The test for a heavy hander's true love of make-up occurs during the warmer summer months. Here are some tips to keep looking make-up great when it gets hot outside:

1. USE LESS. Go lighter on the application.
i.e. FACE
Opt for a tinted moisturizer instead of the usual liquid foundation. Keep in mind that tinted moisturizer provides minimal coverage so if you do desire something heavier, still go for the routine that you feel best in. You can always use a make-up primer to help keep your make-up in place. If you want coverage, but still don't want anything too heavy, try the next option.

• Apply moisturizer (for summer, try something lightweight, oil-free that has an SPF to protect against the sun).
• After moisturizer has absorbed into the skin (wait 5 minutes), start with a make-up primer. (Not a necessary step, but I always like to use it to help make-up last longer).
• Use concealer to mask any blemishes, lighten dark areas and balance out skin tone. Blend well.
Set the look with a dusting of translucent powder.
Throughout the day, use blotting tissues to absorb oiliness, rather than re-applying powder all the time. Or if you do prefer a smoother look, you could always blot with the tissues and then refresh with a dusting of (loose or pressed) translucent powder.

2. FAKE A GLOW (without spending an excessive amount of time in the sun, which we all know has its damaging effects).
Get bronzed! Use a powder brush to sculpt the face and concentrate (and blend!) bronzer along areas where the sun hits - atop the cheekbones, along the sides of the forehead, and under the chin.
Use a peach pink blush to compliment your tanned summer skin. This colour is universally flattering and instantly brings life to the face. Try NARS Orgasm.
Add some shimmer. Use a shimmer powder, or shimmer cream and highlight just above the cheekbone (I love Revlon's Skinlights for achieving this). The effect is a dewy, tanned and healthy look to the skin.

3. WATERPROOF Your Make-up
i.e. EYES
Look for waterproof products to last against the heat (and sweat) of summer.
liquid eyeliner - will last throughout the day, but I still wouldn't recommend swimming with it.
waterproof mascara - use it and you won't suddenly discover that you've been walking around with raccoon eyes after a day out in the heat.
eyelash curler - this beauty product is a staple from season to season!
eyeshadow - The summer months mean skin is more prone to being oily. To help creaseproof your eyeshadow, prep the eyelid area with make-up primer and a dusting of powder. This helps the eyeshadow to resist gravitating towards the crease of the eye.

4. MOISTURIZE/PROTECT lips and skin (against sunburn and harmful UV rays).
i.e. LIPS
Gloss it up. (If you want more of a colour kick, outline the lips with a lipliner and blend. Apply gloss over top.)

i.e. SKIN
Use an SPF of at least 15. Formulas have improved considerably and are less greasy than in the past. Distribute evenly to any exposed areas of the skin.

MY ROUTINE: During summer, I usually use a combination of tinted moisturizer, concealer and translucent powder for face. For cheeks, I like bronzer plus two shades of blush (a deeper pink to contour, and a lighter pink for the apples of the cheeks)....and we can't forget Skinlights for its shimmer factor! For eyes, the whole nine yards: liquid eyeliner, eyeshadow, cream eyeshadow, mascara, curler, pencil eyeliner. For lips, liner plus gloss or liner plus Inglot Lip Duos. Clearly, it takes more than the heat of summer for me to sacrifice any part of my make-up routine, but that's what make-up is all about, have fun with it during any season!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:34 PM | , | 0 comments »

For more make-up staying power, especially when it comes to wearing your foundation, try using a make-up primer post morning routine of cleansing and moisturizing your face and pre make-up application.

Why use a primer?

Primer works to smooth out the surface of the skin, by filling in little pores and ridges, helping to give the skin a more uniform surface. Primers are mainly comprised of silicones, so it sits atop the skin, as a smoothing layer between the skin and foundation. The better primers also act as 'mattifiers' and help to absorb oil (and thus reduce make-up transfer) throughout the day. Primers are an added step and the better ones are pricey, but you only need to use a pea-sized amount in the areas that are more shine-prone. It will help to promote the daily longevity of your foundation and concealer without the need for touch-ups throughout the day, so you'll be using less and saving in that way!

How to use:
1. Squeeze a pea-sized drop onto finger and distribute evenly on face.
2. Give it a minute to dry.
3. Proceed with foundation application.
Who it works best for:
Foundation wearers and oil-prone skin types

Recommended products:
Inglot Under Make-Up Base ($27)
Smashbox Primer ($37+)

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:28 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

Ever looked at coloured concealer (or foundation) and thought what crazy new make-up gimmick are they trying to get me to buy into now?

The idea behind colour concealer and foundation derives from the colour wheel. Colours that sit opposite of each other on the colour wheel are used to contrast one another. For instance, green and red are opposites on the colour wheel so green concealer is used to neutralize and conceal blemishes, rosacea and other areas of redness in the skin. Dig it?

