Paint it Pink, Paint it Black: Prepping for Valentine’s Date Night

Published in: Fragrance, Makeup, Nails, Product Reviews, Skin Care, Spas

Ah, the pre-date ritual… It’s one of the many perks of being in love on Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re on the low- or high-maintenance end of the beauty spectrum, the drill usually goes a lil’ something like this:

  1. Crank up the music (a soundtrack helps when you’re getting sexified, yo)
  2. Wash
  3. Contemplate wearing your naughty or nice knickers
  4. Do your makeup and hair
  5. Pick your wardrobe (don’t forget the shoes!)



In a perfect world, I’d always have at least four leisurely hours to beautify myself for my Valentine’s date with El Hub, but with work and life the odds of having a solid block of four hours for anything are slim to none.

Still, a girl can dream, and if I had a world of time to prep for date night, this is how it would go:

Paint it Pink, Vol. 2…

  1. Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Grapefruit ($13.50). First priority: getting the lips primed for a mega-makeout session. I’d definitely prepare early in the day to get my pucker in makeout-ready shape with a layer of Clinique’s Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss. It’s a pretty, light pink shade with lots of shine. Plus, it moisturizes the beejebus out of my dry lips and gets them soft and ready for lovin’.
  2. Essie nail polish in Hard to Get ($8). This creamy pink polish is my favorite color from Essie’s spring line. It’s bubble-gum without being too Barbie — perfect for both finger and toes. Of course, in my fantasy I’m getting my nails done in a chair at San Francisco’s Bliss Spa. See, at Bliss they feed you brownies while you’re pampered. Yup.
  3. Philosophy Amazing Grace Perfumed Shampoo, Bath & Shower Gel ($22). Nothing is better than a long, indulgent bubble bath before (or during) a romantic date. With its light, floral scent, Amazing Grace Bath & Shower Gel relaxes me like no other and really gets me into a romantic state of mind. Bubble production is off the chart, and the suds have staying power, too. It leaves my skin feeling silky and soft, every time.
  4. Borghese Fango Brillants Brightening Mud ($59.60). I like to wear a face mask when I do the bubble thing to turn the relaxometer up another notch and make my face extra glowy. Lately I’ve been digging Fango’s Brilliants Brightening Mud. Made from Italian mud (or so they say) and rich in Vitamin A, minerals and citrus peel, this seriously pink mask o’ mud removes dead skin cells, and gently smooths and refines skin. Note: the jar is absolutely ginormous!

    I apply a thick layer to a clean face, wait ten minutes for it to dry and then wash it off. You can also use it on your body, too. Imagine covering yourself in bright pink mud, ha!
  5. Victoria’s Secret Beauty Ooh la la Shimmering Fragrance Mist ($22). My fave sexy scent is Chanel Mademoiselle, but I realize that floral oriental perfumes aren’t for everyone.

    For ladies who love lighter scents, one delicious option is Ooh la la Shimmering Fragrance Mist. It’s a very feminine mix of cherry blossom, vanilla and mandarin. If you like Victoria’s Secret Heavenly perfume, then I think you’ll dig this, too.

    While the product looks like disco inferno trapped in a bottle, it isn’t overly glittery on skin. I would definitely apply it before dressing, though, and not after (learn from my mistake!), to avoid the all-too-frequent glitter mishap.
  6. Hillary Duff Wrapped with Love ($38). Every time I look at this bottle I think of Hillary Duff’s song, Come Clean (also the Laguna Beach theme song). “Let the rain fall down, and wake my dreams…” LOLOL. Anyway, I’ll fess up to being a Laguna Beach fan (Seasons 1 and 2, holla), but I am certainly NOT a Hillary Duff fan. That said, I gotta give the girl and her marketing people props for this fruity-floral perfume, and it’s even guy friendly. According to an informal poll of a handful of random guy friends, it was liked by 4 out of 5 of them.

    Wrapped with Love is Hillary’s second fragrance; it’s a playful, lighter, version of With Love, her first perfume. It’s not as spicy or heavy as its older sibling, with notes of honeydew, blood orange, and raspberry mixed in with white florals and musk.

    At first I was afraid… I was petrified (sing it, Gloria Gaynor!) it would smell too pre-teen, but the scent is surprisingly sophisticated, fun and sexy — definitely not as heavy as my fave, Coco Mademoiselle. If you prefer lighter, fruit-themed fragrances, you might want to check it out.

This morning I’ve been listening non-stop to this wonderful tune by Sara Bareilles called Love Song. Have you heard it? It’s one of those songs where I wish I wrote the lyrics — a wish usually reserved only for certain Beatles masterpieces like Blackbird and Here Comes the Sun.

