We turned to beauty editor Lauren from Dearheart Beauty for some tips on preparing for your Valentine’s Day date night.
No paint looks beautiful on a rough, dirty canvas so before you reach for your make-up bag, get off to a smooth start. Regular exfoliation is the key to softer, more radiant skin but if you’re trying to look the part in a matter of minutes you’ll want to bring out the big guns. A gentle granular or chemical exfoliator or mask such as one containing fruit acids will help to slough off tired old skin cells – the kind that sit on the surface of your skin, clog up your pores and result in a dull complexion – and make way for a smoother, more youthful appearance.
Try REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (R479) and Sensai Silky Purifying Silk Peeling Mask (R790).
Apply a radiance-boosting serum onto cleansed skin before using your regular moisturiser. Ideally, you’ll want to be diligent about using a skin brightening or illuminating serum daily over a period of several weeks to see a real difference in your skin. However, if you only have a few hours to prepare, choose a product that offers instant gratification and contains illuminating micro-particles. These will help to immediately brighten your skin and boost your radiance in seconds.
Try Vichy Idealia Life Serum (R475) and Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Advanced Brightening Day Serum (R595).
When you’ve only got minutes to spare, it’s time to cheat your way to a more perfect skin by tackling dark circles and imperfections the easy way. Use a light-reflecting concealer underneath the eye area to cleverly conceal dark circles. Concentrate the product on the areas where shadows are the darkest, such as the area towards the inner eye, and blend the concealer gently across using light patting motions. A few sweeps of an illuminating pen just underneath the brow bones, on the very tops of the cheek bones and along your cupid’s bow will add a delicate, natural-looking glow to your complexion.
Try Catrice Re-Touch Light Reflecting Concealer (R54.95) or Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector (R315).
Applying a good mascara is one of the quickest ways to brighten up your look and instantly open up the eye area. If you haven’t the time for any other kind of eye make-up such as complicated eyeshadow blending or tricky liquid liner, then just stick to a few coats of a gorgeous, glossy mascara. To build volume without causing clumping, allow the first coat to dry for around 10 seconds before sweeping on a second or even third if you’re really looking to wow. For balmy evenings when you know you’ll be dancing the night away, opt for either a waterproof formula or just skip bottom lash application altogether to avoid smudging.
Try Maybelline Illegal Length Fibre Extension Mascara (R99.95) and Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara (R350).
Multi-tasking beauty buys are a busy woman’s best friend and one of the best things about a good cream blusher is that you can use it to add a touch of colour to your lips too. Use your fingertips to apply cream blush to your lips by dabbing it on gently, concentrating on the centre of the bottom lip and blending outwards. Press your lips together carefully to spread the product and add a touch more to your top lip if necessary – you want to create a soft, natural application with no harsh lines or definition. Use the remaining product on your fingertips to blend onto the apples of your cheeks for a natural flush of colour that perfectly matches your lips.
Try Essence Blush Stick in Miss Peachy (R36.95) and Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Intonation (R440).
Top three scents to hint for this Valentine’s Day
Swarovski Miss Aura EDT (R595 for 50ml, available 10 Feb);
Lacoste Eau de Lacoste Sensuelle EDT (R720 for 50ml, available 10 Feb);
Michael Kors Glam Jasmine EDP (R795 for 50ml).