As my friends like to believe, the graduation is the big day before the BIG DAY – the wedding. If you’re not going to have a wedding then I guarantee you the graduation may be that big day for you! After all the hard work and years of dedication finally comes the day to dress up and celebrate the occasion with photos to look back at for the decades in the future.
To collect the perfect memories for such an important moment is to have the best outfit and look to showcase yourself. Here’s a motto to go by:
You want to look like the best version of yourself but more bright and enthusiastic.
There are 4 major points in any outfit you will need to cover: a cute dress, healthy makeup, a suitable yet flattering hairstyle and a pair of nice and/or comfy shoes. This post will cover those 4 points and even a few more things you might not even have thought to prepare yourself for.
NUMBER ONE: THE DRESS
What you have to realise about your dress is that, although it is important, you will be covering it up most of the day with your robe. The extravagance of your dress will depend on whether you want to wear the robe for most of the pictures you take or not. It’s your decision. However, I do not recommend long floor length dresses as it is a top tool to send you to the ground on stage in front of your peers.
Images from ASOS
Some pointers on choosing a dress:
- classic and timeless shape and patterns (as you’re going to see it years in the future in your photos)
- complements your skin tone in photography
- sensible length just above knee or even midi dress length
- no torso cut outs or areas showing too much skin as it is quite a professional and formal occasion
The point is to look gorgeous, professional and work ready.
NUMBER TWO: THE MAKEUP
The motto I pointed out above applies especially for makeup because I believe less is definitely more in terms of your face so when you’re choosing a look try not to overdo it for your features. Be like that girl who shamelessly says “I woke up like this.” and say on your big day “I’m naturally this gorgeous and intelligent as well.” Be the whole package – both beauty and brains! 😉
Some makeup inspiration for a natural glowing look:
Remember these makeup tips:
- a good foundation base that matches your skin tone is almost everything – it covers the majority of your face and a sign of your health so make it look radiant and also remember to check the effect of a camera flash on the foundation you’re using because no one likes a weird whiter or darker face compared to the rest of your body
- apply on great eyeliner, mascara and false lashes and fill in your brows as flash and daylight photography especially from a distance like in group photos can drown out your eyes and eyebrows (if you’re having trouble curling your lashes please check out my personal tips on curling hard to curl lashes)
- if you’re wearing a bold lip colour remember to use lip liner to get crisp defined edges and dab some gloss at the centre of the lips if you want a plumper look on your lips
- try out some light contouring and highlighting with a little bit of bronzer and/or blush to add shape back onto your face and a healthy glow to your cheeks
Here’s a handy little guide on how to tackle contouring and highlighting:
Credit Daily Mail
The point is to look healthy and awake.
NUMBER THREE: THE HAIRSTYLE
The most important point about choosing a hairstyle to wear on the day to remember that you will be wearing a graduation cap which will eliminate a fair few of the hairstyles you’re thinking of wearing. High up do’s are a definite no-no as you can’t wear a cap properly on top of it so most people go with the usual look of letting your hair down, curling the length of the hair for some volume and using hairspray to smooth down fly aways on your crown.
Here are some ideas for reasonable hairstyles to wear with your cap:
Credit where credit is due. I don’t own these images.
Find a hairstyle to suit and frame your face but not get ruined by wearing a cap because I’d doubt you’ll have time to fix your do in the middle of the day. Bring some extra bobby pins and a hair tie as well in case pieces of hair get in the way.
The point is to have a manageable but flattering hairstyle.
NUMBER FOUR: THE SHOES
Shoes should be comfy, shoes should not help you trip over, slip off and give you blisters. Okay now seeing that is out of the way I honestly believe any pair of heels will be fine such as a plain pair of black heels because you don’t need to be too extravagant or out there unless thats your signature look. Don’t forget that flat shoes are also an option too!
These are the basics:
The point is for you to feel comfortable, match your outfit and not trip over on stage while receiving your degree.
BACKSTAGE PREP: SKIN CARE AND OTHER THINGS TO NOTE
The outfit is the paint and the body is the canvas. To get the perfect canvas to put everything on top of you will need to pamper yourself a little bit which is not a hassle at all! 🙂
- shave your unwanted body hair
- pluck your eyebrows
- wash and blowdry for clean hair
- have a thorough shower or bath
- cleanse and exfoliate your face and lips to get rid of dead skin
- clean and clip your nails and toe nails (especially if you’re wearing open toe shoes) and apply a nice coat of nail polish
On top of the basics you can definitely apply a nice face mask and lip balm before you sleep so you will wake up with soft and hydrated skin.
Now to end this post with a few more tips and a few pictures from my graduation!
- I cannot stress this enough but prepare a good camera to take pictures – if you want good pictures to keep you will need a good camera and also remember to think of some interesting poses
- Bring a larger tote bag to place all the weird bits and bobs as well as your graduation presents into – no one likes to carry around each thing separately while trying to attend to all your guests and take pictures with every one of them
- Bring blotting sheets just to take away the grease if you’re prone to a bit of shine that may show in flash photography
- Wear deodorant because it is stuffy under those robes
- Your hat won’t always fit properly and may need extra balancing to keep it from falling off
That it! All the things you will need to cover to be ready for your big day!