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Prom dresses and makeup?

With prom season dawning on us, thousands of anxious teenage girls are gearing up for the big night, and I’m sure some of them are at a loss as to what to do with their makeup! Some ladies will go to professional artists and salons to get the perfect look, but a good amount of girls will be prepping and primping on their own. To help you figure out what look you might want to consider with what color dress you’re wearing, I went through and picked out some random prom dresses in an assortment of colors and then matched them up to past looks I’ve done that might work with them.

Remember, it’s your big night, so there’s nothing wrong with doing a few dry runs or practices before the real thing!

Also, these are some looks that could go with just about any dress you choose: Neutral (10 Minute Look), Neutral Eye, Gray Smokey Eye, Dramatic Black Smokey Eye, Smokey Eye, Black Smokey Eye

For lighter colored dressees: Light Neutral, Darker Neutral

For darker colored dresses: Dark Neutral, Cool Neutral, Dark Gold

Soft yellow to brighter yellow dresses can be played up or down, depending on how dramatic you want to go. Use soft pastel yellows for a feminine, withdrawn look, or use brighter colors like warm corals and oranges to brighten up your eyes. Golds are an excellent way to play with dark/warmth. Soft Yellow, Gold Tones, Light Gold, Sunset Eyes

Darker dresses, like this teal number with black overlay, can always go with an extremely natural, neutral eye, or it can have a coordinating, dark, dramatic teal eye. You can also play with different color combinations, but putting the focus on whichever teal shadow you choose. Minty Teal, Bright Teal, Dark Teal, Dark Greens

Bronze/brown dresses go well with so many different looks, but I particularly love them with bronzy, autumny looks that give depth and add drama to your eyes. Red and Brown, Chocolate Brown, Bronzy Gold, Light Gold, Gold/Orange, , Gold/Purple

Neutral/beige dresses allow wearers to be very versatile with their eye makeup, but it is a good idea to decide whether you want to be soft or bold! Then you can play with different looks from there. Soft Mattes, Soft Pinks, Bronzy Gold, Light Gold, Bold Fuchsia, Purples

Pink prom dresses, depending on the shade of pink, can go well with deeper or lighter pinks, but it is a good idea to do the opposite of whatever color your dress is to throw in some contrast. Even having a light pink dress as shown above, using a light pink as part of the inner lid but a darker pink or purple on the outer lid and really open up those eyes. Deep Purples, Soft Purples, Soft Pink, Bright Pinks, Gray/Pink

Green dresses, like pink ones, also depend on the shade of green. Olive greens go better with looks that are darker in their warmth compared to pastel greens, which will find a better match with more minty pastel eyeshadow colors than a camouflage green. Light/Dark Green, Spring Green, Green/Pink, Golden Green, Golden Olive, Light Green/Teal, Warm Greens

Bold dresses, like this teal one, are best subdued by natural/neutral make-up with a light lip to keep the focus on the dress. However, if you want to go all out, by all means, pick a coordinating teal look – nothing wrong with that choice! Minty Teal, Bright Teal, Dark Teal, Light/Dark Green, Smokey Gray

Darker, color-rich dresses work lovely with similar dark, dramatic make-up, but can also be lightened and brightened by using a soft wash of a shimmery beige/cream shadow with black mascara and liner. Dark Teal, Gray Blue, Bright Blue, Deeper Blue, Smokey Gray

White dresses can be versatile, but sometimes the style of the dress can force you into a corner where softer is better than a darker, smokey eye. You want to take note of your dress and play with what works with it best. Soft Purples, Soft Pinks, Dark Browns/Mauve, Warm Multi-color, Creamy Neutral, Neutral

Black dresses are classic, aren’t they? And they allow you to wear any color you want on your eyes or lips or both. There really aren’t any constraints when it comes to the classic black number. Soft Purples, Soft Pinks, Warm Pink/Purple, Green/Pink, Rich Gold, Warm True Green, Deep Olive Green

Red and burgundy dresses go the way of the dark, color-rich gowns do: you can lighten by going extremely soft or neutral, but you can continue to add drama and flair by pairing it with a rich eye, whether it be a deep red shadow or more autumny hues. Dark Purple/Pink, Subdued Bright Pink, Autumn #1, Autumn #2, Autumn #3, Coral Pink/Purple, Red #1, Red #2

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awesome, thanks for this.

i was wondering where you got the picture of the teal dress with the black overlay? I absolutely love it.

also, is it too much to go for a very smokey black eye and red lips?


