Hot Weather Face / Foundation Routine: Glowing, Barely-There Makeup
I don’t stick to a particular routine for very long but I got quite a few requests to show my daily face or base + blush application so here are the things I do and the products I’ve been using to “lay the foundation” this past month.
Foundation: For the base, I have a tendency to go back to lightweight, matte bases with sheer-to-medium coverage when the weather gets hot and sticky, because they even out my skintone and minimize my need for a lot of concealer and powder. Bourjois Healthy Mix is an old favorite.
Step 1: After an antioxidant serum and sunblock, I’ll spritz my flat-top buffing brush (MAC 130 or Sigma F80) with an alcohol-free toner like MAC Fix+ and then use that to buff on foundation in brisk circles. (You can use a stippling brush to stipple/dot foundation on too, but buffing in circles is the better method for “erasing” pores.)
Do note that Fix+ contains glycerin and other emollients so it helps to sheer out your foundation and give a super-natural finish if you dampen your brush with it. But it isn’t really a fixative, strictly speaking, and won’t make your foundation last much longer than it normally would. Setting sprays like Urban Decay All Nighter or professional artist sealants from Ben Nye, Mehron, etc would be better if you need something to make foundation stay.
Concealer: I use a whole host of concealers, but when things get hot, products with dryer textures like Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (I use SC-2) or MAC Studiofinish Concealer SPF 37 tend to be better at staying on the skin.
Step 2: Some high-coverage concealer products (generally waxy ones that come in pots) can feel really dry if you’re in a cooler climate, so the easy way to make them more workable would be to use a synthetic concealer/lip brush to soften and pick up some product, then stroke it on where you need, before you use your finger to blend it in. Rubbing a brush over your product “emulsifies” it a bit for better blendability, and allows you to concentrate product right where you need it most. Using your fingers to blend after that gives a more natural finish and minimizes the chance of caking on too much product.
I use a slightly peach-toned shade around the eyes, and then a yellow-based shade which matches my skin better, around the nostrils and on spots.
Setting: This is where it gets a little different. I use Clinique’s Redness Relief Soothing Powder to go over areas where I have concealed because it not only does a bit of color-correction, but also soothes the skin, which is exactly what you need if you’re
- covering spots
- trying to fight the heat
Step 3: I use a s/ft natural-hair eye shadow blending brush to very lightly dab and buff powder over areas where I need to set concealer, or mattify the skin. I don’t like a very powdery face, so this allows me to control where I am matte and where I am not. This isn’t as troublesome and slow as you might think, since you can buff over a large area of skin very quickly and the small, soft brush means you won’t be packing on too much powder.
Highlighting: I don’t often go for cream highlighters because I live in a place that’s hot year round. But I do like a sheen JUST in certain areas, so I get around that by using an opalescent, super-fine pearl powder to highlight. (I make my own blend by mixing a lot of pigments but you can try someth)ng like MAC’s Pink Opal.)
One thing to note is that you DON’T have to stick with yellow/gold highlights if you have yellow toned skin like me. That can actually make you look a little sallow. I very much prefer a soft pink to bring out a healthy glow and sculpt the cheeks at the same time.
Step 4: I use a rather dense brush to apply this (try a large shadow brush similar to MAC 227 instead of a powder brush) because I want the highlight to be quite precisely located just along the high points of the cheekbones and the brow bones. Using loose, soft brushes will cause your highlighter to be too spread out and the sheen to be less intense so if you are using a shimmery, sparkly highlighter, this can make your face look like a disco-ball.
Blush: I am chronically phobic of overly-heavy blush, so I tend to go for soft glowing shades. Bourjois #15 is a Little Round Pot shadow, not a blush, but it’s a perfect opalescent soft-pink which looks great on lighter skins, and is hard to over-apply. I use many different face brushes but the one I reach more most is the Sonia Kashuk angled blush/contour brush, which is incredibly soft and such great quality for the price.
Step 5: I apply my blush a lot higher than many people. Just like I apply my highlighter right under the outer corners of my eyes, I apply my blush right along the peaks of my cheekbones, and not below. This helps lift the cheeks and will give you a more girly and pretty effect.
Brows: For the brows, I’m trying out the Shu Uemura Hard Formula 9 and I’m loving it. This is a very odd product in that there is almost zero color when you stroke it on the back of your hand, yet when you stroke it over brow hairs, it deposits a very light amount of soft color which mimics the look of the shadow that full brows would cast, and looks gorgeously natural even when built up.
(The rather dumb thing though, is that if you have no or very little brow hairs, this might not work as well as “normal” pencils like those from Benefit or MAC, which easily deposit a measured dose of color over bare skin.)
Step 6: Gently stroke on brow pencil in the direction of hair growth. No matter what type of pencil you use, learn to use the side rather than the tip of the pencil nib as it will give you a softer and more natural looking finish.
Step 7 / Primer: For the lids I usually apply a shadow primer so my shadow lasts longer. One I’ve been using quite regularly on a daily basis is Lime Crime’s Candy Eyed Shadow Helper. You should apply only minimal amount of product because applying too much will actually cause your shadow to crease.
(This is a tiny little sample pot I got with a shadow palette and it’s been going for 2 months, because you need so little!)
Shadow: When I want to keep things simple, I’ll just add a barely-there wash of beige shimmer to the lids, like MAC Naked pigment. It just evens out the skin tone and masks any discoloration on the lids. This type of eye looks polished but not “done”, and allows me to pop on any lip color under the sun.
Lashes: If I’m bothering to do makeup, chances are I will NOT skip mascara. My current favorite is Maybelline Great Lash Big. And I am not even sure if I should recommend it because so many people hate it. I just find it easy to work with because it never clumps, and I can just build it and build it. I’ll probably go back to L’oreal Voluminous when I’m done but so far I love this.
Recommended if you have length but not a lot of volume.
On the lips: Revlon Strawberry Suede Matte Lipstick