date night

Getting ready in the morning and gussying up for a night out are my most favorite ways to relax and center myself. I love to warm up a cup of coffee or pour a glass of wine and sit down at my vanity to apply my makeup, usually to the sound of familiar tunes. There’s just something about the therapeutic massage of a luxurious moisturizer and the gentle coaxing of each eyelash into position with mascara that completely mesmerizes my senses and takes my mind off of my regular stresses. It’s a restorative way for me to start my day or prepare for a night of intense entertaining.

So when C surprised me this past wekend with a staycation at a hotel near Central Park, my first thought was not of the delectable cuisine we would surely try, or the extravagant sheets we would cuddle beaneath, but the king-sized hotel bathroom that awaited me. Its wide marble counter tops, flushed with the perfect overhead glow, the spotless bathtub was anticipating my arrival.

He suggested we both take backpacks to the hotel since we would be taking public transportation to our destination, but I knew that better than to squeeze my spread of makeup and skincare encouragement into the front zipper pouch of a Jansport. C likened my filled-to-the-brim-duffel to a child who won’t leave the house without his entire collection of Legos. What can I say, a girl needs her Legos.

I set out each tool, cream, bottle and compact neatly on the counter and excitedly began my transformation. I even bought fake eyelashes to try for the occasion. (spoiler: they were so much fun and looked pretty good if I do say so myself). I took close to two hours soaking in the tub, applying masks, moisturizer, makeup, sprays, every superfluous step carefully executed. All the while C watched the coveted cable in the room over, every so often commenting on my slow progress.

The evening climaxed with wine and cheese and pasta at an amazing Mediterranean restaurant the concierge promised was only filled with locals. I checked my makeup a few times in the bathroom and documented my face in the dim lighting with a commemorative selfie. After stumbling back to the hotel, I less than methodically attempted to clear away the work I had so painstakingly applied and collapsed into bed; my belly full of good food and my heart filled with good company.

I’ve never tried my hand at beauty blogging, but here’s a rundown of what I use when I want to go over the top with my getting-ready routine. These products have all been in my lineup for months except for the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder which was kindly gifted to me by Influenster. I however, fell completely in love with this no fuss powder that kept my makeup in place and oil free all night.

Maybelline Cushion Foundation This is actually the best full-coverage, lightweight foundation.YSL Touche Eclat for under the eyes

Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon Blush and highlighter (this is hands down my favorite drugstore brand. These were both $5)

Laura Mercier baked radiance bronzer

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

L’oreal Carbon Black Mascara

Tarte Tartelette palette (literally contains every color you need for a complete eye look)

Mac Fix Plus setting spray

Glossier Balm Dot Com in Cherry

YSL Touche Eclat