Beach in the City – Beating the Melt Effect

by Valerie on May 10, 2007 · 0 comments

Beach in the City – A seasonal feature about bringing the beach to the city even when you can’t take a vacation.

Sometimes, this column is about surviving summer in the city. But that’s not as fun as title, right? With summer coming up, which makes for melting makeup, I wanted to write a little bit about some of my favorite products to beat the Melt Effect.

Base: I personally embrace a more dewy look in summer, especially in the cheek and cheekbones area. I find it looks more natural than a heavily powdered face. My absolute staple is tinted moisturizer – it’s a year-round thing for me, but summer is when I really encourage people to give it a try. I tend to use Bobbi Brown’s tinted moisturizer in winter because it is a little richer, but this time of year is when I switch to Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer in the oil-free formulation. I eschew all advice of brushes and sponges, and apply directly with my fingers. This product dries out fast, so be sure to work quickly. I set it with transluscent powder. Days I want to look dewy, I use a flat powder brush (I like Stila #8) on my t-zone with just a dab on my cheeks. Days I need a matte finish, I use Laura Mercier’s Oil-free Primer before the TM, and apply my powder using a powder puff with a rolling motion rather than a patting motion. The combination really makes my base hold up.

Concealer: Fortunately my skin is generally better in summer, and I look more rested, so I use a minimum amount of concealer. When I do, I use Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, which really does hold up well. I am a big believer in using taklon brush (like Stila’s # 2 brush) to really get the product buffed and smoothened into my skin. For undereye concealer, I pat just a tiny bit in the corners of my eyes – my current favorite is Stila Illuminating Concealer. It is not as creamy as Laura Mercier’s creamy Secret Concealer, so holds up better in warm, sticky weather.

Eyes: This may seem counterintuitive to some, but cream eye shadow holds up better in summer heat. The real key to success is keeping the layers sheer so that they don’t cake, and it’s so much easier to do that with cream products (powder eye shadows always risk looking a bit cakey in summer heat, especially since they require a base to stay put). My absolute HG is Bobbi’s cream eye shadows – they last and last and last, as long as you do not use a base under them. They are designed to be used directly on skin. I like to top them with a touch of shimmery eye shadow (or a bit of shimmer from a Shimmer Brick) if I want a more made up effect.

Mascara: I personally cannot wear waterproof, but if you can, it’s worth it in summer heat.

Blush and bronzer: As long as you apply sheerly, almost anything works in summer formula-wise. I love LM’s Light Matte Bronzer and Nars Laguna!

Lips: I skip liner altogether and prefer tinted lip balms and sheer glosses in summer. Anything too heavy gets goopy in my opinion. My absolute summer favorites are Laura Mercier Lip Kisses and MAC’s Tinted Lip Conditioners. This summer I also plan to check out the Bobbi tinted lip balms and the MaAC Tendertones.

One last thought – especially for my gal pals in Washington where you walk out of the house at 7am and are hit by a wall of humidity. Don’t wipe at your face – just blot. Even though your makeup may feel like it’s melting, if you applied it sheerly and blot at it, it will last respectably through the day.

To recap, some of my favorite products to beat the melt effect:

  • Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer and Primer
  • Transluscent powder – my current favorite is Shu Umuera
  • Bobbi Brown cream eye shadows – do not use any base under them. They are designed to be used directly on skin
  • Blot your skin, don’t wipe!
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