Anyway, I’m glad we got through Monday together. To reward myself I’m going to drink another cup of coffee (WHEEE!) and peruse some shoes on I really should get some practical work shoes that keep my feet warm and dry, but the siren call of impractical (but sexy) strappy high heels cannot be ignored.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 48 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Stephanie says:

    Hi Karen,

    I have a question that’s not related to this entry…

    Remember the Shu Glow-on Blushes you used a few entries ago? I got a similar from the Lancome discount store today. It’s called Glow-On Marble in Sierra. It’s basically the same size as the normal blush, but cut in half and one side is brown and the other is gold. But both look pearlized, so it’s not matte.

    do you know anything about this blush? I’d love to recreat the flushed and tanned look you had…

  2. Vanessa says:

    Ooh! I wanna get all that stuff just because it’s pink! I love pink! πŸ™‚

  3. Karen says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    You said the magic word — discount :). I’ve never heard of that blush but it sounds very pretty. The blush that I used was a warm matte brown. I just took a look at Lancome site and I’m guessing the equivalent is Russet:

    Raizin from MAC might be another option, if you don’t have access to Shu.

    I’ve never tried Lancome blushes so let me know if it’s worth investigating more into. I’m still going through a mega Shu phase right now, but it might be derailed by my endless NARS lemmings!

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Miss Vanessa,

    Is pink your favorite color?!?! It’s one of my favorites, too. It really depends on the day, though. Sometimes it’s blue, sometimes it’s green…but mostly it’s pink πŸ™‚

  5. Breezy says:

    Hey Karen, I’m with Vanessa, although I don’t celebrate Valentines cuz of my religion, I love all the pink girly heart crap that they put out around this time. I mean I’m sure it would be silly to get all that stuff but I just love it. I mean when else can you find a mini fondue set for 2 in the shape of a heart with a tiny candle warming it? And for $10 bucks!!

    Anyway I have a question Karen, does the clinique gloss have a strong scent? I bought a really pretty gloss from Lancome but I can NOT stand the scent, smells like some weird kind of plastic or something, I dunno so just wondering thanks!!

  6. Karen,

    I’m sorry for posting this type of comment here…but I sent you an email today and I’m not sure it you got it. I’m looking to take your expertise in all this MAC Cosmetics to the next level.

    I hope you did receive it.


  7. Kelly says:

    Oh, I’ve been loving that song lately too as I hear it a lot during the day at work…. though it’s better in an environment where you can sing loudly without any bystanders. πŸ˜‰

  8. TUPRNUT says:

    Loving this song and I’m totally in love with #1 on your list – Clinique’s Superbalm. This stuff feels great on my chapped Midwest lips.

    I’ve been MIA for a couple days and feel out of the loop from the beauty blog world. Hope all is well for you, Karen!

  9. Megan says:

    Ooh Karen!!! I love the amazing grace gel. I use it for bubble baths too. πŸ™‚

  10. Apple Diva says:

    OMG, I love Sara B. I got her album over the summer. I am kinda bummed because she was opening for Maroon 5 (I love them too) and I missed them. I did a post about her and Ms. Caillat in September 2007.

    GET THE CD….Really good, great long drive album!!!

  11. Karen says:

    Heya Breezy,

    I like all that pink girly heart crap too. I have a lot of heart shaped/pink kitchen things acquired over the years. I think I’ll bust out the heart shaped cookie cutters this weekend. πŸ™‚

    Regarding the Clinique gloss, it doesn’t have a scent or taste, which I really like. If you don’t like smelly glosses then stay far, far away from the Sally Hansen ones. They are great but really overwhelming. Anyway, give the superbalm a go. It’s very moisturizing.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Miss Gisele,

    I got it. I get a lot of e-mails (thanks guys…I love hearing from you) so I have to claw my way out the pile. Will e-mail you tomorrow, lady. πŸ™‚

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Kelly,

    So true. I was alone in the office at work today and I was cranking it. I have to confess…I might have to sing it in karaoke one day!

  14. Karen says:

    TUPRNUT! I missed you! Sometimes you gotta go MIA — I know how it is. Anyway, this is my very first Superbalm gloss. What other colors do you recommend?

    Things on this end have been good. πŸ™‚ I went to dance class for the first time in a month in a half on Monday and that’s been my highlight of the week so far. Other than that, same-o, same-o. I’m already planning my weekend, hah!

    How’s your lil’ one doing?

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    It smells sooooo good. Do you have the perfume?

