How to prep for a prom to remember

The biggest night on every teen’s calendar is fast approaching. Put some extra revision into your prom beauty regime with our expert guide.

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Just when you thought prepping to be a bride was major, along come prom queens to steal the beautifying crown (or tiara). Gallons of self tan, reams of false lashes and truckloads of contouring kits are sold ahead of the big night with your average teen shelling out £204 plus.

“Our June prom makeovers had been booked out by September last year and it gets bigger every year,” says Sep Smith, cosmetic buyer at Fenwick, Colchester. “Many of the girls even do trial appointments – it’s like preparing for a wedding.” So whether you opt for a counter makeover or DIY transformation, here’s how to be a modern-day prom princess.

1. The hair

Let your prom dress dictate your hairstyle. If you’ve got a lot going on with the neckline, try experimenting with a cool braid or undone updo.

“Everyone knows that getting ready is the best part and going to a styling station adds extra buzz for the occasion,” says Janine Clark, SHOW Beauty session stylist at Fenwick Colchester.

“Our signature blow dry is definitely the most popular choice - think classic glamour with lots of volume which will last the whole night.”

Try: Show Premiere Finishing Spray, £30, or BaByliss Boutique Salon Soft Waves, £40,

2. The makeup

For the ultimate prom selfie, go for a professional finish. Appointments at MAC counters on prom night are like gold dust with some stores booked up six months in advance.

“Prom make-up needs to be camera-friendly and last the duration of the night,” advises Cher Webb, MAC senior artist.

“False lashes paired with either a grey/brown smokey eye or bright lip are always popular choices. Keep your make-up looking fresh and you can incorporate a touch of colour to compliment your prom dress. Impassioned pink Lipstick is one of my favourites.”

Try: MAC Lipstick in Impassioned, £15.50, or Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow compact, £49,

3. The nails

Say au revoir to traditional French manis and freshen up your prom gown with a new wave neutral. Nails Inc founder Thea Green says: “For prom, we recommend White Horse Street from our New White range (pictured) – it’s super chic, flatters everyone and will match any dress.”

Want statement colour? Go bolder with a gel manicure to avoid chip-gate on prom night.

“Hot pinks prove really popular,” says Green. “The colour will really make your nails pop against a plain dress.”

Try: Nails Inc in White Horse Street, £14, or OPI Brights in On Pinks & Needles, £11.95,

4. The tan

Think convincingly subtle when it comes to prom tan. Matte, yes. Shimmer, not so much. A self tan can be a major confidence boost, according to St.Tropez’s skin finishing expert, Jules Heptonstall.

“A tan creates an all-over, uniform finish so makes skin look amazing set against prom dresses.

“I love the Express Mousse because the end colour is dependent on the time in which you shower – for a light tan try one hour, or for a darker glow shower off in three hours.”

Try: St.Tropez Self Tan Express Mousse, £33, or Fake Bake Beyond Bronze Instant Matte, £7,

5. The finishing touches

When Beyonce wears metallic tattoos in her latest music video (Flash Tattoos, FYI), you know they’re a thing – and your parents can be rest assured they’ll wash off. Eventually. Just apply, glimmer and go.

“Jewellery-style metallic tattoos are selling really well with prom preppers,” says Michelle Collacott of Bentalls, Kingston.

“But our best-selling beauty ‘accessory’ for prom night is always false lashes, especially MAC for girls getting counter makeovers.”

Try: Eylure Enchanted False Lashes, £5.25, or Flash Tattoos in Lena, £20,

By Lisa Haynes