First of all, the night before, you should definitely get a lot of sleep. It'll make your skin look better, you'll be more relaxed, you won't have any bags under your eyes... It's just a no brainer. I always feel more confident when I'm not tired, plus when you're exhausted, you're bound to be crankier and less fun and you don't want to accidentally chase away the potential love of your life because you stayed up too late catching up on "Downton Abbey." Sleep is a fabulous and free way to recharge, so take advantage of that. You want to be ready to enjoy wherever the night takes you, not yawning on the dance floor.
The day of, you should make sure to drink a lot of water, especially if you head to the gym in the morning for a pre-date workout. It'll keep you hydrated and make you less likely to drink a ton of alcohol when you're out, which is never a good idea on a first date. I do like to have a glass of wine as I'm getting ready though, and if you make it a wine spritzer (I know - spritzers are very Blanche Deveraux!) you can do half wine/half club soda, so it won't dehydrate you. Just make sure to drink a lot of water before and afterwards (kind of like when you run a marathon!)
Once you make it to the "getting ready" portion of your day, make it a point to take a nice, long shower (or bath) to relax. I like to use my favorite shower gels and scrubs because that always puts me in a good mood. My go to date shower products lately are Pure Grace from Philosophy. The scent smells clean, like soap and water, so you won't overwhelm your date, but it'll still make him want to make him lean in and get closer to you. Plus, you can layer the Shower Gel, Lotion and Fragrance so you can make sure that the scent lingers on you all night long. I'm obsessed with it right now. And the lotion is fabulous - it's hydrating without being greasy and it sinks right in to your skin so you can get dressed quickly if you're running late. (Always a problem with me!)
When prepping my date night skin, I find it best not to use any harsh products that might irritate it. My skin is already sensitive - that last thing I want to do is turn it bright red right before my dream man shows up! Once I step out of the shower, I mist my face with a light toner, something like Josie Maran's Lavender Mist, because it refreshes and tightens my skin without drying it out. Then I usually like to hop into bed and read a magazine before I start getting ready. Weird, maybe, but it lets me chill out a little and get a few minutes to myself before I hop into getting ready mode.
When I'm finally done with my magazine, the first thing I do is always, always put on sunscreen, partly because it's a habit I stick to even when I might be going out in the early evening, but really, you just never know how much sun your skin is going to get and it's better to be safe than sorry. I follow the sunscreen with my favorite moisturizer of the moment, Origins' Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief, because it's a calming product that I know will hydrate my skin as much as it needs. I follow that up with a primer - primer is a product I didn't really discover until a few years ago and it is so, so worth it. My go to these days is Smashbox's Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer in Color Adjust - Green. (I know, it's a long name, but I promise, it deserves it). Not only does the primer create a smoother canvas for all your other makeup, the color correcting versions help tone down any problems you might have (for example, I use green because it tones down the redness in my sensitive skin). It's the product you never knew you needed until you try it. Then you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
And voila! Just like that, you're ready to put on your favorite makeup, your new outfit and wow your date and have a fabulous evening. Enjoy!