You have picked out an outfit and have probably thought about how you plan to style your hair or wear your makeup — but are you prepared for any last-minute beauty emergencies that could arise before a date? When it comes to your beauty look, it always pays off to be prepared in a pinch. To find out what we should all have on hand in our beauty emergency kits, we consulted a trio of experts. From blotting papers to lip liner, these items deserve a permanent place in your beauty emergency kit before a date.
Pimple Spot Treatment
Have a big blemish arise out of nowhere the night before you have a date? “Stay calm, [because] additional stress causes more acne and [can] actually disrupt healing,” advises board-certified dermatologist Sheila Farhang. If it is a cystic pimple (painful and deep in the skin), immediately apply ice to reduce the swelling then cover the blemish with a thin layer of an acne spot treatment — one that is formulated with either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide will do the job. Remember not to over-apply the spot treatment, as this can result in red, flaking skin just in time for your date.
For whiteheads or other surface-level pimples that are about to pop, Farhang recommends applying a warm compress for 10 minutes a few times a day and applying a light layer of one of the aforementioned spot treatments. Try to resist picking or popping, as “squeezing will push contents deeper, potentially causing it to be more noticeable [and] increase risk of infection, discoloration and scarring,” Farhang says. Your best plan of action is to keep your hands off altogether and cover it up as best you can before the big date.
A beauty emergency kit must: color-correcting concealer. In the case of pimples, the color you will want to use is green, “as the color green cancels the redness,” Farhang says. In terms of how to apply, professional makeup artist Dean Fournier recommends using your finger, rather than a brush, to tap on face makeup over a blemish. “Never rub or brush over it,” he says. “Tapping will build the cream over the uneven texture [and] broken skin.”
Not only will it help control excess oil and shine on the skin, but it will also help ensure that all of the concealer and foundation you carefully applied will last for as long as possible, sans smudging or smearing. Toss a setting powder with light coverage and pore-filling capabilities into your beauty emergency kit and use a firm bristled brush or a dry sponge to tap on the powder, Fournier recommends. “That extra layer of powder coverage will ensure long wear,” he says. In the case of a beauty emergency kit, find a face powder compact that comes with a sponge for easy on-the-go application (and to save space).
Before you begin to re-apply your lipstick or lip gloss in the bathroom mid-date, you will want to first reach for a lip liner in a similar shade. “For lips, never forget to line them before applying gloss or lipstick,” advises celebrity makeup artist Steve Kassajikian. Using a quality lip liner pencil will help “create the perfect base and will prevent your color from budging all night,” he says. Plus, it creates a clear and even outline for you to fill in with your lip color of choice, thus ensuring smooth edges and preventing your lip color from bleeding out onto your face.
For all of the excess shine that can’t be camouflaged with face powder, there are blotting papers — which can also be used on your neck and chest. Stash a pack of oil-absorbing blotting papers in your date night emergency beauty kit and quickly dab them onto areas that are prone to excess oil, such as the forehead and nose, as needed.
An essential for any beauty emergency, Q-tips should always be on hand — whether pre-date, post-date or right in the middle of a date. Use them to clean up any smudged eye makeup such as mascara that has run underneath your eyes or eyeshadow that is beginning to crease up. They can also be used to touch up your lip color.
For obvious reasons, you will also want to toss a pack of breath mints into your beauty emergency kit. This is an especially crucial item when heading out to dinner as garlic, red wine or too much of anything tasty can sabotage a perfect date night kiss.
Rollerball of Perfume
Say you get in an Uber on your way to the date that smells like cigarette smoke, or you find yourself a tad more nervous than usual and don’t feel as fresh as you did when you walked out of your home, a rollerball can save you the discomfort of feeling like you smell like anything less than yourself. Tuck one in your bag and roll on your pulse points before you walk into the date. Bonus points if it is a rollerball perfume oil, which tends to get absorbed into your skin better and lasts a little longer.
Sewing Kit or Safety Pins
Save yourself from a little wardrobe malfunction by keeping a basic sewing kit with safety pins in your bag. If on the way to the date your pretty chiffon skirt or blouse gets snagged or your zipper stops working, you will have the tools on hand to stitch your way out.
There is probably nothing worse than getting through dinner and then realizing you had a piece of lettuce stuck on your teeth the entire time. Play on the safe side and pack some floss — or toothpicks — and do a quick scan in the bathroom mirror before and after dinner.
We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. If you purchase a product found through our links, Sunday Edit may earn an affiliate commission.