Pay attention, because pictures last forever.
Prom is the Oscars of high school. But while an Oscar might only sit in a display cabinet for 10 years, a prom picture is forever.
Prom looks have a high potential for future cringe – ask your parents or your seniors if they still love their instant noodle hair or blonde fringe and the answer is probably “no”.
So take this fail-proof guide and go:
Hair on Point
Try a new hairstyle the day itself. If you’ve never put all your hair up (i.e. sans face-framing fringe or hair), then don’t try it during prom. Whether you’re doing your own hair with the help of a YouTube hair guru or visiting the salon, experiment beforehand.
Put all your hair up, try that new curling iron, or practise that braid weeks before. This way, you’ll know for sure that the hairstyle you planned works great with your dress, accessories, and makeup.
Pro tip: Try on your prom hairstyle beforehand and take selfies from different angles to see if any part looks weird or unflattering. This way, you can fix it before THE day!
This advice applies to your entire prom look. While it might be tempting to go full pink or sport an under-shave for the most important event of school life, don’t. Because once upon a time, mullets and blonde tips were trendy too.
Having said this, don’t feel like you can’t be “who you truly are”. If for instance, you like the edginess of the under-shave, then fake it with mock under-shave braids! That way, you’ll get the same vibe and remain timeless in your photos for years to come.
Use a moderate amount of medium hold hairspray for half up or down do’s, and a moderate amount of strong hold hairspray for up do’s. Don’t, however, load it on until your hair looks and feels more like a bulletproof helmet.
It’s just not cute.
Prom is a big event, and if you’ve scored a date with that crush of yours, can feel like a real fairy tale. Go ahead and give yourself princess treatment (Uber Black car hire included), but don’t do it with an old school “princess” tiara because those belong to the 80s/90s.
For a modern tiara, try a flower crown or a pearl or flower tiara that resembles a headband.
Go for classic cuts and styles – they’re timeless, not boring! Plus, you don’t want to sport hair or makeup that will make you look like someone else; you want to be the best version of yourself during this rite of passage event.
If you like wearing your hair down or if you’re wearing a strapless number and want to use your hair as a scarf, give yourself bombshell curls. If that’s too plain for your taste, then add a braid, twist, criss-cross, or side-swept accent.
Another classic look is the messy bun – wear it high with your hair pulled back for a glamorous look or wear it low with loose side strands for a romantic look.
Speaking of classic: ponytails! They’re versatile, pretty, and timeless. Wear a straight and slicked back one, one with braided accents, or a messy one.
Since your goal is to do a Madonna and look good through the decades, a good trick is to wear a retro or vintage trend – they’ll never go out of style! My favourite is the side-swept old Hollywood curls, it works on all hair lengths!
An elegant hair accessory can take everyday curls to the next level. This works especially well if you don’t intend on braiding your fingers into a knot or spending money for a professional ‘do.
Pearl tiara, flowers, sleek headbands, leaf pins, or bejewelled clips, the world is your prom oyster.
Best You Makeup
Since you’ll have to be answering questions about the pictures taken on this very day for the next 10000 Christmases, you want to look like you, and not like Kim K (unless you’re Kim K, in which case, hey gurrrrr!)
While you shouldn’t put on too much makeup, you also shouldn’t go too light. Use a medium to full coverage (depending on your coverage needs), photo-friendly foundation because you’ll want to look as good under dance lights as with camera flashes. Don’t leave out your neck – it needs to match your face.
Put on more blush than you usually would, and blend it in! Try mild contouring, or even non-touring, which is to use highlighter in a way that mimics contouring. Read about it here (link non-touring). You can even highlight your shoulder or collarbone if your outfit has a low neckline.
Shimmery and glossy makeup looks for the eyes and lips look slightly better in photos, compared to extremely matte products. So add some sparkle!
Good makeup looks great on healthy skin. So pay extra attention to your skincare a month or more leading up to the day. Don’t be lazy with makeup removal for months and then try making up for dull skin or clogged pores by spamming your face with masks a day before.
If you have combination or oily skin, don’t skip the moisturiser thinking that it’ll help you stay matte all night! Properly moisturised skin won’t secrete excess oil, keeping your makeup looking less oily for longer hours.
Try Belif Oil Control Moisturizer Fresh, an oil-free moisturizer that has sebum control properties. Available at Belif stores nationwide.
Don’t get a facial or wax your brows or upper-lip too close to the day. These treatments might give you redness or breakouts, so it’s best to give yourself buffer time: a week or a week plus, depending on how your skin usually reacts.
Prom is your opportunity to go glam, so try a dramatic shimmery eye look or a major cat eye.
If you can’t even with blending multiple colours on your lids, then focus instead on bold eyebrows or bold lips with simple eyelid makeup.
Longwear products will keep your makeup looking beat from the time your date picks you up till the after party.
For foundation, we like Urban Decay’s All Nighter, available at Sephora and Urban Decay stores nationwide. Click here for more long lasting makeup. To really make sure your mug lasts, apply both a face and eyeshadow primer and a setting spray to finish!
Cover image from YouTube user YouTube user Luxy Hair
Pay attention, because pictures last forever.