The challenge of looking glamorous in the summer months is twofold: the longer days and more intense daylight along with the heat and humidity wreaks havoc on skin and makes makeup easily look like a mess. The only solution is to pare down the products you use to go with the flow and feature a polished natural look with a few bold pops of color if desired.
Becoming a makeup minimalist for the summer means finding the right products and knowing where to apply them. Here are a few suggestions on how to travel light and stay glamorous during the summer months.
Since eyelids can become oily and/or sweaty in warm weather, use cream products instead of powder for a simplified, sweat-proof look that can be easy blended again if the eye area becomes oily or creased. If you want to intensify the eye or add depth to the lash line I recommend skipping gel or liquid liner (with the exception of Liquidlast Liner by MAC) and using a pencil liner which can be smudged into the lash line or applied as a clean line (use a long-wearing formula in this case). For extra staying power, set the liner with a pigment or shadow in a similar color. This method can be applied to the eyebrows as well.
Mascara should be waterproof if beach/pool/Slip & Slide time is imminent but for general use stick with a beauty tube mascara for zero smudging and flaking through the day and night. Beauty tube mascara is a somewhat recent development in mascara formulas and is noteworthy because the mascara creates literal tubes around each lash which are not washed away with soap and water or eye makeup remover; instead, warm water and gently pulling off the tubes is the removal method.
Summer is a great time to employ the smokey eye because of the ease of applying it and the sultry quality of the look. It's also an easy look to build upon for evening, adding a darker liner on the upper lash line or intensifying the crease color to suit the occasion.
Being outdoors and in hot and humid weather conditions tends to make makeup artists veer away from heavy matte looks in favor of glossy and fresh finishes. The key to having long wearing and comfortable lip color in warm weather is to keep the color nude or bright and the finish a sheer gloss or a moisturizing satin or lustre finish. Save lip liner and matte lipstick for cooler weather and save some space in your makeup bag.
Skin is definitely the central focus of any summer makeup look. The essential product for skin in summertime is one that hydrates, provides sun protection, and gives some coverage to even out the skin. My favorite product for this is MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF 20 with Radiance Booster for a creamy and Vitamin C-rich formula or MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation (N.B. no SPF) for a higher level of coverage. Other noteworthy products are Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 and Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35.
Creating dewy, natural looking skin is all about highlighting the face. Strobing is a major trend currently and it's popularity is understandable given the season and the emphasis on glowing healthy skin. While bronzers and contouring products will continue to be important elements of a finished makeup look for any season, highlighting (Strobing) is an easy way to add radiance to the skin with minimal effort.
Using a reflective pigment with cool (reflects silver), rose, or warm (reflects gold) tones in a pressed/loose powder, liquid, or cream formula on the high points of the face will bring light to the skin and add a youthful glow. Samantha Ravndahl of Batalash made a great highlight/contour map:
Thanks to plenty of YouTube tutorials and blog posts about highlighting and contouring there is a plethora of highlighting products available. A few of my favorites are BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector™ Pressed, Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder, MAC Pigment (in Vanilla, Naked, and Melon), and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish. Using a liquid highlighter such as Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch and setting it with one of the aforementioned powder formulas adds intensity to the highlight.
Using MAC Strobe Cream all over the face will also add a natural glow. I like to mix Strobe Cream into foundation for added radiance. The final touch is misting the face with MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ (if you were lucky enough to grab the limited edition formula in Coconut, bonus!) to add hydration and an intensified dewy quality to the skin. Fix+ is also excellent to have during the day if you need to cool down or rework makeup that moved around due to sweat.
Bronzers and blush colors that add a touch of gold to the skin are another quick way to create a sultry glow. I recommend blush in cream or powder formulas with peachy or rosy gold tones. Bronzers come in a variety of finishes from shimmery to matte and should be applied to the areas of the face where the sun would naturally burn or tan.
Naturally, I had to include this video on summer beauty advice from a drag queen-- in other words, a very reliable source of effortless beauty tips. 😉