Already the overheated days of July are sliding into the languorous, humid days of August and I am wondering, as I always do, how does it go so fast?? It’s Memorial Day and before you know it, Labor Day has bookended the summer. If only January, February and March would hurry by as quickly!
Summer is the ultimate “less is more” season. Less clothing, heavy food, formality. Why fuss with your hair when you can pull it into a pony, twist into a bun or slick it back with some gel and a headband? Why bother applying makeup that will be compromised by heat and sweat? Somehow a heavily smoky eye and precise and obvious makeup just look jarring in the summer, kind of like they do at the gym. It’s time to let go and lighten up.
There was a method to my madness of sunless tanning because with a bit of faux glow, I can sneak through my days and most evenings sans makeup. I am off to a rustic week on the Cape capped off by a few pampering days at a resort in New Hampshire, a regular New England idyll with days of fun, reading and relaxation and no one to impress.
My first line of vacation makeup defense is SkinCeuticals SPF 50 Physical Fusion, $34, a light tinted fluid that mats down the summer oil slick while protecting and giving a better- than- bare finish. A few dots of concealer, a little cream blush, a moist nude lipstick and I’m good to go.
Should I wish to step it up for evening, I’ll switch to either my Kiehl’s BB cream SPF 50, $37 or a light application of Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, $43. I’ll prime the canvas with Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance, $19.50, which gives anything that follows a head start on glow.
If it’s a major event, I’ll reach for my Giorgio Armani Maestro makeup base. This is heaven in a bottle. A feather light and ethereal fluid, it covers flaws but feels like you have nothing on but perfect skin. Totally genius, but at a cost ($64). That’s why I use it sparingly.
My secret weapon for summer is Dermalogica Color Corrector, $17. I have been using this forever because it saves me the expense of buying darker makeup for summer. A few drops of the corrector turns my BB cream, tinted moisturizer or foundation into a custom color to match my skin tone. I save those little sample pots I often get for custom blending.
If you get a bit too glowy, try a light dusting of Prescriptives Magic Liquid Powder, $39.50, a staple in my arsenal for many years. Dip your fluffy brush in the powder, tap on the side of the sink to get rid of excess, and swirl over the T zone. If, on the other hand, you want more illumination, try Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer, $28. A little drop of this dotted on your cheekbones, middle of forehead and chin and blended well and your radiant face will catch the light beautifully. I emphasize, just a little!
How you apply foundation is up to you. Some like to use their fingers, but that increases the heat factor and melts the product. Others like a brush but I find that a little too perfect for summer. Personally, I have been converted to the Beauty Blender Sponge, 2 for $28.95. I dot my base on my forehead, nose, upper lip, chin, and 3 dots on each cheek. Then I wet the sponge, squeeze out and then press into a towel so it is just damp. Then I blend the base with a dabbing motion. This gives you light, natural coverage. Don’t forget to blend down your neck as well so there is no line of demarcation. If the end result still looks too heavy, go over your face again with the damp sponge for a believable finish. Sonia Kashuk makes a similar sponge for $9.99 and Sephora for $7.
In the hot summer months I go lighter and creamier with blush too. It melds into skin inclined to be moist, blends beautifully, and has greater staying power than powder blush in the heat. Three great ones:
Stila Convertible Color, $25, Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee, $22, and Sonia Kashuk Dewy Luxe Lip & Cheek Balm, $9.99 All melt into your skin in a most believable way and dry down to last.
Hit and Miss:
My summer hit has to be Clarins Golden Glow Booster, $30. Mix 3 drops of this brilliant innovation into your moisturizer, sunscreen or night cream and transform it into a self tanner. Couldn’t be easier to glow.
The biggest miss is the over hyped, totally disappointing Benefit They’re Real Push-up Liner, $24. Benefit did a brilliant job of marketing and creating demand but the product doesn’t deliver. It requires repeated tube twisting to produce enough liner to get the job done and the liner flakes when you remove it, going everywhere it shouldn’t. I’ll stand by Eyekoe liner, best in the category, and I’ve tried many.