Last week I got a lovely note from gorgeous blogger Jasmine from Red Lipstick Stains.

Hi Kimberly,

I’ll be attending my Year 10 formal in August and need some beauty and fashion ideas from an expert! 😉

I’ve attached a photo of the exact dress I’ll be wearing, except mine will be in a sea blue! What shoes and clutch do you reckon would go best with the dress? Also, I’m thinking of wearing a glamourous statement necklace and some chunky bracelets, would gold or silver look better? I don’t think I go well with silver, though!

Another thing is, I am stuck with makeup and hair ideas! I’m not a fan of anything too bright or dark 🙂 would an updo or side swept loose curls look better?

Lastly, nails! I have absolutely no idea what I should do for nails. Any ideas for me?

XO Jasmine

Now you all know that I do not recommend people taking my fashion advice, but I did start this blog to learn for myself and others in my situation. I think I have made a little progress but I would love us all as a group effort to help Jasmine through these tough decisions.

My Suggestions

The neckline of this dress is perfect for accessories, and the ruching on the bottom of the skirt part adds detail, but not so much that she can’t wear some funky accessories. After all, it is the formal and this only happens maybe once (or twice if you make it to year 12) in your life. Jasmine is concerned that silver won’t work for her, but with the dress being a sea blue colour I think you can’t go wrong with silver.

Here is what I am thinking to complete Jasmine’s outfit:


There are so many options in my mind but shoes for me are often where I let an outfit down. I personally like to style evening wear to be somewhat matchy-matchy, so sticking with a silver theme I think the shoes should be silver. Even with the black sash on the dress, I think adding black shoes would make it just too dark. If you disagree with me, say so in the comments!

I think for an event like this you want to stick with a nice slender heel. Unless you are superwoman, a stiletto will just be too painful after the first hour. A peep-toe is always nice in my opinion.

Australian Stores I Recommend: Peep Toe and Mollini

Glint ‘Divine’ Pump – USA $139.95



A simple and sleek clutch would be an easy choice here but I think adding some texture to the outfit via the bag would look a treat. Diamanté’s, sequins or rhinestones would add a bit of sparkle and there are so many clutches that are covered in them at the moment.

Australian Stores I Recommend: Collette by Collette Hayman and Olga Berg

Sondra Roberts Sequin Pouch Clutch Silver One Size – USA $98


I definitely think it has to be a statement necklace, with either clear crystals, cubic zircon or if you have the $$, diamonds. A bib style would work great with the dress neckline, or a choker for something a little dramatic.

Australian Stores I Recommend: Peep Toe and Diva

Nadri ‘Ariel’ Frontal Statement Necklace (Nordstrom Exclusive) – USA $180


Now this is where I reckon you can add a bit of multi-coloured metal to the look. I am a huge fan of teaming rose gold with silver, so a bracelet, bangle or cuff that combines the two would be perfect. If you go with a big statement necklace than I don’t think you want the wrist to be chunky. I like the idea of 3 slim bangles, or 1 link bracelet with a couple of charms.

Australian Stores I Recommend: Tiffany & Co

Georg Jensen FUSION bangle – 18 ct. yellow, white and rose gold with brilliant cut diamonds – AUS $7,590

Now on to the beauty stuff …..


I do think when it comes to formals, hair up is almost essential. With this dress you could easily pull off hair down, but it can be such a casual look and the specialness of a formal will be cemented with having your hair beautifully done up. Having said that, it doesn’t mean it all needs to be tight ballerina buns, and being a brunette can make it harder to find a style that works for you.

Try something soft and somewhat loose around the face, but still out of your face, like a side bun.


You definitely cannot go wrong with a smokey eye here, but it is very ‘grown-up’ and you don’t want to look back on your photos and say, “wow, I look 30 years old!”. Plus, if you don’t want to go too dark than obviously a smokey eye would be wrong. I think the best look here would be clear, soft dewy skin with a semi-smoky eye that includes a nice blue colour across the mobile lid.

The lovely Christine at Temptalia did a similar look to what I am talking about, but you could lessen the intensity of the blue colours and I would darken it up a tad with some false lashes. It is a nighttime event, so you can go a little stronger.

Photo Credit: Temptalia


Finally, we have nails. I really don’t think you can go wrong with a beautiful classic french manicure. It is timeless and once again, you can look back on the photos and not regret your on-trend decisions. IF you want to do something a little more trendy, I think you have multiple options.

You could do blue nails, silver nails, blue with metallic tips, silver with blue tips, ombre blue, geometric or aztec nail art combining blue, silver, gold and white, of any of the above with diamanté’s or glitter. The options are endless, but here is some inspiration for you.

Blue Nails and Nail Art Inspiration
Blue Nails and Nail Art Inspiration by kimberlynissen featuring a glitter nail

What do you think of my recommendations for Jasmine? Do you have some advice to help her make some choices? Let us know by commenting below!





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