  16. Karen says:

    Hi AppleDiva,

    Okay, I think we have very similar tastes in music because I like Coby and Maroon 5 too (although I want to force feed the lead singer some fried food…why is he skinnier than I am, hello). Off to cruise iTunes…

    Hope your week has been well!

  17. Glosslizard says:

    Hi Karen!

    I might have to take a sniff of that Ooh La La! I luuuurve Coco Mademoiselle, but I smell floral oriental and I think “Ooh, sophisticated, yet feminine!” My beloved says, “Floral oriental, that’s what old ladies like to wear.” In deference to him on Valentine’s Day, perhaps I will try to wear something he finds a bit more toothsome! πŸ™‚

    I should add that on a day-to-day basis he says, “Wear what you want, your perfume is for you, not me!” So I really can’t complain!

    Hee hee! I’m lovin’ the pink cyber-wig on Kitty-face!

  18. tricia says:

    i am so loving hillary new perfume

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Ooh La La is a lot of fun! Don’t worry about the glitter, it won’t be too disco, I promise. What is it with dudes and Coco M? El Hub thinks that Coco is old lady too. His code phrase is, “It smells perfume-y!” which translates to “I don’t like it.” He barely has a sense of smell though (his nose was broken a buncha times in martial arts) so I don’t really trust his judgement when it comes to fine perfumes, ha!

    Anyway, do you guys have plans for Valentine’s day yet?

    Oh yeah! The other day I saw my neighbor’s tabby and I plotted various ways to put a wig on him…I have a feeling he won’t be down with going the drag kitty route, though. πŸ™‚

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Tricia,

    It’s GOOD, isn’t it? I was well, kinda shocked.

    I swear every time I look at the bottle I can’t help but think of that Laguna Beach song. It’s like an involuntry response that I can’t control. “It’s perrrrfect…”

  21. Megan says:

    No just the shampoo/shower gel…but i love when i use it…because it smells great. I’ll have to check that out.

  22. Karen says:

    It smells *exactly* like the shower/bath gel. You can probably find it at Sephora (maybe Ulta?).

    Oh! I’ve been meaning to tell you – I finally got my hands on a tube of Lash Blast. I’m going to put it in the fridge to see if it makes a difference in the performance!

  23. Mrs. Lynne says:

    Guess you had to have a wig for you cat, huh? Lol.

    And giiirrl, I’d love 4 hours to myself ANY DAY!! Not just prep for V-Day, lol. But I’m feeling really pinky lately. It’s cheerful somehow.

    I don’t know if I like Hilary Duff or not (although I do have that CD of hers) but I just like catchy songs no matter who they’re by. I even like Hannah Montana, just not the Disney acting.

    Anyways, halfway there! Yay. Finally, lol.

  24. Megan says:

    Ah… so did you try it a room temperature and weren’t impressed? Yeah I grab it from time to time, but it’s not my favorite. I just love dramatic lashes…so it’s not quite there for me. I swear I read an article about lash transplants…where they take head hair and transplant it to the lashline…just like hair transplants. The only thing is that it still grows like head hair…so you have to trim it…and then also you have to curl it since it may or may not curl like your lashes depending on your hair texture. I guess I could go get lash extensions… LOL i just think it’s too expensive and too much maintenance. Seriously my family already thinks I have a problem. My mom recently accused me of surreptitiously going to cosmetology school. I think they might try to have me committed for that. πŸ™‚

  25. Apple Diva says:

    Oh he is cayute!! He also needs some cornbread. LOL!!!

  26. Glosslizard says:

    That’s funny! That’s exactly what my husband says too, “It’s too perfume-y!”

    Valentine’s Day is our annual in-house date! The boys go off to the grandparents’ for the evening and have the house to ourselves! We get take-out from Gregoire’s (fabulous, high-end French take-out in Berkeley), drink wine and watch movies that we won’t watch in front of the kids… no no, nothing like that, just stuff that’s too violent or intense πŸ˜‰ This year we’re finally going to watch Fight Club!

    I am totally cracking up imagining your neighbors calling their cat in and having him show up in a wig! That would be too funny! πŸ˜€

  27. TUPRNUT says:

    Hey Karen.. right not I have Current and love it – it just adds a bit of color and goes with everything. I’ve heard good things about Rootbeer, which is next on my list. And I can’t wait to try Grapefruit, it looks so bright and refreshing.

    My little one is doing well… I’m in the LA area right now visiting my sis and new little niece. My daughter stayed back home with Daddy. So, I’m missing her in a big way right now πŸ™ But it’s good for them to have Daddy-Daughter time!

