So why do I think I should dare write about beauty essentials? Because I'm not going out in public like this!
First things first - SUNSCREEN. I have two favorites.
Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF 50. This stuff is genius. You can wear it full-strength under your foundation/over your moisturizer OR add it them to up their SPF. UVA and UVB protection. No fragrance or color. Now remember, you need 1/4 of a teaspoon of sunscreen to adequately get the coverage promised. And adding it to your moisturizer or foundation will dilute its strength a bit. But still, awesome stuff.
Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45. Here's the thing about sunscreen for faces - you start off the day very diligent with your protection, but hours later, are you really going to mess up your makeup by slathering on another layer of lotion? No. That's where this magic wand comes in - toss it into your makeup bag or your purse then throughout the day, give it a shake and brush on a layer of invisible powder. Even my derm was impressed that it protects against UVA and UVB rays. And on hot and shiny days, it helps mattify a bit. The tube slides up over the brush so you can put the cap back on without messing up the bristles. So clever. Any physical barrier between your skin and the sun will help prevent wrinkles later on, so feel free to layer them on!
FAKE IT RATHER THAN BAKE IT.
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everday Body Medium/Dark. Okay, so at $30 a tube, this is twice as expensive as the drugstore variety self-tanner moisturizers but here's what makes it worth the price. No smell, no transfer onto clothes or sheets, no streaking, great natural color and a pleasant moisturizer. I just used this down at the beach in South Carolina and it gave me a wonderfully even, natural tan. I'd apply it instead of my regular moisturizer after the shower or bath. It comes in light/medium and medium/dark. I went with the later and it wasn't too dark at all on my fair/medium complexion. There's a face version too but I haven't tried it.
MELT-PROOF MAKEUP For casual daytime makeup, I want something pretty, natural, and fuss-proof. Quick and easy, subtle under glaring summer sunlight.
Makeup Forever Aqua Shadow Crayons Powder shadows can get chalky in hot humid weather --or disappear at the first "glow" of perspiration. Cream shadows can crease. Instead, I've latched onto these nifty waterproof crayons. The pearly pink beige is great all over your lid - they blend nicely with just your finger if you move quickly - then add a deeper copper or brown in the outer corner and/or crease and under your eye. Natural, pretty and it ain't going nowhere, no matter how hot and sweaty you may feel.
Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum. Can't tell you how much I love this product! Cheap as chips, it is a fabulous fine-tip eyeliner with great color payoff. Just lay the brush against your lashes and even the most fumble-fingered can draw a thin line that instantly makes your eyes look more defined and lashes thicker. Whether or not it's actually enhancing the lash-building product I use at night, I can't say, but it certainly can't hurt. No smearing, no flaking. I got the dark brown and may have to hit the drugstore for a black one as well. If you want a more defined liner, there's a fatter tipped felt tip version. It's not billed as waterproof but it stayed on until I took it off each night. LOVE.
Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Black Drama Waterproof Mascara. Unlike a lot of waterproof mascaras, this one gives you feathery, separated lashes, and the curved brush gives you curled, flared lashes without a lash curler. The black gives great definition to my skimpy, pale lashes without looking too "done." This is a great product.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10 It claims to be water and perspiration-resistant and that worked for me on the steamiest days. I've been using tinted moisturizer or BB creams instead of foundation and this just gave me enough coverage for undereye darkness and around my nose. Not full face makeup but fresh and clean. Loads of shades so consider going a bit darker if you have a bit of summer color.
Revlon Photo-Ready Cream Blush These new blushes come in three shades, including a bright hot pink and a gorgeous warm coral. Even if you like a subtle look, a bright blush will look super-natural and keeps a summer tanned face from looking too dark and flat. These add just enough color to enliven your face and have a nice soft sheen. Buildable and easy to apply with fingers or a brush. Super pretty.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain These are very similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, but with a much more lasting stain. The Clinique Chubby Sticks are sheerer but don't seem to stay on very long. These feel great, leave a hint of a stain, and have a nifty minty taste. Great colors too. These are flying off the shelves, so grab'em if you can find'em. If you like the Revlon Butter Balms, you'll like these too.
NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Mexican Rose. I have another one of these Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils and I like it, but the color doesn't last too long. A makeup artist at the NARS Bleecker Street store turned me onto Mexican Rose. It's a great hot pink- you can smooth a little on with your finger for a "eating berries with Colin Firth in an English garden" look or use it full-strength. Reapply and it just gets deeper and bolder. And lasts like a tattoo!
This post is long enough without getting into hair products --- I'll save that for another post. But what you'll notice about these products - with the exception of the Dermalogica SPF and the self-tanner - is that these are mostly tubes or pots that take up little space in your makeup bag, whether you're packing for a weekend or a weeklong vacation. Nothing to melt all over your new summer handbag or beach tote -- and because they're so long-lasting, you may not even need to carry them along for touchups!
Happy heat-proof summer!