Sunday, June 6, 2010

Senior Prom: Part 1

This post is part 1 of a 2 part post on prom.
Friday night was my senior prom, which meant that Friday day was possibly the most labor intensive and expensive beauty process of my life thus far.
The day started off with school, but seniors and those attending prom were dismissed before lunch to get ready. This, though appreciated, seemed really weird to me. It was one of the first times in my life that looking good officially took a backseat to getting smart.
Thursday night I went to CVS and picked up some things to aid me on my journey to conventional hotness. My purchases included: toothbrushes, lotion, gum, false eyelashes, a loofah, Skintimates shaving lotion, and six blade disposable razors. I charged all of these things to my mother's credit card, and when I got home my mom was mad that I had spent $6.99 for only three razors. "Whatever," I told her. This was probably the first time that I was a brat in the name of silky smooth legs.
I shaved all Seventeen-endorsed parts (legs, pits, bikini-line) in a process that outlasted my hot water heater. I also exfoliated every square inch of my epidermis, lest my evening be overshadowed by the menace of dead skin cells. Then I lubed my body up with lotion and slithered my way out to my nail appointment.
I went with my friend Dominique to get our nails and toes done. By the time that we thought to make our appointments, all of the affordable places around town were booked, so we had to go somewhere on the upper end of the price spectrum. Thus, there were no other prom-goers in the salon when we were, just adult women, who were eager to swoon and squee over our impending prom. We both got french on our nails and Seventeen-suggested pastels on our toes (forgot to take a photo). We read magazines while we got our pedicures, and surprisingly I really enjoyed Lucky magazine, which just focused on fashion, and no bullshit tips on life or love. Lots of pictures of really great outfits, no man candy/diet tips/embarrassing stories. I managed to sit under the dryer for 10 minutes, which of course is never long enough. I walked around with my hands like dino-claws for approximately a half hour after I left the salon in fear of nicking my manicure.
After my nails I headed to meet my other friend Erinn to get my hair and makeup done. I've been going to my salon for about five years, and its one of those social center type salons that usually only exist in movies. As I sat and got my hair done, I knew every single person who came in the salon (ten people?), and I am by no means popular.
I wanted my hair done in some sort of sexy celebrity curls. I pulled a picture from the Seventeen website from an article entitled, "How to Get Bed Head Hair." My bed head hair, obviously, does not look like this. Nonetheless, my stylist did a pretty good job at coming up with something similar for my texture that dealt with the humidity we are experiencing here and my awkward length bangs.

Afterward, I had my makeup done. At this point, I was really tired of sitting, and had no idea what I wanted for my makeup. My general instructions for the day were, "Please make me look conventionally attractive." My only explicit request was false eyelashes. Looking hot apparently required several different layers of various powders and potions. I felt like I had too much makeup on, but everyone in the salon, including my father, assured me that I looked great and not at all tacky, so I just went along with it.
In the salon, I ate a massive chicken salad with guacamole and oranges. A few people made comments about how surprised they were that I was eating on the day of my prom. As far as I was aware, my body still required calories for energy on this day, so I was still going to eat.

At the end of the week, my beauty treatments broke down as such:

Waxing: 20 minutes
Hair Removal/Shower: 1 hour
Manicure/Pedicure: 1.5 hours
Hair: 2 hours
Makeup: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 4.45 hours (I didn't go tanning, I know a lot of people went a few times a week for the entire month before prom)

Dress: $130
Shoes: $42
Jewelry: $42
Waxing: $20
Hair Styling: $70
Makeup Application: $50
False Eyelash Application: $10
Manicure: $15
Pedicure: $40
Assorted CVS Products: $42.50
TOTAL: $461.50

My awesome date paid for my $65 prom ticket, as well as his own. (I offered, I swear, as did most girls that I know.) My awesome mom paid for ALL of the above expenses. The entire cost of this years prom's beauty treatments still managed to cost less than my $500 junior prom dress. I am all about transparency here. This is an entirely ridiculous expenditure, and I am incredibly fortunate to have parents who can afford it.
This entire time-consuming and expensive day led to a lot of discussions in the salon about celebrity. Every single young woman in the salon who I talked to said it would suck to have to go through this beautification process on a weekly, or even daily basis. Makes me feel good, though, that when I see celebrities in US Weekly looking far better than I do, that now I know it is the result of a labor-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive process. Very few people, if any, look like this naturally. Being physically beautiful is truly a job.

Click here for part 2 of this 2 part post on prom.


  1. Prom truly takes up ridiculous amounts of time and money. But it's worth it- high school prom only comes around once (twice, for some people!)

