Prom season is just around the corner, and no outfit is complete without the makeup to match. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind while you have the night of your life.
A week in advance: picking your makeup
1. You’ll want to spice up your day-to-day routine with some special occasion makeup for prom, but without going over the top. False eyelashes will help your eyes pop, and highlighter will give your face a glow in the pictures. That’s a better option than disco ball glitter—you’re going to a formal dance, not a nightclub.
2. Pick your colors wisely. People tend to pick eye shadow that matches their dresses, but that often results in an overload of one color. Instead, pick a color that complements your dress. If you’re wearing red, try a gold or light purple shadow. If you’re wearing blue, give frosty whites or light grays a shot. Consider your eye shadow another part of your outfit—you would never wear red pants with a red top, would you?
3. Go with the good quality stuff. You want your makeup to still be fresh when you’re taking all your pictures, especially after you’ve danced the night away. Don’t worry, high quality doesn’t always mean expensive—drugstore brands Wet n’ Wild and NYX both have great pigmented eye shadows that have excellent staying power when used with a base.
4. Practice makes perfect. Give yourself a run-through day and make sure you actually know what you’re doing. Besides troubleshooting, this also helps you get a good estimate of how long it’ll take you to get ready, so you can better plan your schedule the day of prom.
The night of prom: applying your makeup
1. Start early and be prepared for mini-disasters. Give yourself plenty of cushion time to fix any smudges or start over if necessary. I suggest adding an extra half hour to however long your run-through took. The worst thing to do is panic because you don’t have enough time. It might help to keep makeup remover and cotton swabs on hand, just in case.
2. Get rid of extra oil. Remember that you’re up for a night of pictures and dancing—you want to do whatever you can to keep your face looking fresh. Use a mattifying primer under your foundation and a blotting powder over it. Hint: layering your powder blush on top of a cream blush elongates lasting power.
3. Pack your purse for any emergencies. Bring oil-blotting sheets that you can easily whip out before pictures. Q-tips dipped in makeup remover are also useful to take with you. Let them dry first and pack them, then moisten with some water if you need a quick fix for smudgy mascara or lipstick.
When you get home: removing your makeup
1. All that makeup and sweat can’t be good for your skin, and the last thing you want is to pass out from exhaustion without taking it all off. Be sure to remove everything, including eyelash glue, which can be a pain the next morning. If face wash alone isn’t enough, use a makeup-removing toner or wipes. If you still have the energy, put on an overnight mask, which will help rejuvenate your skin.
- False Eyelashes: Ardell Strip Lashes ($4)
- Wet n Wild Color Icon Single Eyeshadow ($2), NYX Single Eyeshadow ($5.50)
- Eyeshadow Base: E.L.F Mineral Eyeshadow Primer ($3), Urban Decay Primer Potion ($18)
- Mattifying Primer: Make Up Forever All Mat primer ($45)
- Blotting Powder: Mac Blot Powder ($23)
- Cream Blush: Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick ($19), Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush ($7)
- Overnight Mask: The Face Shop Raspberry Sleeping Pack ($10-$13), local Chinatown and Koreatown stores
Header credit: Shutterstock