Matchmaker Makeovers: Advice from Professional Cupids

By Erin Donnelly

It all started with some innocent flirting. Things smoothly progressed to an intimate conversation covering the all-important matters (Red Sox or Yankees? Dogs or cats? “Real Housewives” of Orange County, or New York City?). Now, he’s finally popped the question: Dinner at 8? 

There’s only one problem. It’s been so long since your last real date that you can’t quite remember which Bush was in office at the time. It’s not a dating dry spell—it’s a full-on dating drought. 

So how do you knock his socks off without looking like you’ve spent the past three hours camped out in your closet, frantically tossing outfits into a reject pile? You could have a panic attack, cancel your date, and spend the evening in Anderson Cooper’s warm embrace. Or, you can guarantee a fabulous first impression by seeking some professional help. 

Enter professional matchmakers Samantha Daniels and Janis Spindel, real-life Cupids with countless marriages and long-term relationships under their belt. Both Daniels and Spindel stress that a few simple adjustments to your appearance can make a big impact on your first date, helping you come off as sexy, confident and comfortable. 

Read on for their top style tips for making a great first impression…one that will hopefully lead to a second date. 

Samantha Daniels 

The author of Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern-Day Matchmaker, Samantha Daniels is the president of the elite Samantha’s Table Matchmaking, which has offices in Los Angeles and New York. She is also the host of Relationship Chatter TV, and was the inspiration for the Alicia Silverstone NBC show, “Miss Match.” Below she lists helpful tricks to boost your attractiveness, without coming on too strong.

1. Make sure to wear lip gloss on top of your lipstick. This makes your lips look kissable and makes a man fantasize about what it would be like to kiss you.

2. If you show cleavage, make sure it is a hint of cleavage, not your whole chest. You want to leave something for his imagination.

3. Have a first date outfit that you know looks good on you, even if it’s not the trendiest or hippest. Most men have no idea what is ‘in’ or ‘out,’ they just notice if you look good.

4. Make sure your nails are polished. There is no excuse for showing up with them chipped or broken. This does not mean that you need to have a French manicure; it just means that they need to be neat. Men like well-kempt women.

5. Make sure to sit up straight and have good posture. Men notice if you slouch because it makes you seem unhappy. 

Click here to read SingleMindedWomen’s profile of Samantha Daniels’ matchmaking service.


Janis Spindel 

New York City-based matchmaker Janis Spindel has written the book on finding true love—literally. Spindel is the author of Get Serious about Getting Married: 365 Proven Ways to Find Love in Less Than a Year, and How to Date Men: Dating Secrets from America’s Top Matchmaker. She also heads up an elite matchmaking service, Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking Inc., which claims responsibility for more than 800 marriages and counting. Her male clients have given her an up-close insight into what men really think, and fortunately for us, she’s willing to share her secrets.

1. The #1 turn-on in a woman is CONFIDENCE. If you love yourself, he will see that, and that is appealing to him. Sexiness is about body language and self-confidence. 

2. Smile a lot—it’s your calling card. It is also good to be articulate, but know when to listen, and don’t talk about your exes, family baggage, or politics on a first date. 

3. Men like women to look like women, meaning skirts, heels and dresses. If you must wear jeans, make sure you wear them well, and add heels, a hot top, and a great belt. You should be well-groomed and well-manicured, but don’t wear too much makeup of jewelry. And please don’t go out from work with the same makeup you’ve been wearing since 8am. Go home, shower, wash your face, and put fresh makeup on—and not too much of it. 

4. Don’t dress inappropriately for your age, and do not try to be sexy by showing too much skin. That is a turn-off, not a turn-on. 

5. At the end of the day, men are visual and they fall in love through their eyes, so if they are not physically attracted to a woman there will be no chemistry—which is an intangible thing no one can account for. That said, women have to look in the mirror and feel their best so they leave the house feeling like a million bucks. And trust me, he will get that. 

There you have it. Don’t stress out about looking like a Playboy centerfold—it can send the wrong message, and you’ll seem like you’re trying too hard—but do focus on looking your best by picking a tasteful outfit that you adore. You’ll feel sexy, yet still in your natural element, which will in turn help you come across as confident. And remember: Shoes and handbags are great, but your best accessory is the one right between your ears.


More SMW Fashion & Beauty Advice

10 Floral Fashions We Love

10 Eco-Friendly Dresses

The Woman’s Guide to High-Tech Beauty Tools