Romance is like a fire that you need to keep tending to or else it'll go out of a relationship. John and I cherish our date nights together. We have special places that we always like going back to when we’re traveling: Georges and Eddie V’s in Ja Jolla, Raouls and The Blue Ribbon Cafe in Soho, Straight Wharf Restaurant in Nantucket. Since we both love jazz, The Blue Note in NYC is a big hit with us. But since we travel so much, we love to stay in our beautiful hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts whenever possible—whether it’s watching the sunset at the Corinthian Club, enjoying whatever Chef Barry serves up at Five Corners Kitchen, or just an evening sail around the harbor in the summer. You could say that we are very serious about our dates, so when it comes to getting ready for date night, I have a few tried and true rituals and tips to share with you:

  • Privacy please! You need a little mystery even if you’ve been together for almost 40 years as John and I have. I encourage you to get dressed in privacy, and when your whole look has come together, you’ll notice that his reaction is so much more than it would be if he saw your entire "getting-ready" process. Think of it as a sort of unveiling of the masterpiece—a tad dramatic but it’s all in the mystery and the drama, ladies!
  • Your outfit starts, well, before your outfit. My goal is to have my skin as smooth, exfoliated, moisturized, and glowing as possible. My absolute favorite moisturizer is La Mer, and I’m obsessed with Tata Harper's antioxidant body oil.
  • Proper undergarments are necessary for a slimming and smooth silhouette. You want to look your best in your outfit, and aside from diet and exercise, quality under garments are your body’s best friend. Trust me!
  • Change things up sometimes. You might always wear a signature hairstyle, outfit, or make-up look, but it adds an element of surprise when you change it up occasionally. I know an extra smoky eye or a loud lipstick takes me out of my comfort zone, but once in a while, my Rouge Louboutin Velvet Matte lipstick calls! 
  • I’ve fallen down the YouTube makeup tutorial rabbit hole lately. Have you? Warning: you’ll spend hours and hundreds of dollars on makeup! So, I’ve recently recreated Dominic Sasche’s smoky eye look for a wedding, and I’ve gotten some great everyday tips from Hindash’s makeup for mature skin tutorial. Go find what works for you.
  • The finishing touches. Before I walk out the door, I make sure I have the right jewelry on, I touch up my hair with hair spray, and spritz my signature perfume (which was also Princess Diana’s favorite): Quelques Fleurs l'Original by Houbigant Paris (I also recommend their luxurious body cream).
  • Lastly, harness your feminine energy. Sometimes it seems that women today are so caught up in beating men at being men that our femininity starts to fade. Nothing inspires chivalry and masculinity more than a feminine woman. If you take the time to honor your feminine spirit, you will literally shift the energy of every room you enter. Go on, try it! The male-female polarity is essential for chemistry, and that’s the first ingredient when it comes to romance.

So, ladies, I’m wishing you a wonderful Valentine’s Day when it comes. I hope it’s filled with romance, good wine, and fine chocolate—if not, treating yourself to a great pair of Cocktail Sneakers will do the trick!