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In Defence Of Nude Makeup On A First Date
The Debrief: When it comes to dates and make-up, less is more (make-up, that is, not dates)...
There’s nothing like a first date to turn your tastes inside out. Every day of the week – you’ve got it nailed: skinny jeans, basic t shirt, cosy jumper, one of many pairs of flats, mascara, bronzer, hair dried upside down with your head hung below your bed like a sad marionette puppet – done.
And yet, the hours before a date, something strange comes over you. Suddenly it is time to try slicked-back wet-look hair. Or rediscover Sun-In, the dye of yore. Your trusty wardrobe; hard-earned, familiar, easy to navigate, becomes wholly useless, so you have to squeeze yourself into something weird that belongs to your housemate.
Well I say enough is enough. No longer will I back-comb, glue and paint myself like a pantomime dame in preparation for a first date! I say we return to Caitlin Moran and her fundamental rule of feminism: are blokes worrying about it? Are they contouring with various shades of beige to trick us into thinking the bridge of their nose is smaller than it is? Are they painting obscene amounts of lip liner up to their nostrils to make their mouths look plumper? Of course they’re not, because that’s mad. So neither should we.
Here’s my list of reasons why life will be easier if we go for natural makeup (ok, nude glossy lips!) on a first date.
1. No red lipstick anxiety
Unless you’re one of those incredibly glamorous people who manages to wear red lipstick every day and still eat the Pret Superfood Salad with the very long leaves that helicopter dressing and hummous all over your chin without it smudging, don’t wear red lipstick on the first date. It always looks incredible at home, but the minute you get on the bus it feels like everyone is looking at you like you’ve used it to smear the word 'twat' on your head. If you just go with a coating of a sheer, dewy nude colour (whatever your 'nude' might be) it means you won’t spend the night smacking your lips or touching it hoping it hasn’t smudged. Plus, you get to do all the best date bits with wild abandon: eating, drinking and kissing.
2. No spiders down your face
I used to always wear fake eyelashes on a first date, thinking they were the flirtiest of the face accessories. Fluttery, kitteny and reminiscent of a doe-eyed Bardot – fake eyelashes are, in theory, the very best thing to wear for a date. But come 1am when you’re five negronis down and three sheets to the wind, snogging your date with the hormones and gusto of a young Etonian in Stringfellows, they are more than likely to fall off. And when they fall off, they creep down your face, like spiders creeping down a bathroom wall. This is not sexy for the other party. Just trust me on this one.
3. No drunken reapplication
If you don’t wear a full face of makeup then it means you don’t have to reapply all night. And I do believe reapplying makeup is the thing I’ve wasted most of my life doing. Not only do you have to make up an excuse as to why you took ten minutes in the loo so your date doesn’t think you’ve got the shits ('sorry, such a long queue', 'my housemate just rang', 'I got stuck in there, believe it or not!') you also have to slyly find a way of smuggling in your essentials (I’ve put mascara in my bra in years gone by) so you don’t have to take your handbag with you every time you leave the table. No reapplication means more time with your date. And that’s why you’re there – to get to know them, chat with them and judge them with your unachievable and delusional high standards. You’re not there to present yourself as a perfect doll-like creature at all times. You have not failed if this doesn’t happen.
4. Your face is yours
My friend who is a very successful banker always refers back to this piece of life advice: be the best you can be in your field and then you’ll always be happy. What he means by this is, if you know you’re never realistically going to be a great marathon runner, don’t run a marathon. Instead, run a half marathon and aim for an impressive time. Then your expectations aren’t going to outweigh the reality. If you spend your life trying to look like Doutzen Kroes, on neurotic diets and doing everything to change your face without surgery, you’re never going to be happy. Doutzen will always win. You will always have a wonkier nose or a bigger arse than Doutzen. HOWEVER. If you just try to look like yourself, you’re always going to win because, to borrow a quote from Dr Suess: 'Nobody is more youer than you'. So wear your face with natural make up and know you’re the one wearing it the best out of any other person alive on the entire planet. No Dolly Alderton looks better than me today. Truly, I am the hottest Dolly Alderton alive. I win. I wore it best. Go me.
5. The cat’s out of the bag
The joy of wearing natural makeup on the first date is that the jig is basically up and your date knows what you look like. You won’t have to set your alarm at 5am to reapply concealer the first time you stay at their house. You won’t have a nervous breakdown when you suddenly get a Vesuvius sized spot on date number three. Think of the freedom you’ll have to look exactly like you from the get-go if you skip the full face of slap. There will be no secret; there will be no ‘big reveal’. So spend 15 minutes on your makeup, check your teeth for scraps of kale then go on your date. And the best part is? You’ve freed up a bunch of time to maybe have some actual fun.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque Liquid Lipsticks, is available in tonnes of reds, pinks and nudes, to suit whatever you’re up to. They’re available from Boots and Boots.co.uk, £8.99 each
Follow Dolly on Twitter: @dollyalderton
Picture: Jason Lloyd-Evans
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