Prom Skin Care & Make Up Tips

With your beautiful dress and all the pictures, you'll want to look your best for prom. Clear, bright skin creates a beautiful base for the rest of your prom look. When it comes to skincare, you can't just rely on waking up looking fresh; it takes a regular routine of self-care. Try these tips for radiant skin on prom day.

Plan Ahead

It can take four to six weeks to really see the results of a change in your skincare regimen. If prom is at the end of May, you should make any big changes by the middle of April at the latest. Before that time, feel free to test out different products or treatments to find the right plan for your skin.

Cleanse, Exfoliate, Hydrate

There are three essential steps to any skincare routine. First, make sure your skin is clean. Unless you work up a sweat, you only really need to wash your face twice a day, but it's important to choose a good oil-free cleanser to keep your skin clear. If you have sensitive skin, there are non-soap cleansers available that won't dry you out. Once or twice a week, exfoliate your skin to clear away dead skin and keep your pores clear. Be sure not to over-exfoliate, as that can cause your skin to produce more oil. St. Ive's Apriocot Scrub is a favorite exfoliating wash. Finally, the key to beautiful skin is hydration. Your skin needs water from outside and inside. Make sure you drink plenty of water and get enough sleep. At least once a day, use a light moisturizer. This can be the trickiest skincare product to find. If your moisturizer is too heavy, it can break you out. Most daytime moisturizers include sunscreen to protect your skin from sun-damage, but not all sunscreens work for all skins. Before you shop for a moisturizer, make sure you know your skin-type. If you have dry skin, most options should work for you. For combination skin, you might need a treatment formulated for your type. If you have oily skin, it's best just to moisturize at night and get your SPF from a foundation rather than a lotion.

Less is More

There are so many skincare products on the market that it can seem like you need to use a lot. Cut through all the advertising and focus on your skin's needs. The more products you use, the more chemicals you expose your skin to, possibly causing irritation or breakouts. Simplify your regime to emphasize your natural beauty. With new BB (beauty balm) creams you can even combine your moisturizer with your foundation or acne treatment all at once. Plus, companies like Neutrogena and St. Ives use more natural ingredients.

Acne Tips

If you have chronic acne, it may be worth a trip to the dermatologist so you can treat the problem before you develop scars. For less severe problems, you can treat acne flare-ups with at-home remedies. A charcoal-based mask can work wonders for pulling build up from deep in your pores. To treat small blemishes, use a spot treatment with salicylic acid or willow bark. In a pinch, grind up an aspirin in a couple drops of water to make a paste. The golden rule, though, is never to pop a zit, no matter how tempting. The oil from your fingers or failing to get all the build-up can just make things worse. To get rid of whiteheads you can try an extractor tool, available at most drugstores, which will remove the blemish without requiring you to touch your face.

Prom Makeup

Once your skin is ready for prom, you can get started on your makeup look. Choose makeup that goes with the style of your dress and accentuates your best features.

Face

Since you'll want your makeup to hold up in the pictures over the course of the night, make sure you use a foundation primer and an eyeshadow primer. They create a base for the makeup to adhere to. Do a photo test before the big night, as some primers can look washed-out in pictures. Smashbox and Bare Minerals have popular primers, but there are many drugstore options available too.

Once you've applied your primers and normal foundation, add your blush and highlighters. Smile big and apply blush to the apples of your cheeks to draw the eye up to your cheekbones, rather than the rounder parts of your face. For a dewy finished look, apply a highlighter, such as Benefits Watt's Up, to your cheekbones, browbones, and down the center of your nose. Lightly blend with your fingertip.

Eyes

Eyeshadow can dress up your makeup and create the tone for your style. Look online to find a demo or image to copy. Whether you go for a dramatic smoky eye or a more natural look, there are a few basics to follow. Choose three coordinating colors to work with light, medium, and a contrast medium or dark. Over your eyelid primer, sweep a layer of the light color from the inner corner of your eye to where your browbone begins. Next, blend your middle color from the middle of your lid out to the edge of your lid. Make sure you blend until you create a natural gradient of color. Finally, use your last color to accent the crease on the outer edge of your eyelid, highlighting the contour of your eye. If you go with a darker color, like a dark brown or grey you can create a smoky look. Finish your eyes off with eyeliner and mascara. For blondes or light-brunettes, brownish or brownish black eyeliner and mascara offer a softer look, better for pictures.

Lips

Choose a lipstick that suits your style and factor in color and texture. Pinks and nudes are most popular, but a classic red can make a big impression. If you want to shine, go for high-gloss. Matte offers a subtler, more mature look. If you go with red, make sure you use a matching or nude lip-liner to outline your lips, keeping the red from bleeding and looking messy. Make sure you blot your lipstick with a tissue or by puckering and pulling your index finger through your lips. You don't want red all over your teeth!

Unless you're going for a really high-glam look, you might want to pick either a dramatic eye or dramatic lips. For example, if you go with a smoky eye, pick a nude or pink lipstick. Or, if you use a bright red lip, go with a subtler eyeshadow or skip the eyeliner.

Touch Ups

Make sure you have oil absorbing sheets in your bag so you can blot away oil or sweat during the night without messing up your makeup. Keep your lipstick handy for reapplication. Remember to smile. It's the best beauty secret.

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