When social distancing orders started going into effect earlier this year, there was a growing feeling of uncertainty around how long it would last. What many high school students didn't expect was for mandates to eventually cancel or postpone their major life events, including college admission exams, school dances, and graduation ceremonies.
While the importance of slowing the spread of COVID-19 can't be stressed enough, it's left teens all over the world disappointed. With people turning to virtual spaces for work meetings, birthday parties, and even weddings, it only makes sense that teens would use the same technology to celebrate their big moments, too. Now, virtual proms are starting to take place all around the country, which range from informal FaceTime meetups with friends on their cancelled prom nights to Instagram Live parties meant for anyone who missed their dance. Some schools are even creating hashtags so students can share their photos with classmates.
"I was really bummed when our prom got cancelled," says Nausikaa, a senior in California. "But I decided to celebrate it virtually because I hadn't seen my friends in so long and I wanted a reason to dress up and hang out with them, even if it was just over the phone."
We spoke to several teens about losing their proms, reclaiming this memory virtually, and the beauty products that helped them get ready. Check out what they had to say, ahead.
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Sadie, 18, Kansas
"At first, I was upset to not be able to make that memory with my friends, but my high school has been very accommodating to these big changes. We've had many traditions still carry out — just not in the way we'd expect. My school decided to create a hashtag to post our prom looks with our families, and it was so exciting to get to see all my classmates dressed up and also show off my look.
"Getting dressed up was just as exciting as it would have been if I were actually going to prom. I absolutely love my dress and couldn't wait to pair it with the perfect makeup and hair. The glittery, duochrome shift of my dress inspired me to try a smoky eye with a pop of shimmer and a bold, winged eyeliner. It was refreshing to get all glammed up for once since I've been in pajamas all day while staying home. However, sitting in my room in my dress did make me wish I was at the real thing with my friends."Photo: Courtesy of Sadie Rose.
Maybelline Fitme! Concealer
"I’ve used this concealer for years," Sadie says. "It has great coverage, but it isn’t too heavy, which is ideal for my acne-prone skin. I don't only use it for my skin, but to clean up my eyebrows and prime my lids for eyeshadow as well."
Maybelline Fitme! Concealer, $, available at Target
Solè, 17, Louisiana
"It's my senior year and prom was the last dance with my friends, so I was very upset when it was canceled. My mom knew how I was feeling, so she helped me have prom at home. I wore my mom's senior prom dress and she curled my hair for me.
"I based the makeup on the Champagne color of the dress, but I wanted a more golden, yet smoky, look — especially since I've been exploring my makeup skills. Doing my makeup made me feel like I was actually getting ready for prom. I have always done my own makeup for school dances, so I just felt so happy and confident."Photo: Courtesy of Solè Miranda.
Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation
"I love how my skin feels after applying this foundation because it's so light," Solè says. "The finished look came out so well."
Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation, $, available at Sephora
Kichelle, 18, Nevada
"I was disappointed about not being able to have the night that most people look forward to at the end of their high school experience. Prom wasn't something I idealized, like you see in the movies, but it was something I looked forward to spending with my friends. My friend tagged me in an Instagram post from Some Good News, John Krasinski's YouTube series, and it sounded like a fun thing to do together, especially since we weren't having a prom. So, I got dressed up and did my makeup to really make it feel special.
"I had an idea in my head, but the way my makeup turned out was completely different. I went with a simple look focused on blush and highlighter. I hadn't done my makeup in months, and it was a little bit of a struggle to get back into it, but it helped to video chat with my friend while she was doing hers. Makeup can really change your mood — and it's what I didn't know I needed during this quarantine."Photo: Courtesy of Kichelle.
e.l.f. Power Blush Palette
"Blush has always been my favorite product," Kichelle says. "I use it all the time and it really makes me feel like my look is put together."
e.l.f Powder Blush Palette, $, available at e.l.f
Nausikaa, 18, California
"I was really bummed when our prom got cancelled because I was really looking forward to going with my friends, but I decided to celebrate it virtually because I hadn't seen my friends in so long, and I wanted a reason to dress up and hang out with them, even if it was just over the phone. We all decided to get dressed up together so that we could enjoy our night.
"I bought the dress a few months ago but I didn't have my full look planned, so I just let it come together as I was getting ready. For makeup, I went for a slightly more natural look so I could let my dress shine. Doing my makeup for the virtual prom with my friends, despite everything going on around us, made me remember that I can still have a great time with them."Photo: Courtesy of Nausikaa Arai.
NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick
"My holy grail product for the night was my lip color," Nausikaa says. "It's my favorite lipstick to wear because it matches with everything that I wear and the color itself is really pretty. Although it can seem bold, it’s subtle enough for any look."
NYX Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick, $, available at Ulta Beauty
Ashlyn, 16, Kentucky
"Having our prom be canceled made me very sad, but I'm a junior, so I'm lucky in the fact that I still have next year. A few days before my prom was supposed to happen, I got dressed up and took pictures outside. Then, I saw that John Krasinski's virtual event was happening, so I decided it would be fun to get dressed up again, especially since it happened to fall on the same day that my actual prom was supposed to happen.
"Initially, I was going to have a family friend do my makeup. Since that couldn't happen, and I'm not super experienced, I went for a more natural look — except for my bright purple lipstick. Getting dressed up for the virtual prom made me feel so much better."Photo: Courtesy of Ashlyn Frederick.
L.A. Colors Lip Duo Vibe
"I knew as soon as I bought my dress that I wanted purple nails and makeup," Ashlyn says. "But for me, the real hero was my dress."
L.A. Colors Lip Duo Vibe, $, available at Miss A
Alex, 19, Mexico City
"My last prom experience was not the best, so I wanted to make up for it with John Krasinski’s virtual prom. Although it's not the same, it felt nice to get all dolled up. I actually got nervous and had butterflies as if I was getting ready for the actual event. It was a beautiful feeling.
"For makeup, I knew I wanted to play around with whatever color stood out the most in my dress. I experimented with eyeshadows and ended up doing a halo eye look because it gives a nice effect on the lids and makes any color pop. The final look made me feel so good about myself — I felt really pretty that day." Photo: Courtesy of Alex Varela.
Morphe The James Charles Palette
"This is my go-to palette for every single look I do," Alex says. "It has a really fun color selection, and since the dress I wore was blue, I just knew I had to use those blue shades."
Morphe The James Charles Palette, $, available at Ulta Beauty
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