3 Makeup Looks to Correspond with 3 Levels of Enthusiasm About Tinder Dates

I'm just learning that not every Tinder date is created equal.

I'm recently single for the first time in... oh... more than five years. Actually, if I really think about it, this might be the first time I've been single since I was 16 or 17.

A lot has changed since my days of high-school dating. I didn't even have a cell phone when I was 16 (I'm not that old — my parents were just that strict) but now it seems like the majority of dating happens via texting and dating apps.

I wasn't planning on joining Tinder, but my sister and I had a few drinks and ended up downloading it for fun. Before I knew it, I was having drinks at a bar with a cute stranger.

All this has me thinking about something I haven't had to think about in a long time: How should I do my makeup for a first date?

Below, I put together three makeup looks that I think would work for the three levels of enthusiasm that tend to come with Tinder dates.

Look 1: For Last-Minute or Low-Stakes Dates

This is the makeup that I slap on really quick for a last-minute date or for someone I'm not sure about. It's just your typical natural makeup: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl for an all-over glow, bareMinerals Complexion Rescue in Opal to even out my skin, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla to hide any spots, and Maybelline Full 'n' Soft Mascara after a quick curl with my Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler.

I also usually do some sort of nude or pink lipstick. (I have no idea why my lips photographed so orange here, though.)

Look 2: For Dates that You Know Won't End with a Kiss

This hasn't happened to me yet because I'm really picky, but suppose you agree to go on a Tinder date with someone that you have reservations about. (Hopefully not serious reservations, you guys — obviously you should never meet up with a stranger who gives you a bad gut feeling!) In case you don't hit it off, a glossy siren red lip will clearly tell them, "We are NOT making out tonight."

This look was made up of the products I used for the first look, in addition to NYX Matte Liquid Linerapplied as sharply as possible — and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella with some gloss over it to give it an extra "look but don't touch" vibe.

If you really want to break out the big guns, you can just skip the red lipstick and go for the weirdest color you own. Right now for me that's Manic Panic Lethal Lipstick in Atomic Turquoise.

Nobody's going to want to get Atomic Turquoise all over their mouth (except you), so you can wear it and feel confident that you'll be able to walk away at the end of the night without the awkwardness of having to dodge an unwanted kiss.

Plus, if things actually go surprisingly well and you change your mind, you can just wipe the lipstick off in the bathroom.

Look 3: For the Date You're Really Looking Forward To

This look is for a date that you're actually really excited about. It's basically just the same base from the first look, but with some amped-up eye action as well as some contouring.

On my eyes I used eyelid primer and shades Limit and Factory from the Naked3 palette, and I used the darkest brown shade from this Becca Ombre Nudes Palette to contour under my cheekbones.

I also added Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor Lipstick for an extra boost of pretty, natural-looking lip color. You definitely want to make your lips more, let's say, approachable for this kind of date.

The eye makeup isn't super noticeable on my hooded lids but when I look down to make sure I didn't drop any food down my cleavage, my date can be like, "Wow, she has really pretty eyelids."

  • How do you do your makeup for first dates?
  • Would you wear any of the above looks on a date?
  • Feel free to share your Tinder stories and advice!