The teal dress with the black overlay is from Nordstrom’s 🙂

I’d say it’s probably too much – go ahead, try it, and see if you like it! If you love it, then it works, but it’s generally too heavy for most people to pull off.

thanks for the link to the dress!

yeah, i never attempted to pull off the whole smokey eye/red lips as of yet, so yes might be safer just to stick with one. i just want the whole wow-factor thing going on haha, but i don’t want my eyes to be overshadowed, and i suppose the red lips would compete alot.

i’ll probably just play around with my makeup and see if it works, but yeah i think maybe a light gloss would be more effective if i want my eyes to really pop.

and i think i might just use your black 001 smoky eye tutorial 🙂

No problem!

It’s definitely do-able, so don’t think it’s not, but I think a lot of it has to do with the person who’s wearing it and whether or not they have the confidence to rock such a heavy look, you know? But yeah, sticking with one or the other sounds like a good idea to me 🙂 I always vote eye emphasis since lips can disappear through the night.

I always find a light pink lip goes great with a smokey eye, if you want your lips to have a bit of color. Otherwise, nude/neutral lipsticks are great, too.

I think very smokey eyes would be better than both. When doing makeup you have to pick eyes or lips you cant have two features that stick out its too much. I was going to do red lips and smokey eyes for prom and together they made me look like a hooker so i would so pick one or the other.

Hey Christine, I was checking out your archives and I was trying to look for some bold bright colors, like pink, blue, and green. I was wondering to create a hot pink eye, what colors would you use? For a bright green, not lime/yellow kind of color, like a “swimming” color, how do you achieve that on the whole eye without it looking icky? And I would like to do a bright almost sky blue eye, I used to work with someone who had taken a mac make up course or something and she would do really nice bold colors on her eyes, they looked amazing. Unfortunetely, she left the job and I never got to ask her lol any suggestions?

Hi Sarah!

For a hot pink eye… I’d definitely recommend Passionate eyeshadow – it is HOT PINK! It’s perfect on top of tons of bases, but Canton Candy paint would be great, as well as any other white or pink base.

Kelly Green pigment is an awesome green color that’s bright, but not lime green bright. It’s great when used all over the lid with a slightly darker color like Humid or Femme Noir in the crease, and maybe Juxt above the crease to help lighten it before the highlight color.

I would check out tutorials and people’s FOTDs to see how bold eyes are done!

Hi Michelle,

I think a neutral eye with a pink lip could be really pretty, or you could do a bit of gold on the eye.

Hi, I am actually wearinga turquoise dress to prom that has these clear flat beads on it that look almost silver.
I actually really like the neutral eye look, but wwanted something a little bit heavier rather than not showing so much. I was also wondering if the considering the beads on the dress, if I should go with eyeshadow more towards a subtle gold or silver?

Ok, prom is next week, so I’ll tell you how it goes. Thanks Christine! I’m prob. going with the eyeshadow you did right before easter dinner.

Hi Christine,
I’m wearing a silver dress to prom with all silver accessories, but my date decided to get a white tux with a green tie and and a purple vest. I was hoping I could match him more by getting my corsage and makeup to match. Could you send me the links to some of your looks that have purple and green in them?

Hi Christine,

I have a light, dusty purple gown with silver embroidery. Is there anything you can suggest that may enhance my big blues?

Normally, I would say colors like greens, browns, and golds, but since you have a purple gown with silver detailing, you might go for silver and browns!

