Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"What design should I wear to prom?" - Prom Nail Do's and Don'ts.

The first thing about prom nails is that a lot of girls remember them. In my shop I will often have women in their 40's telling me the design they had on their nails. It's a memorable event. Like a mini-wedding. Some girls take it very seriously. I didnt go to my prom, but sometimes when I hear the stories I wish I would have thought about it more seriously.

As a nail tech for 24 years I have learned what to do and what to avoid when doing prom nails and I will make a quick list for you guys to make it easier to choose. I will start with the Dont's!


Don't get fake nails that are too long.
-- Although it is pretty and feminine and  you think it will be so awesome with your dress, it will really ruin your night. Make sure (before your nail tech puts on your gel or acrylic) that you can undo your own bra strap and button your own pants or blouse. this is a good rule always....just go into the restroom and try them all. This will save you TONS of time, personal filing and aggravation (by asking people to do everything for you) and if you wear leggings or stockings, this will ensure you can get them on!

Don't get super square nails.
--They will cut you, your friends and everyone around you. When a fresh set of nails get put on they are as sharp as glass and just ask your nail tech to take off the sharp edges...your leggings or face will thank you.

Dont get the store press-ons unless you really have to.
--They pop off all night and you are constantly popping them off, worrying where they are, and eventually end up pulling them all off and waste your money. If you cannot afford a set of prom nails, paint your nails a really beautiful french manicure pink....maybe top that with a light glitter and go "natural" for the evening. Doing this will not only save you lots of thinking about if your nail is in the punch and it looks more elegant.

Don't worry about your nails or if your enemy looks better than you.
-- You have planned for the event. You have chosen your dress, your makeup, your hair, your nails, your shoes and your date or (party of friends).........the last thing you do when everything is finished and you are ready, you choose your attitude. It is up to you whether it is rockin' or bitchy. You only have one senior prom and you WILL remember it. Just relax and go make great memories you can smile about.

Don't get stupid drunk.
-- A good percentage of the girls I know have exactly what they are going to do planned out and it usually involved hotel rooms, some alcohol and other misfortunes LOL....Don't over drink. It is so sad to be the one who is throwing up all over the hotel room only to wake up being covered in vomit and all of your friends saying what you missed....(or who you hurt, or what you DID, or who got the pictures) the list goes on and on. Be responsible and be a DIVA. 

(please DON'T get glue on toenails. I once met a janitor who said that after proms he would sweep up 100's of those things and he didnt know what they were until he brought one home to ask his wife....She laughed and he was SO GROSSED OUT when he told me...we both had a great laugh)



Do be prepared. Have your dress picked out. Go to St. Vincents, Friends who have older sisters your size etc. Have your hairstyle and your make up, shoes and nails all ready to go.

Do Make sure that if your dress is covered in bling that you have a soft and more natural hairstyle, light makeup and very simple nails and shoes.

If you have a plain dress, Go a bit bold with your makeup and nails and use your accessories as the bling.

Do be a leader. If you look great and you see your friends drinking or getting out of control...Stay in control of YOURSELF....Your character is your fate. If you look and act beautiful, your fate is that you will have a beautiful evening.

Do walk up to someone who you can tell is self conscious and tell her she looks beautiful. A stranger or a friend. Nothing changes another persons prom night more than feeling pretty and your compliment can change her whole memory of that evening. Give compliments and be kind. There are so many stories I hear where girls just slam other girls for small inconsequential things that they won't remember, but that the girl who they hurt will remember forever.

Do tell your manicurist all about your concerns and fears about prom and maybe she will give you some pointers and be a guide. Maybe this is enough. I wanted to write this because over the years I have helped COUNTLESS girls and women have a better time in big events and they have often come back and told me thank you. I have learned these things from older women (listening to those who had fun and those who had a miserable time) and so I am handing down the tools you need to have a good time.

Do know that you are beautiful...No matter what size, what shade, what religion....there is only ONE you. You only have ONE life and one senior prom. Create the best memories you can (not just for prom but this is my prom post...LOL) You will never regret being kind, not drinking too much, not going too far and regretting it. You will never feel bad if act like a lady and let the small things just roll off your back. Maybe your dinner is late, Maybe you didnt get a corsage or the dream date you wanted, maybe there was no dress big enough or small enough for you and you have to be creative. Maybe you are going through a very hard time in your personal life and prom isnt important but you already have tickets so you have to go....whatever the case is, stop and breathe and know you are beautiful. You are young and you have a future and you deserve to have a wonderful night.

My love to you and be SAFE.
Robin Moses
(Nail Art Wizard Ph.D)


  1. I, too, am well beyond my prom years, but I read your post anyway and just wanted to say thank you, Robin. I know many many young girls follow you (and they should! your work is incredible and your personality is genuine and positive) and this is great advice -- the best part being that you didn't limit it to nails :) As my mother used to say, "pretty is as pretty does". Girls need more role models who demonstrate and reiterate how important it is to be kind to everyone. Thanks for being such a great influence.

  2. what a great post. i sure wish i'd had the internet back when i was in high school to read great articles like this! i had the worst long fingernails and fake tan ever for my prom. oh memories.

  3. elisa, thank you...... and it is so true...'pretty is as pretty does' for sure....and some of my girls who were not the most typical "beauties" were stunning beauties who had it all because their beauty shined through and they didnt believe the hype and ascended the 'typical'

    gnarly gnails, you cracked me up....yup..so so so so many do/did and will...thats why i had to write this....LOOOLOLOL its something to laugh about though! at least you CAN laugh..many are bright orange AND barfing all over the hotel room. heh heh heh :D

    1. yeah my prom was barfless, but i still don't remember much!

  4. LOLOLOL i didnt go to my prom, and i betcha that somewhere i barfed...at least i wasnt wearing a big 80's prom dress...LOL...i have just heard some reallllly awful stories and i just feel so bad for some girls...LOL

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