May 30, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog-It's summer! Heat Friendly Makeup!

Today is the unofficial first day of summer. And with a high of 90F today, it seems like Mother Nature is making up for lost time. While beautiful weather may inspire many of us to wear lighter clothes and lighter makeup it certainly doesn’t mean we want to be any less lovely. The heat does present a few challenges to us though. Melt proof makeup that is still gorgeous requires a bit of finesse, but is by no means difficult.

I find that when it is muggy out, I want to spend no more than a few minutes applying my makeup. I want it to be feather light. And I want it to be longwearing even in the heat. These requirements mean that we need to find products that are not only light and easy to apply but they also need to be durable.

·         I start by tightlining (also known as French lining) the upper lash line. This is done with a flat brush: I like Laura Mercier’s, and Paula Dorf’s, a cake liner: I like Laura’s, and Trish McEvoy’s and some sort of long wearing transforming product: Laura Mercier’s Activator and Paula Dorf’s Transformer are two of my favorites. Simply press on your upper lid so that lashes point upward and wiggle the brush dampened with the activator and cake liner into your lash line.
·         If the multi-product approach is too intense you can take the same approach with a pencil, but make sure you use a water proof formula: I like Chanel’s waterproof (favorite color Cassis) and all of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Crayons (try 4L) or their Aqua Cream Liner with a flat brush (I love 5). And again, just wiggle in between the eye lashes. I typically only line the top on hot days to minimize midday smudging.
·         After lining the upper lash line I will normally press a single shimmery color on the entire lid. This is always best to do with a brush, regardless of whether you use a cream shadow or powder, but in the summer, I am often guilty of just pressing on the pigment with my fingers, and that is okay. Just pick light, forgiving, colors. For powder shadows: I am currently OBSESSED (hee hee word play!) with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics loose powder pigments. (Flawed and Clove look beautiful on almost everyone!). If you want to use cream shadows hands down my two favorites are: Laura Mercier’s Crème Metallics (try Platinum or Gold) and Make Up For Ever Aqua Crème Shadows (try 11, 13 or 15) and press sparingly on the lid. When using a cream shadow use very little, and go light, to avoid creasing.
·         Curl your lashes and apply a coat of mascara. Now, my eye cream addiction has made me one of those people who even waterproof mascara smudges. The only mascara that will stay put on me is the kind of mascara that form little tubes around your lashes. A few companies make these (Kiss Me, Trish McEvoy, Kevyn Aucoin, and L’Oreal Paris) ranging in price from $10-$30+. Pick the one with the price and the brush that you like best. They really are all incredibly similar.
·         Now is when we talk about foundation. To many women, the thought of wearing foundation in the summer is almost repulsive. To others, the thought of going out without foundation is a far more nauseating prospect. The good news is companies have figured out that even the foundation-phobic want beautiful skin and have created formulas to satisfy everyone’s needs. For the summer I have two favorites: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics tinted moisturizer has incredible texture and feels absolutely weightless. It is beautiful buildable coverage that photographs like flawless skin, and feels like nothing on. It comes in a vast array of colors and is incredibly easy to apply. My other favorite is Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. It is a water based foundation that is medium coverage, with a weightless feel. It is limited in colors (not as many darker shades as I would like) but has the bonus of an SPF 15. With both formulas you will be shocked at how little is needed to create near flawless skin.
·         If there are a few spots that need additional coverage (for me it will always be my under eyes) a good creamy concealer is essential. I love Too Faced cosmetics and RMS concealer. Both provide a ton of coverage in a beautiful texture. Each company only make a few colors though, all of which are pretty light; so I would recommend for my friends with darker complexions try Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage. She recently expanded her range to accommodate almost every tone. Another safe bet for all skin tones is Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer (fair warning though use the teeniest amount conceivable, like head of a pin teeny, a little goes a LONG way). Try to apply as lightly as possible when applying concealer in the summer so you won’t have to set with powder. If you know you crease no matter what, than setting with loose colorless powder like Laura or MUFE is wise. But be sparing.
·         If you like a bronzed look, might I suggest a bronzing gel. Laura Mercier’s bronzing gel is an essential part of my kit. And it is so easy to use; your dog could probably apply it for you. Don’t be scared by the color. It is so sheer, I can use it, and I am so pale I may as well be clear. Whether you bronze or not, you definitely will still want to pop a bit of color on your cheeks (I don’t care what anyone says, everyone looks better with at least a little blush). In the summer, my blush brush gets a vacation though; it is all about cream blush for me. I have three favorites this season, RMS (I love the color Smile), Inglot (83 is gorgeous), and MUFE’s new liquid blushes (I LOVE 14-Star Struck and 4-Walk of Shame). Just dab on the apples of your cheeks to look fresh and alive.
·         Last but no least, lips. I have a few favorite things to wear depending on my mood. I love a pop of color with dewy skin and OCC Lip tar in Anime is by far the BEST pop of color I can find (we used it during the Sexy Period installation at last StyleWeek ). 
If you see me in a bright lip color, there is a 98% chance it is an OCC Lip Tar. That necklace btw is Martin and Ricci.

      I also love a soft wash of color, especially for a casual look. Try Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shines which are like super shiny tinted lip balms (faves are Liberte and Fetiche). And of course who doesn’t love lip gloss?  If I could, I would sing from the mountain tops about my new most favorite lip gloss: Armour Beauty! God I love this stuff! They have the most insane range of colors; from super demure beige (Diana), to my favorite Fuchsia (Grace), to black (Femme Fatale) which is stunning on the fearless! This gloss isn’t too gloopy, wears super long, and is loaded with good for your lips ingredients like avocado oil. Seriously, I will own all of their colors one day (and if *ahem cough cough* they ever needed a New England spokes woman….) I digress.

 I do want to take a moment and remind everyone that while bronzed skin is gorgeous, healthy bronzed skin is even more beautiful. So instead of getting that “base tan” which is aging and damaging, and will eventually leave you looking like this.

Or this.

 Try one of two things, fake bake it (sunless tanner has come a long way and many salons offer fantastic spray tans), or embrace your pallor (I swear pale can be pretty).
There is no denying the loveliness of Karen Elson

 No matter what, protect your skin! Skin cancer is never sexy. You don’t have to be pasty and blue to fully protect your skin. There are some brilliant lightweight sunblocks out there for everyone’s budget. These are my favorites: LaRoche Posay-SPF 60, Chanel-SPF 50, and Laura Mercier-SPF 40. All are water-like in texture, provide broad spectrum protection, and won’t break you out. No more excuses. Wear your sun block.
Now that you are gorgeous AND your skin is safe, go have a beautiful summer!

See you next week! Send your questions to

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