Beauty School: Getting Ready For A First Date After A Long Day Of Work

First dates are totally nerve-wracking. How do I (literally) put my best face forward when I’m going to a date straight from work?

The best advice I can give is to make sure you look like yourself, but your most gorgeous self. Here are a few quick fixes to create desk-side beauty and become date-ready in an instant.

However much of a hurry you’re in, spend time on your face – rough or dull skin will ruin any look. If foundation looks clogged or dirty, wash your face or cleanse with a wipe. Then moisturize and pat in foundation until your face looks dewy and fresh. Focus on the front of your cheeks and under the eyes.

If you’re caught out unexpectedly or pressed for time, you can cut corners by using concealer to correct imperfections. Applying a touch of highlighter on the cheekbones, browbones, bridge of your nose, and cupid’s bow will give you a lovely “lit from within” effect. To add to your radiant glow, apply a peachy-pink cream blush to the apples of your cheeks for a fresh-faced finish. Then take your pick — you can focus on either lips or eyes, but not both. You don’t want to intimidate your date!

If you choose eyes, then keep your lips neutral and apply a light coating of nude gloss. First remove any creases of eye makeup from the day, and help to neutralize the eye area and mask any imperfections by applying a wash of cream-colored matte shadow over the entire eyeline, from the lash line to the brow bone. Next pick a dark taupe for sophisticated definition or a shimmer mocha for a more high-glamour finish into the socket crease, and blend upwards to open the eye area. Draw along the upper lash line with a shadow line, pushing the liner into the lash line to thicken the lashes. Draw along the lash line, extending beyond the eye and curving it to create a subtle flirty flick. For eyes that smoulder, apply a thick layer of your chosen shade along the lower lash line and blend to the outer corners. Finish with mascara.

A darker glossy lipstick and subtle definition around the eye may be all that’s needed to take you from the boardroom to the bar, so if you’re focusing on the lips, keep eyes neutral — just pat on translucent powder over the lids to blend out any creases and remove smudges under the eyes with a Q-tip. Apply a hydrating balm to smooth the lips. Outline the lips with a colored liner, then smudge it into the lips. Dab on a creamy lipstick with your fingers to be sure it really sinks in. Add a dot of shimmery gloss on the center of the lower lip to create a pout.

Most men aren’t fans of too much makeup, so don’t freak them out by using too much color. Save extreme looks for another occasion. Tonight is all about natural, feminine beauty. All of this said, makeup should boost your confidence and express your personality, so don’t tone down your look too much or you may not feel like yourself. Knowing you look your best will give you the confidence to be yourself and let your personality sparkle.

My corporate-to-cocktails emergency transformation kit would include cheek/lip stain to add an instant flush of color to cheeks and lips, a shimmery brown eye crayon to define the eyes and build up color intensity, and a lipgloss for a touch of feminine glamour. Keep these on hand, and with the steps above you should be able to create an array of dinner date looks.

Jemma Kidd is a world-renowned makeup artist who has painted the faces of Naomi Campbell and Jerry Hall, and now she’s here to solve all of your beauty dilemmas. Not only does she have two makeup lines of her own — Jemma Kidd Make Up School and JK Jemma Kidd — she’s also worked with Max Factor, Rimmel, and Stila. Yes, she’s a total beauty guru. Have a question for Jemma? Email it to!

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