Even the most laid-back teenager will admit that formal is a big deal. It’s the moment when you finally get to break out of the school uniform, get dolled up like a movie star, and dance the night away with your best friends. Whether you’re usually a girly-girl or just want to try out a glamorous look for this special occasion, it’s natural to want to make an impact. Use these 8 tips to ensure that you look absolutely perfect on the big night.

1. Pair your accessories with your gown.

Matchy-matchy isn’t the aim, but some carefully selected accessories will go a long way to elevating your look. For example, a pale gown will look gorgeous against a navy evening bag, while a glitzy silver clutch goes perfectly with a dark, classic formal dress. Wait until you’ve found your dress and then find accessories that take it to the next level.

2. Don’t be shy.

It’s tempting to opt for a style that you know will look similar to everyone else’s, particularly if you’re not used to dressing up. However, it’s always best if you can find a look that really reflects your personality. Don’t be afraid to be creative and fashion-forward in your choice of gown – it’s always better to stand out from the crowd.

3. Get inspiration from the stars.

If you’re not sure where to start for your formal look, get inspiration from celebrities that you love. Buy a few magazines and browse through the latest red carpet looks for makeup, hair, and fashion ideas. You may be able to recreate the style at home without the Hollywood price tag.

4. Start shopping early.

You don’t want to leave your formal shopping last minute and end up in a panic, so give yourself plenty of time to find your dream gown. Try plenty of different options on and branch out to small boutiques and lesser-known stores to find something that’s perfect for you.

5. Practice beforehand.

If you’re planning to do your own hair and makeup on the night of your formal, have a few practice sessions in advance to get the technique right. Use Youtube tutorials if you’re unsure about the makeup, and ask your friends for help if they know a particular technique that you can’t quite master. If all else fails – call in the professionals.

6. Pack emergency touch-up tools.

With all the excitement of formal, it’s easy to look pretty dishevelled a couple of hours into the night. Bring some essentials in your clutch to keep yourself looking photo-ready. Lipstick, hairpins, a powder compact, and a mini deodorant could all come in handy.

7. Don’t spray tan the day before.

Spray tans are not your friend when it comes to last minute bronzing. It’s way too easy to get the shade wrong and end up looking orange. If you’re feeling pasty and want to add some colour, use a gradual tanning lotion for a few months in advance, but don’t start experimenting with your skin in the days before your formal.

8. Have fun.

Above all, don’t stress. Formal should be about celebrating with your friends, so keep that at the top of your priority list and you’ll look gorgeous no matter what. Smile for the camera, and make some awesome memories.

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