How-to: Prom makeup looks

Prom is coming up soon, but hiring professional makeup artists or using super expensive brushes and palettes can be costly. Doing your own makeup is always an option, and by following these steps you can save some coin and still look great at any dance or event coming up.

I personally have invested a lot into my makeup over the past year, so I can tell a poor quality eyeshadow palette from a low quality, and I have found that quality does NOT equal expense all of the time. Some cheaper end, yet high quality, eyeshadow brands include Morphe, Colourpop, Nyx, Coloured Rain and Pacífica, with prices ranging as low as $6.99 if you can catch them on sale.

My personal favorite drug-store skin products include Fit Me by Maybelline, and L’Oreal True Match. These two brands have wide shade ranges for their foundations and setting powders while staying under $15 per bottle. The only downside to these is that they can cause breakouts, especially for sensitive skin like mine, so make sure to never sleep in your makeup, or you’ll clog your pores.

The average prom dress can go with a neutral eye look, which includes browns, grays and earthy metallics. Even the brightest pink dress can look amazing with a warm neutral eye or a cold smokey eye if done right. Determine the warmth and saturation of your dress to decide which you would like to pop more. If you’d prefer your dress to be the main statement, make sure you do not pack on a bright, contrasting color to the eye, and vice versa.

A basic run down as to how eyeshadow should be applied is lighter colors towards the inner eye and darker colors towards the outer corner of the eye. For soft looks, eyeshadow should blend into your skin before it reaches the eyebrow ridge and should fade as it reaches the nose bridge. No eyeshadow should ever touch your nose or brows unless you’re going for an incredibly dramatic or artistic look.

So, on to the tutorial. I have done my eyebrows previously with a dark eyeshadow, however any eyebrow brand or pomade will do just as well. If you plan on filling in your eyebrows, chose a color the same or lighter than your hair color and work with the natural shape of your brow to avoid them looking harsh. I also set my eyes with a concealer to make the eyeshadow more pigmented and stick on all night.

I will be using the James Charles inner artist palette which is sold for around $40 online and at Ulta, however any neutral palette will do and you can substitute the colors in and out as you wish. My brushes are from aliexpress and Marshalls, and are extremely easy to find at your local drug store and Target. I have large eyelids but they are also relatively hooded, so depending on whatever eye shape you have I’d highly recommend altering this tutorial as you think fits best for your personal face structure.

First, I brush a brown color over my entire eye as a base for the shadows. By using a color so similar to my skin, other colors will be much easier to blend out.

Next I’m going to take a relatively dark shade and pop it onto the outer corner of my eyes using a small fluffy brush. As I move up my eyelid, I’m going to blend it into my skin as a gradient.

Next I’m going to take a lighter brown and pop it the center of my lid and blend into the darker color beside it. If there is an in-between color in the palette, you may use that to blend as well. I’m going to now go back to my original skin-colored eyeshadow and blend that on the outer area of these two colors to cause a soft gradient effect.

Next I’m going to take a lighter matte shade and pop it towards the inner crease of my eye going towards the tear duct, and then use my finger to apply a sparkly or metallic shade on top. Brushes often struggle to pick up glitter, so sometimes a finger works better. Depending on the color of your dress and your jewelry, pick a shimmer shade that aligns best with your dress. If your jewelry is gold, use a gold and if it is silver, use a silver. If your dress is a neutral color, adding a burgundy or orange shimmer can be pretty as well, and if you’re feeling bold, blues, pinks and purples can also be stunning.

From here I’m going to go back into the outer corner of my eye and choose the darkest shade in the color range of my palette, to give a more dramatic look to the eye. Lastly I’m going to grab whatever highlighter shade I plan to use on my cheek bones and pop it into the deep inner corner of my eye and my brow ridge using a small brush or my finger.

From here you can apply your mascara and go, however, if you are feeling extra bold I’d recommend adding some eyeliner. Winged liner can really make or break the look, so I’d be careful when adding this extra element, and the same goes with adding false eyelashes. If you prefer to play it safe, use some concealer from your outer corner up to your brow to add a controlled look to the eye and you’re ready to move on to adding face and lip products to finish off your face!

To set your eyes and face I’d recommend Nyx facial setting spray, to maintain that beautiful masterpiece on your eyes that you’ve worked so hard to create. Live it up at prom!