Here's a brief overview of what coloured concealers and foundations can offer you:

    - tone down redness
    - perfect for blemishes, skin that is prone to redness (i.e. rosacea)
    - brighten dark spots (I love to use it under the eyes), lighten areas of the skin damaged by the sun
    - use for medium yellow to olive skintones
    - brighten and balance sallow medium yellow skintones

    - brighten dark spots/undereye circles
    - use for light warm to medium yellow skintones
  • WHITE (cool)
    - use it to brighten dark spots or to lighten foundation colours

  • CREAM (WHITE - warm)
    - use it to brighten dark spots or to lighten warm, yellow-based foundation.
What kind of formula do I look for?
For blemishes and smaller areas, choose a creamy paste-like, stickier formula. For larger areas, use a lighter liquid texture, as creams will be too obvious when covering these larger areas.

Recommended products:
Lise Watier's concealer portfolio (pictured above) comes in both a palette for light and dark skin tones. The palette contains all the colour correctors needed right at your finger tips, which is particularly ideal for make-up artists who don't always have time to fumble around searching their kits for different products!

For under the eyes, I like to layer MAC's Select Cover in Peach to brighten the under eye area. I always make sure I have at least two of these in my kit, as I tend to go through them pretty quickly.

When all else fails...
If all else fails, it is better to just skip the colour concealer and foundation altogether and instead use your skin-tone coloured one. After all, you don't want to look like the Incredible Hulk when all is said and done with the colour correctors!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:25 PM | , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Where to find: Sephora
Price: approx $30
Review: love it!

Kiss Me Mascara used to be a product only available in certain salons. My cousin first introduced me to it about 7 years ago. Kiss Me has gone on to become an instant hit with major women's magazines and a bestseller in the mascara department at Sephora. The formula is perfect for those looking to maximize their lack of eyelashes (all my asian sisters are saying 'amen' right now). Kiss Me uses fancy high-tech 'microtubule' technology that seriously coats the lashes in a waterproof formula. When you wash it off with warm water (no make-up remover needed!), it doesn't smudge like other mascaras; the mascara comes off literally in tiny tubes that almost make you think you've wiped your eyelashes away! Impressive.

The only downside to this product is that it's usually in the $30 range. Your lashes may thank you for the glam treatment, but for a product like mascara that needs replacement every 3 months, you'll have to justify to yourself if it's worth the splurge. I won't stop you ;)

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:04 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Mascara does have a high turnover rate, so (usually) I can't really rationalize spending $30 on it when you'll have to throw it out in 3 months. Operative word - usually. But rest assured ladies, you can find great mascaras at your local drugstore...usually for under $10!

Maybelline's Lash Stylist
Price Range: ($8)

What It Promises: sculpts and thickens lashes up to 40%
Why I recommend it: The tiny little comb brush lets the
mascara maximally glide onto your eyelashes. What I love about this brush is that even the small, finer hairs get defined.

Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara
Price Range: ($5)
What It Promises: conditions and thickens with a lash-doubling formula. No clumps and blobs. Available in washable and waterproof formulas.
Why I recommend it: The pink and green tube is highly celebrated
throughout the beauty world. Many make-up artists swear by it and it definitely gets the job done.

L'oreal Voluminous
Price Range: ($10)
What it promises: Clump resistant formula that gives you up to
4x fuller lashes.
Why I recommend it: The big fluffy brush allows for a wide-eyed, full-volume come-hither lash look. Who doesn't love that?!

ARTIST TIP: If you find mascara just isn't doing it for you, maybe it's because you're lacking a good eyelash curler. For lashes that tend to grow straight and or downward, a good eyelash curler is an absolute prerequisite for mascara! See this thread for instant eye-opening eyelash curlers.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:04 AM | , , | 0 comments »

You don't have to dish out an arm and a leg for some of the best beauty tools out there: Q-tips that you can pick up from your local dollar store can have mutiple uses for your daily make-up application. These Q-tips are actually ideal for make-up application, as they have minimal cotton (which means the fuzzy bits cotton won't end up on your face--where they shouldn't be!). The lack of cotton also allows for more product transfer as it reduces the amount of product that is absorbed by the Q-tip. Plus, you can get a box of 400 for a $1.14!

The q-tips are perfect for:
  • applying concealer
  • straightening and refining lines after you've drawn on your eyeliner (see picture at right)
  • perfecting line shapes after you've drawn on your brows
  • cleaning up any runaway mascara on the face (Just be careful and wait until the mascara has dried! Use a tiny bit of make-up remover and swipe the q-tip away from the face on the problem area)
  • blending lipliner
  • keeping make-up sanitary (avoid double-dipping!)
  • travelling (if you don't want to lug around brushes)
No sense in spending $5 on a box of 100 'cosmetic' q-tips at your local drugstore...try these dollar store Q-tips out, and for $1 (+ tax) a shot, you can't go wrong!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:40 AM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »
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