Prep, Pop, Party!

Getting ready for a big night out? Want to amp up your glam factor without adding to the time it takes to get ready? Enter: The Style Scout, aka New York City-based stylist and Elle correspondent Alia Ahmed-Yahia. Why do we love Alia? Because she's all about speed. “Who has time to comb through all the fashion blogs and magazines? That’s my job,” she says. Alia also runs Sixty Second Style, a cheat-sheet trends newsletter, with other fashion industry insiders. Together, they break down the trends and curate the best tips, tricks and shopping links. Read on for Alia's foolproof party-ready routine.

Prep: Make Your Skin Sparkle
“I’m religious about taking care of my skin. It’s an investment—just like you want your designer handbag to last you a lifetime, the same goes for your skin,” says Alia. For a big night out, it’s all about the glow. Pre-cleanse with a makeup remover like Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil, then pair your cleanser with Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush to remove any leftover traces of dirt or makeup. Next, try Turnaround Revitalizing Instant Facial—it gently but immediately reveals smooth, radiant skin. “A few extra seconds of facial massage gives my skin a naturally rosy glow,” says Alia. So, while you rinse off the mask, massage it over your skin. Follow with moisturiser on your face, neck, and décolletage, again spending an extra minute massaging in. “I also mix a dab of moisturiser in with my foundation—it helps it to blend seamlessly and makes my skin look extra fresh and dewy.”

Pop: Go For The Wow Factor
“I love makeup, but only spend about five minutes doing it. A bright lip is great for a pretty pop of colour and you barely have to do anything else,” says Alia. She creates her own signature shade. “If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from photo shoots, it’s that makeup artists always custom blend lip colour,” she says. Her favourite combination: Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Passion Pop, a true red, and Poppy Pop, a bright coral.

“Keep the rest of your makeup streamlined. A sheer wash of gold eye shadow and clean, crisp black liner is perfect—special, but understated,” says Alia. Her picks: Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8-hour Eye Colour in Bit o’ Honey, which is a cream shadow with sheen, not shimmer, and Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen in Black. “Dab just a hint of gold at the inner corners of your eyes—it catches the light, which opens them up and makes them twinkle. Draw your eyeliner directly on top of the upper lash line, and extend it just a bit,” she advises.

"I love makeup but only spend about five minutes doing it."

Party: Make a Statement In Layered Metallics
How many times have you stared blankly into your wardrobe, wondering what to wear to a party? “You can't go wrong with metallics—they're easy to layer and work on everyone,” suggests Alia. “Choose one metallic hero piece and pair with a metallic accessory, like a belt or clutch, and then hit pause. A third metallic can be too much. Instead, choose diamond or clear-colour stones to give the illusion of sparkle.” Your makeup should balance your look, so when wearing metallic clothes, keep your makeup sparkle-free—think opposites and veer towards matte textures. Colours should also complement one another; “a cherry-red lip is the perfect partner to a bronze top, since both hues have warm undertones.”

Photography: Jacqueline Harriet | Words: Rachel Hayes | Hair: Kyungmin Chon | Makeup: Miriam Robstadt | Prop Styling: Manny Norena

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