Ed. Note: Since discovering the Curvy CEO blog several months ago, it’s become one of my favorite online haunts. The CEO put together a great list of preserving your makeup in the midst of heat and allowed me to share it with Painted Ladies readers. Head on over to her site - it’s fab!
I don’t know about you, but I sweat . . . a lot. Even in the winter. So, you know that I am a hot, sweaty mess in the humid yuckiness of summertime in DC. In fact, because I sweat so much, I rarely use foundation, powder or even tinted moisturizer in the summer since I end up sweating it off anyway. Instead, I try to use the summer months as an opportunity to let my skin breathe. Thanks to the fact that I often turn a few shades browner in the summer, any blemishes just blend away. So, all that’s left is for me to add some color to my face…and make it last all day.
How do I do it? In these simple steps:
1. Apply an oil mattifier. In addition to sweating a lot, I have combination skin. So, while my cheeks may be as dry as the Sahara, my forehead, nose and chin are as greasy as bucket of KFC. To help combat the grease in my “t-zone” I apply an oil mattifier after my regular moisturizer. An oil mattifier is exactly what it sounds like – a cream that gives a matte finish and keeps oil at bay. My absolute favorite mattifier comes from Mary Kay. I put this stuff on and my face is oil-free for pretty much the entire day. If you’re not into Mary Kay, never fear – there are tons of other options, including some that include sunscreen! Just be sure to apply sparingly – especially if you have dry skin – otherwise you will end up with dried patches of product on your face. Not cute.
2. Prime your eyes. So, it came to my attention recently that not everyone knows about eyeshadow primer. This occured because a friend of mine was complaining that her eye makeup never lasted through the day. When I suggested that she use a primer she was completely confused. “Primer?” she said. “You mean, like what you’d put down before applying paint?” EXACTLY! Primer is just that – something you apply before using your eyeshadows or other eye color. It helps the makeup to stick to your lids. I live and die by my primers because these are basically what keep me cute in the summer. The lip color and cheek color may melt away in the heat, but my eye color lasts and lasts, thanks to primer. One of the most popular brands of eye primer (and my personal favorite) is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. While it comes in different shimmery shades (that can eliminate the need to apply a highlighter beneath your brow), my favorite is the original formula, which is translucent. Once you put this baby on, you can apply any shadow and feel confident that it will stay there in full force until you remove it later on. (I’ve also read that using primers helps you achieve a richer hue of your shadows. I haven’t noticed that, but it makes sense to me.) Check out this list of suggested primers from Beautylish.com.
Now, using a primer will definitely keep those eye shadows in place. However, if you really want the ultimate insurance that your eye color won’t move . . . .
3. Use cream shadows. Cream shadows are simply the BEST type of shadow for sweat-proof, oil-proof, stay-put summer beauty. You can actually skip the primer, depending on the brand of shadow you use. My absolute favorites are the MAC Paint Pots. They primarily come in neutral colors – in fact, the ladies over at Painted Ladies actually use them as primers. (I did manage to snag a few of the paint pots in hues of red and pink before they were discontinued – you can usually find a few colorful ones on eBay.) Similar products include Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner, Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Shadow, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow, Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow and the new Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow. (I feel it’s important to mention that in my experience the Maybelline cream shadow didn’t quite have the staying power of the high end brands, though. So be sure to use a primer with that one.) You can also use any cream eyeliner as your eyeshadow. And speaking of eyeliner . . . .
4. Seal your eyeliner! So, Benefit used to make this AMAZING product called “She Laq” – basically a liquid that you would apply over your eyeliner to keep it in place. And I kid you not, you put this stuff on, let it dry and your liner does NOT move! Well, it’s been discontinued.
*a single tear rolls down Curvy CEO’s cheek*
Thankfully, I still have at least half a bottle left, but outside of scouring eBay for another bottle, my only option is to find a replacement. A quick internet search turned up this Make Up Forever Eye Seal product, that appears to do what She Laq does. I cannot vouch for it’s effectiveness, but the reviews seem promising. There is also something offered by LA Splash but the reviews have me less than enthused. If you can find a good sealant, by all means use it. A makeup artist friend of mine also suggested setting your liner with some powder as an alternative. Either way, you will not miss the racoon eye effect from having your eyeliner make a copy of itself on your upper lid.
5. Stain, baby, stain. If you have not yet heard of lip/cheek stains, “you’re welcome” in advance. These are basically lip/cheek colors that do just what their name says – stain your lips and cheeks. These colors last until you take them off. I especially love lip stains because even if the color fades a little, just apply some clear lip gloss and *boom* you’re back in business with a tinted lip. There are tons of stains out there, but my personal faves are Benefit Posietint (who says chocolate girls can’t wear pink? , Tarte Lip Surgence and Liptini Lip Liquer and Cheek stains. The main word of caution is that you have to act quickly when using a stain. As soon as you apply it, rub it in so it looks like something other than a big glob of goo on your face. If you make a mistake, just grab some makeup remover and start over again.
6. Set your face. Even though it’s probably most useful if you are wearing foundation, I like to use spray products that “set” your makeup. I don’t know if they actually “do” anything as they’re more water than anything else. But still, it gives me a feeling of completing my look. So, after taking all of the steps above, I will spritz my face with MAC Studio Fix+. I’ve been meaning to try Model in a Bottle since seeing how well it helped my friend hold up her look at her Caribbean wedding last summer. I also want to give Urban Decay’s All Nighter a try – if for no other reason than I like their line of products. Sheila over at Painted Ladies advises using a small fan after applying your setting spray to really set the look. I do this anyway since my windowless bathroom is more like a steam room in the mornings.
7. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! I cannot say this enough. In the same way exfoliating helps remove dry, chapped skin in the winter, it helps prevent greasy skin in the summer by digging down deep into those pores. For this purpose, I rely on my beloved Clarisonic Skin Care Brush. (I love it so much I’m a product affiliate!) Yes, I know it’s expensive. But to me it is really worth it. I usually use the brush in the evening – helps me melt away the stress of the day. And if I skip it for a few days, it shows up on my face. If the Clarisonic is too rich for your blood, you could try any of the drugstore versions, such as the Olay Pro-X. Or, if low-tech is your thing, you can use any sort of exfoliating face brush like this one from Dermalogica. Heck, you can even use a plain old face cloth. The point is simply to make sure that you’re regularly removing those dead skin cells.
So, this is how I keep it cute in the summer heat. What tips and tricks do you employ? Share ‘em in the comments section!