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Makeup Artistry

Popular Makeup Looks for Formal Events | CMU College

By October 18, 2022No Comments

Do you have a formal event coming up and don’t know what makeup trends are popular right now?

The problem is that finding the perfect makeup look can be difficult. There are numerous options available, ranging from natural skin to dramatic eyes and even some require special skills.

From natural prom makeup to date night makeup, this is not the time to opt for a simple foundation and winged liner look. It’s more of a smokey eye and red lip occasion.

At CMU Toronto, our team of talented Makeup Artists has put together this guide on all the most popular beauty looks for formal events, as well as tips on how to achieve them with your own makeup.

Types of Events that Call for Special Makeup

These are some of the biggest days of your life, so it makes sense that you would want to ensure that you have the right makeup look for these big occasions. Here’s a list of the most common formal events.


Whether you’re getting ready at home or in a beauty salon, your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life. The right wedding makeup can make all the difference between a good wedding day and an amazing one.


It’s all about you on your birthday, so you want your makeup to be flawless. Perhaps, you’d like to experiment with something new to stand out from the rest of the partygoers or something that will stay put for hours of dancing.


If you’re celebrating an anniversary, then you’ll want to look extra special on this big day. You may also want to wear makeup that lasts longer than a couple of hours.

Concert & Shows

Concerts are a chance for you to have fun, and do something a little bit out there with your makeup look. Whether you’re planning to go to a show with friends or alone, you want to look amazing when you get there.


You might be going to a house party, a work party, or a prom night. Whatever the occasion, you want to look like you’ve made a special effort with your makeup look.

Date Nights

Whether it’s a first date or dinner with a long-term partner, date night is the perfect excuse to look good and feel pretty for that special person.


During a recital, all eyes are on you and the likelihood is that it’s being recorded. If you do something special with your makeup, you’ll be able to watch your recital and enjoy it for years to come without cringing at your makeup application.

Popular Makeup Looks for Special Events

There are many different styles of makeup to choose from depending on whether you’re going out for dinner, attending a party, or heading to a very special event. If you want to look your best and feel confident in the process, then it’s important that you know what works best for you.

Below is a list of popular makeup looks in 2022, and the ones we think are most important.

Enhance Your Natural Features

Makeup is a great way to highlight your natural beauty. If used correctly, the right makeup can highlight your favorite areas and conceal your flaws. For example, if you like your lips, make this the main feature of your makeup look with a bold red lip.

If you’re self-conscious about the shape of your nose, use a small amount of bronzer on either side to make it appear smaller. You can learn about these tips and many more by signing up for one of our Makeup Artistry Programs.

This is probably the easiest and most effective style of makeup to achieve. It’s also suitable for any occasion.

The Natural Look

Embracing your natural features is very popular right now. So if you prefer a more natural beauty look, this is one of the easiest ways to go about creating a gorgeous, glowy look.

To achieve flawless skin without looking cakey, you can use a light makeup base and concealer followed by a cream blush, bronzer, and a light brown eyeshadow. Cream products create a skin-like texture, making you look healthy and fresh. Make sure you finish it off with a nude lip color and gloss.

This type of makeup will work well for any occasion. It’s also great if you’re not sure how much makeup to wear because you’ll still look stunning and glowy without too much makeup.

Vibrant Colors 

Color is a great way to express yourself at a formal event. However, bright eyeshadows, blushers, and lipsticks can exaggerate the wrong features, making you appear clownish. When playing with color, start off very light and build upon your look slowly. Because it is so buildable, a smoky eye is always a safe choice, regardless of color.

If you’re going for a colorful eye makeup, try to stick to a more neutral outfit to avoid color clashing.

Statement Lips

A bold red lip is timeless, dating back to the 1950s when it was popularized by Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s. She wore bright red lipstick very often.

For very formal events, such as weddings, parties, and concerts, people often opt for this classic, timeless look. A nude eye shadow paired with bold lipstick and blush can create the perfect balance. Or, if you want to turn it up a notch, a smokey eye is always a winner.

Matte lipstick is ideal for long nights out as you don’t have to worry about smudging or getting lipstick everywhere when you take a drink or share a kiss with that special person.

If you’re looking for something extra special, try applying a clear gloss over the top of the lipstick to give it a shine. This works particularly well for dark lipsticks. In our Makeup Artistry Programs, you can learn how to correctly apply lipstick and what colors work on different skin tones.


