Keeping your face on despite the situation
There is nothing worse for a beautifully made up face than New Orleans’ summer swelter. The heat, the humidity, the random rain showers … all of it face fatale – unless you know the products, tricks and tools to help save your face.
The Skin Situation
Establishing a base to bolster cosmetics’ staying power is the first order of business. A cleanser that does its job, without over-drying or imparting too much moisture, is an imperative. Obviously that will differ depending on skin type, although everyone’s mantra might be: Gentle yet effective. As a proponent of skipping a heavy-duty morning cleanse (except when you’ve worked out or failed to wash the night before), a swipe of micellar cleansing water (Simple is inexpensive), followed by a toner (alcohol-free or glycolic is best) will help create a neutral surface. Follow that with hydration: A serum, light moisturizer or a couple drops of face oil. The trick here is to wait until everything sinks in and is no longer tacky before applying makeup.
No matter whether you wear BB or CC cream, tinted moisturizer, foundation, powder or nothing, start with a primer. My top picks at the moment are Pixi’s (at Target) Flawless & Poreless Primer; and Indeed Nanoblur (at Walgreen’s and Ulta); and powder fanatics will swoon for Too Faced Flawless & Poreless (silky, super-fine micro powder can be used alone or as a setting powder). For more coverage, Chanel’s CC cream with SPF50 does the job and has serious lasting power. Drugstore beauty fans will adore the L’Oreal Infallible line. The Pro-Matte 24hr Foundation has “Shine Defy Blotting Spheres that act like blotting paper … instantly absorbing sweat and oil without disturbing color.” The result: Flawless, not cakey skin and all day true color. New from Mac, the Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation has quickly become a favorite among beauty experts. In 16 shades, this standout product can also double as concealer, provides medium to full coverage and is oil-free. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place is another winner and it comes in an impressive 31 shades.
When it comes to blush, the stains from Jouer (available at Buff Beauty Bar) are outstanding, and for powder, it’s Cargo Water Resistant blush that reigns supreme.
No surprises, felt tip brow pens rule. Top picks for color and staying power are Stila’s Stay AllDay Waterproof Brow Color, Lauren Prats’ Waterproof Brow Pen (and Brow Mascara) are only rivaled by Anastasia’s Brow Pen, Kat Von D Tattoo Brow and a personal favorite, Pixi Natural Brow Duo with a waterproof angled pencil on one end and a tinted soft-hold gel on the other. As for pencils and crayons, It Cosmetics Brow Perfector 5-in-1 Gel Pencil is perfection for covering gray hairs, has anti-aging properties, is an eight-hour waterproof automatic brow pencil, taming gel, treatment and brow brush, in one.
For dark circles: Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer. On the lid: Two Faced Shadow Insurance Primer and Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base combat oily, dark lids and ensure shadow color sticks, while Mac’s Paint Pots and Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream shadows pack pigment and don’t melt or go off-color in the heat. When it comes to mascara: Everyone has their favorite brand and formula that comes in a waterproof version. I am a bit of a mascara snob and am a slave to Dior Show, Shu Uemura and Tom Ford for standing up to sweat and swimming, but they’re a hassle to remove. The blackest mascara that holds a curl and withstands crying is Perfekt Lash Perfection Gel, with one caveat: Buy the “try-me” size (available at Ulta) for value (two sample-sized tubes equal more product for less money than a single full size tube) and because the mascara dries out before a dent can be made in the full-size version. For liner: The CoverGirl newest liquid liner pen, Instensify Me, is deep, dark, matte black and the dual-sided tip can do thick or thin lines for a great cat-eye that doesn’t move all day. Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liner are cult classics for good reason.
The magic to lasting lip color for lipstick wearers is: Liner over the entire lip, coordinating lipstick slicked on, dab with a tissue, then re-apply color. Matte formulations will stay well, but they can be drying and emphasize lip issues. Liquid lipsticks are all the rage right now. From the drugstore, NYX and Rimmel are tops, but the brands that outdo them all for great doe-foot applicators, pigment, texture and lasting prowess are Sephora’s house brand liquid lip color and Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick.
Tools of the Trade
The must-have tools to help glide face products across the skin are a Beauty Blender sponge; a dense bristled, flat-top foundation brush; and a large fluffy powder brush.
One of the best tips for going into the heat and humidity with full make up that will last is to finish with Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray, kept in the fridge. Before walking out the door, spritz a cooling veil of mist to face the day and night looking great.
Have questions or products to recommend? Email SouthernGlow@MyNewOrleans.com.