18 July 2011

Newbies' guide to formal make-up

I'm unsure when is it 'prom-season' in other countries, but formal here in Australia would be coming up in a few months, so therefore... you need to start considering your make-up for prom!

Why? Because it's not something you could pick out just a few days before the big night. You need trials to see what works and what doesn't and not to mention that your skin conditions might change unexpectedly. Who knows?



#1 Know your skin

To look flawless on the night, you'll need to be prepping and priming your skin first! You SHOULD be taking care of your skin already, and if NOT, start taking care of your skin NOW! I recommend at least two-three months before the big night because to improve your complexion means less to stress about! You can read about my suitable skincare products for your skin here.

#2 Moisturize your lips
Start moisturizing your lips at least 2 weeks before your big night. Whether your lips are dry or not, prevention is the key. Any lip balm would do, but if your lip is disastrous... I recommend Blistex Lip Conditioner which you can purchase at your local pharmacy.



Now.. onto the cosmetics and please note that the products recommended below may OR may not work for you.

# Primers helps whatever you slap onto your face stays on for longer and the application easier, I recommend primer for all skin types/conditions. Budget-friendly primers can be found by Face Of Australia and Australis.
# Correctors are essential if you have really dark shadows [usually around your eyes] and/or acne and/or red acne scars. Green concealers are used for correcting redness which most of the time includes acne and acne scars. Pink concealers are used to correct purple tinges on the face which includes bruises and/or dark purple under-eye circles. Maybelline has some Cover Sticks which are very affordable.

# Foundation is a hard one and is a MUST. You can read about basic foundation guidelines here, but I DO recommend Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation ($17-$37) as they have two lines targeted for both dry skin and oily skin and stick to your skin like no tomorrow [but smells disastrous]. It is a tad pricey, but you cannot go wrong with it. The only thing you can go wrong with when choosing a foundation is the shade.

# Concealer is definitely also a must if your imperfections are STILL shining through even after correcting. I'm unaware of any cream concealers from lower-end brands which are reliable, but in general, you should opt for stick concealers and/or cream concealers for heavy coverage.

# Powder-ing is necessary and the product should be with you at ALL times (even during the formal event). Whether you have oily skin or not, it's still recommended as it makes your make-up last longer and prevents shine in your photos which will last forever. I recommend transluscent because it doesn't cake your skin and some translucent powder such as Australis Ready. Set. Go Finishing ($12.95) powder even tops it off with a flawless photogenic finish! However, it CAN be a tad messy to bring along so you can always opt for Revlon's PhotoReady Translucent ($34.95) powder which is quite pricey but neat.

# Blushers are used to add colour to the face. However, you can just use any eyeshadows of your shade and finish preference as a blusher, if you already have.

# Bronzers and highlighters, I don't think are essential. It's something you can skip because contouring and highligting the face is only used to perfect it to an oval shape and fake facial planes. You ARE trying to look like you.. not somebody else. However, like blushers, you can also replace bronzers it with any warm-toned brown eyeshadows [with a blue base, rather than pink] and highlight using a shade lighter foundation OR a lighter-than-your-skintone eyeshadow.



# Eyeshadows you plan to use needs to be pigmented, have a long lasting power or can be combined with an eyeshadow primer. I don't use eyeshadows so I wouldn't know what to recommend. You're better off with searching around at BeautyHeaven, and make sure you know how to use the eyeshadows of course!

# Eyeshadow bases/primers are also something I never used. However, I do know that Face of Australia ($7.95) and Australis ($12.95) has eye primers/bases in their range, but if you simply can't afford an extra $7~13, try some concealer as a base for your eyeshadows to stick!

# Eyeliner is a MUST, whether you have big or small eyes. The great thing about eyeliners are the forms they come in: pencils; liquid; gel; and cake. If you're looking for clean and precised lines, you're better off with liquid and gel, BUT they DO take alot of practise to master. Pencils are great for smokey looks because you can multi-use them as an eyeshadow also when they are smudged (perfect for smokey looks)! I haven't came across lotsa great eyeliners, but I DO NOT recommend pencil eyeliners from Australis and Nude By Nature. Ones I love are from an Asian brand called Le'lan Vital.. I love their PerfectWear Eyeliner and ExtremeWear Gel eyeliner. P.S. Make sure your eye products are waterproof!

# Mascaras needs to be waterproof and they are rated by personal preferences. Everyones' lashes are different and different mascaras impact differently... I personally LOVE Rimmel Glam'Eyes for allowing me to adjust volume and length in my lashes!



If you could only pick up two items from the following, I would pick a lip-liner of my preferred shade and top it off with a lip gloss since lip-liners are very long-wearing [but can be drying too].

# Lip liners are okay. Unless you're planning to wear a red or dark colour lipstick or a colour which is contrasting to your skin, then you can possibly skip the lip liners. However, that'll call for applying lipstick frequently during the event as taking away long-lasting power. I don't use lip liners also, so I'm not sure!

# Lipsticks are recommended but you can skip it! They come in different textures and a variety of different finishes. It's a personal preference, but for those who loves creamy textures.. I recommend Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipsticks [for their fantastic formula] and Maybelline's ColourSensational Lipsticks [for their fabulous shade collections].

# Lipglosses, like lipsticks are up to you. In fact, all these lip products are up to you but it's recommended as it'll complete your look! I recommend Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipglosses ($11.95), you can read my review here >



# Brushes are also a matter of personal preferences, but speaking of quality.. I definitely can tell you which brands to stay away from! One brand I dislike is BYS! The bristles of their brushes are very pokey and the brush itself is so cheap! I have tried their Blusher brush and Foundation brush which didn't favour me. However, their eyeshadow brush is OK. 

Comparing BYS to GLOSS brushes, GLOSS brushes wins by far as their brushes are more dense and great quality for the price! I love their Foundation and Powder brushes, however I'd stay away from their synthetic Angular brush as it's rubbish. 

Ecotools also have great organic brushes which are great quality also! 



Just a recap of what's definitely a must:
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Powder
  • Blusher
  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Eyeshadows (if you know how to use it!)

That's all! I hope you lovelies enjoy this post and of course, apply this for any other formal occasions and just not for proms!  

Yours deerest,


  1. this is really helpful! (: I wish I knew more about makeup when I went to my prom >< I actually went to my prom with barely any makeup on! just foundation and that's it o__o haha~ I bet I looked so boring that day... but my boyfriend didn't care~ haha I kind of wish I could do prom over again though :/ to be more skilled in makeup and stuff~ I like rimmel glam eyes too!! (: The packaging for the pink one is so pretty *__*

  2. thank you for this article, i found lot of help there ^^
    wish you nice dya ^^

  3. Yeah, blue is really nice for brown eyes. But why don't you like it? You also have brown eyes, right? (:



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