When we asked Yorkdale Prom Ambassador Madelyn to give makeup tips, we had no idea that she’d actually give the best advice we’ve EVER read! WOWSA! This girl could teach makeup lessons professionally! Seriously impressive, Madelyn!
Makeup can be such a daunting subject –there are so many products out there (Foundation? Concealer? Primer?), and they all claim to do different things so it can get a bit overwhelming.
So this is where I, your former Shoe Master turned Makeup Guru, come in.
Prom is one of the worst places to have a makeup mishap. To prevent this, as well as to save you from the pricey mistake of buying the wrong products, I have created a comprehensive guide to getting your face on, for prom!
It’s a bit tricky to cut corners with makeup so you definitely want to spend a few extra dollars for the right product because that makes the hugest difference. If you’re like me, and have this $40-FOR-FOUNDATION?!-IT’S-PRACTICALLY-COLOURED-WATER mentality, just try to remind yourself that this stuff is going onto your skin –and your skin likes to absorb whatever’s on it. If you buy the cheaper, chemically-laced product, your skin could end up paying for it, typically through an allergic reaction or break outs.
Before you start your makeup, make sure you have the right tools! Investing in a good quality brush (this is soooo important) goes a long way: it makes your makeup look better AND you’ll end up using less product.
Some key brush types you should start with: Concealer, Kabuki, Stipling, Eye Contour, and an Angle Liner brush. If you aren’t sure, ask the lovely folks at Yorkdale’s Sephora!
1. Breaking out a few days before prom or a big event? Try using a product with salicylic acid in it, which dries out stubborn zits. My favourite is Dermalogica Clean Start’s Bedtime for Breakouts (available at Donato Salon + Spa). This product is the best! It’s almost up there with invention of Nutella or cookie dough ice cream.
2. Exfoliate your face & lips to get rid of any dried skin. This helps your make up go on smoother. Put on a lightweight moisturizer, preferably without SPF since this will give your face a whitish cast in flash photography.
MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microperfecting Primer in 0, Sephora, $38 & MAC Prep & Prime, MAC, around $30
3. Once your moisturizer has absorbed into your skin, put on a primer. This is one of the most important steps in your whole makeup routine since it evens out your skin texture (shrinking pores, filling lines, etc.) and helps your makeup last longer.
OPTIONAL: 4. To hide any skin blemishes or correct uneven skin tones, use concealer before putting on foundation. Serious skin imperfections can be covered with coloured concealer: green to neutralize red tones, lilac to normalize yellow undertones, and yellow for brightening under-eye circles. Pat on the concealer with your finger (this helps melt the product into your skin), then use a concealer brush to blend out the edges.
Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer, Sephora, $48 (Bonus: It’s also a primer!) Covergirl’s Simply Ageless Corrector, Shoppers’ Drug Mart
5. Applying your eye makeup before foundation helps clean up any eyeshadow fallouts. Remember to apply a base for your eyeshadow to prevent it from fading or creasing. Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is a cult favourite, but I find that using a cream/liquid based concealer that you might already have works perfectly fine.
OPTIONAL: 6. Now onto the trickiest part of your prom routine: false eyelashes. To make sure they’re the right size, hold them up to your eyes and cut off any excess from the outer edge (If you want a dramatic but more natural look you can use individual lashes instead). Using a clear or dark lash adhesive, apply a drop onto a tissue and wait about 30 seconds until it gets slightly tacky. Using tweezers, dip the base of the lashes into the glue until it’s completely coated. Apply them right above your lashes starting from the outside in. Check them out at all angles to make sure they mesh with your real lashes. I like Ardell lashes, and MAC & Sephora have a lot of options for a more dramatic effect ($10 and up).
7. Time for liner! Since prom is going to be a long and humid night, it’s best to use a gel or liquid liner since those won’t budge. Prefer using a pencil? Waterproof will minimize the raccoon eyes.
Gel: Sephora Collection Waterproof Smoky Cream Liner Pencil: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, Sephora,$18 Liquid: L’Oréal Paris Carbon Black Lineur Intense Felt Tip, Shoppers Drug Mart, $13.49
8. Curl your lashes and put on mascara. If you’re already using false lashes and they look really blended I recommend you skip the mascara because it’ll just get your false lashes dirty and make your makeup harder to remove later on.
L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes, Shoppers Drug Mart, $13.49
OPTIONAL: 9. Filling in and shaping your brows will make a very big difference and will help frame your eyes better in photos. Fill in any sparse areas with light feathery strokes using a brow pencil. Lighter-haired people should use a colour that’s one shade darker than their hair colour, and those with darker hair should use a colour that’s one shade lighter.
PUTTING ON THE REST OF YOUR FACE
10. Use a stipling brush or a makeup sponge for an airbrushed effect when applying foundation all over your face. Make sure you blend your foundation down your neck so your face and body won’t be two different colours. Since everyone has different skin types, I recommend you test out some foundations at makeup retailers before you buy. My favourite skin products are from MAKE UP FOR EVER’s HD line: they feel light, but they have enough coverage to make you look good in HD photos, and best of all, it looks natural!
11. Super important: Lightly powder your face (too much will give you that cake face look) to set everything to prevent your makeup from sliding off or migrating into the night.
12. Now for the other tricky step: adding dimension to your face. Follow this diagram to help you:
For a more natural & matte finish: Benefit Cosmetics Hoola, Sephora, $36 For a shimmery, glowing effect: NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna, Sephora, $39 (This is flatters almost all skin tones!)
a) Apply a bronzer in the dark brown areas
b) Smile to find the apple of your checks, but apply the blush slightly above them, and a bit more out. This looks more natural than if you were to just apply it straight on to the cheeks. MAC and NARS (at Sephora and The Bay) blushes have some of the best colours and great pigmentation.
c) Highlight! Moon Beam and High Beam are some favourites, but I find that you can just use a shimmery champagne eyeshadow colour to get the same effect.
13. Lock everything in with Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($35 at Sephora). Like Nilou said – it’s like magic!
14. Finally, add a coat of lipstick or lip gloss, and you’re done! Just remember, if you’re going for a coloured lip, make sure you line them first to prevent the colour from fading or bleeding. My favourite lipstick & gloss formulas are from MAC and NARS. Another important thing to note: Nude/pale lip colours will look washed out in pictures so lipglosses are better for these colours.
Some looks for your inspiration:
Pin-Up: Winged liquid liner + Matte red lipstick + Red Blush
Vintage: Beige-Brown (entire lide) & Dark Brown (outer crease) Eye Shadow + Brick Red Lipstick + Brown-Red blush
Dramatic Way: Green (entire lid) & Dark Green (outer crease) & Yellow (inner corner) & Orange (lower lashline) Eyeshadow + Pink Blush + Bubblegum Pink Lipstick
Subtle Way: Black liner on top + coloured liner (lower lashline)
Metallic: Copper & Gold (entire lid) Eyeshadow + Mix of Black & Red & Dark Brown (inner V) Eyeshadow + Bronzer + Cappucino coloured lips
Classic Smokey: Grey (entire lid) & Black (outer V) & Silver (on top of all colours) & Shimmery White (inner corner) & ice pink lips
Still feel confused? Sephora, MAC, The Bay, Sears, and Holt Renfrew all have expert makeup artists you can get advice from to create your prom look!