As I write this article, I’m a few short hours away from getting ready for a date that fell into my lap just minutes ago. That’s how life works: you don’t always have a lot of time to prepare, but you have to say yes to the opportunities that present themselves and put the best, most sparkly version of yourself forward. I don’t have much time to waste–and if you’re reading this you probably don’t either–so let’s get into it! Here are your date night dos and don’ts, whether you have minutes, hours, or days to prepare. 

Hygiene matters

To look your best for a date you must start with a fresh, clean base. A proper shower is the first step. If you’re short on time, you don’t have to wash your hair (drying and styling takes forever) but scrub where it counts, do a quick once-over with a razor to get rid of any rogue body hairs, and cleanse your face to have a fresh palette for your makeup. Moisturize your skin from head to toe. You may want to consider throwing a whitening strip on your teeth and wearing it throughout your getting ready ritual, so that you have an extra zingy smile!(Just don’t forget to remove it and brush your teeth before heading out the door!)

Don’t overdo the makeup

There are thousands of exciting, if a bit weird, makeup techniques floating around Instagram and YouTube. But a first date isn’t the right time to try out the contouring or eyeliner trend that all the beauty bloggers are loving, or break out your sparkly black lipstick. Worst case scenario, you spend an hour trying out one of these trendy makeup looks, just to have it turn out terribly, with little or no time to start from scratch. After all, your date liked how you looked the first time he saw you! He’s not expecting you to be in some crazy over the top makeup for your date. You want to look like yourself, just an extra polished version. So keep it simple with your standard night out beauty ritual. 

Consider your outfit

Where are you going? How’s the weather? What time of day or night is it? After you answer these questions, decide which elements of your wardrobe fit the situation, whilst maximizing your sexiness and comfort. If you find yourself pressed for ideas, check Instagram or fashion blogs for a look that speaks to you. Then look through the contents of your wardrobe for pieces that mimic the vibe. You want to feel like your sexiest, most beautiful self, so if you have something you’ve worn before and got tons of compliments, wear that! A date is a time to be your best self, so no matter what, let your personality shine through your outfit. Are you a music lover? Throw on your favorite band tee. Graphics and shirts with phrases can be great conversation starters.

Don’t max out your credit card

We actually recommend spending as little as possible while preparing for your date. Don’t buy a new outfit. Don’t run out and get a super expensive deep conditioning treatment or professional blow dry. On the off chance the date doesn’t work out, you’ll have spent a heap of money with nothing to show for it. You want him to like you for who you really are, and if the date goes well and you decide to see each other again, you wouldn’t want to keep up this façade when it’s not really you.

Read the news

There’s nothing worse than showing up for a date with the cutie you’ve been flirting with on Tinder and finding you have absolutely nothing to say to each other. You had loads to talk about through text, but in person conversation is peppered with awkward silences. What went wrong? Well, you’ve been a victim of the cyber buffer, which takes away the expectation of an immediate response and gives you time to curate the perfect witty retort to your crushes banter. To avoid this situation, take a minute to check your news source of choice before your date picks you up. Most everyone has something to say about current events, so if you’re stuck in a conversation hole, the news will give you some ideas to liven up the conversation. Caution: not everyone wants to discuss heavy topics like politics and religion on a first date. Make sure your conversation point isn’t going to make your date feel uncomfortable or worse, start a fight. Celebrity gossip, viral stories, or even new scientific discoveries are pretty innocuous yet fun things to talk about!

So now you are set, knock ‘em dead!

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