I’m wearing a white and silver dress for prom with silver shoes. My corsage is going to be white and hot pink. I have fair skin and green/blue eyes. What kind of makeup look should I try?

I’d probably do a smoky eye and a pink lip 🙂 I think with the silver, a smoky eye would just be a great tie-in.

Hey, sorry to bother you, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to do my prom makeup. I tend to like to play with color, but my dress color is so saturated that I don’t want to look like a clown, so I think I might have to go neutral or smokey eye. I’m not sure exactly what I should go for though.

This is my dress: https://www.magicmomentscollections.com/products/Flirt%20P1203-1.jpg

See, sort of a pinkish burgundy purple. I want to have some fun with my makeup but I don’t want to have colors everywhere and look ridiculous for my senior prom =/ help?

I have a turquoise dress with gold accents all over it to wear this year. Everyday at school I mix my eyesahdows to create different flowing colors and wear mascara. I’d like to do something different besides the norm. I’ve never worn any kind of foundation or anything like that either. Any suggestions? 🙂

i would suggest to use turquoise all over your lid, with a shiny gold in the crease for a pop. then, use gold glitter liquid liner (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hard-Candy-Walk-the-Line-Eye-Liner-DREAM-GIRL-Sparkling-gold/12441196) just on top, or if you can’t find it, Hard Candy makes gold glitter mascara (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hard-Candy-Lash-Tinsel-Mascara-Gold-Digger/12441013) too that i would just put on over your normal mascara. I would keep with the no foundation, to prevent running/smearing. then go for a gold glitter body spray like this Hard Candy one (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hard-Candy-Glitterazzi-Body-Spray-Silver/12441086) that makes you look toned and glitter. i’m saying to use Hard Candy so much because it’s a lot cheaper than similar items & you can find it in your walmart beauty center. I hope this helps!

Hi, my dress is silver and i have black accessories, would the classic silver smoky eye look good, paired with a neutral/muted/pinkish lip? thanks for your help. its what im thinkin about, but not sure.

Hi Ali,

Are you asking for look ideas or are you trying to find someone to do your makeup? I’m a little confused!

Hey !
My dress is flowy strapless and hot pink, i have auburn brownish hair, hazel eyes and freckles could you give me some tips on what colour makeup i should go for ?
Thanks a ton !!! im sure this page has helped tons of girls x

Hi Sara,

I’d go with a champagne on the lid, with a little bit of of violet on the outer lid, and then a soft brown in the crease. You could wear either a nude or brighter pink lip with it!

hi i am wearing a black dress with black and white heels and a silver purse. i dont know what to do for my makeup. silver has been suggested ot me any times but i am fair with red hair and silver and dark colors tend to wash me out. does anybody have any ideas on what i should do?

hey christina! i have a coral colored dress with silver sequinces and beads and pinkish beads. The color is a bit more pink than orange and I have no idea how to do eyemakeup for it!! Please help!

Hey! So I’m having a little problem deciding what my date should wear. (By the way my dress is La Femme 15027) It’s basically just a strapless white dress with silver on it. There’s two ways that this could go, 1) I could wear a cornflower blue flower in my hair and then my date could march to that color, or 2) he’ll just wear black and white..

Which do you think would be better?

OK, so I have a white dress with tons of black flowers all over it with a small silver clasp in front and two in back but I have no idea what to do for the makeup. Any suggestions??

This is just what I needed, I’m getting a teal dress for Christmas and I wanted to know if a bold set of blues would look pretty or tacky and you answered my question with this page. it was soo practical of you to leave tags to different looks based on what shadows to choose from. I’m very impressed to find such a useful website for makeup! Thanks, and ps I might get my mom to design my prom dress and it too is is Teal.
Sincerely, Keri

hey everyone! i’ve got a burgundy/red dress which is quite simple in it’s style and only consists of the one colour. i really am stuck when it comes to what make up to wear but if it helps i’m a brunette with blue eyes and i’ve got a fringe so i was hoping to make my eyes stand out? should i wear any lipstick and if so what colour? any suggestions would be really appreciated!

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