Oh, don't pretend like you don't have one!
So, you've just made your online dating profile and you're not sure whether to post the picture of you with no makeup on--and your cat covering half your face, or full makeup with an amazing outfit on--but half-drunk. Maybe neither?
You want to present the most accurate representation of yourself when online dating. A variety of clear photos is definitely the way to go and will get you more interest than just having a couple similar blurry photos uploaded. Your face is what makes you YOU and it should be shown in all its glory.
As one of the most-messaged females on OkCupid, I honestly never put too much thought into the pictures I posted online; I just did it. I'll admit that I got caught up in the selfie craze and have always loved taking shots of my makeup for the day. But clean, glowy skin is what I'm passionate about, and this is always my first priority for a good picture.
As a professional makeup artist, I know how to do everything from natural looks to theatrical makeup. Tons of clients have wanted me to do their makeup for them before a date, and I'd say about half wanted me to throw as much product on their face as possible, even when that wasn't actually who they were in their day-to-day.
Obviously, I am not in a position to tell them, "No, I'm not going to do that,” but in my opinion, the less, the better… for a date.
Let me preface this by saying it's 100% more important to be comfortable in your own skin than it is to impress anyone else. So don't pay attention to me if you don't feel like yourself without glitter on your eyelids and blue lipstick, because, girl, there ain't nothing wrong with that! Why change your look for online dating profile pictures if it's never going to be different in real life?
Makeup is an amazing way to be creative and express yourself. I do love wearing red eyeshadow and being a weirdo much of the time. (An old lady once told me, "YOU'D LOOK WAY BETTER WITHOUT THAT SH*T ON YOUR FACE.”) That being said, clean and simple is my approach on any first date I go on, and I don't necessarily post any crazy makeup photos on my OkCupid profile because red eyeshadow isn't in my daily makeup routine.
So, based on my experience, here’s a makeup regimen that I recommend for your profile photos AND the first date that comes from it.
Foundation and skincare are KEY.
Even if you feel you have perfect skin, it can always look better. I've done makeup on hundreds of clients, from a 15-year-old to a 85-year-old. I can honestly only remember one girl on whom I didn't use foundation, and she was obviously an alien from the planet of exceptionally perfect "I can't even" skin.
So find a foundation that works for you. Example: if you have dry skin, you should not be using a matte foundation. If you have oily skin, you should not be using a foundation with a dewy finish. Foundation is the one thing I will not be a cheapo on because it is SOOO worth it. (YSL, Armani and Laura Mercier are some of my favorite brands for foundation.)
Conceal and highlight!
Most of us are a different shade or tone (or both) under our eyes than what we are on the rest of our face. It can be difficult finding the right match to cover dark spots, bags, and all those other fun things. I would suggest asking for some guidance from a professional at a makeup counter if you're having a difficult time finding a match.
As for highlighting, using a foundation two shades lighter, or an actual highlighting product in liquid form, on the tops of your cheekbones and down the center of your nose gives that natural glow and adds dimension to your face.
Optional: You can add a light powder on top of your cream products. (also depending on skin type) Example: If you have dry skin, use no powder or a light mineral powder. If you have combo to oily skin, you can use a bit more powder to keep your flawless skin in check.
Does blush have a bad reputation I don't know about? So many of my clients are scared of it. I can only assume that comes from lack of knowledge about what color to use or how to apply.
Your blush should be applied on the chubbiest parts of your cheeks (smile to find the right points). Make sure not to apply it any lower than your nose and not any higher than where your highlight is on the top of your cheekbone.
Defining your eyebrows can be the most important thing you do.
A little eyeshadow or brow pencil can make all the difference. (I'm not talking about those stenciled-out Instagram eyebrows, ugh.) They should be YOUR eyebrows with a few spots filled in, maybe lengthened a bit, maybe darkened.
Apply eyeshadow that matches your skin tone (or is a touch lighter) all over your lids.
This evens out the color and hides any veins. Follow that with a shade a tiny bit darker in your crease with a blending brush to define your eyes without looking like you have any makeup on. Be sure to blend, blend and blend some more. Add some mascara on your top and bottom lashes and your eyes will pop.
We are almost done!
For lips, I usually just use some ChapStick, neutral gloss or sheer lipstick
A bold lip also looks amazing with a clean face. I don't care what you say--every single one of you looks good in a classic red lip. If you say you don't look good in one, you do; you're just intimidated by the idea and not used to seeing it on yourself.
So, now you're hot as hell and ready to post those pictures and/or go on that date.
My last piece of advice would be to carry all the confidence in the world. Why be nervous about a guy that's most likely more nervous about meeting you?