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.
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
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.
Eyes: An old Hollywood look normally means classic black liquid liner, but for a young Hollywood, modern twist, play with color. Start with a shimmery flesh tone shadow all over the lid. Then swipe top lash line with a teal liner, starting at the inner corners and giving the end a slight wing. Try Eyestudio ColorTattoo Metal 24HR Cream Gel Eye Shadow in Barely Branded and Eyestudio Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil in Silken Turquoise. Finish by curling lashes and brushing on a few coats of black mascara.
Face: Go for matte coverage all over with highlighter on your cheekbones. Almodovar suggests Dream Matte Mousse Foundation paired with Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter. Contour cheeks with Fit Me! Blush in Medium Nude.
Lips: Instead of the expected red lip, opt for a matte peachy nude shade such as Color Sensational Insti-Matte Nude Lipstick in Naked Coral.
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.
Lips: Try a warm nude lipstick shade with some sheen. Get it with Baby Lips Color Balm Crayon in Toasted Taupe.
Nails: “A look like this requires an iconic red manicure and pedicure,” says Saunders. Her suggestion: A-List. “It’s a classic.”
Eyes: Start with a shimmery eye in a neutral shade via the Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon in Bronze Truffle. Swipe it across lids and from lash lines to just below brow bones. Then along bottom lash line, too. Next, line top lashes with black liner. Smudge it out for a smoky look, or keep it precise for a more elegant vibe. Try Eyestudio Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil in Sleek Onyx. Finish with a few coats of black mascara to top and bottom lashes. Try Volum’ Express The Falsies Big Eyes Washable Mascara.
Face: Keep skin glowy. Apply highlighter alone or over a lightweight foundation, says Almodovar. Try FaceStudio Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter.
Lips: Your lip should be super saturated and dark, says Almodovar. Try Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds Lipstick in Berry Bossy. For a precise look, trace the border of lips with a matching liner, he says.
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.
Face: The goal is sheer, glowing skin, says Almodovar. To get it, try Dream Fresh BB all over. Sweep a pale pink blush along cheekbones. Try Fit Me! in Light Pink. Then add highlighter just to the high points of the face: cheekbones, bridge of the nose, top of the forehead. Try FaceStudio Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter.
Lips: Pick a lip shade that’s similar to your natural lip color, only a bit more pumped up. We like Color Sensational Lip Color in Pink Peony.
Nails: “Long, flowy, floral dresses require a soft, neutral mani-pedi,” says Saunders. Try Sand Tropez, a soft beige for both hands and feet.
Eyes: Sweep a sheer brown shadow into creases and a pearl champagne shadow at inner corners of eyes. Get it with Expert Wear Eye Shadow Quads in Natural Smokes and EyeStudio Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon in Barely Beige. Then amp up the definition with black liquid liner (like EyeStudio Master Precise Liquid Liner), winged out to almost the outer edge of your brow and applied on both top and bottom lashes, starting at the inner corners. Connect the outer points of the top and bottom lines. Now layer on black mascara on top and bottom lashes. Try Volum’ Express The Falsies Big Eyes Washable Mascara in Blackest Black.
Face: Keep skin soft and glowy with bright pink blush on the apples of your cheeks and a pink highlighter higher on cheekbones, says Almodovar. Get both in FaceStudio Master Blush Color & Highlight Kit.
Lips: Go with the shiniest pink you can find for lips, says Almodovar. He suggests Baby Lips Crayon in Pink Smooch.
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.
Retro Disco Queen
Eyes: This look is all about sparkle and color, says Almodovar. Start with a shimmery taupe base, applied from lash lines up to the brow bone. Try Expert Wear Eye Shadow in Cool Cocoa. Then sweep a sparkly taupe-brown shadow from inner corners to the middle of the eye and up to creases. Dust a white shimmer along inner corners. Find both in The Rock Nudes Eye Shadow Palette. Then line lashes -- top and bottom -- with a bright blue or teal pencil such as EyeStudio Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil in Lustrous Sapphire. Now apply several coats of black mascara like Volum’ Express Colossal Spider Effect to top and bottom lashes.
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!
Lips: Go bright and glossy. “You’re meant to be noticed,” says Almodovar. Try Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip in Lilac Lumi.
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.
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