The Perfect Day to Night Dress?

When F&F sent me this Lace Panel Illusion dress from their new Julia range, to me it seemed like the perfect option for a dinner date or a formal occasion of some kind. But when I showed it to my friend (who works in banking) she immediately said it was perfect for work. So perhaps it fits the bill for that illusive, ‘perfect’ day to night dress? I love a bit of versatility so I put it to the test.

For me, it would be all about the finishing touches so I’ve asked my trusty make-up artist contributor, Lisa Hancox to add her take on what make up she thinks could take this dress from day to evening.

The Day Look

Julia dress

I opted for black opaques with a simple black court shoe, collarless black jacket and a shoulder bag to dress it down. It’s not something that I would wear during the day (because I don’t have the occasion to) but I can see that if you worked in an office or were out and about meeting clients that it would work really well.


Shoes, Dune. Jacket, Massimo Dutti. Bag, Gucci.


Firstly, apply a semi-matte or matte liquid foundation before you go to work in the morning. Try ByTerry Cover Expert, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish, Maybelline FitMe and Max Factor Whipped Cream foundations.  This formula will last longer and look better in photos taken in the evening – glowing skin can look shiny and sometimes ghostly when snapped in low-light with a flash.

Dab on some concealer under the eyes and a cream blusher – I love this one Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy blush. Then set your base with a translucent powder.

Apply a very thin line of black eyeliner to the roots of the top lashes using the Bourjois Intuitive Liner, mascara and lip balm. The dress will do all the talking in the office so keep your make-up really low-key.  Take your foundation, blusher, mascara, concealer and setting powder to work with you.

Day to Night

To take it through to the evening and you’re feeling brave, I would go for nude legs and nude or gold shoes. It’s a delicate, elegant dress so I’ve chosen my very special Manolo Blahniks. The soft feathers and satin heels compliment dress perfectly. A simple, suede clutch for timeless elegance.

Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik

After work, check whether you need to add any more coverage with your foundation and concealer, then re-set with the powder.  Apply another thin layer of cream blusher – dim lighting means the amount you used for the office won’t show up quite as well. Then,  I’d consider one of these two options:
1) A wine-red lip would look stunning and simple – without adding any further make-up to your eyes.  Choose a matte but conditioning formula which will last longer and looks more modern.  I particularly love:
  • NARS Velvet Matte pencil in Cruella and NARS Pure Matte in Amsterdam
  • Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau in Muse
  • Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon
To prepare your lips, pat on a thin layer of concealer all over the lips before applying your lipstick and then a second layer.  Just make sure your lips are smooth by applying some balm 10 minutes before.
2) Play up your eyes and the detail in the dress by working some dark sparkle in a sophisticated way. You could create a black sparkly smoky eye with Chanel’s beautiful Illusion d’Ombre cream eyeshadow in Mirifique.
If that’s too dramatic apply the same product as an eyeliner to the top lashline OR line the top lashline again with a thicker line of the same black from the morning and then add a line of gold liner directly above it – I rate Eyeko’s skinny liquid liner in Rose Gold  and Barry M metallic eyeliner in ‘mle5 gold’ .

Kate Middleton looked lovely in this lace dress from Zara a couple of years ago.

Kate Middleton lace dress


This dress is available exclusively online here at F&F, £30.

How would you dress this up…or down?!
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