Get Your Game Face On With These 6 Game Day Makeup Ideas

February 28, 2024
Gillian Fuller
By: Gillian Fuller | by L'Oréal
6 Winning Game Day Makeup Looks We Can’t Get Enough Of

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Whether you’re an avid fan or only tune in for the big halftime performance, game day gatherings are more fun when you get into the spirit. And in our opinion, the best way to do so is with a killer game day makeup look. Here, we’ll show you how to embrace your team spirit in style (sans face paint) with six game day makeup looks that can’t be beaten. From bold lips to eyes painted in your favorite team’s signature shades, find all the inspiration you need to sprint through the sportiest season of the year, below.

Why Game Day Makeup Matters

We’d argue that game days are as much about the party as they are about the game itself. Whether you’re tuning in to basketball, hockey, or football, game day presents an opportunity to gather with friends and feast on your favorite snacks while enjoying a bit of friendly competition. And while you can, of course, rock any makeup look you want, the festive atmosphere makes for a great excuse to try something you may not otherwise consider. Go ultra-glam, experiment with vivid colors, or deck yourself out in sparkles.

Game Day Makeup Must-Haves

In order to stay on while you cheer, makeup for game days should be long-wearing and, ideally, waterproof. While the exact products you’ll need depend on the look you’re after, here’s what we’d recommend having on hand:

  • Long-wearing makeup primer
  • Waterproof eyeliner
  • Waterproof mascara
  • Makeup setting spray
  • Blotting sheets

If you plan on tailgating before the game, don’t forget to start your look with SPF. We’re big fans of CeraVe Hydrating Sheer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 for Face & Body because it’s non-greasy and helps prime the skin for makeup (and we love a multi-tasker).

6 Winning Game Day Makeup Looks to Try

Get ready to cheer your team on to victory. Ahead, find six game day looks that’ll earn you the title of makeup MVP.

Colorful eyeliner

Show everyone who you’re rooting for with a bold eyeliner look featuring your team’s signature colors. To achieve this playful look, you’ll need to select two shades from the NYX Professional Makeup Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick lineup that align with your team’s palette (so if their uniforms are, for example, white and red, snag the shades Pure White and Pretty Poblano). Use the darker of the two shades to draw a thick line along your upper lash line, extending the liner beyond the outer corner of your eye to create a colorful wing. Then, use the lighter shade to define your lower waterline for a bit of contrast. Finish with a coat or two of mascara (we suggest L’Oréal Voluminous Panorama Washable Mascara since it offers up to 24 hours of smudge-resistant wear).

Statement red lip

Channel your favorite era-defining popstar (turned unofficial cheerleader) with a bold, last-all-day red lip. Starting with the Maybelline Super Stay Ink Crayon Lipstick in the shade Check Yourself, trace the outer border of your lips, extending just beyond your natural lip line if you’d like a plumper-looking pout. Then, fill in your lips with the same long-wearing lip crayon for bold, smudge-resistant color with up to eight hours of wear.

If you’d prefer a glossy football makeup moment, reach for NYX Professional Makeup Duck Plump High Pigment Plumping Lip Gloss in the shade Hall of Flame instead. The ginger-infused gloss plumps the lips and delivers serious color payoff thanks to the high-pigment formula.

No makeup-makeup

For a more low-key look, you can’t go wrong with no-makeup makeup. For this laid-back look, your skin is the star of the show. Get your glow on with Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, a lightweight, medium-coverage foundation that blurs imperfections and brightens the skin. If needed, add additional coverage to areas that need it with Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Concealer—the caffeine-infused formula is especially useful for concealing dark, puffy under-eyes. Finally, secure that coveted lit-from-within glow by applying Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Enhancer to the tops of your cheekbones, cupid’s bow, and just beneath your brow bone.

If you want to give your team a little love, consider painting your nails in their signature colors—essie’s polishes are among our favorites.

All-over sparkles

If you ask us, glitter is always a good idea, but it’s especially fitting for a party. Though your eyes and lips will be the focal point of this look, you’ll want a smooth, even base, so we suggest reaching for IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50. The hyaluronic acid-infused formula instantly camouflages the look of imperfections and helps protect your skin from the sun’s rays (a must if you’ll be seated outdoors).

Once your base is set, use your finger to tap a sparkly eyeshadow like Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Glitter Eyeshadow Singles in the shade Wild Dipper onto your lids and brow bone. (Don’t be shy—the glitter really makes this game day makeup look). Add your favorite lipstick, then take home the gold with Maybelline Lifter Plumper Gloss in the shimmer-flecked shade Hot Honey.

Gradient eye shadow

Diehard fans, this one is for you. Show off your unending team spirit with an ombré eyeshadow look that’s sure to turn heads on game day. For this look, you’ll need at least two eyeshadow shades—again, as you could probably guess, in your team’s colors. Use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to apply the lighter shade to the inner half of your upper eyelid and the darker shade to the outer half of your lid. Then, with a clean blending brush, blur the border between the two shades to create a soft gradient of color.

Repeat this process along your lower lash line, using an eyeliner brush rather than an eyeshadow brush to ensure a precise application. Add a coat or two of your favorite waterproof mascara, pop on some lip gloss, and set your two-tone game day makeup look in place with Urban Decay All-Nighter Waterproof Makeup Setting Spray.

Glowy glam

Move over, mob wife winter: For game day, it’s all about baller’s wife makeup. To achieve this glamorous yet effortless (and endlessly glowy) look, start by applying a thin layer of L’Oreal Paris Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer to your face, neck, and decolletage. Next, use L’Oreal Paris True Match Radiant Serum Concealer to brighten up your under-eye area and camouflage any imperfections you’d like to leave on the sidelines.

Then, carve out your cheekbones with your favorite contour product, then finish your glowy, luxe look with NYX Professional Makeup Fat Oil Slick Click tinted lip balm. Opt for the pinkish-nude No Filter Needed shade for a softer lip look, or reach for In a Mood for a bolder, sultrier effect.

Game Day Makeup Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to makeup but want to get into the spirit next time your favorite team hits the field (or court), here are a few things you can do to level up your beauty game:

  • Focus on one feature. If you want to make your eyes pop, keep your face makeup and lipstick minimal so as not to overpower your look. Or, if you’ve fallen in love with a bold lip color, rock it—but skip the bold eyeshadow and use a bit of liner and mascara instead. Balance is the name of the game!
  • Opt for long-wear products. When you’re just starting out with makeup, achieving that perfect application can take time. Ensure your hard work pays off by using long-wearing products that you won’t have to rush to the bathroom to reapply during halftime.
  • Don’t skip skin prep. Proper skin prep is the secret to great-looking makeup. Make sure you apply your makeup to clean, moisturized skin—it’ll sit, blend, and wear better.
  • Take it easy. Makeup is about having fun and expressing yourself, so don’t stress about it too much. Have fun with your look, show off your team pride, and enjoy the game. After all—that’s what you’re here for.

Next Up: How to Prevent Your Mascara From Smudging in 7 Easy Steps


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