What we wear often reflects the mood of the season, and makeup is no exception. In winter, as we bundle up, we color our faces with heavy, opaque hues and textures. But come summer, it's time to lighten up with barely there shades and formulas that are still pretty but allow natural beauty to shine through.
Secret #1: Foundation
Foundation feels heavy in summer and can be dropped altogether if your skin is clear. Camouflage imperfections like undereye circles, redness, and blemishes with a concealer that matches your skin tone, says New York City makeup artist Michael Angelo. If you need a little more coverage, prime your skin with a medium-shade self-tanner.
If your skin feels naked without foundation, opt for a sheer formula, like Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($14.99), or a melt-proof sport tint with sun protection. Sport tints resist perspiration and heat. "They're lightweight and don't look heavy in the harsh sun," says Laura Geller, owner of Laura Geller Makeup Studios in New York City. To lighten your current liquid foundation, apply it with a damp sponge, Geller says, to dilute the color and spread the liquid evenly.
Secret #2: Eye shadow
Eye shadow tends to melt, crease, and smudge from perspiration. Keep it in place by coating lids with an undermakeup primer, like Philosophy's The Present ($25). Top that with shimmery pastel shadows in powder or cream formulas, which are pretty in the sunlight. Angelo suggests replacing eye shadow with blush, which is also less apt to show hot-weather wear.
Secret #3: Eye liner
Eye liner also smudges easily, and it can look severe in the hotter months, so your best bet is to skip it. But if you feel it's a necessity, use dark powder eye shadow and a slanted eye liner brush, like the m.a.c. Small Angle Brush ($17), to softly define your lash lines. Because it's powder, eye shadow is less likely than a waxy pencil or liquid liner to smudge.
Secret #4: Blush
Blush's color and amount should also be lightened. "In the summer, you glow naturally, so you only need a little," says Geller. To look luminescent, apply a pink or pink-apricot shade to the apples of your cheeks. For a different summer blush approach, mimic the look of a tan by applying a medium-shade powder bronzer lightly across your face, focusing on where the sun hits your nose, forehead, chin, and cheeks. Use a thin, fan-shaped makeup brush to get the subtle coverage necessary for the look.
Secret #5: Lipsticks
Lipsticks that are dark and opaque look too severe in bright sun. Replace them with spf-packed sheer shades and glosses, Geller advises. If you want your mouth to stand out but still look natural, try this technique from Angelo: Line your lips with a pencil that matches your lip color, and top that with tinted lip balm that contains spf 15, like Clinique Superbalm Tinted Lip Treatment ($11.50). Every night, treat your lips to a coat of emollient lip balm or vitamin E to keep them from chapping and cracking. Tip: To smooth chapped lips, smother them in balm and exfoliate by gently rubbing with a dry washcloth or soft-bristle toothbrush.
Secret #6: Mascara
Mascara can be tricky―one blink can smear it on oily or moist skin. Keep it in place with a waterproof formula, like Almay One Coat Mascara Thickening Waterproof ($7.99). Also, avoid the lower lashes, Geller says.