Makeover aims for look that's naturally glamorous without the fads and fuss PROM PREVIEW

March 10, 1994|By Suzin Boddiford | Suzin Boddiford,Contributing Writer

Has the anticipation of the prom got you stressed already? You dream of all heads turning as you enter into one of the most memorable nights of your life, all radiant and glamorous like Winona Ryder, Janet Jackson or Mariah Carey.

But let's face it, reality bites when it comes time to transform that plain everyday look into a sophisticated style all your own.

With nowhere else to turn, Western High School senior Lauren Wilmer, whose grungy student style is based on flannel shirts, jeans, sneakers and zero makeup, wrote to us for pointers on how to pull together a captivating prom look.

The main objective for a successful prom night -- often more vital than nabbing the perfect escort -- is to snag a killer dress. It's smart to try on a variety of different looks, because you might surprise yourself.

Case in point: Lauren's original intentions were to seek out something long and traditional, until she fell for a short fit-and-flare dress, which we paired with delicate little gloves and pearls, and strappy shoes, for an ultra-elegant option.

Whether you dream about looking sophisticated in a long slink, fun and flirty in all-over fringe, or have romantic notions about pink lace, there are more options than ever out there. Beware about getting sucked in by a fad, however. Even alternative prom-goers will most likely leave the current trend toward wearing baby-doll dresses and Mary Janes to kid sister.

"Teens want to look sophisticated and adult -- not young and cute like children," according to Bonnit Fuller, editor-in-chief of YM Magazine. Although, by contrast, Andrea Lee Linett, fashion and beauty editor of Sassy, predicts playful white anklet socks worn with heels and short flirty skirts to be a major prom hit.

A common mistake among first-time glamour gals is to go overboard with makeup and hair spray. Which is why hair and makeup artist Nora Garver decided to show Lauren a soft, natural look that she can create on her own. She began the pre-prom makeover by moisturizing Lauren's face, creating a smooth canvas for blending a light application of foundation to even out skin tone. Concealer was patted all around the eyes and up to the brow, followed by a light dusting of translucent powder. "It is very important that the foundation match young skin perfectly and the concealer be a few shades lighter," says Ms. Garver. "Don't go guessing colors on your own in the drugstore, and seek advice from a pro at the makeup counter."

Next, Lauren's eyebrows were reshaped and filled in with brow powder applied with a stiff angled brush instead of a pencil. A pearly shimmer was swept all over the eyelid and up to the brow, then a neutral taupey-rose was blended over lids and into the eye crease. "If you don't normally wear makeup, avoid experimenting with eye shadows that match your dress. Keep it neutral," says Ms. Garver.

To further open up Lauren's eyes, soft black liner was extended along the outer corners, ending with a stroke of mascara to upper and lower lashes. Lips were stained with a shimmery peach gloss, and the apples of the cheeks were tinted with a pale pink powder blush. "Fairer skin is safe with pinks and peaches, while darker complexions should look to corals and bricks," she says. Finally, Lauren's face, neck and shoulders were dusted with an irridescent powder to give off a subtle glow.

If you happen to discover a small blemish the day of the prom, don't panic.

If it's in a workable place near the mouth or somewhere on the cheek, simply dab over it with a dark brown shadow or pencil, and it turns into a beauty mark!

To show off Lauren's long, graceful neck and accent her shoulder-baring dress, Ms. Garver created a romantic up-do by curling her hair into ringlets.

Without brushing them out, the curls were loosely gathered and pinned into place on top of her head -- allowing the curls to fall where they may.

Fringed bangs kept the hair from looking too done.

A comb of fresh flowers and ivy was pinned into the crown of

curls -- a pretty place to show off a corsage, instead of having it flop around on the wrist all night.

So what is on the "out" list for prom '94?

"A dress that doesn't fit, uncomfortable shoes, a lot of jewelry, sunburned skin, or hair that's too perfect, you're afraid to dance," says Sassy's Ms. Linett.

"The object is to plan ahead, make the most of what you've got, and have a good time." After all, it really is only a party -- not a pageant.

Prom events

* Seventeen Magazine's "Prom Style" trend fashion show and seminar: Friday, April 8, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 9, at 2 p.m. at Owings Mills Mall.

* YM Magazine and Nordstrom fashion show and breakfast: May 7, 8:30 a.m., at Nordstrom, Annapolis. Call (410) 573-1121 for further information.

ON THE COVER

Styling by Suzin Boddiford

Hair and makeup by Nora Garver/T.H.E. Artist Agency

Dress, $102, and earrings, $12.50, at Hecht's. Choker, $32, at Dressy Affair. Shoes, $49, at Precis, Towson. Floral hair comb designed by Eleanor Oster of Whitin & Oster. Photographed at Henderson's Wharf.

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