Remember Valentine’s Day last year? It seems simultaneously 100 years and two days ago. But crazy as it sounds, it’s almost here again—and with it, some sweet, romantic makeup inspiration. Whether you’re chilling with your roommates, taking to Zoom, or actually going on a date, themed makeup is always cute. And when it’s the theme of love, well, that’s all the cuter.
You want to start with skin that looks hydrated but fairly matte. A lightweight lotion like the Mario Badescu Oil-Free Moisturizer is ideal for skin prep. Follow with a light-coverage foundation that isn’t packed with glow, like the Origins Pretty in “Bloom.” Apply with fingers for a natural look that will allow any freckles to shine through.
This look is very pretty and girly, so beefing up brows can help add a little more edge and structure to the look. The Glossier Boy Brow is still one of my favorites for a fluffy yet full look. You can opt for a slightly darker shade for more drama, and apply one coat in the opposite direction first to get more volume.
For the eyes, you want a sheer wash of a matte pink shade. Many pink eyeshadows are too bold for this watercolor effect, so I suggest opting for a blush instead. Take a large fluffy eyeshadow brush and swirl it in the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in “Love is the Drug,” focusing primarily on the hot pink middle section. Sweep the color all across your eyelids, blending it upward into the crease in small circular motions for a seamless finish.
A similar tone on the cheeks will help compliment your “eyeshadow”—but something with a slightly sheerer, glowier finish will be more flattering. I suggest the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in “Ethereal Glow,” which combines a cool, rosy pink tone with a subtle champagne highlight. The Hourglass Ambient Light Infinity Powder is also stunning for setting your base while adding a soft-focus finish.
Finally, for the lips, you want a matte red that looks slightly more natural than a conventional lipstick. For this, there’s nothing better than the Ohii Lip Smudge in “Cerise,” which gives a red wash while still looking soft, natural, and (most importantly) kissable.
Finish this look by slicking back your hair into a neat, low bun. The slightly severe vibe of the hair will offset the potentially sickly sweetness of the makeup perfectly.
For a slightly more fun Valentine’s look, subtle glitter lids are where it’s at. The skin look is fairly similar here—matte yet natural—so you can begin your look the same way. The brows are a little more subtle and groomed, though, so filling in with a pencil (the It Cosmetics Brows Power is amazing) then setting with a clear mascara or brow gel offers a similar look.
For the eyelids, a sheer wash of metallic glitter is both fun and elegant. Lemonhead offers the best glitters on the market, IMO, and the Spacepast in “Gildebeest” applied with a finger will give you similar sparkles. Add a hint of brown kohl eyeliner like the NYX Slide On Eyeliner in “Brown Perfection” on the outer portion of your upper lashline, blending slightly for a smoky finish. A lengthening mascara like the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes will add some flirty flutter to the look.
Lips and cheeks should have a similar hot pink tone. The Milk Makeup Lip+Cheek in “Swish” is a perfect blush option, as it leaves cheeks looking juicy and natural without adding any sparkle or shine. Lips are an adorable popsicle-stained vibe, which the Glossier Generation G Lipstick in “Crush” is perfect for.
My final recommendations for your Valentine’s Day look are fragrance. There’s just something inherently romantic about floral scents, and, to me, rose is the true perfume note of February 14th. Buly 1803’s Eau Triple Damask Rose is the most straightforwardly rosy option on the market, and truly mouthwatering, but the L’Occitane Musc Rose adds a hint of leathery darkness to the soft and sweet floral notes. And if you like floral but aren’t such a roseaholic, the Tom Daxon Crushing Bloom offers all the notes of a bouquet—which is, in itself, pretty Valentine-y, right?