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My 8 Must-Do Tips to Prepare for Homecoming

There are a few key things you can do to get ready as you count down the days to homecoming. Check out the eight things I have on my prep list to make sure I'm photo-ready!

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As the big day gets closer and closer, you'll want to be prepared so you can look flawless and rock your homecoming in style. Here are my best tips:

1. Put Your Best 'Do Forward. Begin the pampering several weeks prior to homecoming by incorporating a weekly coconut oil mask into your hair care routine. Wash hair thoroughly; then add coconut oil, applying a heavier concentration at the ends. I like to wrap my hair with a Turbie Twist Microfiber Super Absorbent Hair Towel and leave the oil in overnight. I usually do this on the weekend, because it takes a couple good rinses in the morning to remove all the oil. Also be sure to schedule a sesh with your stylist a few weeks prior to the event to have your hair trimmed and get rid of split ends.

2. Say Yes to Your Dress. Shop early and get a great dress before they're sold out! I usually shop online, then make a Pinterest board to save my favorite looks. (You can make the board secret if you prefer to keep your ideas private.) Did you know Pinterest will email an alert to you when an item you've pinned goes on sale? They don't do this for every pin but will for companies participating in the program. When dress shopping, look for comfort in addition to style so you can dance the night away.

3. Pick Up a Pair of Dancin' Shoes. Speaking of dancing, make sure you have comfortable shoes. You don't want to be miserable all night or have to take your shoes off and walk around barefoot! I've made that mistake, and it's not fun. Purchase your shoes well in advance, and test them out by wearing them for an hour each day the entire week leading up to homecoming. When purchasing shoes, be sure to keep in mind the length of your dress!

4. Take Care of Your Skin. A big event isn't the time to experiment with new cleansers or makeup that could cause breakouts, so keep your skincare routine similar to what you've always done. To get my skin in tiptop shape, I simply wash it with a gentle cleanser twice a day leading up to an event and I drink a lot of water to keep my skin hydrated. If you plan on wearing a strapless dress and you have tan lines that you need to get rid of, don't worry. Ditch the rays, and use a BB cream specially formulated for your body, Jergen's has a great one, or you can cover them up with a product like Dermablend. Pro tip: Careful with the Dermablend. If you put on too much, it can rub off on your date's suit!

5. Wax On, Wax Off. If you plan on waxing, do it a week prior to the event. If you wait until a day or two beforehand, your skin could still show signs of redness or irritation on the big night. Take a pain reliever (Advil or Tylenol) an hour or two before your waxing appointment, and limit your caffeine intake since it stimulates the nervous system and can increase your sensitivity. If you're feeling nervous, make sure to take a few deep breaths, because a lot of pain can be avoided if you simply sit back and relax.

6. Take It for a Test Drive. Do a test run on your hair and makeup a couple days before homecoming so you won't be scrambling for ideas on the very day. This is where Pinterest comes to the rescue again, because you can pin all your favorite hair and makeup looks and then test them out to see what works best! It's fun to get together with your friends to experiment with various looks, and then you can all vote on your favorite looks. (Or have them vote virtually via Snapchat if they can't make it to the party.)

7. Exfoliate! You can exfoliate twice each week in the weeks leading up to homecoming, but any more than that may lead to irritation. Check out our list of 11 Great Exfoliators for Every Skin Type to find the one that works best for you. Something mild typically works best for your face, while you can use a product with a bit more grit for tough areas like your knees and elbows. After exfoliating, moisturize your body overnight with a heavy-duty lotion like shea butter and you'll wake up with beautiful skin all over!

8. Skip the Salon. Decrease the chances of your polish chipping by hosting a mani/pedi party with your friends the night before. Pick colors that complement your dress—there's no need to be matchy-matchy. If you're opting for an elegant look, you may want to try one of the new gold polishes from Essie, such as "Shifting Power" or "Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low." "Leggy Legend" is a fun bronze one from their new fall line.

With a bit of prep, you can make sure you're putting your best face on for homecoming or any other event this year. Have a blast, and don't forget to check out my blog Sand, Sun & Messy Buns for more makeup tips and inspo!

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Daisy Terrell

Daisy and her mother, Erin, co-author the blog Sand, Sun & Messy Buns, giving them a chance to work together on something they both love. Daisy's dream job would be to watch hair and makeup tutorials on YouTube all day long and get paid for it. She loves playing with makeup, styling hair, and making people look pretty!

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