Because we’ve been there done that, we can tell you -- with confidence -- that at some point, your high school years will become one big blur (we know, it’s hard to believe now. But trust us, it happens). Yet, the one thing you’ll always remember? Your prom. You’ll never forget your date, the dress, your prom makeup--even the exact shade of lipstick you wore, or how you did your hair. But no pressure to nail your look or anything.
Fortunately, we’re making that part of the night foolproof (sorry, you’re on your own with finding a date). First, discover your perfect prom style based on your overall vibe and personality. Then scroll down to check out your flawless prom makeup and nail plan created with help from Maybelline makeup artist Gabriel Almovodar and Essie celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders. Consider it your prom makeup beauty cheat sheet: pin it, print it, and shop it for a truly unforgettable look.
I.D. Your Prom Style
Check off all of the statements that apply to you. The section with the most checks is your ideal look.
Your favorite flower: white gardenia.
Your perfect after-school date: checking out new releases at the local cinema.
Your passion project: writing (and starring in) your own screenplay.
Your celeb style muses: Lily Collins, Selena Gomez.
Your dream dress style: a sleek gown with art deco details and beadwork.
Your prom makeup personality: Hollywood Glam
Your favorite flower: the red rose.
Your perfect after-school date: getting mani and pedis with your BFFs.
Your passion project: starting an organization to empower teen girls.
Your celeb style muses: Elle Fanning, Emma Roberts, and Emma Watson.
Your dream dress style: is romantic and feminine, but in a structured, sophisticated silhouette.
Your prom makeup personality: Classic Chic
Your favorite flower: the black dahlia.
Your perfect after-school date: checking out a new underground band.
Your passion project: creating an online gallery for emerging teen artists.
Your celeb style muses: Lorde, Taylor Momsen.
Your dream dress style: the anti-princess prom dress, of course -- all black everything with cool details like chokers, cut-outs, and studs.
Your prom makeup personality: Edgy Elegance
Your favorite flower: daisy.
Your perfect after-school date: an impromptu picnic at the park.
Your passion project: bringing a music festival to your neighborhood.
Your celeb style muses: Vanessa Hudgens, Dakota Johnson.
Your dream dress style: a long, flowy maxi dress in a floral print.
Your prom makeup personality: Bohemian Beauty
Your favorite flower: a bright pink gerber daisy.
Your perfect after-school date: checking out the new hotspot juice bar.
Your passion project: starting your own “sweet sixteen” event planning company.
Your celeb style muses: Bella Thorne, Dove Cameron
Your dream dress style: modern fairytale. That means lots of tulle and sparkle in bright or pastel shades, but with an edgy twist -- like a cropped top and full-length skirt.
Your prom makeup personality: Party Princess
Your favorite flower: dancing queen amaryllis.
Your perfect after-school date: shopping thrift shops for vintage-cool clothes and accessories.
Your passion project: starting your own girl group.
Your celeb style muses: Kendall Jenner, Solange Knowles
Your dream dress style: You’re on the scene to be seen. Your ideal gown is a form fitting dress with a halter-style neckline and lots of metallic sequins. Better yet, buck the dress trend and go with a sexy jumpsuit.
Your prom makeup personality: Retro disco queen
Your Prom Makeup Plan
So, now that you’ve figured out your overall vibe, it’s time for some major prom makeup and nail inspo from Maybelline New York and Essie.
Nails: “Fitted and strapless? A bombshell mani-pedi is a must,” says Saunders. Her recommendation is a deep, dramatic burgundy like Bordeaux or Model Clicks.
Eyes: To define eyes, try a smoky eye in warm earth tones blended up to the crease. Sweep a rich chocolate brown shade all over lids, from inner to outer corners, lashes to just above creases. Then sweep a bit under lower lashes. Use a cream highlighter to accentuate your brow bone. Get all you need in Eyestudio Color Plush Silk Eye Quad Palette in Give Me Gold. Then add liquid black liner that gets thicker toward the outer end of your eye. Try Master Precise Curvy Liquid Liner with an easy-to-grip (and control) pen. Brows should be full and defined -- a trademark of classic beauty, says Almodovar. Using a two-in-one brow pencil like Maybelline Eyestudio Brow + Define Duo, create the shape with the wax pencil and fill in individual hairs using short, upward strokes. Then use the powdery side to create an overall darker, denser-looking brow. Apply a black curling mascara to top and bottoms like Volum’ Express The Colossal Cat Eyes Washable Mascara.
Face: Go for sheer, buildable coverage with a luminous, liquid foundation. Try Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation. Tap it on skin -- only where you need it -- with the sponge application, blend, and add more if necessary. Use the same cream highlighter that you used on your brow bones to accent the tops of your cheekbones. Lightly dust a sheer bronzer into the hollows of cheeks. Try Fit Me! Blush in Medium Nude.
Nails: “Go dark with black Licorice, or stark white withBlanc for this edgy match up,” says Saunders.
Eyes: “Go for gold eyeshadow, applied heavy on the lid, with a brown or taupe smudged into the crease,” says Almovodar. Use a eyeshadow brush to dust the gold color from inner corners to the outside edge of your iris. Then use a small stiff shadow or liner brush to sweep the brown shade across creases to line up with the outer edge of your brows. Find all the shades in The 24K Nudes Eyeshdow Palette. Then curl lashes and layer on a few coats of black mascara to top and bottom lashes. Try Great Lash Washable Mascara in Blackest Black.
Nails: Going bright? Don’t compete with your dress. Instead, go for a matchy-matchy mani pedi. For example, wearing a barbie pink gown? Try Backseat Besties on hands, and the slightly brighter Madison Ave-Hue on feet.
Face: Disco era skin was contoured and glowy. To make it easy, try an all-in-one stick like Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick. Apply the darker shade in the hollows of your cheekbones and along your jawline. Blend well. Then swipe the highlighting shade along the high points of your face and blend so there are no harsh lines. Done!
About the Author:The daughter of a hairdresser, Krista Bennett DeMaio likes to say she has beauty in her blood. She has well over a decade of beauty editorial experience. The former magazine-editor-turned-freelance writer has covered all things beauty from anti-aging skincare to NYFW runway trends. Her work has appeared in national publications and websites including Women’s Health, Redbook, Shape, Dr. Oz The Good Life, bhg.com, and prevention.com. She lives in Greenlawn, New York with her husband and two interns, er, daughters.