For modern American women, meaningful rites of passage are few and far between—their wedding days often represent the only formal ceremonies they’ll ever experience. For some young women, though, the currents of rich and ancient traditions continue to run powerfully through their culture, religion, and lifestyle. Quinceañeras are not only historically significant, but also offer young women a chance to celebrate their heritage through fashion, beauty, and elaborate rituals.
Having a Ball
Quinceañera receptions are similar to wedding receptions in many ways. Both involve dancing, delicious food, and heartfelt speeches. After the Court of Honor (the equivalent of a bridal party) is announced, the star of the show makes her grand entrance. This can be as effortless as simply walking into the room or as elaborate as arriving in a horse-drawn carriage, but either way, the goal is to make the quinceañera herself feel like royalty. Before long, the dance floor becomes a flurry of glittering jewels, sumptuous dresses, and sky-high heels.
One of the most exciting parts of your quinceañera is finding the dress. Both online and in-store, hundreds of options are available to choose from. Length is up to you, but while some young women choose short, cocktail-style dresses, it’s more traditional (and far more fun) to slip into a Cinderella-like floor length gown.
Start your search by identifying your body shape to decide which style of dress will be most flattering. Girls with hourglass figures look stunning in curve-hugging gowns that emphasize a small waist, while those with smooth, linear figures look sublime in gowns with halter or sweetheart necklines and voluminous skirts. Girls with ample hips and narrow shoulders look divine in gowns with fitted bodices and draped skirts, while girls with broad shoulders and petite hips look delightful in strapless gowns with full, extravagant skirts.
Bear in mind that these are only guidelines; the most important thing is that you love the dress. A dressmaker or seamstress can help you fit the dress of your dreams to your unique shape. Choose a color that will complement your skin tone and make your eyes pop.
It’s not all about the dress, of course. Many other elements help turn a dress from a beautiful garment into a breathtaking fashion statement. Once you pick out the perfect dress, it’s time to explore the vast variety of finishing touches that will give your dress that extra special something. From rhinestone accents to elbow-length silk gloves, the possibilities are endless.
Makeup truly is a form of self-expression, and on a day special as your quinceañera, why not express your inner beauty by enhancing your outer beauty?
You want your skin to look glowing and healthy. To achieve that look, you need to understand your skin undertone, moisture level, and sensitivity. Consult with a professional makeup artist to help you find the right shade and composition to create the perfect look for your skin.
Dozens of possibilities exist right at your fingertips, but looks that are classic and elegant, bronzed and beachy, or dramatic and edgy all make for great jumping-off points. If timeless, Hollywood glamour appeals to you, try deep red lips, shimmery neutral beige eyeshadow, black winged eye liner, fluttery false lashes, and a touch of subtle pink blush on the apples of your cheeks.
If you’re drawn to more of a girly, beach babe vibe, try shimmering golden eyeshadow, bronzer blended under your cheekbones, pink glossy lips, and a few coats of lengthening mascara.
To turn up the drama with smoldering, mysterious beauty, try lightly filled-in brows, sparkling dark brown eyeshadow smudged into your upper and lower lash lines, deep copper eyeshadow on your lids, and a few coats of jet black mascara.
Don’t wait until the morning of your big day to debut your makeup, though—do a few test runs in the weeks leading up to your quinceañera. This will give you a chance to decide what you do and don’t like, discover which products work for you, and get helpful feedback from your family and friends.
Much like a cake without frosting, no quinceañera look is complete without a lovely hairstyle. Quinceañera hairstyles are generally divided into three distinct categories: carefully curled, sleek and swept up, and loosely waved.
Since formal styles are extremely difficult to perform at home, you may want to consider having your hair professionally done. You can either go to a salon, or if you want to save a little money, find a cosmetology school that accepts appointments and let a student do your hair. If you’re worried about how it will turn out, visit the school beforehand and ask to see examples of the students’ work.
What makes you look and feel like a princess on your special day is all in the details, and what you learn about yourself while finding the dress, the hairstyle and the makeup can serve you well in life. Looking your best is often about discovering what looks best on you, and that always works…no matter what day it is.
Quinceañera: Tips for the Other Big Day – An infographic by the team at Ogle School of Hair, Skin & Nails