How to Get Ready For Date Night FAST

I KNOW you have been there. Uber is coming in 15 minutes and you need to make dinner for the kids, brief the babysitter AND get yourself ready. What are you currently wearing? Comfy clothes, of course, because you don’t live in adorable dresses and heels. Your hair? In a messy bun, ’cause ain’t nobody got time for a daily blowout. Makeup? Huh? What makeup? How do you get ready in minutes and still look (and smell) like you put some effort into your appearance? I am sharing my top products and methods that help me get ready for date night fast!

How to get ready for date night fast

Dirty Hair? You Care!

I could wash, dry and style my hair every morning but by the time evening hits, it has fallen flatter than post-nursing boobs. You know what I am talking about. Most mornings I am multitasking like a mother and have about ten minutes to hop in and out of the shower. If your hair is dirty, dry shampoo can be a GODsend but you need to apply it correctly or else you will look even worse.

How to Apply Dry Shampoo the RIGHT Way:

  • Spray the hairline around your face from at least a few inches away
  • Take sections of your hair parallel to your roots and flip them; spray
  • Use your fingers to massage the powder into your roots, bending over to move the product toward the ends of your hair
  • Brush gently after flipping back over

For volume, I like Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo. For drugstore brands, Batiste is my go-to. Their Tropical Scent is lovely, or you can get a shade to match your hair color which eliminates that white powder buildup.

Speedy Makeup Application

Ok, you now have five minutes left and need to put forth a fabulous face. I always start with clean skin because oil and previous product residue can melt my new makeup application. I am a major fan of Dove’s White Beauty Bar, and never knew that you can use it on your face! I have used it on my body since I moved to Chicago and will NEVER switch.

I spoke with their dermatologist Dr. Alicia Barba, and she uses the Dove beauty bar on a lot of her clients’ faces before applying product. It doesn’t dry your skin out like soap, so you don’t have that tight feeling after washing. I am ALL about doing my makeup once at the beginning of the night and not having to worry about it for the rest of the evening. I love products that are long-lasting and can withstand a little wind, rain or sweat.

Here are my steps on a way to get ready for date night fast with a quick makeup application with products that I use. I have this DOWN so it takes me about 5 minutes:

  • Wash face. Dove White Beauty Bar
  • Moisturize. Honestly, I use whatever came in my beauty subscription box most recently. Olay or Neutrogena are solid choices.
  • Apply foundation. I need full coverage, so my top pick for liquid is Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation. I find that if I use this, I don’t need to go in with concealer so it cuts that step out. I use IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream for everyday use, but their shade range is limited. If you want a powder foundation (which I use to set my liquid) my favorite is bareMinerals Original Loose Powder
  • Add blush. I use Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush. I used to be a Nars Orgasm fan but grew out of the “shimmer” because it was sliding towards glitter.
  • Apply eyeshadow primer. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. If I forget this step, my eyeshadow creases, and slides. I use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, but I hear CoverGirl’s Lid Lock Up is a less expensive alternative.
  • Apply eyeshadow, liner, and mascara. I use the Naked 2 Palette which is often sold out (and can be faked if you don’t buy from an authorized reseller, so I wouldn’t get this on Amazon). For liner, I recently discovered Muse’s ESUM Dual Eye Pencil at the Makeup Show Chicago that is super creamy AND double-sided. One end is a basic color like black or brown, and the other is metallic for adding a little shimmer in the corner. For mascara, my drugstore favorite is CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume. At just over $5, it is the best bang for your buck. It beat out designer mascaras in my test, performing better than Dior and Lancome. For a luxury brand, I use Urban Decay Perversion.
  • Use a setting spray. This is if you want your makeup to actually stay put all night. I use Urban Decay All Nighter, but many say the Elf Illuminating Mist & Set is a massive bargain that works well.
  • Don’t forget your brows… especially if you are blonde! Anastasia powders and pencils work well, and if you are a light blonde like me try Muse’s Esum Brow Defining pencil in blonde. I spoke with the Muse team at the Makeup Show, and they told me they added in green (instead of red or orange) to their formula so it would appear cooler. PERFECT match!
  • Lipstick is my last application. I use LipSense if I am going to a formal dinner where I need to look good throughout a looooong meal (this stuff lasts 18 hours if you apply the gloss repeatedly). Otherwise, I like a moisturizing, creamy, highly pigmented lipstick or gloss.

No Time For a Shower

Of course, we would all love to luxuriate in getting ready for a date night. I used to take half-hour showers before responsibilities in the form of children and well, life, came on the scene. I would even use delicious-scented lotion after showering, taking the time to have a glass of bubbly and turn on my favorite jams. Now? No time for a shower and I probably smell like a line cook because I have been making my kids’ dinner.

Dove Deodorant Wipes and Dry Spray

I recently discovered Dove Deodorant Wipes which is a major game-changer for freshening up in minutes. These can be used anywhere on your body- stinky feet? Give ’em a wipe. Armpits no so fresh? Yep, tackle them with the Dove wipes. These remove odor and sweat, so even if you didn’t have time to hit the shower after the gym (or chasing your toddler), you can still smell fresh. They are the perfect way to get ready for date night fast! I use the Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant after because it dries fast, meaning no residue gets on my clothes.

Comfortable Yet Stylish

I have been on dates where I get a stomachache because my pants are too tight. Or I keep pulling up my strapless bra because it just won’t stay put. You want to be comfortable and focus on the conversation and company, not underwear riding up your butt.

I love dresses because I don’t have to match two pieces of clothing together, this allows me to get ready for date night fast. They also make me feel a little fancy and are honestly more comfortable than pants in my world (more room for food). I love fabrics that I don’t have to iron, because, again…ain’t nobody got time for that. Jersey material doesn’t tend to wrinkle if hung up and stretches as you move. A wrap dress in this fabric is my go-to, and shirt dresses in something other than 100% (wrinkly) cotton or linen are an easy option as well. In the video, mine came from Apricot Lane.

Date Night Dress

Also, try a maxi dress or a jumpsuit. I have a basic black jumpsuit that I can wear solo, put a denim jacket over, wear with a sweater, add a blazer…you get the idea. Super-versatile. I spent money to have it tailored because it is a total chameleon- no one would notice if I wore it every day because I can add things to it.

If pants are your thing, make sure you balance loose with fitted. A loose top + loose bottoms = sloppy, and a tight top + tight bottoms = no room for dessert.

Let’s talk about underwear. There is nothing that ruins an outfit more than that dreaded VPL (visible panty line). I prefer either Commando or Hanky Panky, but Target makes some laser cut undies that are a lovely low-cost option.

Oh, shoes. You don’t necessarily want to wear sneakers (’cause that’s what you have been running around in during non-date-night times) and stilettos make you want to weep. I think ankle booties are a perfect compromise, and heel height can range from kitten to towering depending upon your pain preference. Even if you want to wear all black, popping on a pair of printed or patterned ankle booties can make it seem like you put more effort into your outfit.

Jewelry. It is often a last-minute thought, but I always feel more pulled together with fantastic jewelry and a lovely lip. I do either small earrings and a statement necklace, or statement earrings and a delicate necklace so I can get ready for date night fast. Bonus points for adding in a bracelet if you have time.

Cheers to looking fabulous FAST for date night!

Disclosure: I received Dove products for review purposes, but was not compensated for this post. I just REALLY liked them. All opinions are honest and my own as always.

Date Night: Angelo’s Wine Bar + The Recommendation

During the summer months, date night dining al fresco is one of life’s greatest joys. Conversation doesn’t reverberate in a crowded room but instead floats on the breeze as people lean back a little more in their chairs. Diners linger longer over chilled glasses of dry white wine, settling into a spot that is only available a few months out of the year. After dinner, a couple is ready for a bit of adventure and drama. The combination of Angelo’s Wine Bar and The Recommendation at Windy City Playhouse strikes the perfect balance of laid back and intense, relaxed and though-provoking.

Date night- Angelo's + The Recommendation

Angelo’s Wine Bar

Albany Park- 3026 W. Montrose

After seeing the decor and upscale feel of this eatery, you would never guess that Angelo’s Wine Bar has been around since 1962. Although the offerings have changed, the charm of the establishment has only increased. The staff greeted us warmly and we were able to have a pick of seating on a Sunday evening. The patio is simple yet elegant, bistro lights strung atop the fenced-in perimeter of the dining area and surrounded by brightly-colored flowers. Since our show started at 6 pm, we had time for a brief appetizer before hopping over to Windy City Playhouse to continue our date night.

Outdoor Patio at Angelo's Wine Bar- Chicago

Date Night Food and Drinks

I am the type of person who will ALWAYS order the sampler if such a menu item is available. At a brewery, I always love the lineup of child-size glasses nestled in a wood paddle so I can compare, contrast and find my favorite. Angelo’s offered a Flight & Bite, which included five 2 oz. pours of their wine on tap paired with five mini appetizers for $22. The wines were incredibly varied, ranging from a smooth and slightly spicy Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend to a light and airy GrĂ¼ner Veltliner. Bites included craft sausage, Proscuitto, smoked cheese, Marcona almonds and more.

Wine and Appetizer Pairing at Angelo's Wine Bar- Chicago

After the show ended at 8:30, we scooted back to Angelo’s before last kitchen call at 9 pm to conclude our date night. I had spied Cacio e Pepe on the menu, which has been gaining popularity as a simple yet decadent dish made with three simple ingredients. My husband dined on their pan-seared scallops which included slightly crispy cauliflower, feta, and olives. Both dishes were divine, mine in its executed-to-perfection simplicity and his in the marriage of salty and savory flavors.


Angelo’s definitely has their share of specials. From “Taste of the Mondays” (featuring 1/2 off all 30 wines by the glass) to the weekend brunch all-you-can-drink Mimosa or Bloody Mary Brunch with purchase of a shared plate, there is something every day of the week. Bears fan? They also have $5 draft beers on game days, so the sports/beer fan in your relationship can be happy while satisfying the fine wine/dining partner.

The Recommendation

Windy City Playhouse- 3014 W. Irving Park Rd.
Tickets: $65-$100; sign up for the Rush Ticket List for potential day of tickets at half-off

The Bar

After a little fine wine and dine, you can scoot on over to the Windy City Playhouse mere minutes away. Parking has always been easy for me- there are plenty of spots along Irving Park on both sides. As you walk into the playhouse, you are greeted by music in the period of the show (Party Like a Rockstar, anyone?). Sidle up to the bar and peruse the specialty cocktail list, which includes show-themed libations such as Combination Pizza Hut & Taco Bell and The Drunk Tank. I love to keep these in mind and see where they fit into the performance. Cocktails are available for purchase before the show, during the 20-minute intermission, and after the final scene. My favorite bartender, Nolan, is onsite to entertain and whip up delicious concoctions.

The show starts promptly at the set time in an unexpected way, so pay attention and be prepared to immerse yourself in this story of privilege and the disparity between what is fair and what is real.

The Premise of “The Recommendation”

Do you know someone for whom everything simply falls into place? Especially early on in life, when their parents artfully arrange their path without thought of or principles or legitimate qualifications? Some beings are able to skate through life with charm and connections, not aware of the challenges and roadblocks of the hoi polloi. This is where The Recommendation starts- with Aaron Feldman as the golden boy entering his Freshman year in college. He is paired with Iskinder Ioduoko who does not share the same privileges and benefits that Feldman has reaped his entire life.

The Recommendation- immersive theater in Chicago
Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow

Although from vastly different backgrounds, the pair becomes friendly, moving through their college experience with humor that will bring back your own memories of this period in life. You watch as Aaron and Iskinder graduate to young adulthood, each set on their own path to (in)dependence.

The Recommendation at Windy City Playhouse
Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow

Your Date Night Experience

The audience moves from room to room in the show instead of just the actors shifting scenes, which emphasizes the immersive nature of this presentation. Limited to 34 audience members, each participant (yes, you do get to participate on an experiential level) gains a true sense of being a part of the story. Seating ranges from a dorm room bed to a jail cell bench, keeping you on your toes and more than a fly on the wall. You are completely involved in each scenario and emotionally-charged scene. Snack and beverages for the audience are interspersed throughout the show that incorporates different themes and moods, creating a unique date night experience.

The Recommendation at Windy City Playhouse
Photo Credit- Michael Brosilow

The actors are intense in parts, lighthearted and carefree in others. Since you are up close and personal, you are able to observe their body language, eye contact and microexpressions like no other performance you have experienced. I felt Feldman’s fear through the animal-in-a-cage expression, Iskinder’s faux confidence through his ramrod posture and stiff movements, and the insecurity and yearning of another character, Dwight Barnes, in his hunched shoulders and fidgeting.

Questions to Ponder

This show, dubbed a “psychological thriller” by many, inevitably raises questions about the fairness of life. Here are a few that came up for me- I love discussing an intelligent performance during our date night.

Have you been asked for help by someone in need, but paused to consider the ramifications for yourself?

How has your privilege or lack thereof influenced your life path?

How can someone seemingly stuck in a circle of criminal action or labeled a criminal break their cycle or stigma?

If you were applying for a job, would you accept help from an outside party even though you aren’t the most qualified for the position? If you did, do you think that makes you part of the problem or are you just taking advantage of opportunities?

How do recommendations or referrals tilt the playfield? Do you believe all recommendations or you take them with a grain of salt?

Overall Thoughts

Overall, this type of immersive theatre production is my absolute favorite and makes an entertaining date night. You are entertained and involved, often rapt and completely engrossed. Actors might speak to you on occasion, asking you a question or having you hold on to a prop. The only requests are that you don’t speak directly to an actor unless spoken to, and do not touch them as they move about the set. Keep an open mind, try to relate to different characters and situations, and stay curious.

Cheers to an experience for both your taste buds and your mind at these two excellent venues!

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to The Recommendation for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own, as always.