Saturday, 5 July 2014

How To | Perfect, Glowing Summer Skin & Lips.

I have to admit, I'm a matte skin girl at heart. However, when it comes to summer I really like to switch things up and go for a more 'glowy' look to the skin - not necessarily dewy, and definitely not oily or shiny! This generally involves creams and lighter formulas rather than piling powder on top of powder. This routine looks so fresh on the skin and I absolutely love it. I've come up with a pretty solid routine that will suit both dry and oily skins (give or take 1 or 2 products!) Most people with dry skin will automatically gravitate towards this look, but even if you have an oily skin I'd suggest giving it a go... or incorporating some of these products into your routine for a summer glow to the skin! I decided to include some of my favourite lip products for summer, too. Skin and lips are always a big thing for me during the hotter months and although I like bright lipsticks for summer nights, I also enjoy 'easy' sheerer washes of colour for during the day. If you're interested in seeing some of my top picks for bright summer lipsticks, I have a blog post all about it here. In the meantime, if you have any summer skin product recommendations then I'd love to hear them!

First and foremost, it is SO important (any time of year, but especially in the summer time) to wear your SPF to protect against UV rays. It's also important to moisturize before applying any products to the skin - to ensure your foundation or base doesn't stick to any dry patches on the skin. Luckily, Lush have merged the 2 products together to come up with a brand new moisturizer with an SPF of 30. I've been using Million Dollar Moisturizer for the past few weeks and I'm in love with it... it also smells like a Toffee Penney from Quality Street!

Million Dollar Moisturiser 

Next, it's onto complexion. I always like to prime the skin and Benefit's Stay Flawless ensures that whatever you put on top, goes nowhere! It genuinely acts like a pritstick for your face... and I love it! I've talked about it briefly before on my blog and Instagram, but it's unlike any primer I've ever had before.

When it comes to a base, everyone is different in the summer time. This will obviously depend on your own personal preference, skin type and whether or not you even wear a foundation/bb cream when it's hot outside. Typically during the day, I go for a bit of concealer and MAC Studio Fix Powder or nothing at all. However, on the days when I do want an overall (light) coverage, I go for a sheer foundation or a tinted moisturizer. Now, I am not traditionally a tinted moisturizer girl at all, but I like the Urban Decay Urban Defense one because it provides slightly more coverage than your regular tinted moisturizer and acts as more of a light coverage foundation. It also has an SPF of 20 and evens the skin out nicely. The Urban Defense pictured is actually the old (terrible) packaging - it now comes with more product and in a squeeze tube! If you want slightly more coverage and have a dry skin, I would highly suggest the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation. It's a light - buildable medium coverage foundation with a very dewy finish and so would definitely be best suited to dry skin. One of my favourite tricks when I want a lighter coverage, is to take my regular liquid foundation and dilute it by mixing in some of my moisturizer. This acts as a custom tinted moisturizer and means you can adjust exactly how much coverage you want by adding more or less of the 2 products.

Concealer is my best friend in the makeup world. Whenever I don't feel like faffing about with foundations and tinted moisturizers (which is most days), I just apply some concealer to my under eyes/blemishes and I'm good to go. There are a lot of concealers I like, but if you're going to be on a beach, in the pool or out and about in the heat then the Makeup Forever Full Cover is the only product for you. A little goes a long, long way with this product and it lasts the entire day on the skin. It claims to be waterproof and it's not lying. From the few Makeup Forever products that I've tried, they have incredible staying power and this concealer is no exception. 

If you have dry skin, you will probably want to skip powder in this routine but because I have oily skin, this step is a must. The trick to doing a glowing summer complexion with oily skin is balance between cream and powder. I like to use liquids, creams and light formulas on the face and choose a finely milled and sheer powder to set. Another reason I can powder and still have that sheen to the skin is because I only powder the places I absolutely need to. This for me is under the eyes (which I suggest everyone sets to ensure your concealer doesn't crease), the centre of the nose and chin area. By leaving my cheeks and the rest of my face powder free, I get to keep the glow that is actually flattering on the skin, and keep my oily areas shine free. I also like to keep blotting powders in my bag in the summer time to control my oils without piling and layering powder on powder.

As something extra, the MAC Lustre Drops are an amazing product that I recommend to anyone who will listen. Lustre Drops are a sheer, liquid highlighter that can be used in a lot of different ways. You can use them alone without makeup, or brushing some over your shoulders and chest. If you have a dry skin, you can mix them in with your moisturizer/foundation for an all over glow to the skin with looks so beautiful and photographs amazingly. I like to mix a drop or 2 in with my foundation, too, but if I'm particularly oily, I simply stipple some onto my cheekbones for a subtle sheen. Next time you're at MAC, I'd highly suggest swatching them on the back of your hand. Although they don't look like much initially, they make for really gorgeous summer skin. 
Another summer skin saviour is MAC Fix+. I desperately need to repurchase this because I go through them like crazy! I'm thinking of doing a blog about dedicated to that product alone because it's such a miracle worker. In the mean time, store your Fix+ in the fridge and mist it over the skin for a cooling feel. I also like to use some Fix+ on a foundation brush in the summer before buffing the product into the skin. This works especially well for dry skin - I recommended this to someone on Twitter recently and she said that tip worked really well for her and kept the moisture in her foundation all day!

Cheek products are one of my favourite things about summer makeup. I love the look of bronzed skin and bright, highlighted cheeks. I am obsessed with the Bourjois cream bronzer (technically a primer, don't sue me). I used this every single day when I was in Rome and loved the subtle bronzed look it gave. This is sheer, but still 'there' and looks light and natural on the skin. If you want something more pigmented or longer lasting, I'd opt for a powder bronzer, like the MAC Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden. This has some flecks of gold in it but it doesn't transfer much onto the face which I like. Try to avoid anything too orange or with chunky glitter as it doesn't always look the most flattering in strong sunlight.

I also wore NARS Cactus Flower every single day when I was on holidays. I've mentioned it loads before but it's a beautiful poppy red/pink with gold shimmer and is just the perfect summer colour. Cream blush is a must have for me and I genuinely believe that both oily and dry skins can get away with them!

Lastly, is highlight. This is the part where I do like to go for a strong sheen to the skin. I try and keep these products strictly to the tops of my cheekbones and sometimes very sparingly down my nose. MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle is a go-to that I've mentioned before, and Strobe Cream is technically a moisturizer but I use this little deluxe sample as a cream highlight and it works beautifully. Another tip I have for this look with an oily skin is to choose to do one powder with your cheek products. For example, I might do a cream bronzer and blush but a powder highlight. Most often, I will opt for a powder bronzer, and a cream blush and highlight because I find that to be most flattering when my skin is very oily.

Lastly, is lips. I just wanted to mention these very quickly because Boots are currently doing 2 Revlon lip/nail products for 12.50 and any 2 Bourjois for 19. This is SUCH a bargain and I'd highly recommend picking up some Lip Butters or Balm Stains while they're on offer. Sweet Tart or Lollipop Lip Butters are my favourites for a bright summer lip but they now have lots of new shades in the range. Lately though, I've been really into the idea of easy 'chubby crayon' style lip products. I bought 2 of the Revlon Balm Stains ages ago when they first came out, got 2 more very recently and fell in love with them all over again. They now offer matte and lacquer formulas in an array of shades.

If you have any summer skin product recommendations, I'd love to hear about them below! And as always, if you want to keep up to date with new blog posts etc, you can follow me on Twitter Instagram and Blog Lovin :)