How to Be Pretty for a Party

The party season is under way, which means that you’ll be going to at least one wonderfully gala affair. You’ll want to look your prettiest, of course, and this involves a little advance planning. In fact, planning is the real trick to special-party prettiness.

How to Be Pretty

Example: The woman who’ll feel completely at ease in her party dress, hairdo, and makeup because she’s thought them out (and done all her experimenting with them) well in advance is going to sparkle a lot more than the woman who threw herself together at the last-minute, and as a result, has to worry constantly about her bra straps showing, her makeup staying, her new hairdo lasting through the evening.

So, to be as party pretty as you can be, follow this beauty countdown – from a week before to zero hour for the loveliest special occasion look you’ve ever had.

Related post: How to Be Pretty and Beautiful at Life Tips.

A week before the party

Decide on your dress. Need a new one? Go shopping today.

Or, perhaps there’s something appropriate already in your wardrobe. If so, try it on. Check the fit. Hem all right? This is the time to arrange for any alterations.

If you can afford it, have your hair done – a kind of trial run – the way you think you’d like to wear it for the party.

This kind of advance planning saves you a last-minute, frazzling huddle with your hairdresser that could result in an extravagant hairdo that doesn’t please you at all.

New dress or old faithful, what about special underpinnings? Do you own a bra, girdle, and slip that “work” with your dress? (Nothing is so distressing at party time as lingerie that peeps over a low-cut neckline; straps that need constant pulling up; a too-long slip; a girdle with seams that show through the fabric of your dress.)

Hint: It’s a good idea to take your dress along with you when shopping for special lingerie. Before you buy, make your selections, then try on your dress over them. This way you’ll know that what you’re buying is what you need.

Five days before the party

With your dress in mind, consider your hair. Want to go all out with a special occasion hairdo? Or will you be more comfortable with a zippier version of your usual style?

If your party hairdo involves a wig or hairpiece, now’s the time to make an appointment for cleaning and styling. If you’ll wear your hair au naturel but need a haircut or trim, have it done now.

Ditto for a permanent wave. (Permed hair usually looks its best some few days after the perm – besides which newly permed hair is sometimes harder to manage and a few days’ leeway will give you a chance to get the hang of coping with it.)

Four days before the party

You’ve got your dress, you’ve planned your hairdo. What else is needed to complete the look? Accessories, of course.

If you need new shoes, shop for them now. Shoes don’t necessarily have to match your dress, but they should co-ordinate in other ways.

For example, pale shoes look nicest with a pale dress; dark shoes with a dark dress.

Try sandals or “airy” shoes with a bare or swing dress; “heavier,” covered-up shoes (in gold or silver, perhaps, or leather with rhinestone buckles) with a tailored ensemble.

If you’d rather wear a pair of shoes already in your wardrobe, but don’t like their color with your dress, consider dyeing them. There are do-it-yourself shoe-dye products in almost unlimited color ranges on the market. But before you dye, check soles, heels, insoles, etc., to see if any repair work is in order. If there is, see to it now.

Co-ordinate stockings with your shoes rather than with your dress. And go a little crazy when shopping for party stockings. It’s amazing how “special” stockings can pull together a gala-occasion look.

Decide on jewelry. Feel your dress needs super glamorous earrings, brooch, necklace, bracelet? Get them. But remember, it’s usually best to underplay the jewelry bit. It’s the holiday season, but you don’t want to end up looking like a Christmas tree.

Two days before the party

Set aside an hour or so for a makeup practice session to get the knack of eye shadowing, face shading, applying false lashes. Now is the time to experiment.

The way to go about it? Incorporate some of the special-occasion ploys listed below with your basic makeup plan. Step back and review the results. Reject what’s too stagy, theatrical; make note of what does wonders for your looks:

  • Pearlised cosmetics – foundation, powder, lipstick, blusher, nail polish. Their light – reflecting properties lend a beautifully moon struck look.
  • Dark blusher, or darker-than-usual foundation, stroked on and blended under cheekbones, down sides of face, and at the temples to slim and shape a too-full face.
  • A dot of blusher to emphasize a dimple on chin or cheek.
  • A thin, bright blue pencil line stippled on along the roots of the lower lashes to make eyes look clearer, brighter.
  • A white line pencilled in (careful here) above lashes on lower lids to make dark eyes even darker, more mysterious.
  • Eye shadow – two, even three colors at once. A brown-eyed blonde, for example, might experiment with glittery gold on the lid, a band of taupe in the crease, iridescent white under the eyebrow. A blue-eyed brunette could try iridescent violet on the lid, smoky grey in the crease, pale whitened lavender under the eyebrow.
  • Fake lashes.

When you’ve finished your trial makeup, and are satisfied with the results, slip into your party dress – or hold it near your face – and inspect the total effect under the harshest light of all: fluorescent. If you can pass muster under fluorescent lighting, you’ll look great under any lighting conditions.

The day before the party

Work out a schedule for tomorrow, one that leaves you plenty of time to have your hair and nails done (or to do them yourself), a brief afternoon nap, a bath, leisurely dressing and making up.

If dinner is not on your party agenda, plan a light, easy-to-prepare meal at home for tomorrow.

If your dress and shoes are new, slip into them for just a few minutes to get the “feel” of moving in them (especially important if you’ll be dancing at the party).

Get to bed as early as possible.

Zero hour

Take a last look in the mirror, then forget about your appearance. And have a wonderful time!

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