Since I'm a visual person I hardly ever remember the album title but I just remember what the album art looks like.
“Laura, is this too much makeup?”
I’m standing in front of my bathroom mirror, an hour before a first date. The
guy is cute, so I’m kind of nervous and frantically scrambling to throw
together an appropriate facial look before I run out of the house onto the icy
Chicago sidewalks to avoid being late.
She looks at me and shrugs a little. “I think you look great. I also know
nothing about this at all, so I’m the wrong person to ask.”
I know she’s
telling the truth about the latter part of her comment, as she’d remarked
earlier that my makeup application held the same foreign novelty to her as
watching her boyfriend shave. I was truly alone in this world, my bathroom,
glowering at my makeup and hoping that my fervent wishing that it look perfect
would suddenly make it so.
After my skin was left angry and raw, three separate makeup
applications and removals later, I finally found a solution to my problem. I
also, and more importantly, found the root of the problem itself: I was
concerned about presenting the wrong image to my date.
I’d been somewhat
unfairly expecting my face to actively project my expectations of the date
going in: not so much makeup that it looked like I cared too much, but not so
little that it appeared that I didn’t care at all. On my way out of the door,
I’d realized how stupid that line of thinking was and stopped worrying about
Upon further reflection, however, I realized that designing
your makeup this way can be actually somewhat useful, even if it’s for no other
reason than to get you out of the house a half an hour--and several makeup
Planning your makeup to reflect how into a date you are
gives you a meditative window to assess how much you actually do care--which is
never a bad thing--and also grants the opportunity to play Makeup Magician to
see how well you can visually convey those feelings with cosmetics. It’s
unlikely that anyone who doesn’t pour themselves over makeup every day will
notice these subtleties beyond noting that you’re wearing makeup at all, but
it’s not unlike horoscopes in that pretending that they actually make a
difference can be kinda fun.
Look 1: The Interview
You’re getting ready for a date, and you’re feeling kind of
neutral about it. Perhaps the person is good-looking, and you clicked a bit
upon first meeting, but you’re not head-over-heels bowled over by them. If this
is your scenario, The Interview look is for you!
It consists of nothing but eyeliner and a sheer lip tint: in this case, Revlon
Photoready Kajal, and a tinted lip balm made from a red-violet Crayola crayon,
respectively. The aim is to subtly polish your natural look without making it
Look 2: The “I’m Interested Enough To Noticeably Put On Makeup For This Date!”
This is the look for the person about whom you’re totally
twitterpated. You meshed perfectly in the times you’ve interacted before, you
think that they’re a total cutie, and you really
want them to think you, also, are a total cutie.
Luckily you already have the total cutie part down pat, without makeup. The
makeup just serves to noticeably dress it up, not unlike slipping your
incredibly fabulous body into an equally fabulous gown.
To start, I used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion on my eyelids.
From there, I used the Smashbox Limitless 15 Hr Wear Cream
Shadow on my entire upper lid.
To add a bit of dimension, I shaded the outer corners and crease of my eyelid
with a dark, shimmery blue, and highlighted the inner corners of my eyes with a
golden mustard. Both colors can be found in the incredibly fabulous Sephora
Collection Color Anthology, which has a myriad of
different, boldly pigmented shades.
I plumped my lashes up with
Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara, and used Wet 'n' Wild MegaLast Lip Color in
Sugar Plum Fairy to finish the look.
Look 3: The Partition
There are some dates where you’re less interested in the
actual date itself, but what happens after
the date. The dates where you stare at the person you’re going out with, eyes
smoldering, and daydream about the moment when you clamber into a cab on your
way back to your place to show them your etchings. The dates where you--politely, of course--ask the driver to close the partition, please.
If the last look is akin to a fabulous gown for your beautiful face, this
one is the lingerie.
For this look, you start
out with eyeliner. I’ve used the Revlon Photoready Kajal, making sure to line
my waterline with it as well.
After this, take a black eyeshadow and apply it to the upper
and lower lids, making sure to blend it with the liner. Make a point of adding
a bit to the lower lid, as it gives a quiet preview of how beautiful you’ll
look the next morning. You do, in fact, wake up like dis.
From there, add a rouge shadow and blend it with the black
to form a kind of sexually flustered smoky eye. Choose the red or pink shade
that most closely resembles your blush for this step, or just use your blush
itself. I prefer the shadow’s gentle shimmer to my matte blush, but both will
Now it’s time for your lips. I used OCC Lip Tar’s NSFW, and
shaded my top lip with Black Dahlia to contour. Adding the extra contrast lends
a touch of Film Noir drama to your face, which is perfect when your aim is to
be some poor schmuck’s femme fatale.
Emphasize your eyebrows with your eyeliner or brow pencil of
choice, and this look is done.
It’s worth mentioning that these looks are not in any way a
carte blanche for your date to treat you in the way they think you’re
advertising, based on the way you’re made up or dressed. If your date decides
for themselves that you “look like” you want to make out or go back to their
place based on your clothing or makeup, without your verbally expressed
consent, they are gross, presumptuous and not worth your time. Makeup is fun
for playing with forms of non-verbal communication, but don’t let anyone let
you think that it’s a replacement for it.
Is there anything special you do to wow a first date?