Nine First-Date Beauty Mistakes
by Vicki Santillano
Statistics say that a woman spends 99.9 percent of the 48 hours leading up to a first date obsessing over the myriad of hair, makeup, and outfit options. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration (60 percent of statistics are made up, after all), but let’s be honest: We women tend to spend way too much time and energy trying to impress and entice—sometimes to the point of achieving quite the opposite.
Mistake 1: Wax On, Wax Off
Unless you’ve got at least a week before the first date, don’t pluck or wax your eyebrows and upper lip. Doing either too soon before the big night could result in blotchy, angry-looking facial skin, not to mention unsightly ingrown hairs. The same goes for any other parts of your body that have unwanted hair you don’t shave regularly.
Mistake 2: So Fresh, It’s Raw
Speaking of scary, rashlike skin, how about a word on undergoing invasive, intense facial treatments right before the date? The word is “no.” You may want a fresher face, but there’s no telling how your skin will react, especially if you’ve never had that procedure before. Unless your skin is ultrasensitive, opt instead for an exfoliating scrub in the shower to get that lovely glow.
Mistake 3: Spray with Caution
A first date is not the time to branch out from your tried-and-true beauty arsenal, particularly when it comes to perfume. Because a body’s individual pheromones mix with perfume, what you smell in the bottle isn’t necessarily how it’ll smell on your skin. Pick a scent you already know works with your chemistry and lightly (unless you know your date’s perfume preferences) dab it on your pulse points.
Mistake 4: The Tears of a Clown
Some women who are afraid of coming off as too plain go completely in the other direction and come off as, well, clownish. If a full face of makeup is just another part of your daily routine, don’t be afraid to rock it. (Just be mindful of the occasion—i.e., no glittery blue eye shadow and blood-red lipstick for an afternoon coffee date.) But if you fall somewhere in the middle, stay that way—subtle makeup almost always goes over well. What doesn’t is layering shade after shade in the hopes of looking glamorous. Just keep your look natural—whatever that means for you.
Mistake 5: Say No to Sticky Lips
You want your lips to look luscious and oh-so-kissable, so you smear on gloss. Then your date’s eyes are automatically drawn to the shiny, sticky-looking pile of goo where your lips used to be, and do you know what your date thinks? _I’d kiss her, but I don’t want all that crap on my lips. Limit your lip-gloss application and, please, no glitter.
Mistake 6: Fake ’n’ Bake
No major alterations—haircuts, facials, bikini waxes (hey, you never know)—should happen shortly before the big event, and that includes a seemingly harmless session of sunless tanning. Whether you use lotion or go to a salon, the immediate effect is orange, Oompa Loompa–like skin. Tan far enough in advance that this effect wears off, or just risk being a little pale.
Mistake 7: Dull Razor, Prickly Night
Using a dull razor nearly guarantees a spotty shaving job that leaves stubbly ends and ingrown hairs rather than a smooth, silky finish. Switch out the blades during your predate shower, but don’t forget that sharp blades don’t require as much pressure to shave, lest you wind up with nicks and cuts instead.
Mistake 8: The Better to Claw You with, My Dear
The key to your date’s heart isn’t, despite what your manicurist would have you believe, super-long acrylic nails with dazzling colors and prints. That bold choice might be a little unnerving and will definitely make you seem high-maintenance. Even if you are, your date doesn’t need to know that right away.
Mistake 9: Free to Be Me … I Mean, You
The biggest beauty mistake of all is going so far beyond your comfort zone that you’re visibly uncomfortable and self-conscious—two unattractive traits. That includes wearing skintight clothes, teetering on sky-high stilettos, or giving yourself a makeover that masks who you really are—the person your date asked out in the first place.