A Field Guide to Avoiding Beauty Meltdowns at Parties

Photo: Getty ImagesHoliday parties are great, unless your face melts away, your lipstick runs for the border, you sweat like crazy and your skin looks oil-slicked. Well, the best defense is a good offense. You want to look sparkling perfect all though the night, so a little bit of planning ahead goes a long way. We polled Yahoo staffers about their biggest party problems and got to the bottom of the top 5 beauty mishaps.

1. Red wine teeth!
”Avoid dark beverages such as coffee, tea and red wine all together,” says cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg. But that’s no fun! “Okay, if you can’t live without caffeine or a glass of wine, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the teeth prior to drinking to create a protective barrier. Or, chew on raw, crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots during the party to mechanically remove surface stains from the enamel,” he says.

2. Lipstick lip crust
You must get the right formula down for wearing lipstick for long periods of time. In terms of going the distance, “The more opaque and matte the formula, the better,” says Poppy King, red lipstick’s No.1 super fan and founder of Lipstick Queen. Application-wise, there’s a few ways to ensure your lipstick doesn’t budge:

  • Swipe on one coat. Let it sit and dry for a minute, then blot and apply another coat. Let it sit and blot again. Blotting is the key to keeping your lipstick on your mouth, and only your mouth.
  • A swipe of your go-to concealer outlining the mouth (blended in, obviously) creates an invisible barrier around your lips that keeps color from bleeding. One of King’s best-selling products — invisible lip liner — does the same thing: “It’s a clear silicone and wax lip liner that you trace lips with the same way you would classic lip liner, and it acts as a barrier,” she says.
  • If you just aren’t a lipstick girl, King suggests you go in the opposite direction. “A sheer and shiny lip color that you can easily touch up throughout the night is the best alternative. It doesn’t have the same impact as a bright, bold lip color, but you also don’t have to stress out about it.”

3. Smudgy mascara under the eyes

Ever thought of switching mascaras? Any formula worth its salt shouldn't melt like butter at the slightest hint of party heat. On that note, at the very least, buy a cheapie waterproof version. If you don’t like the consistency of waterproof formulas (many don’t), then purchase a waterproof lash topcoat. Swipe it on over your regular mascara — it seals and protects your lashes, keeping them from running even in a torrential downpour. 

4. Greasy/oily face

Rather than piling on the powder all night long, try a mattifier: they’re like liquid translucent powder. Goes on easy, mops up shine and grease, no streaks or powdery splotches. Apply it before you do your makeup, then keep on hand all night long to dab discreetly on the T-zone for a velvety-matte look. 

5. Applying eyeliner if you have a shaky hand (A.K.A. while being drunk)
OK, if you absolutely MUST line your eyes at 1 a.m. with a bottle of champagne in you, hedge your bets: enlist a friend who doesn’t have a shaky hand to help out. If you insist, then use a light-colored eyeliner. A burnished metallic shade — bronze or silver emphasizes eyes beautifully, and is shaky-hand forgiving.  Any mistakes you make aren’t very noticeable — in fact, they just add to the overall gleamy, sexy effect. Just make sure you don’t stab yourself in the eye.