Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ask the Non-Blonde: Makeup For The Beach

Lynn from Philly is asking:
" I’m about to spend a couple of weeks on the Jersey Shore, and while I’d hate to look tacky and overdone, I’m no longer comfortable walking around all day with bare face. At my age it’s more frumpy than cute. What can I do to look fresh and natural but still well put-together?"

I hear you. There’s something utterly ridiculous in going to the beach looking like you spent an hour putting on your face, but unless you’re a 16 year old California girl, au-natural doesn’t always do the trick. The thing is to wear the essentials, but not make it obvious.

You still need some coverage and a little defining color, but it shouldn't look like layers of makeup, and it should never ever smear.

Natural beauty starts and ends with healthy, even-looking skin. A primer, both face and eye, keeps whatever you put over it in its place. Also, you need far less colored product when you’re using a one, so a tinted moisturizer that gives the sheerest coverage is enough. Make sure that at least one of the products has a 15 or 20 SPF. Smashbox has a version of their famous primer with a 15 SPF, and many tinted moisturizers come with one. This summer I'm loving You Rebel from Benefit Cosmetics, which really deserve a separate post.

If you still need a little extra coverage, dab a little concealer, but do it after the tinted moisturizer is in place to avoid over-application.

If you're going to be outside all day, chances are your cheeks will get naturally flushed, so unless you have the complexion of an extra on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, you can probably skip the blush, and just give your face a light dusting of powder that also has some pigment in it. My holy grail in this department is Laura Geller Balance-N-Bronze.

Eyes: Avoid anything too harsh and too black. Unless you really need both eyeliner and mascara to look alive (we all have these days), use just one of them. A dark or medium brown look less painted while still doing the job. I'd also avoid liquid eyeliner and prefer a pencil for a softer look. The eyeshadows can wait till you go out at night.

Lip balm, rosy lip gloss or tint and you're all set.

Now for some 80s goodness from my long lost youth:


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  3. Thanks, hon. I think the eye primer (as one of those red-rabbit-eyed people) can't be overemphasized. It's amazing how just eye primer and a quick swipe of mascara improves things.

    Hey, I wish you'd do a post sometime on glitter and gold. I think all the glittery, shimmery stuff is awesome, but I am old enough I end up asking myself regarding various products, is this ridiculous? I feel like all over facial shimmer is pretty much for the under-30 crowd, but am I wrong? Maybe at night...

  4. March, I'm with you on the shimmer thing. I go to the makeup counters and see all these pretty glowy lovelies, but I'm just not sure I can (or should) wear most of them. The good news is that there are several a bit more subtle options that are still fun, so I think I'm going to do a post. Probably after I'm done testing the new Chanel gold powder (from this fall collection).


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