GRACE'S FACE : THE SUMMER EDIT
Picture the bronzed Greek goddess, sun-kissed limbs flying akin as she springs from one wild Grecian mountainside to the next. Glowing skin, flashing eyes, and tousled tresses are the benchmark inspirations for my summer beauty look. No other can capture the free-spirited appeal of summer quite so flawlessly. The early days of summer call for a warm and radiant glow, so when it comes to defining your seasonal makeup, remember that radiance is paramount, and look to the pantheon for inspiration.
Naturally, protection takes precedence, so I begin with application of the RADICAL SKINCARE Skin Perfecting Screen SPF30*. It's a lovely light, creamy formula, which can be worn on it's own [it has a slight colour-balancing tint and light-reflecting particles to blur imperfections] or as a foundation primer. My base makeup always lasts impeccably when I use this, and it has a high enough SPF factor to face up to the summer rays. The MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW15 is a perennial favourite, so no change here. Words can't describe my love for this concealer, it can make even the biggest, reddest, nastiest blemishes disappear, and it doesn't crease or fade throughout the day. These days I'm more concerned with covering up blemish marks, so the added bonus of its very own SPF factor is more than welcome - UV rays can massively prolong scarring.
This summer I've been completely won over by solid foundation. I always assumed it wouldn't have very good coverage and would cling to dryness or blemishes, but I was 100% proven wrong by the RMK Casual Solid Foundation*. It feels so so light on the skin, almost as if you're not even wearing anything at all, and yet the coverage is every bit as good as a regular cream or liquid foundation. Again, this also contains SPF [summer, perfect]. I use a separate concealer under my eyes for a little brightening action. At the moment I'm loving the ever popular NARS Creamy Concealer in Vanilla*. The shade is absolutely spot-on for me and no matter how early it is I look infinitely more awake once I've blended it in. It's also light enough to provide a bit of highlighting action, whilst still making a real impact in concealing any under-eye darkness.
The bronzed goddess look calls for liberal application of [you guessed it] bronzer; a look that is achievable without looking like an oompa-loompa thanks to the NARS Matte Multiple in Vientiane*. This honeyed golden-brown shade is perfect for both contouring and for adding an all over boost of warmth and colour. I don't like to apply it straight from the stick so I usually coat my REAL TECHNIQUES Contour Brush and then buff it into the edges of my face, focusing on my temples, cheekbones, and jawline, before dusting any excess down my nose and across my face. It's perfectly complemented by the KIKO Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter in Gold*, a warm shade as opposed to the frostier highlighters I tend to reach for in the winter months. I apply this in a '3' shape across my cheekbones and up towards my temples, as well as down the bridge of my nose and close to the outer corners of my eyes. It has a very loose and creamy consistency, so does require buffing in. I coat my REAL TECHNIQUES Buffing Brush in THE BALM Mary-Lou Manizer before doing so - the super pigmented powder sets it in place whilst adding a [serious] glow of its own.
In order to truly sport a healthy glow, blush is required. In the summer months I prefer to forgo powder and apply the NARS Illuminator in Orgasm* instead. It gives the kind of fresh, subtle colour that you get from pinching your cheeks or running a mile in a strong breeze, and it's super sheer so you don't have to worry about looking overdone. When I'm on-the-go I set my makeup with the CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder. It's not the best shine-reducing powder so does require regular touch-ups but I love that it isn't at all mattifying or cakey. You can rest assured that your glow will glow on underneath this.
