Got a ball coming up? Maybe a formal dinner after graduation or just planning to dance the night away after a successful first year? Here are some tips on how to get ready, what to wear and some other stuff we could think of.

1. Make sure your tights (if you are wearing any) don’t ladder by spraying a layer of hairspray all over them before first use, moisturising your legs and hands properly before putting them on and ensuring all finger nails are filed and smooth. If a ladder still happens to make an appearance, don’t fret: clear nail varnish will help to seal it off to avoid the punk/emo look (unless that is what you are going for – in which case, ignore the advice in its entirety).

2. Don’t want to wear tights but your legs are too pale? Who cares?! Most likely you will get super hot within seconds anyways, be it due dancing, alcohol consumption or just because marquees are where humidity goes to hang out and your legs will look red rather than blue. Just make sure it goes with your dress.

3. What to wear? Well, despite the fact that dress codes seem to be slowly disappearing from invitations (and although this should surely mean more freedom, I believe it makes choosing that dress/suit even more stressful), most events you will go to as a student tend to call for black tie. Meaning ‘cocktail dresses’. Although that used to call for floor length gowns, in the 21st century it is often interpreted as above knee. When in doubt rock your LBD – you can never go wrong. Either boobs or legs is another fab rule and don’t underestimate the importance of the back – a good back can be sexier than any slit that requires thought about whether to go for a bikini wax or not.

4. Hate wearing heels? First of all, you don’t have to. Wear ballet flats with wrap around straps, or opt for Dr Martens to give your white lace dress an edgy look. If you do want to wear heels but tend to fall over more frequently than Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars, try to stick to block heels which give you better support. Also make sure to wear your heels on the day before just to make sure they still fit (the hot weather tends to expand our feet, so shoes that fit in winter may still give you blisters now). And last but not least the tip to end all tips: Roll your feet from the heel to the toes when you are walking in heels. It feels stupid but I promise you it doesn’t look it and once you get used to it, it will feel natural and allows you to walk gracefully. Oh and don’t be ashamed to go to the bathroom, take your heels off and run cold water over your sore feet – it will make your feet feel new and refreshed and ready for another round of dancing

5. If you want to rock a bold lip – and you should because they are fun – powder your lips before applying the lipstick to make it last longer. Always use a lip liner and if you can only fit one more item in your bag, the liner is the one to take rather than the lipstick. To avoid lipstick on teeth, after applying it, pop one finger in your mouth, purse your lips around it and pull it out. It doesn’t sound or look attractive but neither is sporting red-smeared teeth. When drinking, make sure to wet your lips ever so slightly to avoid transferring your statement make up onto the rim of the glass.

6. You don’t usually wear make up but want to for the ball? Don’t try to tackle any of the miracle work vloggers manage – the amount of stuff you need for it is ridiculous. Rather, invest in a nice foundation (the one from Bourjois is affordable and available in a relatively wide range of shades, otherwise try MAC or Dior Star for something more up range), some blush and powder and a decent mascara – most drug store ones will do. Maybe borrow a friend’s eyebrow pencil and you are good to go. Those five products alone will have a massive impact. And remember you don’t need to wear any if you don’t feel comfortable with it.

7. Bloating paper is your friend if you tend to get a bit sweaty – and who doesn’t? Small, compact and easy to fit into your purse.

8. Don’t worry if you look bad in all the photos. Balls are there to be enjoyed with your friends and people you have never met before but somehow have some common ground with, like your degree. As long as you know you looked fabulous even when you nearly fell into an inconveniently placed fountain because that glass of wine was one too many (you can always blame it on the heels).

9. Got too drunk? Most of us have been there so don’t worry. Make sure to apologise to anyone you insulted/inconvenienced, drink plenty of water and remember that you are young and beautiful and have got plenty time to be sophisticated. (And maybe next time be the one to stay responsible to allow your friends to be carried home by you for a change).

Raphaela Ring

Image Credit: Amanda Slater via Flickr

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