Saturday, 18 October 2014

Your Fundamental Formal Guide

Hello, we meet again blogosphere! Today, I'm not only going to give you the goss about how to totally rock it out at your formal (or prom, whatever), but I am actually experiencing one of my very own. I know right? Such excitement. Because I'm pretty hyped up about tonight's festivities, I thought, why not be totally selfless (because we all know I am) and pass everything I've learnt on to you guys? Introduction done and dusted, let's get cracking . . .

The Dress

Perhaps the pinnacle of all formal and prom preparations is finding the perfect dress to blow everyone away. Now I don't consider myself to be superficial or anything, but I have to admit, my outfit really was of great importance. Before I even started looking, I already knew that I wanted the base my dress on a Sherri Hill frock I saw on MTV's 'Awkward' a few months back:

I spent a few days searching, although I seriously couldn't find anything that even resembled this. However, just over two weeks before the event (which is today, excitement!), I discovered this website called 'PromGirl', and thought I found something pretty similar. 

But oh no, the story doesn't end there. Eventually the dress arrived on Tuesday the 7th, and low and behold, it was just all kinds of wrong. Now this is absolutely nothing against the website, but the dress to me seriously just looked like I'd gone up the local shop and plucked out a $10 fairy costume (which you know, isn't exactly the look you're going for at 16). So yeah, my mum, my grandma and I were in full on panic mode. We had absolutely nothing, yet only had 11 days to find me a dress (which I know sounds like a lot of time, but trust me, it really isn't). 

The next day we decided to head on over to Castle Towers, and there my friends is where all my worries were solved. I stumbled upon this retro-esque store called 'Kitten D'Amour', and let me just say, it is beyond brilliant. Unfortunately for all you prom-goers outside of Australia, there are no stores near you, however they do ship to practically anywhere in the world, so trust me when I say your outfits are sorted. You could try going somewhere else and having a browse around or whatever, but moral of the story, this shop is awesome. Now what exactly does my new dress look like?

Absolutely nothing like what I had originally planned. But if I'm being honest with myself, what I found was actually so much better. Yes, it was pretty expensive, but it is made of French lace, plus I can definitely wear it again (whereas my original dress, that was definitely only a one time thing). 

The Accessories

Before you say anything, yes, I truly do consider shoes and clutches to be accessories. And no, you don't have to agree. Finding these two items however I can tell you now was much easier than finding a dress. I kid you not, I found both of these in a matter of hours, and really didn't have to look that hard. Maybe it's just the fact that I find shoe shopping horrendously boring, but I really wanted to knock this over as quickly as possible. Because it's pretty much my go-to shop for everything girly, I stopped off at 'Forever New' initially to look for either of the two necessities. And bam, what do you know, I found a clutch right off the bat!

Once again, 'Forever New' is indeed a strictly Australian brand, but similarly, they have an extensive range of international shipping. I absolutely adore this store, and highly suggest you take note of it immediately, because it really is spectacularly awesome. 

Now, let's move on to the shoes. I had a bit of a look around before I found exactly what I was searching for, however from the very beginning, I knew that I wanted sparkly, peep toed shoes. And guess what? I found exactly that. 

I actually kind of lucked out finding them at 'Myer', because I had no idea a rather boring Australian department store would ever stock silver sparkly shoes. I mean, who knew? If you really want to, they do once again have international shipping, although I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find something similar in your own country. But hey, if you're desperate, they deliver (literally and figuratively).

All the Other Stuff

I couldn't be bothered separating all these extras into different subheadings, so I thought, why not throw them all together? Of course, formals and proms wouldn't be complete without the allusive makeover tools and beauty enhancements that girls use to make it look like they aren't using any at all. You know the drill, you've got hair, make up, nails, tan - the works! I don't like to admit it, but I'm pretty cliche when it comes to all of this beauty stuff. In a lot of ways I differ quite significantly from your average teenage girl, but this really isn't one of them. I've decided to just join the herd and give everything a go. 

The first step on my beauty journey was of course fake tan. Yes, I am actually super ashamed, but I did indeed tan myself. You have to know, I was never planning on it, I swore to myself I would never sink that low. I really had no choice, as literally only two days ago I got ridiculously sun burnt at a compulsory school swim survival challenge, so it was either betraying my morals or rocking up to formal looking like elmo. Obviously, I went with the first option. However, I don't think I was a total sell out, because to this day, I still refuse to get an actual spray tan. I've seen enough pumpkins walking around school to know I have to steer clear of that one, and considering my skin tone is that of a vampire's, that certainly wouldn't have gone down well at all. So, I decided to do it myself, and it really wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought. 

