By Tatin Yang for Yahoo! Southeast Asia
The tricky thing about putting on makeup for an evening date is that guys tend to like girls who look "naturally" pretty; most of them actually claim to love girls who don't wear a stitch of cosmetic. Except for a few lucky females who can get away with this, most of us normal girls still need a few makeup fixes.
Here's how to strike that balance between looking naturally beautiful to indulging your unreal glam makeup fantasies that is bound to turn him off.
1. Don't send in the clown.
Blush is a powerful tool in your makeup arsenal. It easily wakes up tired complexions and makes you look refreshed with just a few swipes of the brush. To find your perfect blush shade, look for a shade that matches the flush in your cheeks after a hard run or an hour spent in the cold—that rosy hue is what you're after.
When in doubt, peach-based blushers flatter any skin tone. A blush with shimmer particles will add a dewy effect to the skin. Tap your brush against your powder blush and apply along the apples on your cheeks and along the sides of your forehead. As with a natural blush, you shouldn't be able to see any lines of application, so make sure to blend well. Don't apply this with a heavy hand lest you awaken your date's deep-seated fear of Bozo the Clown.
2. Flutter your lashes, but leave the spider at home.
It will forever be our frustration as Asians to be born with short, sparse lashes. But thanks to lengthening mascaras (aka the pushup bras for lashes), we need not suffer short, spiky stubs anymore. Get maximum length and curl by looking for a mascara with built-in additional fibers—these help thicken and lengthen lashes while keeping your lashes still natural looking; there's nothing more unnatural than lashes so long your date might think your pet spiders came with you.
Curl lashes first with the help of a curler to help you look alert and rested, and apply mascara by concentrating the brush along the roots and moving up to the tips. Use the tip of the brush to clear away clumps and separate each lash. The idea is to coat each lash separately, which will provide you with natural looking length and volume.
3. Luscious pout, not geisha mouth
If you think bright red lips will make him want to take you in his arms and kiss you after the date, you've got another thing coming. Not only do guys find the idea of lipstick transfer unappealing, red lips is a too-high-maintenance look to wear, especially on a first date; not only will your brain have to think of witty things to say, you will be constantly worrying if your date is either staring at you because he's captivated by your charm or if half your lipstick has migrated to your teeth.
Go for an easy luscious lip by using liquid lip stains to lock in the color—look for shades in rosy pink hues and add a layer of clear lip balm to moisturize lips and leave it with an appealing sheen.
4. Glow but don't sparkle like a disco ball.
Guys may not like the look of thick, cakey makeup, but they sure do appreciate clear, healthy looking skin. If the day's stress at work has left you feeling blah, restore some glow to your face instantly by evening out skin tone and concealing any redness, dark circles, and blemishes.
Lightly pat a peach-toned concealer under your eyes; this brightens up your face while the peach tones help neutralize dark circles faster vs. applying a thick layer of concealer. (Yellow-toned concealers directly applied to dark circles tend to make them look grayish.) Sheer out your liquid foundation by mixing it with an oil-free moisturizer—this will give your base makeup a light, airy consistency and will look like second skin when blended onto the face. Blot any shiny areas with a tissue instead of piling on the powder. Apply a pearlescent highlighter on the cheekbones to make you look fresh.
5. Goddess waves minus the frizz
If you don't have the time or the patience to twirl sections of your hair around a heated curling iron to get sexy waves, do it the quick and painless way instead: braids.
Work styling cream or mousse on slightly damp hair (don't smother hair with product or it will get crunchy), part in the middle, create two tight braids and secure with pins or elastic. Leave the braids on the whole day at work and undo an hour or two before your date. Comb through with your fingers and voila! Sexy hair, and just in time, too.
Tatin Yang is a freelance beauty writer for Candy magazine, Good Housekeeping Philippines, and Philippine Daily Inquirer. Aside from writing, she's been doing makeup for six years and is also a self-confessed dog lover, bookworm and Steve Jobs devotee.