We all know that make up fashions change with the season, but beyond the latest trends there's a basic rule of thumb for summer cosmetics: when the sun's brighter, keep make up lighter.
Whether you're at the beach or in the city, when the thermometer rises, a more natural look is appropriate. With that in mind, here are five tricks to look your best this summer:
The solar spectrum changes through the year, and on those cold grey days of winter natural light really does have a different quality. From November to March, the light is colder and more of a blue-grey than in summer, when warmer red tones predominate. This is one reason why winter seems to call for more intense, deeper colours, to counteract and brighten that grey atmosphere, whereas in summer a softer palette of oranges and playful pastels, copper and gold is more appropriate.
Even if you use sun cream, the chance are that your skin will change colour in the summer, so your make up shades need to change to keep in tune with a tanned skin. The tones that favour a pale winter skin may be too aggressive for a tanned face. During the summer months it's a good idea to avoid deep purples and plums, vivid red lips and heavy black eyeliner. If you're really not willing to give up these shades, then choose semi-transparent formulas that give just a hint of colour and are more flattering.
Foundation should be kept to a minimum, allowing your natural complexion to be seen and appreciated. Don't insist on covering the skin with layers of heavy opaque make up to hide every last spot, freckle and pimple as this will result in an artificial and 'plasticky' look. Worse still, as the heat causes you to perspire, the base will start to congeal and your skin will end up patched and shiny. In summer, more than ever, it is important that your make up should allow the natural quality of the skin to show through. Go easy on the translucent powder, too, as, when the temperature rises, it has a tendency to build up and emphasise skin creases and wrinkles.
Cream products are the best allies for summer faces. Enjoy the advantages of creamy textured shadows, blushers and lipsticks that can be applied casually with a finger tip without the need to draw in a hard outline. This haziness can be used to achieve a more relaxed and natural look. Just add a hint of colour in the centre of the cheekbones, on the eyelids and lower lip, and blend gently to give the impression of being made up but without overdoing things.
With the sun high and everywhere hot and dry, lips should be moist and fresh. Say good bye to matte formulas: now is the time to shine. Bear in mind that liquid format colours have the advantage of being more heat resistant than traditional lipsticks and are much easier to apply than a messy melting bar of colour that's been in your bag in the sunshine all day.