THE LIVING MAY VERY WELL BE easy, but figuring out how to manage your changing makeup needs in the hot days of summer isn't always.
Your once-perfect foundation now seems too heavy and too hot. Your expertly blended eye shadows seem way overdone. Your lip liner bleeds. And by midday, is it your imagination, or is your entire face sliding?
What do you have to do to keep your summer makeup looking fresh, especially under such sunny scrutiny? We asked an expert, Allure magazine's beauty editor Victoria Kirby, for advice.
Prepare yourselves, ladies. Kirby's first piece of advice seems radical. She advises that women skip applying foundation altogether.
"Foundation is just too heavy for the warm summertime months," says Kirby. Instead, she advises, "use a tinted moisturizer with an SPF."
The sun protection level in the tinted moisturizer should be at least 20, Kirby says, "to protect against the evil sun rays."
But Kirby knows that many women may think that braving the world sans foundation is a bit scary. So, "if you do choose a foundation," Kirby says, "you want something that is sheer and lightweight, oil-free. Nothing heavy. Some women love their foundation and they're not going to give it up in the summertime. But you want your skin to shine through in the summer."
In fact, fresh, clean, glowing skin is a woman's most important asset in the summer, Kirby says.
That's why all cosmetics should be applied with a light hand.
"The rest of the year, it's OK if your makeup is a little more obvious," Kirby says. "In the summertime you really want it to look as fresh and natural as possible."
But that doesn't mean that summer faces should be bland faces.
In fact, says Kirby, the opposite is true.
"You don't want to look too serious in the summer. You want a little more color to make it look special," she says. "Summer is a good time to experiment with things you wouldn't normally experiment with the rest of the year."
Some ideas: Instead of your plain old black eye-liner, try one in midnight blue, or even better, a silver or gold liquid liner.
"It picks up a little light, and it's very flattering," Kirby says.
Have fun with colorful lip glosses in the summer, she says, or use a tinted lip balm for a less sticky look.
Also, take a minute to pack away your brown and beige eye shadows along with your tweed skirts and velvet blazers. You won't need any of them in the summer.
"[Those colors] can look ashy, especially on skin that's a little bit golden," Kirby says. Choose instead shadows that have cool undertones, such as mauves, lilacs -- or even blues.
"I know blue sounds a little scary, but there are really very pale blues that can come up very flattering in the summertime," Kirby says.
There's one essential item you shouldn't give up, no matter how high the mercury rises, Kirby says: Your trusted black mascara.
"The mascara is something you want to keep all year long," Kirby says. "Especially in the summer when your skin is a little more bare."
Lastly, Kirby says, even if you shy away from it in cooler months, try becoming a pro at applying bronzer in the summer.
For the golden sun-kissed look, you'll first want to apply a light layer of bronzer all over the face and neck. Then rub or brush a second layer only on the protruding areas where the sun would hit naturally: the forehead, the bridge of the nose, and along the tops of the cheekbones.
"The hardest thing about bronzer is finding a shade that looks natural. You want a really golden brown color. Look for a color that most duplicates the shade that your skin turns when you get a natural tan," Kirby says.
"You don't want anything with a lot of gray in it because that makes you look kind of muddy. And you don't want anything with too much orange, because no one tans like a tangerine."