Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Beat the Heat: Travel-Friendly Summer Essentials

With the weather warming up, I’ve been seeing questions posted on beauty forums about what beauty products to wear for summer, particularly for hot and humid climates. Personally, I think the best makeup for summer is ultra-lightweight and long-lasting. Try to avoid powdery looks and let your skin breathe by using the minimum amount of product to create maximum impact. Here are my favourite products to create a complete summer look, which can be packed in a pinch for travel without needing to pack any application tools.

Products pictured above:.

1. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15

2. Clinique Moisture Sheer Tint SPF15

3. MAC Blot Powder

4. Lancome Virtuose mascara

5. E.L.F. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen

6-8. MAC Paint Pots in Bare Study, Rubenesque & Indianwood (left to right)

9. Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder

10. SugarBaby Cream Blush in Flush

11-12. MAC Slimshines in Bare Study & Missy (left to right)

13. L'Oreal Elvive Smooth Intense Anti-frizz Serum

1. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15

This is a wonderful moisturiser for summer as it’s virtually weightless, contains sunscreen, and has a built-in mattifier to keep the skin shine-free. Unlike some mattifying moisturisers, this one doesn’t leave the skin feeling tight or looking unnaturally matte. Like the rest of Paula’s range, this product is great for sensitive skins, and is fragrance- and colour-free. The pump-tube packaging is also great for travel.

2. Clinique Moisture Sheer Tint SPF15

This tinted moisturiser is like no other I’ve tried. It has a lightweight gel-crème formula with a slightly matte finish. Unlike most tinted moisturisers, it’s really truly not greasy at all, which makes it great for oily skins or hot weather. The coverage is pretty good for a tinted moisturiser – more like a lightweight foundation – and as an extra bonus it contains sunscreen. Available in three shades; best worn over a light moisturiser.

3. MAC Blot Powder

An everyday essential for me, MAC Blot powder is wonderful for keeping oil and shine away for hours. Unlike many powders, it does not contain talc, so it doesn’t leave that “powdery” look that many face powders can. Comes in a travel-friendly compact with mirror.

4. Lancome Virtuose Mascara

For summertime eyes, partner a sheer, shimmery eyeshadow with a volume-building mascara for maximum impact. I actually got this tube of Lancome Virtuose as a free sample with a magazine, and I’m very impressed. It has a nice volumising effect even on my short lashes, but unlike some formulas it doesn’t seem to clump up after a few weeks (hello Diorshow I’m talking to you!).

5. E.L.F. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen

Forget smudgy pencil liners, or messy gel liners that require a brush, and go for a long-wearing liquid eyeliner pen. E.L.F.’s eyeliner pen is long-lasting and super easy to apply even for a novice – it has a flexible tip similar to a felt pen, so you can vary the thickness of the line by applying more or less pressure. It’s very similar to the Penultimate Liner released by MAC last year, but for US$1, this one’s a steal.

6.-8. MAC Paint Pots

In high heat, powder eyeshadows can fade and crease, so for budge-proof beauty try a long-wearing cream eyeshadow instead. MAC Paint Pots come in a range of colours, including some lovely shimmery neutrals that are must-haves for summer. Try Bare Study (shimmery champagne), Rubenesque (shimmery apricot) or Indianwood (frosty copper) to create a soft, barely-there eye look. You don’t have to use a brush to apply, so you can literally just smudge and go.

9. Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder

For bronzers, I think a matte finish is best to achieve a natural look. The trouble is finding one that doesn’t make one look like a tangerine… Mmm classy! Benefit Hoola definitely fits the bill – unlike many bronzers, it has no orange or red tones. It comes with a cute little brush so you can take it on the go.

10. SugarBaby Cream Blush

Cream blushes are lovely in summer as they add a radiant hint of colour without a heavy, powdery feel. To beat the heat, stay away from “creamy” formulations and choose highly pigmented, sheer formulations. SugarBaby Cream Blush in “Flush” is a sheer coral to brighten the complexion. It doesn’t contain orange tones, so just about anyone can wear this shade. Just apply with fingertips and blend. Best of all, it’s budget-friendly and comes in a travel-friendly compact with mirror.

11-12. MAC Slimshines

These sheer colours for lips are best described as “gloss sticks” rather than traditional lipsticks. They are ultra-glossy like a lip gloss, but without any stickiness whatsoever, or the heavy feeling of a lipstick. Even those who hate to wear lipstick will love these. I really like the colours Bare (which adds a hint of natural pearlescent colour to lips) and Missy (a sheer summery coral).

13. L’Oreal Elvive Smooth Intense Anti-Frizz Serum

When the humidity hits, it’s time to fight the frizz! This hair serum is surprisingly lightweight, and smooths out frizzy ends without making them greasy. It’s a very versatile product – you can apply to wet hair to smooth it out when blowdrying, or on dry hair to tame frizzy fly-aways, or simply apply to wet hair and let it dry naturally.

Me and my blog... here we are at last!

Hi and welcome to my beauty blog! A little bit about me - I'm a self-confessed makeup addict from New Zealand (a Kiwi, as we are known!), living in the United Kingdom. I'm not a makeup professional, but I love trying out new products and techniques (and of course, testing them out on myself). I enjoy learning new things from others, so please feel more than welcome to share your thoughts and comments :-) I don't have a massive budget to spend on products, so you won't see any massive product hauls on here, however you will see plenty of first-hand reviews of MAC products and lower-end items too. Requests are also welcome.