top view of makeup cosmetics set

Makeup on the First Date: To Glam or Not to Glam?

To Glam or Not to Glam? Makeup has existed since the ancient days, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the 19th and 20th centuries. I mean, look at some of these examples below.

Makeup_papyrus with elements of egyptian ancient history

  • 6000 BCE
    Egyptian descendants wore makeup to honor the Gods. Makeup was next to Godliness, so Egyptian men and women wore it.
  • 1300
    In Elizabethan England, women wear egg whites over their faces to create the appearance of a paler complexion. I’m envisioning cooked egg whites on women’s faces from heat.
  • 1500- 1600
    You know, back in the day, lots of European women tried different tricks to lighten their skin. Some even used white lead paint! Wild right? Queen Elizabeth I of England was one of those who tried it and created what they called “the Mask of Youth.”
  • 1800
    Zinc oxide came to the rescue and became a popular facial powder. It replaced those old deadly mixes of lead and copper that people used to put on their faces. One of those mixes, Ceruse, was made from white lead, but guess what? It turned out to be toxic and caused various health issues, like facial tremors, muscle paralysis, and even death. “ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
  • 1900
    So, back in the Edwardian era, there was this growing pressure on middle-aged women to look young and vibrant, especially when they played hostesses at events. So, you know what happened? Cosmetics started becoming more popular, but they hadn’t fully taken over the scene yet.


They were putting a lot of toxic stuff on their faces, and truly some makeup till this day, is still not the best for the skin if you look into the ingredients, but that’s not the point of this article. As we timelapse through a brief history of makeup until now, you’ll see two common themes to add a little zhuzh to the appearance and to look more youthful. Whether to be close to the Gods, show status, or be performative. Inevitably it made people feel good about themselves. 

Now that we’ve gotten through the span of the makeup linage, this question remains. Should we wear makeup on the first date? And to that, I say do what makes you feel good. This is not a debatable question because who am I to tell you how to move through this world? But I will still give you a few thoughts because this is an article. 

I’m simple when it comes to makeup. I prefer a more natural look and gravitate towards a brow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, concealer (occasionally), and lip gloss or lipstick. And this is not something I do every day, but I do for a first date and first impression. I found what works for me and what I’m comfortable with. At the very least, you should ask yourself what makeup I am comfortable doing for this date. If you need a little more assistance, I have some tips. 


  • If you want to wear makeup on your first date but don’t trust your capabilities, there are a lot of great makeup channels on Youtube that you can follow along to, so practice. Or, if it fits your budget, you can get your makeup professionally done by an MUA.
  • You can base the amount of makeup you wear or don’t wear on the experience of the date. For example, if yall about to be in this crazy hot heat everyone is having, I don’t know if you want a full face of makeup. Maybe a tinted SPF moisturizer or no makeup might be better, but you can use a setting spray on your makeup to help keep it in place. Remember, we’re all out here with different skin types, and you could look greasy by the end of it without blotting. 
  • Do what makes you feel comfortable and confident because you want to be authentic and first dates may be nerve-racking, so you don’t want to add to that by not feeling like yourself.
  • Focus on your best feature(s). This helps confidence, too by drawing more attention to features you already know is fine, like having a nice smile.
  • Makeup or no makeup, depending on who you’re going on a date with, put up the effort. For example, maybe you don’t wear makeup, then put on some chapstick, style your hair and wear something nice and befitting to the date. 


Yes, people have been glamming it up since forever, and not wearing makeup may seem like the exception but not the rule. In today’s day and age, whether you wear makeup or not comes down to your preference. You could be on that Alicia Keys (she doesn’t wear makeup anymore), that Issa Rae natural flair, or that Cardi B’s more decadent vibe. The choice is yours but set a good first impression for a worthy admirer.    

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