Prom season is with us once again, which means it’s time to start gearing up for your big night. Once dress shopping is behind you, it’s time to start thinking about prom beauty. Of course your prom hairstyle is super important, but your prom makeup may be one of the most important elements to creating a standout look that you can be proud of for decades to come. With so many makeup trends to choose from — including several takes on graphic eyeliner, rhinestone accents and even monochromatic makeup to match your dress — you won’t be at a loss for options.
Below, we’re sharing 20 prom makeup ideas to help get you inspired for your big night out and choose a look that you love.
20 Prom Makeup Looks for Your Consideration
From pearlcore-embellished makeup to a classic smokey eye to metallic eyeshadow, there is no shortage of ways to flex your creative side with your prom makeup look. Here are the makeup ideas that have earned our seal of approval for prom season.
1. Glowing Skin With Glossy Lids
You can’t go wrong with skin that glows and achieving that starts with the right skin care routine. Prep for prom by using a face scrub, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser, then apply a hyaluronic acid serum, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum for a boost of hydration.
If glazed donut skin is a trend that you’re opting for, you can forgo foundation altogether and reach for a skin tint. The L’Oréal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum makes skin feel hydrated and look brighter with a radiant, luminous finish. Finish off your lit-from-within look with a swipe of clear lip gloss or petroleum jelly across your lids.
2. Reverse Cut Crease
Want to add a professional makeup artist touch to your prom makeup? Look no further than the cut crease — but with a spin. This reverse cut crease trend we’ve been seeing on models, influencers and celebs is a standout for spring 2023. To get the look you’ll need a creamy eyeliner, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner, a few eyeshadows in the colors of your choice and an almost-white shadow to use as a highlight.
3. Monochromatic Red
Red is a power color for a reason and it looks good on any skin tone. That being said, a red monochromatic makeup look could be gorgeous for prom if you know how to customize the shade to complement your complexion. If you need a shortcut, you could get the look using one product on lids, lips and cheeks. The L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Reds of Worth Satin Lipstick with Saturated Color comes in six highly pigmented shades so you can do red lipstick and pretty much whatever you want with this vivid hue. We like a pop of red eyeliner, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Burgundy or crimson lashes with a vampy mascara, like the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Washable Bold Eye Mascara in Deep Burgundy.
4. Jewel-Embellished Eyes
You’d have to be completely devoid of social media not to notice that crystals and other jewel embellishments are having a makeup moment. Whether added to a floating eyeliner look or at the outer corners of the eyes, just a few can enhance any makeup look. If you’re DIYing the look, just be sure to invest in quality jewels that will stay put all night and adhesive that’s safe for your face.
5. Siren Eye Makeup
Siren eyes are flirty, gorgeous and perfect for a prom makeup moment. To achieve this viral glam, use a felt tip eyeliner like the L’Oréal Paris Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner to create a wing so sharp it could cut glass. Use a darker eyeshadow to smudge the liner, giving your eyes a lifted effect.
6. Pastel Eye Makeup
Another look that screams spring and is beautiful for prom is pretty pastel eyes. For this look, choose a pastel eyeshadow in a shade that complements or matches your prom dress. For example, if your dress is a shade of pink, pair it with a pastel pink shadow, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow in Always Pearly Pink. Or, if you’re wearing a shade of blue, pair it with a pastel blue eyeshadow, such as the L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Timeless Blue Spark. With this look, the options are endless, so go ahead and customize it to match your outfit.
Editor’s tip: If you want to keep it more subtle and simple, opt for a pastel eyeliner instead and add it to both your top and bottom lash line.
7. Pearl Embellishments
If the pearlcore fashion trend has pulled on your heartstrings we understand, which is why we recommend incorporating some pearls into your prom makeup look. Add pearls of different sizes to your eye makeup look, your cheekbones or even your brows for a breathtaking look that’s charming and embellished.
8. Graphic Eyeliner
There’s no way we could create a list of fabulous prom makeup ideas and not include one of our favorites — graphic eyeliner. With so many ways to pull off the trend — including graphic inner eye accents, negative space eyeliner and more — the options are seemingly endless. You’re more likely to be wearing the same dress as someone else before you’re seen with the same graphic eyeliner look.
9. Metallic Makeup
We love metallics and are eager to find any occasion to break out our metallic shadows, lipsticks and liners. Try a metallic lip with neutral makeup everywhere else, or get in on the metallic eyeshadow trend with the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Metallics Eye Shadow. It comes in five sultry, shimmery shades so you can add a bit of metallic sparkle to your lids.
