5 Steps to Transition from Day to Night Makeup FAST

When darkness falls faster at the end of Daylight Savings, sometimes evening plans get bumped up, too.

If you’re heading straight from work to happy hour or date night, here’s how to get a more sultry, dramatic look quickly — right in your office bathroom.

First things first: Around this time of year, the seasonal drop in temperature can parch skin, which not only leads to dullness, but can also intensify oiliness as the skin overcompensates to stay moisturized. Not a good look come 5 o’clock! You’ll need an extra layer of moisturizer (or a heavier formula altogether) each morning to keep skin optimally hydrated and radiant all day long.

Stock these essentials in your on-the-go beauty bag or office desk drawer to make your day-to-night makeup transition a breeze:

Quittin’ time? You’re just five steps away from a flawless nighttime look.

1. Shine control

As far as complexion correction goes, oil blotting sheets are everything! Seriously, they freshen up your face like that, and you don’t have to deal with the potential cakiness of a powder. You know the drill: Just press a sheet against your shiny spots to absorb excess oil and leave behind clean, matte skin.  

Fortunately, oil blotting sheets these days don’t also lift away your makeup. If you feel like you have some redness that was uncovered by the day’s oils, gently (keyword: gently) reapply concealer or foundation only on areas that need a bit of disguising. And if you’re concerned you’ll look dull or flat by this, just move onto the next step!

2. Brighten with balm

Get glowing by gently patting on some balm. But you can’t do this with just any balm. Our chief editor Kim Do (who’s also a celebrity makeup artist) recommends Bobbi Brown Extra Soothing Balm. “It’s instant magic and restores radiance into the skin again!” she raves. “Warm the balm in between the palms of your hands. Press—don’t rub—the product onto your forehead, cheeks or wherever your skin needs revitalizing.” And yes, you can use it over foundation. Just make sure you wash your hands first. (We know your keyboard is lurking with zit-causing bacteria!)

3. Touch up your eyes

Build on your daytime eyeliner by thickening the line on the top lash line. Or you can go for a classic cat eye! Don’t be scared — you don’t need to channel your inner Pati Dubroff as you’re sitting inside your cubicle crouched over your compact. Just focus on the outer parts of your eyelids by extending your liner past the outer corner of your eye and pointing it toward your brow tips to give your peepers an instant lift.

Add a fresh coat of mascara to your top lashes and for extra pop, lightly apply some mascara to your lower lashes using the tip of the wand.

4. Quick contour

A little definition is great for evening because it can make you look more polished. Matte bronzer is your best friend if you want to achieve a subtle contour without going full-Kardashian. Avoid bronzers with too much sparkle, which have more of a highlighting effect—that’s the opposite of what you want.

Using an angled contour brush, apply bronzer diagonally under the cheekbones toward the temples, along the sides of the bridge of the nose and under the chin and along the jawline. Make sure to blend, blend, blend each step of the way.

5. Go for the bold (lips)

Going one or two shades darker for the lips at night can add major drama. If you’re already wearing lipstick, smooth a bit of coconut oil onto your kisser and wipe the color away with a tissue. (Bonus: It’s super moisturizing, too.)

This fall we’re loving some of the ‘90s-inspired lip color trends: reddish-brown or black cherry, anyone? Just glide it on and you’ll be so ready, whether you’re planning to dine by golden candlelight or dance the night away under flashing strobes.


  1. Great tips! I for one would not want to go home just to change my looks. I carry with me a bold lipstick when I have to change to a night look fast.

  2. i’m in love with the maybelline super stay 24!!! so pigmented, long lasting, and vibrant! i was able to test these products for free, but all opinions are my own. i recommend to you other bloggers!

  3. Brilliant!!
    Thank you so much for these tips!
    who has time to go from day wear to night when your day is full!

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