We hear that finding the dress is the most difficult part of preparing for prom. Once you run through your color options, the silhouette, length, and accessories, you might start to feel more prepared, but the truth is the details, like your hair and makeup, can make or break your entire look. Think about it: When you’re off snapping selfies with your friends all night, your dress barely shows up in the photo, right? Lucky for you, we have the makeup inspiration you need to make that perfect gown look that much better.
With a photo package and yearbook selects on the line, picking the wrong makeup look can follow you all the way to your 10-year reunion and beyond. Rather than settling for something, we’ve rounded up 15 celeb-loved makeup looks to copy on the biggest night of high school. Prom is one of those events that you get one shot at—twice if you’re lucky—so do yourself a favor and get it right while you can.
When you tend to lean toward a neutral makeup look, a graphic eyeliner in a neon tone is all you need to turn it up a notch. Add a single stroke of bright eyeliner, like this orange highlighter shade, in the inner corners à la Megan Fox for a look you love even a decade later.
If you’re looking to take the neon trend for a spin but prefer a twist on an old classic, a bright cat eye is the way to go. We love this yellow wing, as seen on Yara Shahidi.
Sure to look as fabulous today as it will on the night of your future kid’s prom, classic Old Hollywood glam makeup is a sure winner. Recreate it with matte foundation, impeccably groomed brows, a nude lip, and a slightly smudged dramatic wing.
An update on the classic red lip, a berry tone with a hint of blue is much more youthful and modern. We especially love the idea of pairing it with a contrasting dress color.
An undeniable showstopper, this sequin look is so cool and unique. It’s sure to transcend generations. Just be sure not to overdo it. Keep your hair simple (maybe a sleek bun or pin-straight strands) and pair it with an understated dress, like a black or white sheath silhouette.
When it comes to your face, think of your makeup as your dress and your lashes as your accessory—they’re the final touch that pulls your entire look together. A long pair makes your eyes look wider and brighter. Just be sure to select a pair that’s long but not too full and heavy.
When you want a look that’s subtle but packs a major punch, consider this negative-space wing carved out of a light smoky eye. Apply a taupe shadow along the lid and lower lash line, then, with a micellar water–soaked brush, remove your eye makeup in a cat-eye shape. Clean it up with a bit of concealer on a clean liner brush.
It’s quite possible your mom wore blue eye shadow to her own prom, too. And truthfully, she probably regrets it. However, with some modern twists, the next generation is sure to use your pic as major makeup inspiration years from now. Create a graphic shape by following the curve of your lid and winging it out at the corners. Strong brows and a glossy lip make this whole look a vibe.
Leather never goes out of style, and this shiny patent leather–inspired eye look is sure still be the talk of the class at your reunion. An eye gloss over a neutral shadow is all you need to shine at prom.
The simplest way to match your makeup to your prom dress is to literally match your makeup to your prom dress. Use similar tones and colors from your dress in your eye shadow like Laura Harrier did here.
We’ve seen the classic smoky eye that incorporates shades of gray and black, but this updated pink version is sure to turn heads on the dance floor. And a touch of gold glitter will catch the light unlike any disco ball.
A bold red lip never goes out of style. Pair it with glowy skin, metallic lids, and some classic eyeliner.
If you haven’t gathered by now, we love a cat eye, but there are some things a liquid eyeliner just can’t do. Let your eyes take center stage with these holographic peel-and-stick eyeliner stickers that are seriously out of this world.
Straight out of your favorite HBO drama, this bold, frosty cut-crease eye shadow look topped with rhinestones screams Euphoria. A look this good is sure to be admired for years to come.
While the classic smoky eye is all about blending and soft edges, this graphic rendition feels infinitely cooler. With sharp angles and graphic color-blocking, this eye shadow looks like a scene straight from the future. And if you ask us, it’s looking pretty bright.