When the heat is on, less is more, and that's especially true for active women. But that doesn't mean your summer look has to be bland. With a few key products you can transform yourself from limp to sizzling hot.
Take for example, the women in "Sex and the City 2," who romp through Abu Dhabi looking fresh and finished. Judy Chin, who has been Sarah Jessica Parker's makeup artist since the fourth season of the television (now movie) juggernaut, had to fight heat that averaged 108 degrees when the crew was filming in Morocco (which served as a stand-in for Abu Dhabi).
Chin's first advice for a light summer look is to wear sunscreen, even if your tinted moisturizer has sun protection. Apply the sunscreen over a light moisturizer. "When it's really, really hot just do a moisturizer, sunscreen and then just use a spot concealer wherever you need it," Chin says.
Skip the primer and "stay away from foundation for the summer," Chin says. "I really like tinted moisturizer." Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($42) is a popular choice and Chin also likes Chantecaille tinted moisturizer ($62), Tarte Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer ($36) and, for an extra glow-y look, Paula Dorf Face Tint in Just Glo or Jet Set Glo ($40).
She thinks that the top mistake people make with summer makeup is going too bronze, particularly with hard-to-use self-tanners. But for a bit of glow, Chin recommends Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel bronzer ($48) for the face.
Next think about cheeks. "For summer, I love Tarte Cheek Stains [$30] in sheer and vibrant colors that give a really nice stain to your cheeks or your lips," Chin says. "Apply in light layers, little by little — go in stages so you can't go wrong." For extra glow (not shine or sparkle) dab a bit of highlighter on the upper cheek. Chin likes Nars the Multiple stick in Copacabana ($38).
Line eyes with MAC Waterproof Powerpoint Eye Pencil ($14.50). "They're very creamy but when you put them on, they stay — it's better than anything else that I've ever used," Chin says.
Follow with waterproof mascara, and use transparent powder very sparingly to set your makeup. "But I wouldn't bother if it's really humid or you're sweating and sweating and sweating — if you're boiling in the heat, don't bother!" Chin says. Instead opt for blotting paper.
If you really want to streamline, consider using only five products this summer. Chin's picks are eyeliner, mascara, blush (even one that can double as a lip stain), something for your lips and blotting papers.
Laura Mercier, maker of the tinted moisturizer, agrees with Chin that for summer the prettiest faces wear lots of color but no winter foundation and fewer products than in other seasons.
"When it's hot and humid, it's not the time to carry with you tons of makeup that will not stay on your skin," Mercier says, in her upbeat French-accented English. "So one thing that we know for sure is that this summer we're still talking about color like crazy — so all kinds of purples, mauves, violet — cream, longwearing or waterproof shadows that don't smear when you perspire. And violet eyeliner — it is so the trend for summertime." She suggests pairing purple or violet eyeliner with a wash of a transparent light mauve, light grey or even light blue shadow — gold or pink are options as well.
She says lipsticks and glosses in bright colorful fuchsia, corals, pinks and even a very translucent orange gloss are very trendy right now. "Even colorful waterproof mascara is coming back in trend," Mercier says. "The idea is to not do something too monochromatic. So, you can absolutely have a mauve eye shadow and a peachy lipstick. You know, its breaking the rules, but again the consistencies — the textures are clear, glossy and transparent — so it's a mix that you can do for a colorful face but not loud colorful."
Mercier says a big look for summer is bold purple on the eyes and hot red on the lips. "It's great for cocktail parties at night," Mercier says. "If you're uncomfortable with that, go in the middle — find lipsticks that are colorful but not full-blast red — transparent color glosses." Options include Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Purple Sapphire and Black Violet for $19 each and Laura Mercier Lip Colour in Truly Red and Passion for $22.
For staying power for all of your beautiful color in hot weather, Mercier suggests finishing with a bit of translucent powder over any cream-based product, including shadow, or layering a powder bronzer over a cream blush.
Any sun-kissed look is all about transparency, she says. "It's so much more comfortable to use color that way," she says. "It's playful — it's a happy feeling!"