Let’s start at the top; your hair. Whatever your hair type might be; you want it looking the best it can on your big night out. On the run up to the event, make sure you take some time to indulge in a hair mask or two, so you know your hair is as strong and conditioned as possible. It’s important to nourish your hair before any styling, straightening, or curling, as most of these techniques require the use of direct heat to your hair, along with products and sprays that you’re not used to.
Figure out if you’re going to use a professional stylist at a hair salon, or if you’re confident enough to execute the hairstyle of your choice yourself. If you’re going with the salon option, make sure you’re booked in as soon as you’ve RSVP’d to the invite. Give yourself enough time to get dressed and apply your makeup after the stylist (whether it’s you, or somebody else) has worked their magic. If you choose to get your hair done in the morning, ensure your style is locked in with enough spray, and it will see you through until you get in the car to go home!
It’s always a treat to pamper your skin, but in the days leading up to the formal event; make sure you moisturize each day after your bath or shower. If you plan to apply a fake tanning product, it’s key that your skin is hydrated, particularly around your knees, elbows, and heels. Fake tan a couple of evenings before; so it looks as natural as possible, and there’s time to fix any potential mistakes.
When it comes to doing your own makeup for an occasion, make sure you practice runs in the evenings, or the weekend before the event. You might need to brush up on your eyelash application or get that contouring technique perfected, so it’s worth remembering that practice makes perfect! Take a look on YouTube and Pinterest for some inspiration and tutorials on formal makeup looks, and test out what’s going to suit your skin tone, hair, and outfit choice.
Try and work out how long the makeup will take you to do, and give yourself some extra time, in case you need to correct anything or fix a smudge (it’s bound to happen). For some tips on achieving a flawless makeup look, take a peek here.
Just because you’re heading out to a formal event, doesn’t mean you have to feel completely uncomfortable, or unlike yourself. You can rock an outfit that fits both the occasion and your personal style; so bear that in mind when it comes to going dress or suit shopping. Thinking about the best color palette for your hair and skin tone is a wise place to start; you might think you’ve found the outfit of your dreams, only to find the color makes you look washed out and unwell. So, if you can eliminate certain colors and shades from your search, it will save a lot of time in the changing rooms.
Once you’ve figured out the best colors for you, think about what silhouettes complement your body shape. Be confident and embrace what you’ve been blessed with (while remembering this is a formal occasion and not a day at the beach). Try on different styles, in different fabrics; then take pictures in the changing room mirror, so you can scroll through each one and decide which makes you look the most fabulous.
One of the best things about a formal event, aside from wearing beautiful attire, is completing the look with some jewelry. A special occasion is the best excuse to sparkle from head to toe literally, but make sure you don’t go too overboard (unless it’s an Elizabeth Taylor-themed evening).
Hopefully, you’ve already been moisturizing your hands and feet as discussed previously; but, now’s the time to add the finishing touches. You can further ensure the condition of your nails by using a cuticle oil on a regular basis before you paint them or visit the beauticians for a manicure.
When it comes to your nail polish choice; your options really come down to a neutral, nude shade, or a pop of color, that will stand out on your fingernails and toes. Classic berry tones and reds suit every skin tone, and will go with a huge variety of colors, ensuring your nails wouldn’t clash with your clothing; but, instead, would complement it. However, if you’re unsure and wary of looking too busy; pick a taupe or a pale pink shade, which will definitely go with your outfit, whatever the color.
You finally have a legitimate excuse to go shoe shopping (yay); the first thing to make sure of is if you can walk in them. If you never wear stilettos or shoes with a heel higher than two inches, you’re unlikely to be able to walk and dance gracefully at the party, so try not to buy anything that will put your ankles at risk. Luckily, there are so many options when it comes to formal shoes, and they come in every heel height, style, and color imaginable; so you should be able to find the right pair for you and your outfit.
Make sure you try them on in the store and have a good walk around in them to make sure they are comfortable and don’t rub your feet. You don’t want your whole night ruined because your heels and toes have been in agony since half an hour in. You can wear your shoes around the house a little each evening to break them in and ensure they’ll be comfortable at your event. It’s always better to be strutting when you make your entrance, rather than hobbling!
Your bag needs to be big enough to hold your essentials; your phone, money, and any cosmetics that might need topping up throughout the night (breath mints and a comb also seem to come in handy). A clutch style bag is a great option, as it will hold all you need, but won’t be too heavy or cumbersome to carry around. Many clutches also come with straps and chains that can be folded away inside; so you can pull them out and pop your bag on your shoulder when you want to dance, take a selfie, or if your hands are full of canapes.