...make your head look lovely on prom night
Are we still talking about the prom?
We sure are.
Last week, we took a look at various directions you can take your prom look starting with the dress.
This week, we're focusing on making your head look its best on prom night.
I stressed the importance of finding a dress that causes you to radiate with confidence while remaining comfortable enough that you have a good time in it.
I could make reference to 90210's Donna Martin again and the time she wore a mermaid-style dress to a costume party that totally limited her mobility and ruined her night, but I won't.
Back to your head.
Hair and makeup are fun to experiment with for any formal event, but that doesn't mean it needs to be over-the-top.
As I said before, you should look like a more polished version of yourself.
We tend to become obsessed with celebrity style. Who hasn't walked into a hairdresser with a photo of their favorite starlet and asked them to make them look like that?
In the end, it tends to be a letdown because a new hairstyle does not come facial reconstructive surgery.
Become inspired by the things that tickle your fancy, but don't forget to make it your own and keep true to yourself, because word on the street is, you are pretty darn beautiful, so there is no need to attempt to carbon copy anyone from Hollywood.
They are all fake anyway.
Still photos, as we've discussed before, are all retouched and during live events, a team of stylists are up the celeb's behind every five minutes doing touch-ups.
Don't try to recreate that. You don't have time for all that. what with all the fun you'll be having.
So, without further adieu, hair and makeup advice from a gal who has the tendency to wear way too much eye makeup and hasn't been able to settle on a hairstyle since the second grade.
Remember, nothing I say is bible, do your own thing, but feel free to find inspiration in some of these looks.
Getting your hair did
When I was in college, one of my professors, a woman, always wore her hair in a very tight slicked back ponytail or bun. She looked polished every day, but one day she wore her hair down and we, as a class, were stunned. We were all, "What is going on? Is something special going on that Mrs. (I forget her name) has her hair down? What is going on?"
It was a change of pace, which is sometimes welcomed for special occasions or just to switch it up once in a while. The unexpected can be a very good thing.
What I'm getting at is that if you consistently wear your hair a certain way - up, down, half-up, curly, straight or wavy - maybe try a different direction. A fresh look, no matter how simple, can have a very dramatic impact.
PUT 'EM UP
The updo is so dangerous. It can go very wrong and become very prom/pagaent/bridal. If you ask me, effortless beauty is ideal. You never want to look too overdone, or as if you would melt into a pile of gel, makeup and bobby pins if caught in a downpour.
I've seen them on other people, I've seen them in the mirror for special events of my past: obnoxious updos.
It's all a matter of your own personal taste, but I find nothing worse than a tight slicked back updo with tight, spiral curls erupting from the top like a volcano coupled with bangs plastered in a side part to your head. It's so cliche - it's like the updo version of a mullet - and seems to be such a go-to style for big events.
In order to avoid such a catastrophe, pick a side.
If you want curls, stick with looser styles.
If you want sleek, stick with polished looks like a high sock bun. Oh, and look up the tutorial on YouTube. Don't buy the "As Seen on TV" Hot Buns. First of all, the commercial is utterly ridiculous. Second of all, all you need is an old tube/knee sock. Third of all, who is making these commercials and how much are they getting paid?
Worry not. Half-up hairstyles do not fall into the mullet category. It's a good compromise if you can't decide to go up or down. Half-ups have a very 1960s sex kitten vibe, but still maintain a sense of wholesomeness.
There are some decent modern trends, but we keep going back to eras gone by for inspiration because they did it right. My friend and I just had this very conversation.
Women used to actually do their hair. Up until the late 1960s (maybe later?), women, in general, cared very much about their appearance. Hairstyles were kind of elaborate and kind of fantastic. Only hippies had long, no-fuss styles.
That being said, retro is a great way to go.
And if you want to awaken your inner pin up, feel free to slap a big fat flower in your hair or give victory rolls a whirl. All these things can be found in YouTube tutorials. I swear by them. You can really learn a lot of great techniques.
Putting your face on
CAT EYE/WINGED EYE LINER
I'm guessing we can thank ancient Egypt and their adoration for cats or Cleopatra for this look, but the cat eye (also known as winged eye liner) is very classic when done right. A simple cat eye is a technique you're going to have to practice. It's one thing to get the perfect line on one eye, but the complexity comes in trying to make them match.
Liquid eyeliner is probably the safest bet for a precise line, but if you don't have the hands of surgeon, and you're worried about looking like you applied your eye makeup while a passenger on a moving school bus, the same effect can be achieved using a good eye pencil, or, better yet, the new gel liners and an angled brush. Again, consult YouTube. I could fill this page with instructions on makeup, but, if you're going to take a crack at it yourself, the best way to learn is to watch someone actually applying the technique.
SMOKE IT OUT
A smoky eye is considered on the sexy side in most circles, but it can be sophisticated at the same time.
Typically, the smoky look is seen using black or a dark gray liner which is then smudged to smoky perfection or subtle imperfection.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different colors, but keep in mind you don't want to have your whole face competing with itself. If you're going with a smoky eye, keep your lip neutral. You can use gloss or go matte, just don't go overboard with a bold color and, for the love of God, don't do that thing where the lip liner is crazy dark and the interior surface of the lip is pale. What that was ever about, I'll never know.
SHIMMER & SHINE
Radiant is always a word you want associated with your face any chance you can get. Keeping tones on the more neutral side, but adding shimmer and shine in strategically placed areas creates that radiant effect.
This is probably the most fool-proof look provided you don't dump a bucket of glitter on your face. There's a difference between shimmering and looking like a disco ball.
Key areas to highlight with shimmer follow the bone structure of your face - namely the cheekbones and brow bones. Highlight the cheekbones a bit higher than you would place blush, and only from the center of your eye toward your temples, otherwise, you'll look greasy.
Be careful with too much shimmer, in your lip color.
I read an article online that said men hate red lipstick, but since we rarely do things to please men, why start now? Red lipstick is classic. Just make sure to keep your eye makeup subtle or monotone.
Another fun thing to try is a bright pink or fushia lip. I'd stay away from purples, as they make you look as though you have been trapped in the Andes for a few days.
If all else fails, have someone who knows what they're doing paint your face on.
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.) <----Oh hey, look at that.