Kiss (more) and Makeup (less)

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.

Light makeup options

Light makeup options

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.

Giorgio Armani IS the Maestro

Giorgio Armani IS the Maestro

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.

Cover your bases with custom color

Cover your bases with custom color

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!

Beauty Blender sponge

Beauty Blender sponge

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.

summer blushIn 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.

Hit and Miss

Hit and Miss

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.


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7 Responses to Kiss (more) and Makeup (less)

  1. Diane White says:

    Zoe, I love having your personal product recommendations ! I plan to check some of them out. Being in Rural Vermont, I order products on line so it is good buy something that a friend recommends, not just because of an ad. Thank you!

  2. Diane White says:

    Hi Zoe,
    I ordered and now am really enjoying the skinCeuticals sunscreen it is wonderful!! Just the right amount of neutral color to combat the whitish sheen that some sunscreens have. It really is a very light foundation. I also bought the Clarins golden glow booster, I just got it yesterday, I know it will be great. I also bought theEyeko eyeliner, great product!! Again thank you for the recommendations.
    I just bought “Great Hair Day” by Joan Rivers Beauty. I was noodling around on QVC and saw a video of Joan talking about (selling!) this product. I just love her! Anyway just got it and wow it is wonderful. It is a transfer proof powder that goes on parts or anywhere there is exposed scalp I just tried it and so far I really love it.
    Love your blog!!

  3. Thanks foryour comments. I love knowing that my experience is beneficial to others. Never heard of the Joan Rivers product (but am addicted to Fashion Police!) I have used the spray by Rita Hazan to mask grey roots that pop up before i am due to color again.. But this sounds like it solves another problem entirely. My hair is so thin I have been taking Biotin and Viviscal daily. Must do a whole post about thinning hair!

  4. Both encourage hair growth. Viviscal is sold in packets (CVS or online).Taken twice daily. Biotin is a capsule that is beneficial to hair and nails. Take 1000 mg/day.. Will definitely do a detailed blog post on this as so many women after 50 have hair loss or thinning..

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