Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reader Request: Prom

So one of our lovely readers, Annisa, asked for help with putting together an outfit for prom. She already has the dress below (in cream), which is from HM's Garden Collection and super adorable. Major props on choosing this dress--it's fun and girly, not at all tacky, and unique without pushing too many boundaries for prom.

Since she already has the perfect dress, Annisa asked for help with hair, makeup, accessories, and shoes. If I can remember correctly, she wanted nude pumps, cute jewelry, help with figuring out how to do cat eye makeup, and an easy hairstyle that was either half-up or down. I hope I was able to help!

J. Crew Slim Braided Belt, $29.50 at, Forever 21 Vivianne Jewel Earrings, $5.80 at So I'm still not sure about whether or not I want to belt this dress, but if I did belt it, I would do a menswearish, brown leather belt. It would contrast with the fluffiness/girliness of the skirt really well, and keep the volume of the skirt from overwhelming your waist. As for jewelry, I'd do statement earrings and a statement ring. A necklace would clash with the neckline of the dress, and I love the earrings-ring combo. Black and white together is very Art Deco chic, and these earrings would have so much impact well against the pale hue of the dress. These would be great if you wanted to give the dress a little extra edge.

Forever 21 Tea Time Petal Earrings, $5.80 at, Forever 21 Floral Chiffon Ring, $2.80 at Or you could do this earring/ring combo together, which is insanely adorable because they match in a non-annoying way. The earrings are just the right amount of slightly oversized, and would be so, so cute peeking out from a half-up hair do. The layered chiffon is so unexpected, and goes with the skirt of the dress perfectly. I just love the idea of pairing these earrings with that ring. The black would stand out really nicely against the light dress, and the organic shapes of the texture on the skirt and the jewelry are a match made in heaven.

Annisa wanted nude heels to elongate her legs and make her look a little taller. That's a really great trick if you want to make your legs look a thousand miles long, especially if you go for a nude platform.

Steve Madden Caryssa Heels, $129.50 at, Steve Madden Nanciee Heels, $89.95 at These heels are my favorite, by far. They look so much like a pair of Louboutins that I lusted over for so long. The platform adds a lot of visual impact and makes these extra comfy, and the suede texture keeps them very modern and sophisticated. If you want a little more edge, you could go for a gladiator-inspired pair of heels. The patent leather keeps them from totally disappearing into your legs, and the zipper down the front would be a nice, urban contrast with the organic feeling of the dress.

Jones New York Lagoon Platform Pump, $59.95 at, Aldo Withney Heels, $80 at These Jones heels aren't as exciting, but they would be seriously versatile and they're pretty affordable. They're just a very nice, simple pair of nude heels that you could get a ton of wear out of them. These Aldo heels are basically a patent leather version of the first heels. I like patent leather for nude heels because the sheen of the patent leather keeps the shoes from totally disappearing into your legs, which can look a little creepy at times.

Nicole Richie, Lauren Conrad: As for the hair, Annisa wanted something either down or half-up, possibly with curls. I know this isn't the most conventional look, but I really love the sidebraid a la Nicole Richie. It's unexpected, slightly more formal than hair that's just down, and has this slightly messed-up Lolita vibe that really works. Use a texturizing spray before you braid your hair, so that your hair will have a little body and messiness when you put it in the braid, and make sure that as you braid your hair, you pull it to the side so that it falls over one shoulder. Then mess it up a little so that it's not too perfect. I love little braids for adding a little something extra to regular old hair. Lauren Conrad's is especially cute because it's a French braid, so it's almost a half-up hairstyle because it pulls some of her hair out of her face (super convenient for crazy dance parties). It's really easy to recreate, just French braid either your bangs or the front portion of your hair back to behind your ear, and then secure the end of the braid. Add a few loose waves to your hair for extra body, and you're set!

Anna Paquin
: Anna's little bump/twist is super adorable. It's the cute version of what Snookie does on the Jersey Shore. Basically, you spray your hair with a texturizing spray, and then lift up the top layer of hair on your crown and pin it out of the way. Next, take a rattail comb and backcomb all the hair on your crown. Once your achieve the desired volume, hairspray it and smooth the top layer of hair back over. Twist the bottom of the teased hair and the top layer of hair twice, and then pin it in place with a couple of bobby pins.

