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Top to Toe Tips for Looking Gorgeous for Graduation

Image: Splash News

After the blood, sweat and years (not to mention the tears) you’ve put into your education, it’s time to put on a smile and shine with pride.  The day is focussed around you and your accomplishments as a student, a celebration of all your hard work and motivation paying off!

It’s important to get everything ready and prepped before the big day. That way hair and makeup will be the least of your worries, and you can focus on staying vertical whilst stepping onto the stage in your killer heels.

Graduation pictures are one of the most iconic family home photos you’ll ever need to pose for – so getting the perfect combination of colours and styles for your hair, makeup and outfit is crucial.

Want to master a graduation look like Emma Watson after reaching Alumni status at Brown? Not only did the star complete her education at an Ivy-League school, she also looked picture perfect, exuding elegance and grace.


Let’s bear in mind you will be wearing your mortarboard cap all day, so an up-do? Won’t do. Something sleek and smooth, or a little curling will go a long way for a perfect Graduation look.  Experiment with styles at home, and practice your hair styles while wearing a cap at home. That way, you can see how your hair will look on the day. Secure it with Kirby grips too, to prevent any embarrassing windy moments!

Most graduations begin in the morning, so a style that is easy to master is the best choice. If you’re looking for more of statement style like curls, consider doing it the night before and have someone help you tie your hair in a silk scarf overnight to keep it looking fresh.


Wearing a cap will shadow your face, meaning combating dark circles is tricky. Use a base layer of concealer, blended into the skin, along with a colour corrector to brighten the under-eyes to fight that shade!  Whether you’re typically cursed with the bags of doom, or merely want to be reassured your Grad pics aren’t ruined, this is definitely a tip to take to the grave…

Right Image: @hudabeauty

Of course, another classic style is the ever stunning Smokey eye. If you’re a pro at the super elegant look, go for a nude palette with a little bronze, to create an enchanting look - enlarging the eyes and adding a little glamorous shading.


To keep with the Watson look, choose a light coverage foundation and simple powder for a natural, matte style. With a stroke of highlighter along the cheekbones, nose and brow, you're bound to steal the whole show with your healthy glow!

Splash out on a few long-lasting products so you don’t need to top up your makeup throughout the day. (Much less chance of foundation to robe contact… or worse yet, a bag leak)  MAC's Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation is a great coverage foundation for any season.  And with Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer (Sephora), you’ll be picture perfect all the way to the afterparty.

Keep blotting papers to hand, too, for a quick refresh before heading on stage.

The Smile

As for the smile; create a statement. A bold red lipstick is a classic and timeless look, suiting anyone's skin tone effortlessly. Not confident with cherry lips? Not a problem: Use a lip liner a shade darker than your natural colour to define your pout. And if you want some instant colour later, bite your lips gently to bring blood to the surface for a naturally rosy smile.

For that cheesy grin with friends, or highly awkward diploma- holding pic, you'll want to have your pearly whites on display. Teeth whitening is so accessible these days, from lazer whitening services from dental surgeries, whitening toothpastes and even DIY at home teeth whitening kits. Plus, a sparkling smile will give you an extra boost of confidence.

Tie the look together by coordinating nails with your makeup. Red, nudes or Autumnal colours will work amazingly to add a formal and ‘got it together’ look to begin your new adult life…

The Outfit

You want to look for something to coordinate, or completely contrast from your graduation robe. This will create a bold statement, whilst looking elegant and sophisticated. Whether you’re looking for a reason to buy a new beautiful dress, or are heading for a more casual pant suit, the colours you choose are extremely important.

As for length, a conservative knee length dress, or just above, is a great way to make legs look long and elegant. And avoids a particularly frumpy look you might experience with full length pieces.

Shoes? Whilst you will no doubt want to wear those beautiful-but-terrifyingly-high heels, Graduation is a long day and comfort is definitely high on the priority list. Bring something comfortable to change into later on in the day. If you’re not used to wearing heels, Graduation Day may not be the day to experiment without some serious practice first.


You are where you are today because of the hard work you’ve put in, along with your motivation and dedication. Parents and friends may have comforted you and dried your tears during the difficult points, but this day is a celebration of YOU, your hard work and accomplishments.

You’ve reach a monumental milestone in life, ending the education era, and propelling you into the world of professionals. CONGRATULATIONS! May your next steps take you to heights you never dreamed of!



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