Help Me! How to do Prom make up and hair?

So the 16 year told told me a few months ago she is having a “prom”. (FYI: The 16 year old is my cousin NOT my child).

Proms? I know they are big in the USA but in the UK? A Prom? Really?

Yes really. Since then the teen has ordered a custom made dress, bought sky high heels and now I have been bullied…asked….to do her hair and make up.

The last place I worked, a lady there, who I adored, would always tell me about her daughter who she’d spend £100s on for her prom – fake tan, fake nails, hair extensions, hair do, a limo for the night. I argued with her that a 16 year old surely shouldn’t look ‘sexy’  and was setting themselves up for a lifetime of vanity but she said this was perfectly acceptable and since I wasn’t a mother yet I didn’t understandddddd.

All I can picture is this:

Prom dress gypsy wedding

No comment.  Seriously.

Anyway guys, help me out. What can I do with her hair and make up with my limited skills? Bearing in mind that she wants is SEMI-TACKY. What do I mean by that? Well if she was my 16 year old I see maybe a loose curl in the hair and some tinted lip gloss and a bit of mascara.

But these 16 year olds don’t want to look 16, they want fake lashes, they want bronzer…it’s her prom, I’ll give her what she wants but any advice?  Tell me in the comments!

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  1. Hayley says

    Just make sure she doesn’t look like a drag queen. False lashes and heavy make up can do that to anyone! I guess it’s a case of doing what she wants, but making it so she doesn’t look back in 4-5 years time and wants to burn the photos. 16 year olds are terrifying my cousin is orange, wears too much blush/bronzer, has extensions, fake tan, posh make up, and kinda looks like a trollop. Gone are the years of teenage awkwardness :( x

    • Row says

      Hi Hayley
      It’s funny because my cousin doesn’t do that tan but she loves black eyeliner and hair extensions -_- When I was 16 I wasn’t even allowed eyeliner OR lip gloss. How times have changed!

  2. Lorla says

    Formals/proms are soo much fun :) i absolutely loved mine and to be honest my mother was more in to the big hair and tan than I was tho looking over the picture i am glad she talked me in to tan, cheryl cole hair style etc lol. Why not copy a gets some fashion magazine with the how to pages at the back and use those for your cousin and you can alter then a little bit to make them look less harsh or too old for her :) Also do her makeup in many different ways over the next few weeks and take pictures so she can compare them.

    • Row says

      Hi Lorla

      It’s so funny because we don’t really have ‘proms’ in the UK then it suddenly took off! I think I will also look through some magazines and get ideas to see what she likes!

  3. Sarah S. says

    American here! I had my makeup done at the MAC counter and I got my first lipglass (Nico), a blue mascara, and a silver dusk shimmer powder for my shoulders (this was 2001). In the US they’ll do your full makeup for free if you purchase like $40 of products (nice!). I had a classic plummy smoky eye (I have green eyes and I wore a lavender princess gown) and I had the purplish Nico lipglass on. No false lashes but wayyyy more mascara than I ever wore to school. I probably looked older than I was, but… I suggest some smokey eyeliner with a little sparkly highlighter on the cheeks and really glossy nude lips. If she doesn’t want to have to burn the pictures later, make her stick with emphasizing one feature and it should be pretty classic. That’s my 2 cents!

    • Row says

      Hi Sarah

      OMG I think I had NICO lip glass!!!! I could…take her…to a counter…to get…her make up done…then get some products…FOR MYSELF! LOL!

      Seriously though…she wants fake lashes which I will struggle with but I may trim them down. Hehe its’ so funny when I see pics of me at that age I just look terrible. I had never seen tweezers.


  4. Phoebs says

    Why don’t you look through some magazines with her, and see which looks she likes :) I’m guessing she wants kind of cheryl cole- big, bouncy hair with smoky eyes and glossy lips :) xxx

    p.s I find it hard to believe that you haven’t got serious makeup skills :L

    • Row says

      Hi Phoebs

      I always give her my old mags so I may do that! What a good idea! 😀 I bet she’ll want to look like Cheryl took, young girls like that kind of thing don’t they?

  5. says

    I got with my now hub because we agreed to go to prom together. At the time we were friends, so yes, I love prom!

    I don’t remember what I did for my makeup, but I know I did something myself. Judging from pictures, I barely wore anything.

    But if I were to do a prom look for a 16 year old now, definitely have fun! Do glitter, shimmer, and gloss!! Do a simple smokey eye with a blue or purple eyeliner instead of black. Anything to have fun!!

    • Row says

      Hi Gloria

      I was thinking that, to not keep things too serious 😀 Her dress is lilac so I will def do purple on her eyes 😀

  6. says

    If she goes with fake lashes, she should keep eyeshadow colours neutral (browns & soft colours) and just do a nice subtle wing on her lashline. Matte shades would look nicer IMO, since when she takes photos too much shimmer will make her look sweaty and shiny. Nude glossy lips are a must! A nice soft nude pink would look nice.

    • Row says

      Hi Ishah

      Very good point – mattes will look better (kids tend to go for shimmers don’t they) – she’ll be taking lots of photos so I guess I have to bear that in mind!