Monday, April 14, 2014

Hot-Weather Makeup: Dispatch from the Dominican Republic

I'm writing this from a peachy-hued room in the beautiful city of Santo Domingo. I've spent 7 days meeting new people, eating all the great food this city has to offer and, frankly, sweating up a storm. When I was packing for this trip, I tried to be very strategic about the beauty products I packed. I knew I'd be in a climate with high heat & high humidity, which are my skin & hair's nemeses. Yet, I was also meeting my boyfriend's family for the first time, so I still wanted to look polished. So, keep reading for my packing list, the products that sweltered through the weather with me & the ones that slid right off my face. I hope it's helpful as you revise your makeup wardrobe for the summer.

My Traveling Makeup Bag

Products clockwise starting from left: Nivea SPF 60; Maybelline Color Tatoos in Tough As Taupe & Barely Branded; The Body Shop Colour Crush in Chocolate Linger & Mon Cherry; Clinique Chubby Stick in Whopping Willow; Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara in a travel size; Urban Decay Primer Potion in a travel size; Revlon Matte Balm in Striking; Smashbox Megatint in Punch; Fresh Sugar Coral Lip Balm with SPF 15; Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner in Intense Black; Benefit's Gimme Brow; Benefit's Benetint; Tarte Amazonian Clay FInishing Powder; Revlon Photofinish BB Cream in Light; Tarte Amazonian Clay Concealer in Fair; and, of course, my favorite tortoise-shell sunglasses

I had a simple packing strategy for my makeup: neutral eyes with some metallic options, my handy-dandy black liquid liner and some bright lip options. I focused on cream formulas for eyes but threw in a few single powder shades to help with blending. I kept brushes to a minimum, just bringing a small shadow brush and a brush for applying setting powder. In the vein of keeping my application time down, I decided to keep my brows natural and only brought a tinted brow gel. 

Summer Saviors

Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadows in Tough As Taupe & Barely Branded. I love cream shadows for warm weather. Powdery finishes tend to look overdone in bright sunshine, but creams just melt into the skin leaving color & a smooth finish. I used these two neutrals a ton on this trip. I tried them without my Urban Decay Primer Potion and did experience some creasing, so best to continue to prime those lids.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in Intense Black. I mean, do I even have to say it? This liner has been with me through thick and thin lines (ugh, I'm sorry, bad pun). Sometimes the color can bleed into the crease in extreme humidity, so try waiting a second after applying before you open your eyes. It does begin to flake after a while in a pool, so just keep it simple for a day of swimming.

Smashbox MegaTint Long-Wear Lip Color in Punch. These lip colors glide onto the skin like water and once on, you'll forget they're there. The color's sheer but buildable and very vibrant. They only come in six colors, but they run the gamut from nude to burgundy. I plan to grab a few more when I'm back in the States.

Benefit's Benetint. Another classic. A sheer & subtle wash of color for cheeks or lips that doesn't budge. Just be ready to blend quickly or it's sink into the skin and look more like rosacea than a natural flush.

Warm-Weather Wash-Outs

Revlon Photofinish BB Cream in Light. I don't blame Revlon for this product sliding off my face in the hot weather; BB creams aren't meant to be long-lasting. I brought this hoping that with a setting powder, it would get me through the day, but just using a tissue to pat my face took most of the product with it. 

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara. I got a sample size of this and brought it along for its compact packaging. My bad for not checking whether it was waterproof; in extreme humidity it left black flakes under my eyes. But I actually really liked how the formula went on, leaving no chunks and really separating my lashes. I plan to revisit this when the weather's getting cooler again. I have Benefit's They're Real Mascara at home, which in my experience will be water-resistant enough to last the summer; so no great tragedy here!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Concealer in Light. This concealer was just "meh" in warm weather. It's hard to predict whether it will last through a hot day or not. 

So, the main takeaway here: My lip and eye products are ready for whatever heat and smog NYC may bring my way this year, but my face products need a serious revamp. I've never been a MAC girl aside from a few of their lipsticks, but after of all the great things I've heard, I plan make a bee-line for one of their stores in NYC and try their long-wear foundation and concealer. 

Hot-Weather Hair: Embracing the Flaws

At the beach, a basic french braid keeps things simple & untangled. On my face I've only got SPF 60 & Smashbox's Megatint in Punch

My hair routine is always pretty laid-back but it becomes even more so in the summer. When I'm sweating just sitting on a couch, the last thing I want is a hairdryer or 300ยบ curling iron near my person. My hair is fine in texture but I have plenty of it, and has a natural wave that turns to frizz when it's dried out. After washing with a shampoo for normal hair, I'll use a leave-in conditioner (I like Garnier's) on my stands once damp. If I want a tight, wild wave, I'll do a messy but tight french braid, leave overnight and follow up with a texturizing gel in the morning. For a more relaxed wave, I'll go around my whole head, twirling 1-inch sections into little twists and scrunching throughout the dry time. If I wanted to make this a bit more finished-looking, I'd brave the heat of a 1-inch curling iron on random sections just on the top layer of my hair. 

I almost never try to rock my hair down on a truly hot days. It always ends in a frizzy mess and a sweaty neck. I love the spiral pins you can find in various sizes at the drugstore for buns and mini elastics for braids. Sometimes I'll switch things up with a braid flowing into a bun or a twist on the top of my head, but I also love the look of a simple but voluminous ponytail. I'll tease the crown of my head with a root volumizing spray and a comb, and once the pony is in place I'll do the same to the base of my ponytail. 

I hope you'll find some of these personal tips helpful! I think the bottom line is, protect your skin from the sun & stay comfortable. Enjoy the warm weather, and please comment with your favorite hot-weather beauty secrets.

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