Prom makeup tips from a pro


You've got the dress, the shoes and the date, but what about the perfect final touches for your prom look?

But wait, put down that heavy foundation. Back away from the purple eyeshadow that matches your dress perfectly. Seriously, makeup artist and Berkshire County native Nathan Johnson begs you.

"It's a big no," the Manhattan resident says of matching the colors. "It looks very dated when you do that. It's not modern anymore and makes everything look purple instead."

But what's a girl to do?

Johnson, whose credits in the makeup business include "Project Runway," (seasons four and five), the Tony Awards and "Good Morning America," recommends hiding a "kiss of color" as the crease definition color on the lid, or to go with the classic smoky eye.

"It's amazing what a tiny bit of color will do," he says.

Here are some more prom-ready makeup tips from Johnson, which could be applied well beyond your corsage-wearing days:

Go natural: To build a natural look that will compliment any dress, Johnson suggests using a champagne tone from lash line to the eyebrow, then defining the crease of your eye with a mid-tone taupe.

"You find the crease by looking for bone," he explains. "The bones are the road map to beauty on the face." Put your finger on the top of your eye, below the brow along the bone ridge. The space you feel, between the bone and where the top of the eyeball begins, is your crease.

"Trust your bones, not the mirror," Johnson says. "Sweep there, following that bone, with a light brush."

Finish the look with a little bit of eyeliner and curl your lashes, and you'll have what Johnson calls a "pin-up ready look with bright, wide eyes."

Hot trend: Smoky eye, cat eye "There are things that are never going to go away," says Johnson. "The smoky eye is still holding strong -- and the cat eye is fighting ferociously." To achieve the look, Johnson recommends a "smoky brightness" look, starting with a champagne on the lid -- or gold or bronze -- working through the crease, spreading wide, then blending to charcoal or black.

If you go with the smoky eye, choose a soft lip color or go red, says Johnson. "Any family of red will create a classic, sultry look."

Eye science: Most women think choosing the right eyeshadow color means matching your eyes, but Johnson says to go with what is opposite on the color wheel.

"The opposite color on the color wheel makes the other color look stronger when paired together," he explains. Blue-eyed girls should be brave and choose from the orange/pink family; Green eyes should always wear purple to sparkle like emeralds; Hazel can go purple or brown; and brown-eyed girls are in luck, any color compliments their hue, Johnson says.

n Love the skin you're in: It might not feel like it now, teenagers, but this is the best your skin will ever look, according to Johnson.

"Your skin is never going to be more beautiful than it is at this stage of your life," he says to teens. "You'll always want to have the skin you had when you were young."

The celebrity makeup artist recommends skipping the foundation all together and, instead, opting for concealer to cover breakouts and a tinted moisturizer.

"No 18-year-old needs a full face of foundation," he says. "You won't look fresh, young and beautiful. If the base is too heavy, everything looks older."

And prom or no prom, you should be wearing SPF every day.

"Starting putting on sunscreen now," he says. "It will keep you looking young on this planet, and will make you less likely to get skin cancer."


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