When Courtney Love declared her love for Bioxidea’s full-body suite of Miracle 24 masks—“It makes my skin crazy. It’s like I just had sex for four days.” —I was left to question whether or not the second clause was even possible, and simultaneously certain that this postcoital skin situation was a very good look. In other words, I was buying it (and am still buying the masks), unsurprisingly, because, I’ll be damned if sex doesn’t sell. And while Erin Wasson may assert that nothing sells sex better than sex, thanks to the cunning of the beauty industry, you can just as soon fake that carnal knowledge.
Let’s go ahead and trust that evolution knows best when it comes to making you look your most f***able—or f**ked—especially when you are the only thing you’re wearing (well-fitted underthings don’t hurt either, but I digress). Starting with that perfectly pillow-teased coif, Mother Nature has also bestowed our bodies with the gift of vasocongestion, otherwise known as that irresistible sex flush that brings rouge into your cheeks, lips, etc, and leaves you looking like you’ve been lit from within. Outside of getting busy, which, history will tell you, can be complicated, I’ve rounded up the latest and greatest (not mutually exclusive) sex-on-the-brain beauty products to fast-forward to your most lascivious look, no awkward pillow talk required.
For eyes, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: The latest volumizing mascara from Too Faced might not be actually better than sex, but it’s not far off, either. One swipe of the collagen-fueled, jet-black formula from the hourglass applicator (so designed to resemble the curves of a woman’s body), left me with un-ignorable, full-eyed, dreamy lashes that were so good, the product deserves its own post.
For cheeks, Smashbox O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color: This silky gel glides on clear, melts into the skin like a primer, then transforms, using your skin’s pH levels, into your body's best and most natural shade of bright pink for an extremely believable, buildable faux flush that lives up to its name. Rub the high-pigment stain on your fingers first for optimum application control.
For lips, Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain in Adore: The subtly shiny, tawny red stain will give your lips a full day of presumably just-in-use color, plus an extra layer of moisture for silky, totally kissable texture.
For hair, Bedhead Fun Times Flexible Hairspray: This non-sticky, non-crunchy, strong-hold spray is best employed to mimic bed-rumpled volume without robbing hair of its touchability (so important). The candy scent will fade within an hour, the volume will not. Or—if your hair has somehow gotten a little too wild—tame flyaways with a dab of the brand’s equally suggestive After-Party Smoothing Cream.
For fragrance, Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower: Malle’s eau de parfum is sexy in that it’s ladylike without being old-ladylike and floral without being uptight. How? Tuberose sweetened with creamy coconut, an edge of eucalyptus, and bergamot to keep it both fresh and just a little bit musky, but not at all powdery.
For everywhere, Nars The Multiple in Orgasm: Of course I’d be remiss to not include the product that arguably started it all: Orgasm (now also available in Super Orgasm). The golden-flecked peach highlighter (one that PR exec Kerry Diamond rightly assumes that “probably half the planet” owns) is ideal for everything from keeping you from looking, as Sophia Amoruso puts it, “dead in the face,” to bringing light to your eyes à la Emily, to seal-the-deal wedding makeup (see: Lili Barbery-Coulon). While the hue comes in a lip gloss, blush, and nail polish, I prefer The Multiple’s versatility to draw attention to eyes, lips, cheeks, Cupid’s bow, and anywhere else you’d like his/her eyes to follow.
Accompanying glint in your eye and goofy, loved-up grin totally optional, but encouraged for added authenticity. Oh, and use protection.
Photos by Mathea Millman.