By Ferina Santos

Your first kiss with a new guy is a thrill. Not only can it tell you a lot about what kind of a person your potential partner is, but it’s also a great way to know if he’s ready to go from dating to exclusive. That first kiss can be fun, but to get there, you have to show your new guy that you’re ready.  Consider these five tips to get your lips ready before your next big date:

Related: First Date Outfit Ideas: Dinner and Drinks

1. Exfoliate the night before: Having dry cracked lips with dead skin isn’t the right way to get a man to want to pucker up for you. To be ready, exfoliate your lips the night before. To do this, simply take a toothbrush and lightly brush off the dead skin. Afterwards, take a tip from former Bachelorette star Ashley Hebert and apply some Vaseline to your lips. She does this nightly to keep her lips looking moist and healthy. You should too, especially after exfoliation.

2. Ruby Red Lipstick: The ultra-stunning bright red lipstick, which is frequently worn by celebrities such as Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera, is the perfect way to draw in your man and make him focus on your lips. This sends the signal that you’re ready for that big first kiss. Test a few shades prior to the date to find the perfect red for your skin tone. If you’re able to, boost your confidence in it by wearing it out to a dinner with the girls the night before. Use this hue to make your guy know that you are ready to take your relationship to the next level.

3. Add lip liner: This is a tip that many women forget whenever they apply lipstick. It’s simple: lip liner can make your lips look fresh and kissable throughout the night. The liner holds the lipstick in place and doesn’t make it smear as you eat, drink or smooch.

Related: How to Know When It’s Time for the First Kiss

4. Use lip gloss: It’s important to make your lips look plump and beautiful. Just as Real Housewives of Orange County stars Tamara Barney, Alexis Bellino and Gretchen Rossi constantly do, you should apply your lip gloss frequently to keep your lips looking moist and ready to be kissed. If you don’t have lip gloss readily available, lip balm will still keep them looking healthy and fresh.

5. Avoid smoking or red wine: Even though you may like to indulge in these commonly-craved splurges, if you’re hoping for a kiss at the end of your first date, avoid these wrinkle-causing, teeth-staining and not to mention unhealthy habits. This will keep your lips looking fresh and beautiful all night without the fear of stains or aging creeping in.

Prepare your lips the night before, and use color and gloss during the day to keep them looking great. Your man will be drawn in and have no chance to say no to that perfect first kiss.

Ferina Santos is part of the team behind Open Colleges, Australia’s provider of outstanding makeup  courses. A feisty, 20 year-old nerd at heart with an obsession for vanity, she captures all her random musings with daily photographs in her blog, A Pink Banana. When not online, she can be found reading a book or riding with her horses while fantasizing she’s a real-life Khaleesi.