Beauty Queen

The golden rule of Valentine's date make-up is never to wear so much that if it rubs off while the date is in progress – be that at midnight, or 10 o'clock next morning – you look unrecognisable. Even better, is if, like the most passionate of attractions, it doesn't wear off at all.

A romantic take on the natural look (to match the feminine pastels on the catwalks) is a subtler mode of seduction than smoky eyes or red lips – both date clichés that are also unlikely to last the evening without smearing and smudging. Look to Chloé and Stella McCartney who used cotton wool pinks on lips and cheeks for inspiration. Bobbi Brown's Blushed Pink collection is suitably swoonsome, and her new Make-up Manual ( features several looks that are perfect for dates. The bridal one is particularly appealing, but, obviously, don't tell your date that's what inspired you because if he isn't simply disinterested in the minutiae of your maquillage, then he will be downright terrified.

It helps to start with a fresh complexion. The Elemis Visible Brilliance facial, available at the incredibly sleek Intercontinental Hotel spa, really will leave your skin looking plump, even toned and radiant, so that you will only need a light foundation such as Mac's new Studio Sculpt worn with Chantecaille's Protected Paradise illuminating face powder, the proceeds from which go towards marine conservation. To make the base stay fresh, use blotting sheets rather than reapplying powder all evening. Longlasting lipstick and (cue shiver of horror) lipcoat, are best left in the Nineties. Instead, opt for a stain that will withstand passionate clinches – such as Stila's in Cherry Crush.

For eyelashes, Prescriptives Lash Builder is a mascara undercoat which makes lashes longer and thicker – all the better for fluttering at your date – and prevents smudging. For a near indelible rosy glow, try Benefit's new Posie Tint, a softer version of their cult Benetint. Just don't overdo it – heavy blusher plus champagne-induced flush is not a good Valentine's look.