’m-not-trying-too-hard vibe but still look pretty. For an allover flush like Jessica Biel’s, dab a rosy cream blush onto cheeks and lips with your finger. Build up the color till you’ve got the intensity you want, then add a little lip balm to your lips for shine. Curl your bare lashes, then be sure to bat them like crazy—you don’t need mascara to do that!
Glam up pink at night.
Your everyday rosy blush and lipstick go from sweet to sexy when you play up your eyes like Kristen Bell. Dust loose shimmer powder over your lids and add a bit to the inner corner of your eyes with your finger—it’s a quick look-awake trick. Rim your upper lash line with jet-black liner, then do two coats of mascara. Want to switch it up? Trade your pinks for coral blush and gloss.
Love the smoky eye look? Try swapping black for blue.
If you think smoky eyes can only be done with charcoal shadow, fuggedaboudit. Trendy peacock colors like blue, green and purple are a fresh way to make your eyes pop. Exhibit A: Jessica Szohr’s cobalt liner. Have only one minute? Simply rim your top and bottom lash lines with a soft pencil, then smudge with a cotton swab. “That gives the effect of smoky eyes, but it’s easier and faster,” says Quynh.
Do one bright thing with your makeup.
Playful makeup on a date: It’s a Do! Just don’t go overboard with bright color. When wearing a bold lip shade like Maggie Gyllenhaal’s, try earthy blush and eyeshadow. You’ll look polished without heading into overdone newscaster territory. To pull off intense lipstick during the day (yes, you can wear it to work!), tap it on with your finger and leave the rest of your face bare.