If you read my ‘About’ page, you know I got into makeup because of a disastrous prom makeup incident. Because of that, prom season is a stressful time for me even though I am far past graduated. It’s stressful for me because I don’t want other girls to wind up in my situation, which was crying in my bedroom 20 minutes before pictures, wondering how I was supposed to fix that black eyeshadow mess. My incident was half my fault, and half my makeup artist’s fault. So, let me offer you some pointers to ensure your prom makeup (or makeup for any event, for that matter) goes as smoothly as possible:
- Make an appointment far in advance. Most popular makeup places will book up very quickly, so you want to reserve your spot as soon as you know the date of your event. It’s the beginning of May and I know my store has already been booked up for a few weeks now. This was my first mistake – I think I might have tried to book my appointment 2 weeks before prom…all the good stores were full.
- Speaking of places to book your appointment, do your research. If you’re not into makeup or you don’t know which salons/beauty stores are good, look up reviews and ratings. Ask for pictures of work they have done, or ask friends where they plan to go. If you plan to book with someone who does not work in a store (i.e. a freelance makeup artist), make sure they have experience doing the kind of look you want – some artists are better at natural makeup, some specifically do prom or wedding makeup, etc.
- Another tip if you plan to go to a freelancer is to ensure they have everything they need. As a freelancer, they should have a complete kit, however some artists do not always carry false lashes or skincare with them. Ask if there is anything you will need to supply or do to prep your skin.
- Communication is key. I know at Sephora before I even think about touching makeup to someones face, I do a full skin consultation – what is your skin type, do you have any deep redness in your skin (ex. a red flush or rosacea), do you have blemishes that will need to be covered, do you have any sensitivity or allergies…these are all things your artist should be considering whether they are in a store or not. This allows your artist to prepare products that will actually stay on your skin, whether it is a certain foundation or a green primer to cancel out redness. This tip is especially critical to freelancers so they can ensure they bring the all the right products to the location.
- Reference pictures are great, and I love having an inspiration in mind, but consider your eye shape and what kind of makeup you wear every day. If you are asking for a dark black smokey eye but you have never worn makeup in your life, it is going to be a big change and you might be thrown off by how much makeup that actually entails. You might think it looks bad but it is just because you are not used to it. The same goes for small eyes – a dark black smokey eye will only make your eyes look smaller. Look up makeup ideas that will flatter your eye and face shape (see my post about face and eye shapes as a guide).
- Speaking of photos, you might notice that your artist went a little darker or more extravagant than you wanted. It should still look good if they did the job right, but they do this for photo purposes – light makeup does not show up that well in photos. In order to make their work noticeable on camera, it has to be a little deeper. However, if you like the makeup before they add the darker colours, just say so! It’s way more important to have you feel confident in real life than to feel uncomfortable in your makeup just to take a few pictures.
- Tell. Your artist. If there is something. You. Don’t. Like. And tell them as soon as you see it. Makeup is removable, and it can be redone if you don’t like it. We are paid to ensure you are happy, and if that means redoing something, we will redo it. Do not lie to save our feelings, because we can still tell if you’re unhappy, but we can only fix it if you tell us. It is much better to have to redo/remove something than to have you bash our artistry because you didn’t tell us you hate winged liner. You and your artist should be working together to come up with a look that you like and that they are capable of executing.
I think those are all the tips I have for you. Looking back on my prom there are lots of things I would re-do, but despite looking like absolute trash it was an amazing night. I hope these tips help, and I hope things go smoother for you than they did for me. If you have any other questions, let me know!
Until next time,