  28. LaurenIvy says:


    Vicky S’s Heavenly is my fave, so I definitely want to try that “ooh la la.” V-Day is my chance to be all girly so I’m excited-even though my date will be my 3 girlfriends and our signature mixed drink, “Pink Panties” πŸ™‚

    By the way, my roommate and I blast “Love Song” like, every morning, LOL!

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Mrs. Lynne,

    I hear ya! I’ve been to a Britney concert for gawd’s sake, so I’m definitely not a music snob when it comes to catchy music. πŸ™‚

    You got me with the Hannah Montana, though! I’ve heard of her but have no idea who she really is. I do know that people were going crazy for her concert tickets in the Bay Area a few months ago!

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Tuprnut,

    I have been wearing Grapefruit non-stop for about three days! I can’t wait to get Currant!

    Congrats to your family on your new niece! I love all babies, but I think girls are extra fun because you can put them in cute outfits with accessories. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, hope you’re having fun on your trip!

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Lauren Ivy,

    How fun! Dates with the girls are the best. Most of my friends are paired up now, or live far from me, so I miss having those girly dates. Hmmm, I think may have had your signature drink before. That’s gin and pink lemonade right?

  32. Mrs. Lynne says:

    I went to a Britney concert too at the San Jose Convention Center. I really liked her until she decided to go “dumb decision-making”. But I still can’t help but what to know all the gossip going on, lol.

  33. Karen says:

    I saw her when she went to Oakland. Was that the show where she did Slave for You? I gotta say, the girl can’t sing worth a damn but back in the day she could DANCE. There was amazing choreography in that tour.

    Did you hear Brit was snatched up for an intervention via an elaborate plan orchestrated by Mama Lynne Spears today?

  34. Mrs. Lynne says:

    Ooh, I missed that! I’ve been watching Pixar’s Cars ALL DAY LONG! Lol. Something seriously is not screwed in correctly up there. Good jeez, she’s speaking in the British accent! Coo-coo…

  35. Karen says:

    Yeah, I think she needs some help. I hope she is able to get it, soon.

    Do you guys have Cars on repeat or something? Sometimes I watch snippets of kids shows and I swear they make me feel like I’m tripping. I saw a few minutes of “Yo Gabba Gabba” on Nick Jr. (don’t ask) and I felt like my brain was melting.

  36. Mrs. Lynne says:

    Cars is the ONLY movie that big boy LOVES!! It’s Mack this, Mack that.. I was like hey! I like MAC too!! πŸ˜‰

    And you’ll probably laugh, but I actually like Yo Gabba Gabba. I always make sure we have breakfast done with by 9:30 so we can watch it, lol. It’s weirdly addicting to me, I don’t know. Must be the robot noises or something.

  37. Karen says:

    I *love* Yo Gabba Gabba! That guy cracks me up. Okay, I have no excuse to be watching this show because I have no kids (does a husband count?) but hey, it’s fun. πŸ™‚

  38. Mrs. Lynne says:

    I love all the characters and I’m so drawn to DJ Lance’s overly expressive enthusiasm, hah. “It’s time for…. Funny faces”. Speaking of which, I was looking at the clock earlier and telling myself, I mean Big Boy (lol), that Yo Gabba Gabba was going to be on and completely got distracted and missed it. Agh, I’m sad now, lol!

    I actually have 3 kids. I’m just married to one of them, hah.

  39. Karen says:

    I love DJ Lance. He wears the best outfits…

    There was one episode with Elijah Wood that was a little weird, did you see it? I saw bits of it on Youtube a few months ago.

  40. Mrs. Lynne says:

    I think DJ Lance only has one outfit, lol! I really like his orange hat though. And it always has me cracking up when he spreads his arms out at the last “yo” of the song.

    I’m actually watching it right now. Brobee almost got ran over by Plex driving the car, lol!!!! I did see the one with Elijah Wood! It’s been on at least once a week or so I think. That was weird with his “dancy dance”. Did you see the one with Maya? I haven’t seen that girl in forever!

    Have you seen this one? It’s the “Party In My Tummy” one. I was singing this in the car and Hubbo thought I was nuts.

  41. Karen says:

    That orange outfit is very fetching, I agree.

    OH no I didn’t know Maya was on there! That’s probably the biggest thing she’s done since “My Love is Like Whoa,” LOLOL.

  42. Mrs. Lynne says:

    She has definitely been MIA, hah.

  43. Karen says:

    I was never crazy about her singing voice. I do remember some of her songs being catchy though. Maya is so 1998 for me. (Yikes, was that 10 years ago?!?!)

  44. Carla says:

    Hey make up big fan no.1 hehehehe do you realy use all of that stuff? wow wish I could have all that make up. with love xxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge