21 Valentine's Day Makeup Looks That Are Far From Cheesy

Photo: TheStewartofNY/Getty Images.
If Valentine's Day were a person, we'd hate-follow it on Instagram. Between the wave of Victoria's Secret sale emails and romantic-comedy tropes, it's hard to feel good on February 14 if you don't have someone special to spend it with.
Even so, a lot of us do make plans on Valentine's Day, whether we're in committed relationships or not. No matter the plan — a date with a single friend, drinks with a blind date (organized by a nosy coworker), or home-cooked dinner with your live-in S.O. — we like to start the night with our makeup.
Now, "date makeup" is the kind of B.S. we don't buy into; however, it's no secret that putting on a sexy red lip or sultry cat-eye makes us feel confident and powerful. So, why not try an empowering look on the one day a year Hallmark tries to make us feel otherwise? Just think: You're doing it for yourself — not the person sitting across from you at the table.
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Just in case you're looking for some inspiration, we've rounded up some of the best makeup looks worth trying on Valentine's Day — or, really, any day.
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Matching your makeup to your pre-planned ensemble makes getting ready that much easier — but you can't copy Kendall Jenner's look without topping off your neutral lip with an iridescent gloss that's sure to catch your date's eye.
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Despite common misconceptions, red lips are perfect for date nights — just make sure you find a long-lasting formula that can survive dinner, drinks, and a makeout sesh.
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Pink cheeks, lips, and lids — plus lots of mascara — makes for the sweetest makeup look, ever.
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Gemma Chan's just-bitten pink lip is an essential for the plans that skip dinner and go right to desser.t
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A peachy lip and subtle smoky eye look pretty during the day, but downright magical by candlelight — at least, according to Rowan Blanchard.
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An all-pink makeup look feels less cheesy if it's inspired by the decade of free love. Ash Walker kept it simple with mascara, a shimmery shadow, and Glossier's fan-favorite gloss.
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Or take a bolder approach with a jet-black eyeliner and nude lip.
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Ditching dramatic lashes for a soft, monochromatic eye and lip duo never seemed so good until we saw Angela Sarafyan try it.
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Sure, we love a dark lip all on its own, but pair it with a negative-space silver eyeliner and you're that much closer to being Beyoncé (with your very own private photographer/ Instagram Husband).
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Copy Priyanka Chopra's standout look and wear violet tones on your lids and lips. The color may seem intimidating, but it's actually super-flattering on almost all skin tones.
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Shimmery rose-gold eyes, dewy skin, and a demi-matte lip — we've loving makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes' contrasting textures in this look.
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A swipe of pink underliner spices up an otherwise no-makeup makeup look on blogger Zolee.
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Kate Bosworth let her expertly-applied red lipstick take center stage by pulling her hair back in a tight updo.
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Pair a bold lip with a soft, barely-there eye like Yara Shahidi. Simply grab your favorite eyeliner pencil and apply it close to your lashline. Then, use a smudge brush or your finger to lightly diffuse the color.
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Use the occasion as an excuse to finally whip out that bold jewel-toned eyeshadow you bought on a whim and haven't attempted to wear out yet.
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Tap into your vampy side with a deep aubergine lip and blinding inner-corner highlight à la model Duckie Thot.
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This look combines three of our favorite trends: eye gloss, pink shadow, and inner-corner strobing.
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A hardcore makeout session will only make this punk look even cooler.
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Lily Collins' dusty lilac eye may be simple, but it packs a romantic punch when paired with soft waves and a pale pink lip.
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Tired of all the pink and red? This smokey halo eye is perfect for a night out.
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There's no time like a date to break out the blotted lip. Even if you don't snag a first kiss once the night is over, at least your wine-red lipstick will make everyone think you did.
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