Blake Lively, Rachel McAdams: Blake has the slightly less dramatic version of Anna's look. This would be great if you have longer hair or don't want the stiffness of the Anna's teased pouff. To achieve this look, use a texturizing spray and scrunch it through your hair to create a bit of a wave. Then tease like the previous look, just slightly less dramatically, and pin it in the back with a few bobby pins. For a slightly sweeter, preppier look, try Rachel McAdam's pinned-back side twists. If you have straight hair, use a large curling iron (1.5 inches would do the trick) to add loose curls. Then take the front two section of your hair, one on each side, and twist each section a few times before using a few bobby pins to pin each twist back.

I posted what I use to get the cat eye look yesterday, but buying all of those products at the same time would be ridiculously expensive (I've accumulated them over years). Here are some cheaper alternatives to the products that I use. (I forgot to link to primer. If you have oily lids and eyeshadow tends to crease on you, definitely use primer. It's one of those things that no one else will ever see and that you really can't skimp on. I really recommend Urban Decay's Primer Potion).

Maybelline Eye Studio Wet Shadow Quads in Give Me Gold, $8.49 at, Sonia Kashuk Crease Shadow Brush, $5.99 at, Prestige Cosmetics Waterproof Eyeliner in Black, $5.39 at I've heard that these Maybelline quads are fantastic, and they're such a great deal for the range of colors you get (they also come in like 10 other color palettes). I'd use this Sonia Kashuk crease brush (such a great value) to dust the lightest shade of the quad across your lid and onto your brow bone and the inner corners of your eyes as a highlight. Keeping your lid light will keep the cat eye from being over the top and too dark for a youthful look. Then I'd pick up some of the third shadow (the warm brown) on the brush and dust it into your crease. The important thing is to pick up only a little bit of shadow and then blend that thoroughly through the crease before picking up more shadow. That way you get a nicely blended, smooth line and don't end up applying too much shadow and being unable to blend it out. Then pick up a little of the darkest color and blend it into just the outer corners of the crease for extra definition. Smudge the remainder of the shadow into your lower lashline. Using the black eyeliner, line your upper and lower waterlines (YouTube that if you aren't sure about it. It's basically just lining the skin closest to your eyeball instead of your lashline). The black will help your eyes look brighter and really pop from a distance without being too raccoon-ish.

L'Oreal HiP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Black, $10.19 at, Sonia Kashuk Angle Eyeshadow Brush, $4.99 at, L'Oreal Panoramic Curl Extreme Curl & Separating Mascara, $4.49 at This is the important part. Using the L'Oreal cream liner (forget about the brush they include, it's worthless) and the Sonia Kashuk liner brush, line from your inner tear duct to the outer corner of your upper waterline. Don't use very much product, a little goes a LONG way. Then hold the brush diagonally at the outer corner of your eye so that the line of the brush extends the line of your waterline (it's hard to explain, there's a video below), and draw the cat eye. Follow that up with two coats of black mascara, waterproof if you're a sentimental cryer. Make sure to wiggle the brush horizontally as your apply the mascara so that it doesn't clump.

It's really hard to explain how to do a cat eye in print, so I found a YouTube video that explains it pretty well. The important thing is that the exterior line of the cat eye goes up following the curve of your waterline (if it falls below your waterline, it will drag your eye down and make up look tired).

Image Sources:
HM dress:,, J. Crew belt:, Forever 21 earrings:, Forever 21 earrings:, Forever 21 ring:, Steve Madden Caryssa heels:, Steve Madden Nanciee heels:, Jones NY heels:, Aldo heels:, Nicole Richie:, Lauren Conrad:, Anna Paquin:, Blake Lively:, Rachel McAdams:, Maybelline shadow quad:, Sonia Kashuk crease brush:, Prestige liner:, L'Oreal cream liner:, Sonia Kashuk liner brush:, L'Oreal mascara:, Youtube tutorial:


  1. I tried to buy that dress for prom this year but it is only available at certain h&ms. :(

  2. You can buy the white dress on ebay in a good condition



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