After combing any makeup out of my brows I brush them into place with the RMK Clear Eyebrow Gel, it has a really thick, gel-like consistency, more-so than most brow gels [truly living up to its name] so keeps hairs in place with one swipe. Next I take ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS DipBrow Pomade through the latter two-thirds of my brows using the ZOEVA Wing Liner Eye Brush*. This is such a clever product, once you've got the hang of it you can use it to create the illusion of fuller, or more angled, or flatter brows, whatever takes your fancy; I adore it. I don't like my brows to look too stencilled, and whilst omitting use of an eyebrow pencil certainly helps to achieve this, the finishing touch to the look is a few slicks of the MAC Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Brown Ebony. I love a bold, groomed brow, but for a look like this I favour them a little wild and unkempt at the same time. This set has a really light consistency so doesn't really add anything more than shape and a tint of colour [I apply it throughout my brows in order to blend the fuller section and the front-thirds together], but the shape helps to lift the hairs and it keeps them in place all day. I used to find that my brows had fallen out of shape by the time I got home but with this set they could easily defy gravity throughout the night. I was recently given the RMK Eyebrow Powder*. It's in the cutest little pen, seriously so so tiny! I don't really carry a lot of makeup with me during the day but I've taken to keeping this in my purse or pencil case. On days when I forgo DipBrow and just use the MAC set I keep my brows touched up with this. It's an on-the-go essential if you're a brow lover. No, scrap that, every girl should own one!
My eyeshadow of the season hands down goes to the CHANEL Illusion d'Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Mirage. I've been desperate to try these pots forever but coming with recent recommendations from Bridie [she's on speed-dial ahead of a Chanel spree] I picked up this gorgeous dark bronze [after much deliberation] and was smitten from the get-go. In the pot it boasts a strangely fluffy and mouselike consistency, but it melts like butter upon application into a weightless and silky wash of [highly-pigmented] colour. I blend this across my lids with my ring finger and then use the LAURA MERCIER Crème Eye Colour Brush to darken the crease before brushing the excess through my lower lash line. Layering it like this helps to create a contoured effect, which looks like you've gone all out with an entire palette rather than just one dinky pot. For an evening look I use the LAURA MERCIER Smudge Brush to define the lash line all around for a sultry, smokey effect that really serves to bring out the green in my eyes. I do find that if I'm wearing it all day it will fade a bit by nightfall, so I counter this by applying it over the KIKO Eyebase Primer*. That stuff is like superglue.
If I'm within a 100-ft radius of a Nars counter then you can guarantee that within a matter of moments I'll be sporting swatches [of any and every kind] up to my elbows. The Eye Paints have had me tempted for quite some time so I was very excited when the NARS Eye Paint in Iskandar* landed on my desk. My second shade of choice for this bronzed summer look, but by no means less appropriate [I don't know about you but I'm quite certain that Athena, Artemis, Hera, et al sported a wash of gold across their lids]. This is pure gold; bright, metallic, and insanely pigmented. I apply it along my lash line using the NARS 47 Brush* for a gold leaf effect or use my ring finger to blend it over my lids. The consistency is a little lighter than the Chanel cream shadow [and is definitely more paint-like] so one wash gives a super sheer [but really pretty] hint of gold - a few more and you've got the molten lids of a Greek goddess. Welcome, to Mount Olympus.
I finish off my eyes with some subtle definition between the lashes with the CHANEL Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer. I prefer a brown eyeliner for this purpose as a more subtle alternative to black, which can be a bit harsh. After a few pumps with the NARS Eyelash Curlers* [seriously, the best lash curlers you'll ever use] I apply lashings of the CHANEL Le Volume de Chanel Mascara, for long, full, fat lashes [which is pretty much a staple element of any look for me, regardless of theme]. I use the BENEFIT Roller Lash Mascara on my bottom lashes. The Chanel's wand is a little too chunky for this purpose but the curve of the Benefit one is perfect; I'm not usually a big Benefit fan [especially when it comes to their eye makeup] but I really do love this mascara.
Requirements for the lips in a bronzed summer look echo those of the look as a whole - a subtle warmth with a hint of shimmer and bucketfuls of glow. The TOM FORD Lip Colour in Vanilla Suede truly shines here [pun intended]. Think 'my lips, but with a hint of magic'. The creamy formula is wrought through with gold shimmer, which boosts the beige-pink shade in order to add an element of je ne sais quoi to your pout. Aphrodite approves.
What products do you use to achieve your go-to summer makeup look?