Saturday, January 25, 2014

Everyday Summer Edit

Gone are the breezy, idyllic days where a smattering of clouds allowed the sun to play peekaboo- the dog days are here. It's close to forty degrees outdoors and stepping outside at any time between 9 and 5 o'clock induces a sheeny forehead. I often can't bring myself to wear makeup but when I do go to paint my face on, I choose to use these products.

The feeling of liquid foundation or a BB cream on the skin is near unbearable (and it melts off in under three hours) but concealer is still doable and the extra coverage it affords to hide blemishes doesn't go astray. I've been partial to the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage and the Bourjois Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer (I have the shade 53 Dark Radiance). Secret Camouflage gives high coverage but a cream formula while the Healthy Mix concealer has lesser coverage because its liquid consistency blends easily using fingertips.
One of my most-used base products is the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder and the shade I use in summer is Natural Beige. It gives medium- to full-coverage and I buff it into the skin over concealer using a Real Techniques Buffing Brush, packing it onto areas of my face that need the extra help. Instead of being matte like a traditional powder, the Mineral Powder has a luminous, glowy finish that looks extremely natural- the powder formula reduces the visible effects of sweat and sebum and it doesn't feel uncomfortable on the skin whatsoever. 

In the cooler months I often forgo bronzer but in summer it's almost necessary on a face of makeup because the warmth it imparts is so integral to the season. When I neglect bronzer for time constraint's sake the resulting look is lacking and I chide myself for skipping it. For adding warmth to the edges of the face I like the NYC Sunny bronzer- it's a lot more natural than something like Sleek's Face Contour Kit. Beauty Youtubers from the UK seem to drift towards cream blush in the warmer months but I favour powder formulas infinitely more than cream cheek products in summer- they last longer, they're not sticky and they help to set the face makeup. I like peachy blush as much as the next girl but unless I'm prepared to lay down a perfectly flawless base of foundation I don't agree that very warm-toned coral blushes are the most flattering in summer. I prefer something like NARS Deep Throat, and at most, Laura Mercier's Lush Nectarine Second Skin Cheek Colour to add a subtle blush to the cheeks, blending it further up the cheekbone instead of on the apple of the cheek to avoid it looking like rosacea. 

I hadn't tried setting sprays before happening upon this one but Ben Nye's Final Seal Matte Makeup Spray has been good to me. There is room for improvement regarding the packaging- a finer mist would be ideal- but this is considerably more affordable than Urban Decay's and Skindinavia's offerings and works extremely well in its own right. Makeup stays put, blush doesn't disappear as quickly and it works over powder, liquid and cream bases. Unfortunately Ben Nye isn't the easiest brand to find but if you can source it from an industry supply store or wholesaler, it's definitely worth looking into- this bottle only cost $12.

Waterproof mascara is the only kind I use year-round anyway (highly recommend the Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume and Curl mascara!) but in summer eye primer and waterproof eyeliner is imperative. I've turned to Korean brands for help in those areas- the Etude House Proof 10 eye primer has proved to be decent but not out-of-this-world. The Holika Holika Jewel-Light Waterproof Eyeliner in Black has amazing staying power- much better than the Rimmel ScandalEyes formula. Full posts on them are due. 
I don't think lip products vary all that much in the hotter months- I personally prefer stains and lipstick over gloss but it doesn't make a huge difference. Honestly speaking, with the amount of water I chug daily, a transferable lip colour is pointless, but some are too pretty to resist- am I right?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014, A New Year

As yet, my new year is looking up. It's been restful, rewarding and productive. I recently came home from a trip to Quanzhou, Xiamen and Wuyi Shan in China, I'm trialling contact lenses for the first time, and I've bought a few products since my last post.

Midway-up the climb on Wuyi Mountain.

Stillness at the base of Wuyi Mountain.

On Gulangyu island looking onto Xiamen on the mainland.

I finally bought MAC's lipstick in Shy Girl from Duty Free at Brisbane International Airport Departures, I'm so glad I did because it's every bit as pretty and wearable as Lena made it out to be. Thanks Lena!
On a wander around Westfield Garden City I purchased a box of My Beauty Diary Sake Yeast Masks from an Asian beauty store called Sakura Cosmetics and a Holika Holika Jewel-Light Waterproof Eyeliner in 01 Black from a MyCube shop, which isn't as creamy as Rimmel's ScandalEyes version but has better staying power.
Now it's just a matter of getting back into routine, readjusting to the blasted Australian summer heat and eating clean to shed the pudge gained from eating too much good food.