It's about to get warm outside.
Even during the comfortable temperatures of spring, humidity levels are rising, and the flurry of outdoor activities that inundate social schedules — crawfish boils, festivals, wedding receptions and graduation parties — increases exposure to the elements. Sweat, warmer temps and higher humidity may be good for your skin, but they can ruin your makeup.
Don’t despair: Alyssa Liberto, esthetician, and Tyrelle Angeletti, makeup artist, both at Salon D NOLA (317 Burgundy St., Suite 14, 504-581-3490; www.salondnola.com), explain the products and techniques that help makeup stay put, no matter what the weather brings.
Before beginning the makeup process, complete your skin care routine. “Treat your skin first … because if your skin is good, your makeup is going to look good,” Liberto says.
“Clean your face really well with an appropriate cleanser, like a clarifying cleanser (for oily skin),” Angeletti says. “Let it dry the skin out a bit. Then put on a moisturizer, even though you’re going to get a little oily again.”
If you have combination skin, be sure to treat both skin conditions.
Liberto warns against overapplying makeup when heading to the great outdoors.
“No matter how much you try to prevent it, the oils in your skin will peep through,” she says. Sweat and humidity only make skin more oily, and sunblock (which is a must) adds more oil to the mix.
Angeletti suggests using a foundation that contains sunblock, which will eliminate a product from the makeup base. To reapply sunblock, try a powdered version that can be brushed over completed makeup. Follow the instructions though — many brands recommend at least two applications to get full protection from the sun.
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“Always use a good primer,” Liberto says. “That’s really going to help lock that foundation in. You want a primer with a tacky consistency, so makeup can literally stick to it.”
Use fingertips to spread a liquid or cream primer over the skin, paying special attention to smile lines, wrinkles and natural folds of the skin (like around the nose) — any place makeup can potentially crease.
If you opt for a powdered primer, Angeletti suggests applying it with a sponge, allowing the product to sit on the skin for a few minutes, then gently wiping away the excess.
“It’s really about finding that perfect primer,” she says. “You can use a $5 foundation if you have the right primer.” Angeletti likes primers by Becca Cosmetics, especially for oily skin.
Primer, like makeup, is skin type-specific, so choose one that fits your skin’s needs, such as mattifying for oily skin, hydrating for dry skin or pore-filling for smoothing. For clients with combination skin, Angeletti and Liberto put different products together, using the appropriate primer type for each area of the face.
Similarly, they’ll mix foundations to ensure makeup is drying or moisturizing where necessary. Liberto emphasizes the need to wear the foundation that’s right for your skin. If you’re unsure of your skin type, talk to a makeup professional. (Liberto and Angeletti offer beauty consultations at Salon D.)
Next, hit hard-to-cover areas with a thick, heavily pigmented concealer (a little will go a long way). Concealer follows foundation, not the other way around.
“The face is two-toned, so foundation on top will make the face look bland and flat, like a single color all over,” Angeletti says. “Concealer puts the life in.”
Follow with a dusting of powdered makeup. Keep it light to avoid packing on too much product.
Setting vs. fixing sprays and powders
To seal the deal, people often reach for a setting spray or a powder. Setting sprays are water-based and usually contain a humectant compound that retains moisture in the skin, which helps the layers of makeup bond together, leaving behind a dewy look.
If you prefer powder, Angeletti recommends using a finely milled, starch-based, translucent loose setting powder. She says talc-based powders result in “flashback” — when photographed with a flash, the powder appears white and chalky. She also explains that a translucent formula blends more evenly than a tinted powder, which can flatten out skin tones. (Her favorite setting powder is Laura Mercier’s translucent loose setting powder.)
The application technique is more important than the specific formula. Brushes — even very dense ones — don’t spread powder evenly, which can cause the powder to not set properly.
“You can use a brush for a light application, but I use a sponge and press it into my skin,” Angeletti says. Velour or satin puffs also are effective applicators.
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You don’t need to apply a setting powder or spray all over the face. Liberto says to concentrate efforts under the eyes, in smile lines and the T-zone to prevent creasing.
However, setting sprays often are light on “film-formers,” ingredients such as polymers or acrylates that help makeup stay put by creating a flexible film over the skin. For oily skin especially, a setting spray may not be strong enough to beat the heat.
If this sounds like your truth, try a fixing spray or powder instead. Angeletti likes RCMA’s theatrical-grade cosmetic products. You can use the fixing spray intermittently throughout the application process — after moisturizer and/or sunblock, after completing the liquid makeup part of your routine, in tandem with or in place of a setting spray — concentrating on areas where makeup is most likely to run (such as the T-zone).
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Apply eye makeup after spritzing the face with fixing or setting spray. If you have oily skin, beware waterproof eyeliner and mascara. Waterproof products dissolve in oil, not water, so oily eyelids and waterproof eye makeup can’t coexist. Eye makeup primer is essential — cover the entire lid with a healthy coating, even above the crease where mascaraed eyelashes will contact the skin.
Don’t, say Angeletti and Liberto. Instead of applying more makeup, use blotting papers to freshen the makeup you’re already wearing. Angeletti likes the mattifying blotting papers by e.l.f. cosmetics. Always pat the face (don’t swipe); in a pinch, a square or two of toilet paper will do the trick.