There’s a definite seasonality to your makeup routine, but the wrong products and techniques can leave you looking dreary, instead of naturally pretty. We’ll uncover your most common makeup mistakes, and how to fix them, so you can look fresh and fabulous this summer.
‘Tis the Season
Just like you dress for the occasion, you should also tailor your makeup to match your outing. Equally important is the time of day and the time of year. Barely-there color can look underwhelming at an evening soirée. A full face of makeup can look unnatural and unflattering at the neighborhood pool party. Summer is the right season to lighten up. The sun acts like a giant spotlight. Go easy on the cosmetics and let the sunny days highlight your skin’s natural glow, not layers of makeup. That leaves less to melt off on summer’s more sweltering days.
A Sunny Disposition
We all like a little sun-kissed flush in the summer, but tanning is an age-old no-no that will only add years and wrinkles to your lovely face. A light dusting of bronzer can really perk up your appearance, but it looks the most natural when it’s not applied all over. Use a fluffy brush to get the most seamless glow. When it comes to bronzer, three is the magic number. Swirl your brush in the bronzer, tap off the excess, then sweep a giant “3” on the side of your face starting at the forehead, circle down to your cheekbone, finishing the next arc down at the jaw line. Mirror your “3” on the other side of your face. Forehead. Cheek. Jaw. Voila! Sun-kissed color!
Just because that bottle or compact is still half full, doesn’t mean your makeup is still good. Cosmetics do have a shelf life. Compounds and ingredients break down and degrade over time, hastened by dirt, oil and bacteria that linger on our brushes. Do you really want to put that on your skin, eyes or lips? And while we’re at it, be sure to keep those brushes clean. A light wash with baby shampoo followed by air drying can do wonders to revive your well-loved makeup brushes. Here’s a handy guide to know when your makeup is past its prime… eye products (mascara, shadow & liner): 3 months. Liquid/cream foundation & blush: 12 months. Powder foundation & blush: 24 months. Lip products: 12 months. Mark the date with permanent marker if it’s hard to remember.
In our zeal to get out the door quickly, we can sometimes shortchange our skin by not letting our moisturizers and skin care properly absorb into the skin. Applying makeup too soon after moisturizing can leave you with a streaky face and can transfer unwanted oils to your cosmetics, further shortening their shelf life. Giving your skin care regimen sufficient time to soak in will help your cosmetics go on better and stay longer, especially during steamy summer days.
The Color Quandary
Now that summer is here, we’re naturally sporting a little more color on our face. It’s important to reconsider your foundation color choices as our skintone changes throughout the year. Your ideal color in winter could leave you with a ghostly complexion in summer. Warm up your foundation color choice and be sure to blend and fade the color down to your décolletage to prevent harsh color cliffs along your jawline. Besides, why not add a little smoothing color boost to your neckline, too?
A Royal Blush
A feminine blush has always been alluring, but a telltale stripe of cosmetic blush is not so appealing. Pick a pretty shade to complement your skintone. If you use powder foundation, choose powder blush. Liquid foundation, choose cream blush. Smile wide and sweep the blush on the apples of your cheeks. Blur and blend to banish all telltale lines. You should look naturally flushed, like you just stepped in from the sun.
For Your Eyes Only
Being that eyes are super sensitive, you should be sensitive to the products you allow near them. Eye products should really be replaced every three months. Be sure to not pump your mascara, which will just dry it out creating a clumpy, dry mess that shouldn’t go anywhere near your sensitive eye area. Mascara is best kept on the upper lashes, where it’s less likely to migrate and create dark smudges that can settle in fine lines and wrinkles, especially in the summer heat. And never share a tube of mascara. Your mascara should truly be for your eyes only.
Dark eyeshadow colors can be garish and look a bit heavy-handed for summer’s breezy attitude. Besides, as we age, our face becomes more angular as we lose a bit of that youthful plumpness, especially around the eyes. Avoid trendy colors and stick with what works for you. Sheer, light washes of color are much softer and kinder to older faces.
You can’t beat expertly groomed brows that perfectly frame your face. Overplucked arches instantly make you look older, so use your tweezers sparingly. A professional brow shaping can set you on the right path to a younger look. If you’ve tweezed too much, try one of the new miracle gels that fill in with hair-like fibers for a completely natural, waterproof look that lasts for days.