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Your Gala Guide To Dressing To Impress At All Of This Season's Big Events

A definitive guide to dressing for the season's events­, from a Lilly-inspired bash to a black-tie gala at The Mar-a-Lago Club.

1. Belle of the Ball 

black-tie gala

black-tie gala

When playing Cinderella for the night at your next formal affair, dress up in a stunning ball gown with bold, sultry makeup.

1. ROCHAS V-neck satin and lace gown; $2,187; Available at matchesfashion.com

2. CHLOÉ Greta set of two rings; $278; Available at matchesfashion.com

3. BOBBI BROWN Face highlighter; $35; Available at bobbibrowncosmetics.com

4. OPI Let Your Love Shine; $9.50; Available at opi.com

5. PROVIDENT JEWELRY Bamboo bracelets; from $5,000; Available at Provident Jewelry or providentjewelry.com

6. BOBBI BROWN Lip color in Sterling Nights Vixen Red; $27; Available at bobbibrowncosmetics.com

7. Judith Leiber Slide lock square-patterned Swarovski crystal clutch; $2,995; Available at Saks Fifth Avenue at The Gardens Mall or saksfifthavenue.com

8. ISABEL MARANT Alek suede sandals; $675; Available at matchesfashion.com

9. NARS Audacious mascara in Black Moon; $26; Available at Nordstrom or nordstrom.com

 

2. Ladies Who Lunch

black-tie gala

black-tie gala

In the height of season, luncheons abound. These pieces and beauty products will guarantee that you're “lunching” in style.

1. Friedrich Optik Tortoise frame sunglasses; $595; Available at Friedrich's Optik on Worth Avenue or friedrichsoptik.com

2. HAMILTON 14K yellow gold and diamond sunburst earrings; $475; Available at Hamilton Jewelers in Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens or hamiltonjewelers.com

3. LA PRAIRIE Skin caviar concealer and foundation SPF 15; $215; Available at laprairie.com

4. HONEST BEAUTY Everything makeup palette; $35; Available at HonestBeauty.com

5. CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte revolution lipstick in Miss Kensington, $32, charlottetilbury.com

6. ROKSANDA Askel cady shift dress; $1,338; Available at matchesfashion.com

7. CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN So Kate 120mm pumps; $605; Available at matchesfashion.com

8. TORY BURCH Amelia watch in gold-tone/ivory; $595; Available at toryburch.com

9. TORY BURCH Eau De Parfum spray 1.7 oz.; $90; Available at toryburch.com

 

3. Giddy-up!

black-tie gala

black-tie gala

We bet you'll attend at least one Midwestern-themed event this season. Even if country isn't your style, here's how to add a little flair to a cowboy hat and boots.

1. Free People X Sam Roberts Midnight Rider exclusive hat; $298; Available at freepeople.com

2. HAMMITT Fets fringe shoulder bag; $675; Available at La La Couture Palm Beach or hammitt.com

3. CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution lipstick in Birkin Brown, $32, charlottetilbury.com

4. TAMARA COMOLLI India Agarwood bracelet in 18K rose gold; $540; Available at Tamara Comolli on Worth Avenue or tamaracomolli.com

5. MAVI Adriana super skinny jeans in midnight tribeca; $118; Available at Zest in Wellington or us.mavi.com

6. OPI Venice The Party; $9.50; Available at opi.com

7. Free People Horseshoe belt; $58; Available at freepeople.com

8. MELISSA ODABASH Avalon embroidered voile top; $210; Available at net-a-porter.com

9. Alexandre Birman Katy's crocheted suede and watersnake booties; $995; Available at Saks Fifth Avenue at The Gardens Mall or saksfifthavenue.com

 

4. We Love Lilly

black-tie gala

black-tie gala

In Palm Beach, Lilly Pulitzer from head-to-toe is always appropriate, and sometimes mandatory (The American Red Cross Beach Bash, anyone?). Pair your favorite Lilly pattern with these accessories for a fresh, colorful look.

