Expert Advice

Make-up Meltdown

Chandler Rollins | June 17, 2013 | 2:33 PM

Make-up Meltdown Summer is here. As the temperature rises, it’s time to take the necessary measures to maintain a fresh face. Modern Salon spoke to celebrity make-up artist and Director of Artistry for the Makeup Show, James Vincent, to get his top tips on beating the heat and achieving the perfect complexion.

Modern Salon: How does humidity affect the skin (dry, combination and oily)?

James Vincent: Humidity will affect the skin in different ways. I think that there are two factors, heat and moisture. Humidity will affect drier skin in a way where you start to see more texture in your makeup as the skin heats up and water evaporates. For oily skin, your sebaceous glands start to over secrete, which results in the greasy mess that a lot of women associate with summer months. But, that’s not the case with everyone. One of the things you can do is examine your client’s skincare routine. Is their skincare setting them up for success in a humid climate?

MS: How can makeup artists prep the skin during the summer to ensure longevity? 

JV: I keep it very basic. I find that like works with like. If I’m using an oil based foundation then I’ll use an oil based moisturizer. If I’m using a water based foundation, I’ll use a water based moisturizer. I’m not a big fan of primers. Many women believe that primers will help them keep their product in place, but primers with silicone always return to shine. A lot of times what will happen is women will use these primers for high humidity and think they will be great, but the primer will start to shine through their moisturizer.

MS: What are your top do’s for makeup artists who have clients that live in humid environments?

 JV: From the driest skin to the oiliest skin, you’ve got to use a moisturizer with an SPF. You have to take a close look at your client’s regimen and see if they are protecting their skin as best as they can. The best way to do that is with a moisturizer and SPF. It can even be a very light moisturizer or a mattifying moisturizer. One of my favorites for humidity is Embryolisse Hydra-Mat.

Toning the skin is a great way to prepare the face for moisturizer. An essential oil like a rose water toner will be bacterial static and also help with cell reproduction, which can combat the overproduction of oil.

I like Mario Badescu’s Herbal Toner, Embryolisse Rose Water or Shu Uemura.

MS: Are there any complexion products that you prefer for high humidity?

JV: Definitely go with a waterproof foundation with a sheerer coverage. A lot of women feel like they need a full coverage makeup to hide things. But, sometimes it’s just about using a sheerer coverage and evening out the tone. MAC Face and Body or Makeup Forever Face and Body are ideal for humidity because they are waterproof. Start in the center of the face, the area where most women need coverage, and sheer your way out. Then go back and build the areas where you need more coverage. Even if they perspire or their skin gets a little oily, the foundation will still stay set. You can use a blotting paper to get rid of any excess shine.

Try cream blush for humid months. Start with a blush or bronzer underneath foundation. As the skin heats up throughout the day, it looks like the product is flushing through rather than sitting on top. Cream or gel products like BeneTint, Stila Convertible Cover or NARS Multiples are my favorite because a little goes a long way. And these products don’t weigh on the skin. I also make sure that during humid months, I only use bronzer on places where the sun hits the face: forehead, center of the nose, highest point of the cheekbone, chin, and any exposed skin. That’s going to give your client a beautiful sun kissed glow.

MS: What is your position on using powder during the summer?

JV: I try to use as little powder as possible on the skin. I find especially in humidity, it starts to cake up. If I do use a powder, there are two types. There is a mattifying powder that has a traditional talc-based formula that will set your complexion into place. Then there are all of these high-definition powders that are silica based. They aren’t designed to be used all over the face. They are designed to be used very slightly just to disperse oil and water. The less powder the better. I would prefer for you to set your foundation with a setting spray for humid months and to touch up with blotting paper. Mist and Fix from Makeup Forever or MAC’s Fix Plus are best to set your foundation because you aren’t adding an extra layer of foundation or powder to the face.

Mineral Makeup is the product that I don’t love for humidity. A lot of women find that mineral makeup is easy to apply but what happens is you can lose control in the heat. What mineral makeup tends to do is reflect and refract light at different wavelengths. In a humid month it can heat up on the skin and give you a really oily shiny look. Going with a powder that has more of a matte finish is what I prefer to use.


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