Every single woman likely has a first date ritual in her repertoire.
For many women, it probably includes dusting off the tried and true LBD, finding the classic pair of pumps that would never be worn out to a bar on Friday, and maybe even mixing a drink to take the edge off before the new date arrives at the door.
And judging by the amount of beauty tutorials gearing for first date scenarios in fashion magazines, I’m certain that many women also have a makeup routine that is seemingly religiously practiced before opening the door to greet the guy on the other side.
But while makeup might appear to enhance and elevate, hopefully more women will consider baring it all on their first date.
I don’t mean to be in the business of shaming women into doing one thing or another. But there are too many women who rely on makeup as a crutch, without ever considering that foundation and concealer doesn’t need to be present for a person to feel beautiful.
If women truly “put their face on” to please themselves, then I’m all for it. But I’d still suggest going on at least one blind date where your face is as blank a slate as your history with the individual sitting across from you.
Why? There are many reasons we can point to for braving a face free of makeup on a first date.
Women Have To Learn Confidence Without It
Ask yourself if you really feel better and more beautiful with makeup on, or if you’ve simply been conditioned to carry yourself with a little more confidence when relying on cosmetic help.
According to Harvard University researcher and author of “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty” Nancy Etcoff, makeup causes a “transient boost of self esteem” instead of creating longer-lasting confidence.
So if women can’t find ways to accept themselves sans any cosmetic assistance, they definitely shouldn’t be looking for a new relationship. The old adage, “You have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else,” certainly holds true.
If All Goes Well, You’ll Know He’s Interested In More Than A Made-Up Face
A recent study determined that moderate amounts of cosmetics can boost a woman’s attractiveness — increasing outside perceptions of her likability, trustworthiness and competence.
While this might seem to serve as a surefire reason why women must wear makeup on a first date, knowing this should actually make you inclined to make the opposite move.
Instead of knowing whether this guy was interested in you for your witty conversation, you should question whether he was just preoccupied about showing off his super hot new girlfriend to all his guy friends.
It Allows You To Call The Shots
The guy asked you out and now he wants to treat you to his favorite place? And who said chivalry was dead?
If you’re like the many women who prefer dudes to be in the driver’s seat (for the first date at least — this isn’t the fucking 1950s), then your makeup (or lack thereof) is one way you can reclaim the date to make the evening be about what you want.
You don’t want to spend 45 minutes in front of the mirror fretting over what a guy you haven’t met yet will think, and you certainly don’t want a deep red lip to set some sort of a precedent that just because he’s already made it clear that he’s paying, you have to look like you’re doing something particularly special.
You’re simply going out with a guy who is going to realize how lucky he is in your company; there's no need to add anything else to what already seems like a sweet deal for him.
Writer Akilah S. Richards said wearing makeup can veer from “mere adornment” to “obligation.” Don’t put yourself in a position where you feel like there’s a “look” you must maintain; be yourself, and he’ll be happy for that. And if he isn’t, well, then it’s a good thing you didn’t waste a single swipe of your $24 bottle of liquid eyeliner on him.
It’s the Great Un-Equalizer
It’s easy to see how men have it easy: They have higher paychecks than women, more job mobility and, oh yeah, no company is trying to co-opt their hard-earned (and paid for) employee health insurance packages as a platform for making all others abide by their scientifically-inaccurate religious beliefs on contraception.
But perhaps this divide is even more observed in the subtle day-to-day: While it’s an expectation for women to wear makeup to appear professional, put together and pretty (on a first date or otherwise), most men get by with running a comb through the hair and making their facial hair clean cut enough to look intentional.
If women don’t expect guys to amp up their appearance for a first date, why should we waste our time fretting over whether the man will appreciate our cat-eye eyeliner or not?
Be barefaced... because you know he will be.
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