10. Reverse Smokey Eye
For those with hooded eyes or those that just lack significant lid space, we’re suggesting a reverse smokey eye for your prom makeup look. Like the classic smokey eye, it still includes dark gradient shadows, but it focuses on the lower lash line so you don’t have to worry about your lids looking heavy if you don’t have tons of lid space. Use a gel liner like the aforementioned L’Oréal Paris Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner to create the look and then finish with some dark shadows to create the smokey blend.
11. Classic Smokey Eye
The reverse smokey eye is a great workaround for different eye shapes, but we can’t fail to mention the classic smokey eye. What’s great about the smokey eye is that in addition to pairing well with every outfit and also being timeless, you can customize it to be as dramatic or as subtle as you wish.
12. Inner Eye Accents
Not every look has to be dramatic and over the top — your prom makeup can be whatever you want it to be. And something as simple as an inner eye accent can have a major impact on your overall beauty look. Do it with simple face jewels, your favorite metallic eyeliner, or a bright eyeshadow. It’s a look you can do on your own and make it look like a professional job.
13. Monochromatic Pastels
For another soft, more subtle makeup look, you can’t beat monochromatic pastels. We particularly love a monochromatic pink makeup look that also has a bit of shimmer. For eyes, grab the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow in Avenue Des Roses, then complete your look with the L'Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick with Pomegranate Extract in Peach Charm and the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Radiant Satin Blush with Camellia Oil in Rosewood.
14. Coquette Makeup
Coquette makeup is flirty, feminine and delicate in the way that fresh flowers, lace and pastel floral print dresses are. Coquette makeup is having a hot moment on social media and the look includes wispy lashes, rosy cheeks, blurred lips and faux freckles. To nail this style of makeup, use a lifting mascara, like the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara to make your lashes long, fluttery and clump-free.
For the rosy cheeks, try a cream blush, like the L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Lip and Cheek Tint and focus it on the apples of your cheeks. For the blurred lip, apply a light layer of matte lipstick, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick, and blend it in with your finger.
15. Chocolate Lips and Bronzy Eyeliner
If you really want a look so atypical for prom that no one else will be sporting it, go dark — dark chocolate that is. A chocolate-colored lipstick is the perfect pick for a sultry look that’s neutral and beautiful. Try the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Spice or Bronzine, or the Age Perfect Satin Lipstick with Precious Oils in Cinnamon Spice.
Finish the look with bronzy eyeliner, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Bronze to amplify the chocolatey tones in your lips.
16. Purple Blush and Shimmery Purple Lids
If you feel like no makeup look is complete until you’ve applied blush, let that be the focus of your makeup for prom. Right now, purple blush is super on-trend and is perfect for a special occasion when you want a vibrant look. With this trend, it’s all about blending, so be sure to get really acquainted with your brushes.
Not only is purple gorgeous on the cheeks, but it’s a dynamic shade that really flatters brown eyes when worn on the lids. To match your purple blush, take the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Purple Priority and lightly dust it across your lids with a fluffy brush.
17. Silver Glitter Eye Makeup
For a more intense glam look, why not try silver glitter? Don’t be intimidated, silver glitter eye makeup is pretty easy to execute and it photographs beautifully. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Silver Sky for shimmery, foiled lids.
18. Layered Dark Blue Eyeshadow
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention dark blue eyeshadow in this round-up, since it’s one of the trendiest, Y2K-inspired shades at the moment. Even if your dress isn’t blue, this eye makeup look can really make your eyes pop and pair well with whatever you’ve chosen to wear. Take two or more blue shadows and layer them to give your look dimension and interest. We love the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette in Avant Garde Azure for a variety of blue hues in one palette, or the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Agrentic and Grand Bleu for that extra shimmer.
19. Soft Contour and Voluminous Lashes
For gorgeous contour on prom night, try underpainting. This technique has been relied on by makeup artists for years and consists of applying your contour and highlighter before foundation and blending your foundation on top. This helps to blur any harsh lines or dark shadows and the results are gorgeous, blended contour and natural face sculpting.
For this look, you’ll need a cream contour product, so we recommend buying your favorite concealer in a shade that's two to three shades darker than your skin tone. If you need a suggestion, we love the full-coverage finish of the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage. Since the concealer will add coverage, you can opt for a lighter, skin-like foundation, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation to layer on.
Underpainting focuses on the skin so it pairs well with almost any other type of eye makeup. We like it with voluminous lashes as they add to the look, while keeping your complexion the main focus. For volume and length, coat your lashes with the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara.
20. Soft Glam Makeup
Finally, if nothing else piques your interest, try a soft glam look that you can do right at home. Whether you decide to go with a bold lip color or a neutral palette and eyes that really pop, you’ll create a look that you can treasure for years. Photos are forever, so keep that in mind as you complete your prom makeup.
Photo Credit: iStock
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