Glitter is an easy way to add sparkle to your look. A shimmering powder is perfect for adding sparkle to your cheeks and eyelids.

The best thing about glitter is that it can be used on any skin tone. It also works well with a variety of eye makeup looks, from smoky eyes to bright colors.

You can also use a highlighter to bring attention to your cheekbones and brow bones, but make sure you practice first before stepping into a big event.

 Bold Eye Shadow

Eye shadow can be used to add some fun and vibrant color to your makeup look for an extra-special event. You’ll find that eye shadows come in many different shades, finishes, and textures, making it simple to find the perfect shade for you. Just remember that the darker the shade, the bolder the effect. Black and dark grey eyeshadows can really bring out the blue in a person’s eyes whereas oranges and golds look better on people with brown and hazel eyes.

Strong Contouring

Contouring is a fantastic makeup technique that can help to enhance your favorite facial features. However, it can go very wrong if you don’t know the right techniques!

A contour is simply the highlighting or darkening of certain facial features to make them stand out. Most people contour their forehead, chin, nose, and cheekbones to give them a more defined, model-like appearance.

When you contour, you should always keep in mind that you are enhancing your best feature. If you want to draw attention away from one area of your face, then you need to highlight another part of your face instead. For example, if you’re trying to make your chin appear smaller, you could use a lighter shade of foundation to highlight your jawline.

Join one of our Makeup Artistry Programs and you can learn all about contouring and highlighting! 


Makeup Tips for Special Events

At CMU, we have a whole team of trained makeup artists. We’re not just a bunch of people who know how to apply eyeliner and mascara. Our makeup artists are also experts in skin care, hair care, and special FX.

Here are some of our best tips for keeping your makeup looking flawless all night.

Use Your Outfit as Inspiration

Formal outfits tend to be the main focus when choosing an outfit for a special occasion. So, it makes sense to use your outfits as inspiration when choosing your makeup look. Here are some examples:

If you’re wearing a black dress, keep your eyes dark and smokey but liven things up with a bright lip. If you’re wearing a lot of colors, keep your makeup neutral and let the outfit do the talking. If you’re wearing a pastel dress, try a pastel eye look. Maybe you’re wearing a purple and burgundy dress, in which case sticking to a smokey eye is your best bet. And finally, if you’re wearing a white and cream dress, try using a colorful eyeliner on the lash line.

Get Your Beauty Treatments Ahead of Time

As well as saving you from rushing around, getting your beauty treatments ahead of time could help your makeup sit better on the big day.

Get your final facial or chemical peel a week in advance so you know your skin will not react, making makeup harder to apply. If you get your eyebrows waxed or threaded, make sure this is done at least two days prior to the event, as there is always a potential for redness and irritation.

Facial treatments like facials or microdermabrasion should be done at least 3 days before an event.

 Use High-Quality Makeup & Application Tools

A good quality set of makeup brushes will make it easier for you to achieve a flawless makeup look. You don’t want to spend hours trying to blend out your foundation because you didn’t use the right brush. Investing in a good set of makeup brushes will save you money and time in the long run.

The best way to find high-quality makeup brushes is to shop around online. There are many different brands of makeup brushes out there, and some are much better than others.

You’ll also want to buy some good quality makeup. The higher the quality of makeup, the longer it will last and look.

Prep & Prime Your Skin for Makeup

Preparing and priming your skin properly is almost as important as applying the makeup itself. 

Start by cleansing your face with a cleanser until it looks smooth and radiant. You will then need to moisturize your skin with a rich moisturizer so it is kept hydrated throughout the day. Moisturizing will also protect your skin against dryness and irritation, making your makeup stay on for longer.

Apply a primer to keep your makeup looking flawless all day land night. Primers are used to even out skin tone, cover pores, create a sticky base and give your makeup a smooth finish.

Become a Professional Makeup Artist at CMU

If you want to learn how to apply makeup like a pro for any occasion, join us at CMU Toronto.

From hairdressing and beauty applications for films, TV shows, and commercials to prosthetic applications, our Global Make Up Artist program offers comprehensive training in the skills you’ll require to start your career in cosmetic artistry.

Our programs are designed to help students develop their own unique style while learning about the latest trends in the industry. Our instructors have years of experience working on film sets, television productions, and fashion campaigns. They will guide you through each step of the process, from applying foundation and blush to creating eye shadow looks that can be used on camera or recreated in the comfort of your home. 

Book a tour today!