Summer heat can pose a challenge for dealing with skin. When the goal is to look polished and refreshed, but you’re perspiring (ok, let’s get real here–sweating) and you’ve got the occasional blemish or ongoing blotch, what can you do?
Most women who wear a full-coverage foundation in the cooler months have a hard time going foundation-free in the summer. The want the coverage and truly feel naked without it. Step outside the air conditioning though and full-coverage foundation quickly turns to “sheer”–with the added bonus of a Jackson Pollock painting effect around the eyes as eye liner and mascara lose their battle against the heat and begin to run.
In order to get coverage (i.e., for skin discolorations and blemishes) but still be able to take the heat, the irony is you need to lighten things up and go more sheer–at first. Then follow up with a use-as-needed concealer. Here’s how:
1. Use a sheer foundation or a tinted moisturizer.
Sheer foundation. Most every cosmetic company out there has a sheer version of its full-coverage foundations. Fortunately, many of them even use the same shade names for the various foundation formulas they make–making it a no-brainer to select the shade that’s right for you. (Note, if your foundation does not have a built-in sunscreen, apply a sheer SPF 15 (minimum!) first and let it absorb for a few minutes before applying your foundation.)
Tinted moisturizer. The other option is tinted moisturizer. Tinted moisturizers have gained in popularity over the last five years or so, and there’s one for every budget. Try them out–either at Sephora or Ulta, or at your local drugstore where, thanks to updated refund policies, it’s easier to buy, try, and return if you’re not satisfied. A perennial fave is Benefit’s You Rebel SPF 15–it comes in two formulas, one more sheer than the other, and has a built-in sunscreen. A little goes a long way and it’s best to blend it out. You Rebel runs about $30.
Another one to try for a bit more creamy coverage is from Olay: Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Daily UV Moisturizer + Touch of Foundation. Find this one in the skin care aisle–which is actually a good place to look for tinted moisturizers rather than the cosmetics aisles. Olay’s touch-of-foundation provides a bit more coverage and imparts a healthy-looking glow, but it’s still sheer and natural-looking (and, at about $20, a bit easier on the wallet).
Blend the sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer on evenly, remembering to continue down past the jawline onto the neck.
2. Apply concealer.
The key to applying concealer that not only covers but looks natural is to apply it over your foundation or tinted moisturizer. Typically, once foundation is applied, less concealer is required. Opt for a creamier or stick version–this is where you’re going for coverage, so using a more liquid-based concealer won’t really give you adequate coverage.
Pick the right concealer shade. In terms of shade, it used to be that a concealer was supposed to be a shade lighter than your foundation. That’s still somewhat true–but primarily for things like dark undereye circles. When you apply a lighter concealer to a pimple or discoloration, it unfortunately can make what you want to cover up stand out even more. So opt for a concealer shade that’s closer to your foundation and skin color.
Concealer that covers. For more coverage (and perhaps a more secure feeling) try concealer from companies that specialize in concealing: Dermablend and CoverFx. They’re not just for acne-ridden teens or those with diagnosable skin conditions, so don’t think you can’t–or shouldn’t–use them. Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Concealer costs about $20. Another to try for creamier yet complete coverage is Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer; it comes in a compact and blends on smoothly, for about $22. For under $10, opt for Maybelline’s Cover Stick Concealer.
Applying concealer. Use a concealer brush and fingertip for the best concealer application. Dab on the concealer–don’t apply with brush strokes–then gently pat to set, and blend out the edges to create a seamless look. Only apply where you need it.
3. Set with finishing powder.
Finish with translucent powder. Finally, set the concealer with a pat of pressed translucent powder. The idea is to just pat it on gently to set the concealer so it lasts longer–you don’t want a “caked” look. Remember again to gently blend out the edges so that there isn’t a visible line between the concealer/setting powder and the rest of your look.
If you’ll be out for the day, bring along a portable concealing stick (like Maybelline’s, mentioned above) and a translucent powder compact–they’re small enough to carry and they’re perfect for on-the-go touch-ups.