1. BOBBI BROWN Sterling nights eye palette; $75; Available at bobbibrown.com

2. TORY BURCH Smartphone cross-body in carnation red; $295; Available at toryburch.com

3. HAMILTON 14K rose gold and diamond sunburst bracelet; $750; Available at Hamilton Jewelers in Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens or hamiltonjewelers.com

4. DAVID YURMAN Bubblegum pinky ring with peppermint scented resin in 18K rose gold; $875; Available at David Yurman at The Gardens Mall or davidyurman.com

5. LILLY PULITZER The Lilly scarf in Oh Shello; $88; Available at lillypulitzer.com

6. TAMARA COMOLLI Mikado bouquet pendants on an 18K rose gold chain; pendants each $1,420; Available at Tamara Comolli on Worth Avenue or tamaracomolli.com

7. TORY BURCH Metal and wood sunglasses; $195; Available at toryburch.com

8. OPI Gelatoon My Mind; $9.50; Available at opi.com

9. LILLY PULITZER The Banyan clutch in gold metallic; $198; Available at Lilly Pulitzer at The Gardens Mall or lillypulitzer.com

10. LILLY PULITZER Cadence dress in multi Dripping in Jewels; $268; Available at lillypulitzer.com

 

Gala Playbook

7 beauty steps to get you gala-ready

black-tie gala

STEP 1: De-stress

What better place to start primping for gala season (and to pause, play and repeat) than at the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide five-star rated Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. For a quick refresh, book a CACI facial at least a week in advance of the big day. You'll walk away with glowing skin, tight pores and a bright, rejuvenated complexion. For a full-body transformation, sign up for Eau Spa's “Infinite Glamour Project.” This two-day compendium includes everything you could ever want or need to look your best—we're talking body waxing, body polishing, a spray tan, a manicure and pedicure, and more ($1,955); eauspa.com.

STEP 2: Non-surgical quick fixes

The first step to good skin is, of course, sunscreen. But if the damage is done, turn to Dr. Jason Cooper at Highpoint Plastic Surgery for non-surgical procedures that will give your skin and overall appearance a boost. He recommends a filler to revive skin: Juvederm Ultra XC softens the skin by adding small amounts of volume to smooth wrinkles and blend face creases; Restylane Silk provides a natural look to fill in the creases around the mouth and adds a small amount of volume to lips without distorting them; highpointplasticsurgery.com.

STEP 3: A brighter smile

Addicted to caffeine or that nightly glass of pinot? Stop by the PGA Center for Advanced Dentistry to book a whitening treatment with Dr. Jay Ajmo. After a mold is created, patients can take the whitening trays home to perform touch ups at their leisure. Within one or two treatments, teeth will transform from a dulling yellow to a bright white—perfect for all of those close-up party pics; pgadentistry.com.

STEP 4: Be Bronzed

We want you to look sun-kissed—not orange, or worse, red and peeling the night of the gala. For skin that says, “Summers in St. Tropez,” head to Pure Bliss Day Spa in Jupiter for an all-natural spray tan that's applied by an experienced technician—not an automated booth. For best results, Pure Bliss recommends exfoliating before the appointment and booking it two to three days in advance of the event ($45); purebliss-dayspa.com.

STEP 5: Polish it off

An outfit never looks complete without perfectly polished hands and feet. The day before the event, spend a few hours at PGA National Day Spa for a Lavender Bliss manicure and pedicure that will leave your mind feeling relaxed and your nails looking on point. The treatment includes seaside minerals, a hand and foot massage, exfolixiation and, of course, the polish of your choice ($55 manicure, $65 pedicure); pgaresort.com.

STEP 6: Hair care

On the big day, treat yourself to a sexy blowout or an elegant updo at The Blowzone. For as little as $40, you'll walk out feeling like a Hollywood star; theblowzone.com.

STEP 7: Red carpet ready

You're almost there! To finish off the look, book the “Red Carpet Ready With Lashes” appointment at FondaLee Beauty Bar. For $150, you'll look fabulous, and feel even better; fondaleebeauty.com.