It’s hot out there!
Summer means a lot of time outdoors. And while I know plenty of women blessed with gorgeous skin and coloring that requires no makeup, I am not one of them. That means that when summer comes I start worrying about raccoon eyes from melted mascara, unintentional smokey eyes from smudged eyeliner, creasing shadow, and oily skin. That means adjusting my routine to accommodate the heat and humidity as well as the increased oil my skin produces when it’s warm.
Step One: skin.
Mineral makeup is hot right now, but powdered formulas can cake up and look chalky on sweaty or oily skin. I like Physicians Formula Liquid Mineral Foundation – it goes on very sheer and it’s hypoallergenic so it doesn’t irritate my skin. But you can also go with a tinted moisturizer like this one from Neutrogena. A foundation primer can help create a smoother surface for makeup, mattify oily skin, and prevent shine. Sephora has a wide selection, but drugstore brands like L’Oreal are starting to pick up on the idea as well. Depending on the condition of your skin, you can use a primer to mattify your complexion and skip foundation altogether.
For oily skin, look for oil-free moisturizers, foundations, and primers. You don’t want to add any extra oil to sit on your face all day. I also never leave home without blotting papers in my purse. The Body Shop carries blotting papers infused with chamomile or tea tree oil to help prevent breakouts, but you can find less expensive options as well, like these oil-absorbing sheets by Clean & Clear.
If you like the idea of a bronzer to give you some extra color, be sure to choose one that matches your skin’s natural undertones (fair skin tends to have peach or pink undertones, where darker skin can go more golden). Only apply bronzer in the areas of your face where the sun would naturally hit you: the bridge of your nose, the high-point of your cheeks (try applying it while your smiling), and a little across the hairline. And remember to use a light touch, because too much can look uneven and muddy. If you use blush, switch to a cream or gel blush that will sink into the skin instead of sitting on top and caking up.
And don’t forget the rest of your body! If you’re using self-tanner you need to exfoliate, so keep a body scrub on hand. I like Neutrogena’s Body Clear Body Scrub because it contains salicylic acid to prevent breakouts all over.
Once you’ve got your skin looking great, the sky’s the limit! Bright lips always look great summer, but heavy lipsticks are a pain. Instead, try a lip stain, a colored gloss, or a tinted lip balm.
Mark’s Gloss Gorgeous applies like a gloss but leaves a stained color behind. Their “lolli” shade is a great sheer cherry red that’s perfect for summer. Burt’s Bees lip shimmer acts like a lip balm while leaving a sheer wash of color on the lips.
Teal and blue eye makeup is this summer’s bit “it” look:
You can go bold, like the model in this article about the trend, or keep it simpler (and less likely to melt!) with neutral eyeshadow (or no eye shadow) and a bright eyeliner like these waterproof pencils by Sephora. (I highly recommend the Sephora brand cosmetics. They’re inexpensive and high quality. These pencils are only $8 each.) Or for a more neutral look you can use a tiny brush to apply eyeshadow instead of eyeliner. I like to do this when it’s hot out to add a little emphasis to my eyes without having to worry about smudging later.
And a good smudge-proof, waterproof mascara is a girl’s best summer friend. I’ve been using CoverGirl’s VolumeExactt Waterproof. It’s easy to apply without getting too heavy or clumpy and it really stays on. If you want a little eye makeup insurance and are willing to spend a little extra cash, Benefit’s She-Laq promises to keep makeup in place all day. I haven’t tried that, but I have had good luck with Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance – the $17 tube has lasted me over a year and it does a great job of keeping my powder eye shadows in place.
The great part about summer (as far as beauty, anyway) is that you can keep your look simple. Bright lips or bright eyes, or a neutral face with glowing skin, is more than enough to look gorgeous. Summer is the time for color, so don’t be afraid to play! But if you prefer simplicity, a natural face is always in style. Just find what makes you feel gorgeous and what formulas work for you.