I kind of feel like an expert now, so considering my (brief) experience in the area, I would recommend the 'ModelCo' product shown above. It works really well and super quickly, and actually has a blue-green base so it doesn't turn you completely orange (nor does it turn you blue or green, so don't worry about that either). I'm just going to warn you, it does actually darken slightly overnight, so don't put a whole heap of it on, otherwise you'll be in for a nasty shock. Luckily, I was a bit afraid of it and hardly lathered any on at all, so when I woke up, it really just gave me the skin tone of an ordinary human (which is really what I was after). 

In addition to the enormous sunburn, I also happen to have a massive scar on my leg. Remember when I wrote last month about how I learnt to ride a bike? That skill seems to come with its drawbacks. In order to rectify this, I purchased a rather magic substance that you can see in the image below. 

This may sound super strange, but Sally Hansen's 'Airbrush Legs' basically acts as a foundation for your extremities. Apparently people use it ordinarily just in everyday life, however it worked really well to cover up my massive ass scar. If you have any bruises or cuts, I suggest you purchase it right now, because you definitely won't regret it. 

Next up on the list is hair. Obviously, what you do with your hair is perhaps just as vital as your dress. It needs to complement your face and your outfit, and can't possibly restrict you from breaking out terribly embarrassing 80's moves on the dance floor (or maybe that's just me). I was going after something fairy garden-ish, and bam, that's exactly what I got. I went to my hairdresser and basically asked for a combination of the hairstyle in the two images below:

And because my hairdressers were super awesome, the end result is seriously the best:

And yes, that is indeed the back of my head.

Now it's time to focus on nails. Of course, the colour of the polish totally depends upon the colour of your dress, but given that mine was a pretty neutral white-ish, cream-ish kinda thing, I could pretty much go with anything. So with all that choice, you think I'd go for some sort of radical colour, right? Wrong. Quite the opposite actually. You can never go wrong with a good, old, classic French polish. 

It always makes me feel so posh, despite the fact I'm probably the least sophisticated person ever. 

Last but certainly not least is make-up. Because I really don't trust myself to paint my own face, I enlisted the help of the fancy make-up artists at Napoleon. Can I just say? Best. Decision. Ever. They did such an awesome job, especially considering my rather extensive sunburn. I didn't exactly have any idea what I wanted done, so they basically just saw the colour of my dress and went for their life. And how exactly did it turn out? See for yourself. 

It took about 45 minutes, and even though it was $89, it was all practically redeemable. With the money you pay, you get $89 worth of Napoleon products, so in essence, getting your make-up done is actually free. I highly suggest you guys do something like that, because if you're anything like me and terrible at doing your own make-up, these people are life savers.

Tips and Tricks for Surviving Formal

This is the point at where me acting like a typical teenager comes to a dramatic halt. Fellow nerds, I speak to you. Surviving your formal or your prom can be difficult for people like us, because we tend to get so overwhelmed with all the mainstream music and annoying people that it's typically hard to cope. But have no fear, I'm here to help. Based on my rather extensive knowledge through the medium of movies and television, we can get through this together. 

1. If a good song comes on, savour the moment. Let's face it, when will this happen again? The music's going to be aimed at your painfully conventional cohort, so if a song comes on that you can tolerate, dance like there's no tomorrow. 

2. Try not to get angry at the cliche, mainstream, popular people. I know, they're annoying, but don't let them put a spanner in the works. If they're really getting to you, just make fun of them behind their backs and move on with your life. 

3. Indulge in the fact that you look awesome. Don't be one of those people that denies compliments, just embrace it and celebrate the fact that you're better than everybody else. 

4. Ditch your shoes, or accept that you'll inevitably be in extreme pain by the end of the night. Don't try and put on a brave face, just go bare foot and save yourself while you still can. 

So that's now the end of my little post. I hope you've managed to gather some useful (or at least semi entertaining) tips for your upcoming proms and formals, and perhaps may consider taking some of my advice. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx


  1. I love this post and the whole tips and tricks for surviving formal section! Number 1 and 2 are my favourite :)
    I see that you used a TVD gif as well!

    1. Well thank you kind stranger, I'm so glad you liked it! Love the username :) x