  2. Prom truly takes up ridiculous amounts of time and money. But it's worth it- high school prom only comes around once (twice, for some people!)

  3. This year prom cost me $2 bucks.

    My date bought my ticket ($0), My mother and I did my nails, hair and makeup (0 + 0 + 0 = $0), I borrowed my sister's patten leather pumps, and I found my dress at an eco-inspired clothing exchange, costing me a whopping $2.

    I still suffered the same agonizing stress most girls get from the "prom experience", but i definitely saved a few bucks this spring.

  4. You really shouldnt wax or shave your legs the day you get a pedicure.

  5. BRILLIANT BLOG. We'll be reading more from you in years to come I am sure.
    and ps- super funny (yet true) comment about not waxing nor shaving on the day you get the pedi...

  6. You look so beautiful in your amazing prom dress, and your hair/makeup looks incredible! I'm happy to see that you look like an awesome version of yourself on a special day, and not some lame copy of a copy of someone else. Classy, beautiful, sophisticated, adorable. Well done girl!

  7. First off, love the blog! You are obviously incredibly intelligent and wise beyond your years. The main point of this comments, however, is the ring you're wearing in that photo! I have one JUST LIKE IT that I got from my mom - a vintage piece from some family member or other. It's really stunning.

  8. "A few people made comments about how surprised they were that I was eating on the day of my prom."

    This is un-fucking-believable.

    My prom experience was pretty easy. I went to senior prom as a junior with my friends. I didn't actually want to go, but I think someone paid for my prom ticket. The biggest stress was finding masculine women's clothes that were appropriate for prom, and I eventually settled on a dress (on sale!) to please my mother.

    I wouldn't do it again. I guess some people really enjoy it though.

  9. um. I think the point of this blog is lost to some of the com mentors on here... How ironic!

  10. I commented on an earlier post... I'm reading through them all, not being creepy.

    I'm a 21 y/o college feminist, and I was out spending time with friends on a Saturday not too long ago. I mentioned that I had a date later that evening, and then conversation went elsewhere. When one (newer) friend of mine broached the subject of trying a group attempt at a late gourmet lunch, she looked at me and said, "You can come, right? I mean, you don't have to be skinny for your date later?"

    I subsequently ejected fizzy lemon water from my nose, due to my uncontrollable laughter.

  11. My prom cost me about $15. I got an amazing dress from a used clothing store, my mom did hair and makeup, and I wore shoes I'd already worn. (8 years later and I still have the same shoes!) I didn't eat on the day of my prom because I was too nervous and I didn't want my date to spend money on me. Huge mistake. I get super cranky when I don't eat and probably would have had a lot more fun if I had.

  12. I am loving your blog. Everything you say is so true. You looked absolutely beautiful at prom. I look forward to your future blog posts :)

  13. Wow. Maybe my high school was weird, but prom seemed to be not a big deal at all.
    Interesting blog. I actually did my hair from 17 a few times when I was in high school. (BTW, Lucky magazine is awesome for exactly the reasons you said. I think that magazine originated as a non-fashiony fashion magazine.)

  14. I love Lucky magazine! It's so nice, like you mentioned, to look at a magazine that excels at one specific topic. And one with good fashion advice without filler, such as Seventeen.

  15. I was shocked to read about the $65 prom ticket. At my school, I think the cost is $30 for a couple and $20 for a single. Unless you go to a private school, it seems unreasonable that a school would make its students pay that much for a school event.

  16. i like prom!!!oh,oh,oh~~~

  17. I went to a private school and our tickets were still only $30 for a couple....65 per person is insane!! hahahaha Idk I guess because our student council raised a lot of money through other things to pay for the DJ and stuff so our tickets weren't as expensive. Plus we didn't have a dinner to pay for so I guess all and all by going to a restaurant we actually paid more... Love your blog!

  18. while i agree its expensive, i dont' think most girls spend that much money for a prom


  19. Wow, looks like proms in England are a completely different affair.
    I brought a vintage dress for £50, shoes for £27, did my own hair, makeup and nails, using things i already had. and the ticket was only £15. Unfortunately i DON'T have parents who can afford much anyway lol. I think the most expensive dress there was probably around £110 and we were all commenting on how stupid it was that she got such an expensive dress :P
    and that thing about eating on prom is the stupidest thing i have ever heard! jesus christ!

  20. The prom night is one of the most unforgettable nights in our lifetime. So, I don’t care about the cost I spend. Just want to look awesome. Anyway, I like what you have done to the nails. It’s pretty interesting.