Ever heard the phrase ‘work hard, play hard’? It’s something that a vast amount of people swear by as a life mantra and as something they use as fuel for life. So many of us work in high-powered, demanding jobs these days, whether you are doing exhausting physical labour or spending long hours slaving away in an office. Even for the most motivated people, long days at work can seem fruitless if they come without reward.
That is why so many people see a night out as an opportunity to reward themselves for a hard week at work. If you are someone who lives for the weekend, you will know that going out with your friends to a restaurant, bar or club (or a combination of all three of those things) can be a great way to let your hair down and enjoy some time out of the workplace. If your night out is for a particular special occasion or if it is the first time you have been out in a few months, you may even want to make a special effort for it.
When a night out is planned way in advance or is hyped up, many of us (especially us girls) enjoy taking the time to plan our outfits, get our hair done and practice the makeup we plan to wear. After all, they do say that getting ready is half of the fun! It is also good to have a plan of sorts in place, so that you can spend less time stressing on the day and more time enjoying your day and night. For anyone who is still in some doubt about what to organise, here is your pre-night out checklist to make your life a whole lot easier.
Outfit choices Even if you have one specific dress in mind for your night out and have convinced yourself that nothing else will do, it can always be worth giving yourself a couple more options just in case. Why? Well, largely because you never know what could go wrong. Your dream dress might develop a rip or a tear prior to your evening on the town which renders it un-wearable. Or, perhaps you try it on with your shoes and jacket and realise that actually, it doesn’t suit you as much as you first thought.
Feeling confident and comfortable in what you are wearing is the most important thing for a big night out. After all, you are there to enjoy yourself and burn off some stress, not to spend the whole time feeling self-conscious and worrying about how you look. Realising that you don’t feel comfortable in your chosen outfit at the last moment is bad enough, but not having another option to replace it with is even worse. Line up at least two additional options for you to pick from in case the worst happens and you can no longer wear your dream dress.
On the evening, if all goes to plan and you can wear the outfit you originally had in mind, having some extra choices just for backup can really put your mind at ease. Plus, if you don’t end up wearing them, you can offer them to your friends if they are stuck for something to wear!
Suitable shoes Why is it that we don’t pay much attention to the height of our shoes BEFORE a night out, but halfway through (and with plenty of fresh new blisters) we silently curse past-us for putting ourselves through such pain? Women have worn high heeled shoes for decades and they tend to be the go-to choice of footwear for any remotely formal event. However, the classy formality of such a shoe tends to lose its sheen when the wearer has taken them off to walk home barefoot afterwards! But, contrary to popular belief, there ARE ways to wear high heels that don’t cause abject discomfort, so you can party in style all throughout the night.
The first thing to do is to make sure you are wearing heels that actually fit you properly. So many women wear heeled shoes that are either too big for them or too small for them, and this is where the rubbing starts. Try and find a pair with adjustable straps, so that you can have control over how firmly they fit to your feet. Heel height is also something to bear in mind. If you don’t feel confident walking in sky-high heels, opt for something a little lower. The last thing you want is for your big night out to be ruined because you’ve toppled over and are now nursing a broken ankle!
Chunky heels or wedges are typically easier to walk and balance in as your weight is spread over a greater surface area – stilettos are a no-no for anyone who feels a little precarious in high shoes. Or, simply ditch heels altogether if you feel comfortable doing so! There are plenty of fabulous flat shoes and boots on the market these days, which look just as sleek and classy as a heeled court shoe. There’s no set rule that says you HAVE to wear heels, so try out some of these styles for a quirky and comfortable look.
Hair on fleek For many people, their hair is their crowning glory – and nothing says ‘big night out’ like a fabulously glamorous mane. Even if you don’t usually do anything to your hair on a day to day basis, an evening out with friends can be the perfect excuse to enjoy getting dolled up for a change. How you style your hair for such an occasion does all depend on your personal preference, but typically, the bigger and bouncier the better! There is just something that looks extra luxurious about voluminous, shiny hair. However, getting that look perfected is a whole different issue altogether.
If you are planning on styling your hair with curling tongs, straighteners or products, it is better to use hair that is a couple of days old. Freshly washed hair will usually be too smooth and sleek to hold a style, so you are better off washing your hair a couple of days prior to your event. As far as adding volume goes, you can go about it in a few different ways. Dry shampoo is a great way to add a little bit of extra ‘oomph’ to your locks – simply spray some of it in at the root and make sure it is well rubbed in.
You can also try backcombing your hair at the root, although make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t overly damage your hair. If you have naturally thin hair and none of this is an option for you, you could always get a hair piece to wear for the night instead. Many companies specialise in both real hair and synthetic hair pieces that can immediately upgrade your look, without causing damage to your own hair as well. You can use them to lengthen your hair, to thicken your hair or even to add extra interest to your hair such as with a faux-fringe.
Makeup goals A night on the town is an excuse to go a little OTT with your makeup. Even if you’re not accustomed to using makeup all that much, a dramatic evening look might not be as difficult to achieve as you may originally think. Raid your current makeup bag and see what products you can utilise – if it’s looking pretty bare in there, you may want to invest in a few more pieces so you can create the look you desire.
Always start with a fresh and primed base – you can achieve this using a good primer (very important for setting your makeup in place) and a matte, high-coverage foundation. Bear in mind that if you are going to a club or a bar where it is likely to be very warm, your makeup could easily run or become smudged. So, look for products that are long-lasting and water-resistant. Night out makeup is, however, mainly all about the eyes, so get hold of an eyeshadow palette and some professional brushes. Find out what colours to use to make your eyes pop. Purples are typically good for people with green eyes, browns and golds tend to suit blue-eyed people… the list goes on.
Spend an hour or so the day before practising your look so you know you can get it right first time on the day. A lot of people find makeup intimidating, but there is actually very little you can do wrong. Plus, there are so many free tutorials available on YouTube now, that you can simply follow things to the letter. Perfecting your look for your much-needed night out can seem like a lot of effort – but when you look good and feel good, it is totally worth it.