Nails, hair and spray tans: What it takes for girls to get ready

By Bryan Richardson

Saturday shifts at the Mercury can be fun because it brings the opportunity to step outside the realm of what a reporter typically covers. Well, this Saturday brought prom for juniors and seniors at Manhattan High School.

The festivities were set to begin at 9 p.m. at Manhattan Town Center, but this reporter was to find out what was involved in getting ready for the big event.

Following two high school girls around as they prepare for prom is about as far outside a comfort zone as it gets for an adult male.

Manhattan High juniors Melissa Bohn and Morgan Dreiling were kind enough to let an outsider see what it takes for a girl to prepare.

10 a.m.

Melissa arrived at Kistner’s Flowers with her mom, Beth, to pick up her corsage and boutonniere. They had gone the previous Saturday to make the order.

Melissa checked to make sure everything looked good and received instructions on how to put it on.

Saturday was Melissa’s time going to prom. She went last year as a sophomore.

“Last year, I was really scared for the promenade,” she said. “Now I’m not because I know how to walk in heels now.”

Promenade is the equivalent of going down the red carpet before an awards ceremony. Names are announced, and people get to look at others walk.

This year, Melissa got to experience the prom moments with her boyfriend. This includes hitting the dance floor, which she enjoys. She’s taken dance since she was 5. She said he’s a typical guy when it comes to dancing.

“He’ll dance with me if it’s like a slow song,” she said. “But he just likes to stand around and talk.”


11 a.m.

“I love getting dressed up and getting all pretty,” Morgan said. She started off her preparations at a local nail salon, Toes and Tips. Actually, she started earlier in the week with two spray-tan sessions.

As somebody who doesn’t get his nails done, it is somewhat hard to see the point of a mani-pedi. Morgan, who got French tips on her fingernails and toenails, explained that it’s good to have them look clean for pictures.

“When you get a corsage, you usually get pictures of it being put on,” she said. “If your nails are clean, it looks better.”

After soaking her nails in polish remover, the technician got to work. The task is reminiscent of creating a pinewood derby car. They both involve buffing something into a desired shape and then painting it.

Plenty of tools were used, but they all seemed to make sense. That is until the technician pulled out something that looked like a miniature tanning bed.

Apparently, this device is used when applying gel polish. Morgan said the nail polish is “baked on” when the hand is placed in the opening. She said gel polish works better than the average nail polish.

“It lasts longer than normal polish, but it doesn’t damage like fake nails,” she said.

The finishing touch involved a trace of silver glitter on her fingernails. The toenails came next. There’s a tub for washing feet after nails are filed. It can also turn into an ocean-colored whirlpool to soak feet in for some reason.

“Don’t you wish you were a girl?” Morgan asked while her toenails were being finished.

Not really, Morgan. It seems like a lot of work.


2:30 p.m.

This was actually an hour earlier than Melissa initially set up her appointment at Regis Salon two weeks ago. She moved the appointment out of a concern that she wouldn’t be ready for pictures on time.

Melissa didn’t get her nails done because she didn’t think she had enough time. “It’s not a big deal to me if my nails aren’t done,” she said.

The hair stylist put some sort of magic powder on Melissa’s hair to make it easier to tease it. “Tease” is a hair-styling term, but a certain reporter is not sure what it means.

Plenty of hair spray was used in the process as well. “Use a lot of hair spray because my hair does not hold up that long,” Melissa told the stylist.

While in the chair, Melissa showed a picture of her prom dress she ordered online in February. She said she liked it because it’s simple yet bejeweled at the top, flowy and pink, which is her favorite color.

Melissa wanted to have her hair down in curls with a waterfall braid, which is a braid going across the back of the head. “It’s gonna be a while,” she said. “I have a lot of hair to curl.”

After an hour and 15 minutes at the nail shop with Morgan, another hour was spent at the hair salon with Melissa.

In the midst of this and considering makeup still had to be applied, it was easy to see that guys had the easier road to getting ready for prom. “Yeah but they have to pay for everything,” Melissa said.

Stopping to see friends as they’re getting ready is apparently a common occurrence on the day of prom. Both Melissa and Morgan did so on Saturday afternoon.

Naturally, Melissa took pictures with two of her friends after all of their hair was done. “I like getting ready and taking pictures,” she said.


6:15 p.m.

Morgan finished her preparations and is ready for prom in yellow and silver dress. She said liked the open back and that it was different from the other dress she saw at Celebrations of the Heart.

She was a part of a group of 24 who went to Manhattan Country Club to take pictures and eat dinner before going to prom.

Morgan and her date, MHS junior Kodi Minocha, took pictures on the course for their parents. The photo session included one of the corsage being put on, and fortunately, Morgan had her nails looking right.

It was Kodi’s first prom, but not Morgan’s; she had gone to the MHS prom last year and two proms at other schools.

Around the time Morgan got her nails and hair done, Kodi was attending the K-State spring football game. “I didn’t really do anything today, honestly,” he said, “just put my tux on. I had everything ready before today.”

Yep, this story would have been much easier following guys around for prom.

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