I know it ages me to say it, but it's been nearly 10 years since I attended my high school prom (and rocked alternative nail art whilst doing it). Although prom really isn't a big deal, for the fashion-obsessed folks who couldn't really care less about getting married, it's the last major time you get to pretend you're going to an awards show by buying a ridiculous dress that you'll never wear again.
In high school, I was obsessed with standing out (that hasn't changed) and Carrie from Sex in the City, so I chose to wear a patterned fitted dress when everyone else opted for solid-colored, bright princess gowns. But a dress isn't the only way to stand out at prom anymore — you can show your personal style right down to your nails.
From hand-painted designs of your favorite food to portraits of movie stars, nail art has evolved to be more than glitter and rhinestones. When it comes to prom, glitz and glam is great! But let's face it: Despite what Disney has sold us, not everyone wants to look like a fictional cartoon. Nail art can be the perfect accessory to stand out and give your classmates something to gossip about one last time. So put down that tiara, and consider these 11 alternatively cool ways to do your nails for prom.
1. If Your Style Is More Monster High Than Barbie
These Monster High themed nails are perfect for someone whose favorite prom movie is Carrie but still wants their nails to be cutesy and not covered in pig's blood.
2. If You Want Your Date To Know You're A Unicorn
I am all in favor of being excessively confident and obnoxiously bright. These neon nails will show your date that you know that finding someone else like you will be like finding a unicorn.
3. If You Put Down The Tiara, But You Still Need Rhinestones
OK, OK. I know I said that rhinestones were overrated for prom but look at these nails! This is bling done on a whole other level. Even if you don't win prom queen, your classmates will know who the real queen is.
4. If You Want Your Nails To Match Your Corsage
Hand-painted flower designs may be a nail stop standard but these flower petal nails are a new spin on the traditional flower design.
5. If You Would Rather Be Watching Star Wars
So your mom forced you to go to prom because it's a "memory of a lifetime" but you would rather be a home watching Star Wars for the hundredth time.
6. If You Want Your Date To Know You Put Your Own Ring On It
While you might enjoy dancing to "Single Ladies," you're an independent woman and you don't need anyone else to put a ring on it.
7. If You're Going For A Game Of Thrones Theme
In my day, Lord of the Rings was the fantasy obsession but these days, it's all about Game of Thrones. These intricate portrait nails are sure to complement your handmade Qarth dress.
8. If You Couldn't Afford The Designer Dress
Since you're not actually going to an awards show, that designer gown may be way out of your budget but with these Versace-themed nails you can show you still have luxury taste.
9. If You Request The DJ Play Only Hip Hop
If you know your school hired a DJ who will probably play way too much Katy Perry, be prepared to march up to the booth with these nails and request some old school Tupac.
10. If You Plan To Major In Art History In College
Prom? You're already getting your books for college! These Jackson Pollock-inspired nails will show that you're ready for your next move even if you still get tear-eyed when the DJ plays Vitamin C's "Graduation."
11. If You Want Your Date To Know Monopoly Is The Only Game You Play
If you've seen the '90s classic She's All That then you know that your prom date may not be as he/she appears. Avoiding being an effing bet and wear these Monopoly-themed games to show your date that you are not to be played with.
Images: Getty; Instagram/Kandiyamz, polishallthenails, wiznail, sfnoma, clarahnails, dreaglam, ashearer3, dassaffects, heynicenails, superflynails, spifster