Advanced Day-to-Night Beauty: How an Editor Goes From Work to Dinner to Black-Tie Gala

We’ve all been faced with the work-to-dinner transition predicament (with no time to run home for a hair/makeup/costume change), but have you ever taken on the work-to-dinner-to-black-tie challenge? That was my Thursday. I went straight from the office to a dinner party to celebrate the launch of the fashion line Kempner (created by the late fashion icon Nan Kempner’s grandkids, Meggie and Chris), after which I cabbed down to the Frick Collection for its annual Young Fellows Celestial Ball. And I managed to transition my hair and makeup without the help of a single professional hairstylist or makeup artist! Here’s how:

10 A.M.
My workday look is probably simpler than most:



  • Sweep bronzer all over my face to make my tired morning skin glow a little
  • Dab Lancôme concealer under my eyes, around my nose and over any blemishes
  • Apply Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rosé for just a hint of lip color
  • Finish with mascara. (OK, confession: I have eyelash extensions, so I skip mascara. But if you’re looking for an effortless way to always look awake, you’ve got to try them!)



  • I’d blow-dried my hair straight the night before. Even though I’d be curling later, blowing it out first makes hair shinier and more manageable.


7 P.M.
Time to transition to dinner. I personally prefer to wash my face at the end of the day and just start my makeup all over again—it gives your skin a freshly hydrated glow. (Or maybe it’s just the moisturizer I use: Lancer The Method: Nourish!) So I repeated my morning steps, then added a little more color and definition:Makeup: 

  • Fill in my eyebrows with IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil (apparently my eyebrows disappear in photographs, as exemplified above, so I darken them a bit for definition.)
  • Sweep pinky gold Nars The Multiple in Maldives across eyelids
  • Paint a line of Benetint cheek stain along cheekbones and blend
  • Add a touch more of a lip with Elizabeth Arden Lip Protectant Stick Sheer Tint in Berry



  • Using a one-inch curling iron, wrap sections of hair around the wand and pin each curl up while it cools. Spritz each section with Sexy Hair Healthy Soy Touchables hairspray before and after curling.
  • Once curls are cool, unpin them and do a single head flip to loosen them up. Squirt again with hairspray.


9 P.M.
No time for anything complicated—especially in a taxi!—so just a couple tweaks:



  • Apply a perfectly matte deep red lip, Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl



  • Pull waves into a high ponytail and secure with a black fabric hairband (they’re thicker, so the pony has a little more height and distance from your neck). It’s a nice style for strapless dresses and long earrings, without wearing your hair totally up.


And voila! Do you like my day-to-dinner-to-black-tie look? What’s your transition routine?