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15 must-haves for date night

May 15, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 0 Comments

Impress your catch, rekindle your loved one’s enthusiasm, feel confident at that big grownup meeting…. Whenever I have a “big day” looming, I reach for what I call my Date Night Collection.

Whether I anticipate gazing longingly or know that I’ll need to be clear-eyed and alert, I have two eye-rescue solutions: Retrospect Flash Firm Eye Gel ($70) and Chella Anti-fatigue Eye Mask Kit ($45). Retrospect Flash Firm Eye Gel lives up to its name; firm in a flash is exactly what it does and the rollerball applicator is cooling and soothing. It is excellent at depuffing first-thing-in-the-morning eyes. The mercifully simple formula is based on keratin and lactic acid. Chella’s Anti-fatigue Eye Mask Kit is a good pick-me-up, in both senses, refreshing the eye area and bringing down puffiness. Use it to deal with problems caused by allergies or lack of sleep, or to get ready for a big event.

Pre-potion-and-lotion skin prepping is essential. First up is gently exfoliating and cleansing with a powered brush, like my new Ultra Clear ($86) or Clarisonic. Brushing (either dry or whilst cleansing) spring cleans the skin with micro-rotations (Clear has 1800 per second) whisking away dead skin cells and dirt without scrubbing. Arcona Brightening Gommage ($52) has granules that massage and gently exfoliate, as well as lightening ingredients in the form of ascorbic acid and daisy extract. As Heidi said in her review: “My skin usually appears pink and irritated following a deep cleanse. But it was only refreshed and glowing. My tone was more even and my overall complexion was no short of radiant.”

My favorite get-a-glow mask is Royal Nectar Original Face Mask with bee venom ($65), and it is an absolute must when I want to look my best. Many of us in the TIA community swear by Your Best Face Private Reserve ($75 in the shop) as a night cream alternative before the BIG DAY. As our reviewer put it, upon awakening: “It was like the Skin Goddess had reached down and brushed my face with magic dew!”

Although I don’t push Ultra Renew ($89) or Plus as a quick fix (the anti-aging results are cumulative), many of us experience an immediate plumping and firming after one of our regular sessions. Five minutes per area is all it takes.

Now let’s not forget come-hither hair. Hair Vitality Conditioner ($44 in the shop) makes my hair softer and more voluminous than any other (plus it gives healthier, stronger hair over time and reduces shedding). Don’t just take my word for it, read Terri’s review.

The other day, I was scheduled to make a presentation and had chosen a short-sleeved dress. After showering, the first thing I reached for was Arcona Pumpkin Lotion with 10% glycolic ($35). It is potent enough to give your skin a good sheen (just don’t use it after shaving your legs or you’ll be cancelling your date night; it has quite the tingle). A gentler option is to exfoliate with Red Flower's exotically scented Lemon Coffee Blossom Olive Stone Scrub ($66).

If you set off on your date with an optimistic “you never know your luck” attitude, then you should take the precaution of making sure that every inch – even those oft-neglected parts – get some attention and TLC. No, I wasn’t thinking of AQ’s VRS, but more mundanely of a quick home mani-pedi with Retrospect Hand & NailReconstructor ($36) and LATHER Eucalyptus Foaming Foot Scrub with Pumice ($18).

Finishing touches before dashing off include a smear of the appropriately named Just Kissed Lip Plumper by jane iredale ($25) and the organic, multitasking CC cream by Juice Beauty, Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream ($39). Whereas a BB cream is a primer, sunscreen, skin brightener and anti-ager all in one, a CC cream adds color correction to the multitasking list. Perfect if that lip plumper does the trick and one’s innate modesty prompts a post-kiss blush.

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