Monday, May 12, 2014

Easy Summer Makeup: The Essential Products

Clockwise from Top-Left: bareMinerals Correcting Concealer - Benefit Cosmetics Watts Up! - Sonia Kashuk Lip & Cheek Tint - Benefit Cosmetics Instant Brow - Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation - Smith's Rosebud Salve - Essie "Geranium" - Burt's Bee's Tinted Lip Balm

Many of my friends and work colleagues can attest to the fact that I'm reasonably cosmetic-obsessed. I don't go overboard with it or anything, but I love to try new products and play with fun new ways to craft a look for a special occasion, and I do have a relatively amassed stash of products that all do a little of this and that.

While it's sometimes useful to have a different concealer for different parts of the face, and the proper mix of bronzer, blush and highlighter to get the perfect contouring effect, I think that when it comes to summer makeup, the less you have to fuss with products, the better.

That being said, when trying to tighten-up the old makeup regimen, it's important to have products that are easy to apply, long-lasting and it doesn't hurt to invest in a couple of staples that do double, or even triple-duty.

Here are my essential products for keeping my face fresh all summer long, and my spin on it is this: all products on this list can be applied, relatively quickly and easily, with your fingers and/or straight from the container, no fancy brushes necessary (because when you only have 100 days of summer, ain't nobody got time to drag out an arsenal of brushes for every single makeup application!)

For Face:

I thought about choosing something more along the lines of a bb cream for this one because I know that a lot of women are a little bit scared off by full-coverage foundation, but this version is whipped and light as a feather, leaving a smooth and powdery finish. Like me, many out there struggle with oily skin, especially as mercury rises, and I think that this does a great job of controlling oil while still leaving an even finish. This applies wonderfully with just your fingers, so that helps in the ease-of-use factor, as well.

When I first sampled this concealer, I thought that it was an obvious knockoff of Benefit's boi-ing! Benefit being my favorite high end brand, I was sort of inexplicably annoyed about it, but I have since come to the realization that even if the comparison is too close to be coincidental, BareMinerals' Correcting Concealer outmatches Benefit by way of their impressive range of shades. You can purchase all shades in a 'warm' and 'cool' toned variation, which is a great option for putting your best face forward. This is another smooth operator, leaving a fantastic finish with a few taps of the fingertips, and it will work wonders under the eyes, on blemishes and even in those pesky areas around the nostrils. Summer is no excuse to skip the concealer, and this one is an easy choice that's also a decent bang for your buck.

For Cheeks:

Oh, this product is so wonderful, I want to write songs about it! If anyone out there is trepidatious about trying Sonia Kashuk's products because they're not technically what Ulta and Sephora refer to as Prestige, this little tint might make you a convert! When its summertime, I just want a simple and fun pop of color that's not too much work, and this little guy is all of that and then some! It's equally gorgeous on both lips and cheeks, and applies like a dream, leaving behind a dewy finish (perfect for summer skin!). My one and only complaint about it is that it currently only comes in two shades, "Charmed," (pictured), and, "Enchanted," which is a fuscia-violet. Hopefully if this gains popularity, there will be a wider range of shades to choose from in the future, but even with just the two offered now at $9.99 a piece, these are a no-brainer.

Another instant classic from Benefit Cosmetics that burst onto the scene a couple of years ago, melting hearts all over the place its path! This stuff, while a little bit pricey, really goes a long way, in that a couple of swipes will achieve such a warm and fabulous summer glow that you would have sworn that you had just come from frolicking in St. Tropez with RiRi (or something...). A bonus for this is that, in a pinch, it will also do double-duty as a shimmery eyeshadow for those times when you only want a bit of a subtle pop.

For Lips:

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm: ($7)

Another work horse for the busy summer girl! I swear by regular Burt's Bees lipbalm, and this is a nice way to dress up your look with a pop of color, without looking or feeling overdone. All of the colors apply smoothly and look super natural, and they are also SP15, which is a summertime necessity. With so many benefits at such a small price, this is one to stock up on.

Smith's Rosebud Salve: ($6)

There's a reason why this product is the stuff of legends. Smith's Rosebud salve doesn't really have to be confined to any one season, but I decided to include it here, because I find that it's a great lighter substitute for lipgloss, which is something that I just cannot deal with when it's hot and sticky outside already. This stuff gives your lips a healthy glimmer, smells amazing, and can be used in a variety of other ways, such as moisturizing cuticles and keeping flyaway strands of hair in their proper place. You can purchase this wonderful goop in both a tin and a squeezable tube, but my philosophy is that if it's under $10, you may as well just get both.

For Brows:

Benefit Instant Brow Pencil: ($20)

Just because you might be chomping at the bit to get outside and do some summertime-day-drinking, that does not mean that the brows can be ignored! They are the frame of the face, you know... I, for one, have no interest in fussing over a bunch of different products and brushes and setting gels to achieve the perfect brow, so this pencil really works wonders, delivering a natural finish that holds up through perspiration. A(nother) bonus is that it comes with a spoolie on one end for touch-ups on the go. This may be a step worth skipping if you're blessed with a naturally bodacious brow ala Cara Delevingne, but for the rest of us, this is an application that, when mastered, can be done quickly and easily to really pull your whole look together.

A little something extra:

Essie Nail Lacquer in "Geranium": ($8.49)

While I like to keep my makeup relatively natural and simple in the summer, the same does not ring true for my nails. Summer is a time to go for broke, so I usually have some kind of bright red or hot pink on almost all season. This particular red has really grabbed my attention lately, as it's a really nice 'fiery' red without being too orange. Others to check out are, "Style Hunter,"(a darker pink-red) "Watermelon," (a saturated hot-pink) and "Vermillionaire" (a true orange-red).

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One thing to remember is that no look is worth its salt without mascara, so that is not a step to skip, and while I didn't include one in my picks, I would just throw on whichever brand or type makes you feel fabulous in two coats and you'll be good to go!

Please share with me in the comments some makeup products that you think work well for the warmest season; I'd love to read what you think!



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