Prepping for date night doesn’t always have to be a big production. The pressure is on you already — whether it’s your first date, you’re celebrating a romantic holiday or you’re marking a major relationship milestone — so there’s no reason why your makeup routine needs to add additional jitters to your (probably really great) night ahead. Here, we’re redefining what “date night makeup” means to show that keeping your night out look simple can still be sexy. Scroll through for the definitive list of date night dos and don’ts before you head out on your next flirty adventure — some of these must-try tips may totally surprise you.
Don’t: Apply a heavy foundation
Do: Apply a tinted moisturizer
The idea, ladies, is to even out your skin tone, not to cover every sign of personality that is your face. Here, less is more, which is why we’re using a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation that’s often times too easy to over apply. I’m applying a light layer of Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 ($44) all over my face, then spot treating any blemishes or trouble zones with a small amount of concealer. When in doubt: blend, blend, blend!
Don’t: Overdo the fake glow
Do: Opt for a neutral bronzer
I see it happen too often: a gal gets heavy-handed with her contouring and eventually she ends up with that muddy hue on her mug. To avoid this, not only should you always err on the side of a very light, feather-like touch with your bronzer brush, but you should also choose a bronzer that is just a few shades deeper than your natural skin tone — my go-to is the universally flattering Hoola by Benefit Cosmetics ($28).
Don’t: Try for a red carpet smokey eye
Do: Apply a subtle smokey eye
A dark, smoldering eye should absolutely be rocked when the time is right, but if you ask us, that’s not on date night (we’d rather have our dates get lost in our gazes than lost in our layers of shadow). That doesn’t mean we’re completely ditching the hazy, romantic eye altogether — we’re just toning it down. So, instead of the standard deep black color palette, grab a medium grey shadow like Alima Satin Matte Eyeshadow in Raven ($17). Apply to the crease of your eyelids, adding a heavier application of shadow on the outer corners of your lids for that gradual smoky effect. Finish by highlighting your brow bones and the inside corners of your eyes with a shimmering light shadow like MAC Small Eyeshadow in Nylon ($24).
Don’t: Over-line your entire eye
Do: Go thin on eyeliner + big on your lashes
Keep your eye liner under the radar by lining the inside your upper lash line and lower lash line towards the outer corners of your eyes with a cream pencil like Maybelline New York Eye Studio Master Drama in Midnight Master ($8). Truth be told, drawing a thick line around your eyes can make them appear smaller, and especially on date night, we want our eyes to look big and alert. Since your liner is understated, go big on your eyelashes by adding one-to-two coats of your favorite clump-free mascara. I’m using The Colossal Volume Express Washable Mascara by Maybelline New York in Glam Black ($5).
Don’t: Go glossy or apply a high-maintenance lip
Do: Go for simple, long-lasting color
Wearing lipstick for a date night versus a night out with your crew is a whole different beast. If you’re banking on a smooch session or two, gloss is obvs out of the question. We’d also recommend avoiding any high-maintenance applications, like (dun, dun, dun) your classic red lip. Instead, go for bold color without the smudge factor with this simple lipstick hack: line your lips AND fill them in with your favorite lip liner — I’m using Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil in Brick (22). Then blot, blot, blot by kissing a piece of paper several times. YES this works! Tissue is too soft and can leave a cotton residue on your lips while paper will absorb the majority of the ‘smudge.’ What you are left with is a stained effect that isn’t goin’ anywhere.
Don’t: Only smudge-proof your lips
Do: Set your entire face
This step is a must whether you and your date end up snuggling or not. I use a setting spray like Urban Decay All-Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($30) to hold makeup in place on wedding clients so that their faces stay photo-ready for up to 16 hours (read: smear-, crack- and fade-free) and have had nothing but positive feedback. If it can stand up to bridal makeup, it can stand up to your date night face easy. Just spray this light-weight mist on your face once your look is complete. Bonus: it smells really good too!
Do: Practice these steps for your next night out! Our final look is pretty, polished and ready to last through wherever the night takes you.
Did you ever think a date night makeup look could be so hassle free?
How do you prep for a date night? Share your tips and tricks on making yourself date-ready in the comments below.