I know when one thinks of makeover parties, giggling kids playing with their mother’s makeup often come to mind but makeover parties are great idea for us older folks as well. At 30, I still enjoy the occasional makeover party with my friends. Done properly, they can be a great way to get in your girl time and can even introduce you to new products or makeup/hair techniques you may not have tried otherwise. To throw a successful makeover party for adults, keep these tips in mind.
Give your makeover party a more grown up feel with alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol is not an absolute must but it will give your party a more mature feel. I always offer alcohol at my parties and my makeover parties are no different. My rule of thumb though is that once the alcohol comes out, curling irons, flat irons and eye makeup is put away. I’m not saying someone would definitely get hurt but why take the risk? It’s okay to sip on an adult beverage while these items are still at arms reach but save the real cocktail sipping for later in the evening.
Now, for the cocktails themselves, I like offering a little variety. I like mixing drinks and playing bartender so I try to come up with a drink menu my friends can order from that includes martinis, cosmopolitans, caesars, bloody marys, pina coladas, mojitos and white russians but if I have a friend attending I know only likes beer or a specific kind of drink, I try to offer that up as well. I wrote an article a short time ago with some of my favorite drink recipes. It might be a good place to start if you’re building a drink menu and don’t know where to start. You can check that out here.
Forget about your diet and load up on snacks.
Snacks are a big part of the adult makeover party. I like laying out a good spread of junk food and healthier food so my friends will be able to enjoy the snacks even if they don’t eat junk. My typical party spread includes:
- Chips with homemade dips
- Veggie tray with homemade dips
- Fruit tray with yogurt
- Deli meat tray
- Cheese tray
- Sweets (cupcakes, brownies, cookies etc)
Any time I make dip, I make a few different flavors because not everyone is going to like the same flavor dip. I found a great serving tray at a yard sale that has little inserts for a variety of dips with a big bowl in the middle for chips. You don’t have to get that fancy though. A bowl of chips with a few smaller bowls of dip will do. The same goes for veggies. I tend too keep it simple with what veggies I use. I like a good variety on a veggie tray so I usually include, green and red pepper sticks, cucumber slices, celery sticks, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms. If I’m having a lot of people over, I’ll make up a few trays. Veggies are generally fairly inexpensive so making up a few trays isn’t really that expensive.
Play fun, retro music from the ’80s and ’90s.
Makeover parties should be fun. New music is great and all, but why not take a trip down memory lane with some music from the ’80s and ’90s? My last makeover party featured a sort of ‘girl power’ theme. I played music by Madonna, Heart, Pat Benetar, Blondie, Joan Jett, Britney Spears, Christina Aguliera and The Spice Girls and everyone had a blast. No matter what song came on, someone was singing along. It’s amazing how much music can set the mood. You want your party to be lighthearted and fun but you also want it to be a throwback to your teenage years. Using music from when you and most of your guests were teenagers is a great way to do that. You don’t just have to stick to music from that decade though. I was a teen in the mid-late ’90s but I threw in a few older songs are well just for fun.
Set up makeover themed stations around the party area.
I always set up a hair station, a nail station and a makeup station. When I invite people, I ask them to bring at least one item for every single station. They drop off their items at the station writing down what they brought so no one gets confused as to what belongs to who. Each item everyone brings can be used by anyone in attendance. It’s a great way to share your favorite products with your friends and try out products you’re curious about. It’s also a great way to play around with new looks.
Have a friend that’s especially good with hair? Nails? Makeup? Ask them to man a station. I love doing hair and makeup but I’ve learned through experience that it is impossible to run all the stations and have a good time so I stick with makeup. It’s what I’m best at and it’s what I enjoy doing the most. One of my closest friends is a terrific hair stylist and loves doing hair so she mans the hair station. I have a few different friends who are total pros at nail art and they take the nail station. I recommend putting the nail station by a window or somewhere that you can easily ventilate the area or you’ll have the smell of polish hanging around all night and that bothers some people.
Have a clothing/makeup/accessories trade.
The swap is my favorite part of any makeover party I throw. I dig out any clothes, accessories, nail polishes or jewelry I don’t wear anymore or am willing to part with and ask that all my friends do the same. Then, a portion of the night is side aside for a swap. We all lay out the items we have for swap and take terms making each other offers. It can actually be a lot of fun as long as you keep it lighthearted. Here’s how it works.
Let’s say I have a bag of hair clips and assorted accessories I’d like to trade. I put the accessories out and let people look them over. If someone is interested in the items, they make me an offer out of the items they have. If someone else is interested, they make a counter offer. In the event of an argument (it happens), I would have the final say. There is a strict ‘no sour grapes’ rule. If you don’t get the item you were after, you let it go and try for the next one. This is a great way to get rid of things you might not necessarily want anymore and get your hands on things you do.
*Quick note about this one: You should never trade used cosmetics. Using someone else’s old makeup could give you an infection and no one wants that. Nail polish can be okay to trade but it’s best to stick to sealed products, jewelry, accessories, clothes and things of that nature.
Focus on relaxation.
No matter what you choose to do or what you choose not to do, your main focus should be relaxing and having a good time with your friends. As adults out lives can get hectic and stressful. Life isn’t always kind to us. Sure a makeover party is a chance to try out some new looks but the honest truth is that a makeover party is more of an excuse to act like a kid again and have fun. If you’re stressing out over snacks, drinks and making sure everything is perfect, you need to take a step back and remember that life isn’t perfect – no one expects it to be. If your makeover party becomes more of a cocktail party, go with it. As long as everyone’s having a good time, you should consider your party a success.
*One of the images above is from The Shine Project – a wonderful program well worth reading about. Check out more information about The Shine Project here.