Arts & Leisure

By Camille Erika R. Sarte, Reporter

Makeup tips for summer

Posted on March 25, 2013

NEXT TIME you reach out for your makeup kit, take cue from French women and opt for an au naturale look, because less is always more.

At the launch of Laura Mercier Summer 2013 collection, Michelle Draper, the French brand’s global artist, emphasized that when it comes to cosmetics, less is always more. She pointed to the founder of her brand, Laura Mercier herself, who’s philosophy was to always bring out a woman’s natural beauty, rather than “transform” her look. “You don’t transform a woman, you only enhance her features,” she said.

“Makeup,” she added, “should act as a tool to enhance good features and only camouflage concerns.”

In an article (posted in titled “Why Do French Women Wear Less Makeup?” Olivier Joyard, a documentary director, noticed: “it seems to me that makeup is, for Americans, a mask -- but without the refinement of geishas -- while, for the French, it’s an invitation, a dialogue with another person.”

“It really astonishes me the way American women wear so much makeup,” Ms. Mercier told New York Times in 2006. “In America, even teenage girls are overly made-up. And when you are overly made-up, you send out the message that you are overly sexual, that you want to be visible to attract men.”

By contrast, she noted, “French women are not flashy. They must be subtle. The message must not be, ‘I’m spending hours on my face to look beautiful.’”

The “less is more” philosophy is appropriate for the season as the scorching heat of summer arrives. It is the time of year when women need to sort through their makeup bags, chuck out what they don’t need, and adjust makeup products along with the climate.

Heat, humidity, and even sunlight have big effects on cosmetic products, so makeup artists recommend keeping makeup routines simpler when summer comes rolling in. Ms. Draper explained that in the heat, makeup tends to “melt,” so the rule of thumb is (as should be the rest of the year), wear less makeup.

Ms. Draper went on to give a number of tips on wearing makeup during the summer, mostly in reference to the Laura Mercier’s summer collection. One must keep in mind though that only part of the collection will become available during the Philippine summer -- creme lip liner, lip crayon, matte radiance baked powder eye basics, and baked blush bronze will get here in March and April. The rest of the collection will not arrive on the country’s shores til June, just in time for the rainy season (body bronzing makeup and illuminating eye color). Still, the tips are handy to keep in mind now as the scorching sun blazes down, and may still be applicable in the humidity of the middle of the year.

Laura Mercier’s summer collection drew inspiration from rich, textural native cultures and features earthy shades for the temperate world’s summer. The line feature formulations and textures which take into consideration seasonal needs.

According to Ms. Draper, the most important product to keep and wear throughout summer is a primer, like Laura Mercier’s Eye Basics (P995) and sandwich it in translucent powder which “will keep your make up from falling off [because of the heat],” she quipped.

When sorting through makeup kits, unpack products that are too shimmery, glittery and are not hydrating. The sun is very harsh during summer and shimmer under the harsh sun can make the face look very oily. Plus, products tend to melt throughout the day so shimmer that was meant to be on your eyes or cheekbone, tend to go everywhere else.

Instead of shimmer, opt for products that illuminate and give radiance, are rich in pigments, and are hydrating (Laura Mercier suggests products like the summer line’s Illuminating Eye Color [P995], Lip Crayon [P995], and Crème Eye Liner [P995]).

Along with the eye liner, the crayon is also cream-based, which is the best texture for the summer because of its moisturizing properties, she explained. The products also feature micronized pigments and mica which provide vibrant color intensity and immediate color impact, meaning they stay put on the skin longer and need fewer touch-ups.

The star of the summer, according to Ms. Draper, are bronzing products, like their Baked Blush Bronze (P1,550) and Body Bronzing Make up (P1,550). She observed that Asians tend to shy away from bronzers fearing that they will look darker, which is not really the case when applied correctly.

Aside from the multiple looks it can offer, bronzers are also very functional.

She explained that during the summer, “we tend to be outside a lot and skin usually becomes a bit darker. Sometimes, the foundations we’ve been using becomes lighter, so adding a bronzer to your routine will give you a perfect, even color. It gives your face that warmth.” She advised applying the bronzer all over the face with a light hand and dabbing it on to the hand first before the face.

For the sun-kissed look, apply it on the high points of the face, where the sun usually hits -- cheeks, nose, brown bone, forehead, and chin. If you’re really unsure about using a bronzer, she recommends using the brand’s new Matte Radiance Baked Powder (P1,650), a more subtle product with a softer finish.

Laura Mercier has also infused skin-friendly elements into the collection, like Vitamin E, Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Rose Seed Extact, Hyaluronic Filling Spheres, among others. These ingredients work to help protect skin cells from free radicals, moisturize and help soften skin, restore skin’s elasticity, and plump fine lines and wrinkles. They’re also fragrance-free.

But remember, don’t just leave skin protection to your makeup products, said Ms. Draper. Add sunblock to your routine, especially during summer when the sun is up high and you spend more time under it.

Laura Mercier is available at all Rustan’s Department Stores