Black & White Ball

While I spend most of my days in a glorified “mom uniform” of black leggings or jeggings with some sort of baggy (excuse, flowy) top, I do, on occasion get dressed up.  Late last week I had the opportunity to attend the Black & White Ball held at the beautiful Intercontinental Amman. I know for formal events like this people often end up spending quite a bit of cash (and time) on updos at a salon, professional make-up application, nails and, of course, a fabulous dress! Due to some practice (and some circumstances that severely constrained my time) I am here to report that you can do it – and look f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s. without all the time (and cash) at a salon.

Let me break my look (and how I got it) down for you:

  • Nails:  Essie At Home Gel is 100% where it’s at.  I was very skeptical about a no-light, at-home, DIY product but I’m happy to be wrong here.  The two step process is easy, goes on smooth and dries as quickly as you would expect gel at the salon.  It stays well too.  I used the “Take a Walk” color from their fashion show line.  Best part?  Due to the staying power you can do your nails up to a few days in advance and still have them looking great!
  • Hair:  I am proud member of the #topknotforlife club.  It’s my go-to hairstyle most days because it’s easy!  Given an ill-timed late nap that left me only 30 minutes (you read that right) to get ready for the ball I knew my only option was to go with a bun (aka a neater version of a top knot).  {Side note, where was my fairy godmother and cute forest animals to get me dressed in no time while signing?!}. I dug out a silver metal ring to put around my bun for a dressier effect, sprayed a ton of high gloss hair-spray on it and 5 minutes later – DONE!
    • Fashion on a budget tip:  Always shop the H&M accessory section for inexpensive items that you can use to jazz up a look!
  • Make-up:  a few products go a long way – try to play up your favorite feature.  For me, that’s my green eyes!  So I spend little time on face/lips and focus on bringing out my eyes.  My 5 minute face goes like this:
    • Apply a CC cream.  I have dry skin and really love Chanel’s CC Cream.  I realize it’s a bit pricey but I don’t mind spending a bit more on products I am putting on my skin!  (Hence why I shop things like trendy accessories on a budget!).  I apply it all over my face with a kabuki brush.
    • Use a smidge of powder blush on the apples of my cheeks.  I am fair-skinned so I go with a light color like The Aphrodisiac
    • Eyes:  This is where I spend most of my 5 minutes.
      • I start with a pencil liner.  Most days I use a brown tone but for going out, I like to use a deep, sparkly purple to bring out the green in my eyes.
      • Next I use an eyelid primer.  I know what you are thinking – shouldn’t that go on first?  Well, yes but for me it works better to do it following my liner.  Always go with what works for you!
      • Now the main event – the color!  I love a smoky eye but did not have time for that this evening so I went with a very shimmery deep brown blended into the purple eyeliner.
      • Mascara:  Great Lash. Always.  I refuse to use anything else.  It’s affordable and it works – why mess with a good thing?!
    • Lips:  Since I have fair-skin (aka I am one pale Royel) and I have already played up my eyes, I stick with a peachy/rose light lipstick with a little lip gloss over top.
  • Dress:  I always shop the quality department stores (Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman, etc) sales and look for timeless dresses and occasion pieces that I can use in different ways.  I stick mainly with black pieces – you can mix and match textures/fabrics/design as long as the color is the same.  For tonight’s occasion I selected a mid-riff baring 2 piece ensemble:
    • Black ball skirt from Saks – floor length with a little shimmer, I originally bought this for the Opera Opening gala and paired it with a smart shirt and belt.  I went a different direction this time (knowing there would be dancing involved) and paired it with…
    • A black scuba top with an interesting applique.
    • The length of the skirt allowed me to stick to my favorite black, patent leather Ferragamo FLATS.  (again, dancing)

Overall, I am pleased with how the look turned out – what do you think?


I’m the one on the right!

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