Prom Makeup Tips from Carol Stover

Prom time is here! And you want to look AMAZING. But plan your look carefully so the hair, dress and makeup all click together.

Here are some tried-and-true tips to bring out your most beautiful face without looking too old or overdone:

1.  Get a professional facial a day or two before your prom day to remove dead skin and bring out that glow.  All makeup looks better and lasts longer on smooth, clear skin!

2.  Apply a makeup primer before you apply concealer or foundation. You’ll be able to use less foundation and your makeup will look great all night. Arbonne and Make Up For Ever both have great primers. There are even lip primers to help your lip color last much longer than usual. Try my favorite lip primer from Bite Beauty – it’s amazing.

3.  Pick your emphasis – will you highlight lips or eyes? There are dozens of great looks to choose from, but you don’t want to look dated or too heavily made up. The idea is to look special and party-ready, but also fresh and approachable. Remember that it’s Spring, and light bright colors are hot right now.


  • If you want a smoky eye look (think Penelope Cruz), then opt for soft lips in a light pink shade with a touch of gloss. Beige lips are passé and too aging for teens. Pop on false lashes and carefully blend black eye liner on top and bottom, making it slightly wider at the outside corners. Try a pewter grey shadow on your lids for a bit of sexy sparkle, with a touch of matte white shadow at the inside corners of both eyes to keep it young looking. This look is very forgiving if your teeth are not their whitest.
  • taylorswiftIf red or bright pink lips are your choice for the big night (like Taylor Swift’s signature look), then tone back your eyes with neutrals in gold, beige and brown tones. You can choose a sheer red gloss or lip tint if a solid lipstick isn’t your style. Stroke a peach shimmer shadow just below each brow bone to add a bit of brightness to your eyes.  Very sophisticated! But bright lips do look better with very white teeth.

4.  Easy on the Blush! The most common makeup mistake is too much cheek color. Both looks described in tip #3 demand a gentle touch with cheek color. If your lip color is pink, brush a soft pink blush on the apple of both cheeks and blend. If you pick a red tone for lips, use a peach color instead for a fresh look to offset the strong lip. Tarte has beautiful fresh colors in their Amazonian Clay and Cheek Stain lines that are perfect for prom.

5.  Don’t overdo it with tanning! Dried-out, parched skin and sunburns are definitely NOT attractive. You can’t get a whole summer’s worth of tan in a weekend.  Give your skin a break, and use a high-quality self tanner instead. Remember to exfoliate all over in the shower before using the self tanner for a more even look, and moisturize everywhere every day to keep skin moist. A moisturizer with a bit of shimmer to it is fun for a prom night – or dust a little shimmer powder onto shoulders and cleavage for a sexy glow.

Find a celebrity photo you admire with your favorite look, and practice it several times before your big night. And don’t forget to get lots of sleep the week before prom. Do a dress rehearsal with your outfit, makeup and all accessories so you have no surprises that night.

Smile, and have a fabulous time!


Professional Makeup Artist 


Carol Stover is a professional makeup artist based in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, with 32 years experience in key makeup and styling for TV/video, film, print, weddings and events. An artist since childhood, her approach to makeup is detailed and creative, bringing out the unique inner spirit of the subject. She was a makeup instructor and has been a speaker and trainer for several cosmetic companies, and continues to hold workshops and give personal instruction for models, performers and members of the news media. Some of her clients have included Discovery Channel, Bahamas Tourism, Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York, numerous political and media figures, and every local TV station and sports team. Carol works on men and women of all ages and every ethnicity, and is experienced with all types of makeup work. Her signature style is a “clean beauty” look that’s natural and polished, with a touch of glamour.