In case you’re new here: I’m recently single. I ended an eight-year relationship and, after wallowing in self-pity for a few months, have finally started putting myself back out in the dating world for the first time since I was 24. So far, I’ve learned that hickeys are still very much a thing (and which concealers work best to cover them) and that not all beauty products are what I would consider “date-proof.”
Through lots of trial and error, I’ve compiled a list of the items that have gotten me through first-date drinks, third-date hikes, and even hot and steamy makeout sessions. Keep reading to check out all the picks you’ll want to add to your makeup bag ASAP.
Best Date-Proof Deodorants
I switched to natural deodorant last year, and the process was pretty . . . sticky. I smelled fairly terrible for two months while trying to find a product that actually worked. After doing an armpit detox and testing what felt like every single natural deodorant on the market, I found two that were good enough to land a permanent spot in my medicine cabinet. If you’ve tested any Sol de Janeiro products, you probably know they smell good enough to eat, and the Sol de Janeiro Rio Deo Aluminum-Free Deodorant ($16) is no exception. The scent is long-lasting, and someone may or may not have recently licked my armpit last week while I was wearing it. (So I guess literally good enough to eat.)
I switch between Sol de Janeiro and the Nez Minis ($20 for three). Their Date Ready smoky blend is my favorite scent, and I love that they’re made with charcoal, which means zero white streaks on my entirely black wardrobe. One of these babies comes with me everywhere I go because they’re tiny enough to fit into any bag, even my micro purses. Even though they’re small, they pack a big punch — I never find myself needing to reapply, but they’re handy to have for spur-of-the-moment sleepovers.
Best Date-Proof Mascara
Back when I was in a relationship, I never found myself wearing mascara (or much makeup in general). Now that I’m single, I feel like I wear it every single day — and finding one that doesn’t clump, have fallout, or smudge has been harder than I thought. There’s nothing worse than exiting a heavy makeout session with someone only to glance in the mirror and see black rings and flakes of mascara underneath your eyes. Luckily, I found the GXVE Beauty Can’t Stop Staring Mascara ($20). This product stays in place even through the steamiest of hookups, but it also comes off easily with just a little cleansing balm and face wash at the end of the day — no intense scrubbing required.
Best Date-Proof Lip Products
One of the most common dates I get asked on is out to drinks, which is fun for me but not for my lip products. I like my lips to look juicy and hydrated at all times, but finding liners and glosses that last through a few hours of talking and two cocktails isn’t always easy. However, after sucking on countless straws (and a few faces), I finally found a few that last. The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner ($25) is a classic, and you really can’t go wrong with the shade Pillow Talk, which is my favorite. I like to use that or the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Liner ($18) in Muted Mauve, then top everything off with the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer ($40) in pink. This winning combo recently lasted me through an entire ice-cream date (and yes, I also ate the cone).
Best Date-Proof Hairspray
When I’m having a bad hair day, I’m usually having a bad day overall. I like when it looks bouncy, full, and voluminous whenever I go on dates, and while it typically starts out that way, it doesn’t always end that way — especially if I’m not using the right products. I stopped using hairspray in favor of texturizing spray a few years ago because I didn’t like how it left my hair feeling crunchy and stiff, but I recently started using a new product that changed the game for me. The Unite Boosta Finishing Hairspray ($32) smells amazing, doesn’t leave my hair too stiff, and actually keeps my waves, curls, or blowout in place all night long. Plus, it smells amazing, which is key when going on dates.
Best Date-Proof Setting Spray
It took me years to learn that my makeup is nothing without a good setting spray. I’ve tested hundreds, and I’ve learned that not all are created equal. I like a product that doesn’t leave my face feeling sticky but keeps my makeup looking fresh, and the Caliray Surf Proof Hydrating Setting Spray ($35) gets the job done every single time.
No matter what foundation and concealer I wear, this setting spray always keeps everything in place for hours. I typically spritz it then press everything in using a damp beauty sponge. It’s made with niacinamide, which is great for hydrating my skin, and the light coconut scent leaves my face smelling amazing — an extra perk just in case anyone is getting up close and personal (which I hope they are).
Best Date-Proof Fragrances
Yes, my deodorant keeps me from smelling bad, but when it comes to actively smelling good, I rely on a few fragrances to garner compliments. I’ve been in love with the Byredo Bibliotheque ($200) perfume ever since I first smelled it, and it’s such an interesting, powerful leathery scent that I always get questions about it. It has top notes of plum and cinnamon as well as base notes of vanilla. It’s one of the most long-lasting fragrances I’ve ever tested, and I always know it will last me through an entire night without needing any additional spritzes.
I was also recently introduced to the fragrance By Far Daydream of Someone I Knew ($250), and the compliments have not stopped since I started wearing it. It has notes of earl grey and jasmine, and it is light but smells strong without being too overpowering. I went on two dates wearing the scent, and not only did it last through the entire night, but I legitimately caught one of my dates actively sniffing me.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Renee Rodriguez