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Makeup for the hazards of summer

Makeup artist Laura Mercier shares some tips to help you highlight and heal your summer skin.
/ Source: TODAY

Bug bites, sunburn, poson ivy, what’s a girl to do? If these summer bummers have left you far from a bathing beauty, help has arrived. Makeup artist Laura Mercier’s devoted celebrity clients include actresses Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker and many more, and she offers some advice to help fix your summer beauty blunders on “Today.” Read some of her tips below.

Summer is all about skin. The “less-is-more” concept not only applies to the makeup you wear, but also in dealing with the many hazards that summer might throw your way. Here are some tips for dealing with the extreme heat and unexpected hazards of summer.


Keep it simple. Summer is a time for your skin to breathe and shine through. Use products that are multi-purpose such as a light moisturizer or tinted moisturizer with SPF ingredients. Tinted moisturizers are a perfect alternative to foundation as they provide moisturizing elements to the skin and protect from the sun’s harsh rays.

Don’t fight your freckles with foundation and let your inner child shine through. Foundation should always be sheer so your natural skin can shine through. Carry a translucent pressed powder compact so you can blot and not cover the skin. Blotting your skin with a pigmented powder adds more color to the skin whereas translucent powder simply resets the makeup.

Products such as cheek sticks and crème eye colours offer ease of application and typically last longer on the skin during the hot summer months. Soft, shimmery neutrals are the order of the day for eyes, while lips should be drenched in sheer colors. Want a simple evening look as well? Simply add a shimmer loose powder to the arms, necks and décolletage and enhance the lips with a soft gloss.


The hot and often active summer months can lead to unexpected breakouts. Again, apply a sheer layer of foundation and use an oil-free camouflage that matches the skin’s natural undertones to cover the blemish. Use a clean brush to apply the camouflage to the surface and just around the blemish and set with translucent powder (using fingertips can transfer oils from the fingers and inadvertently use too much product).


With summer also comes sunburns. Protect your skin at all times. Arm yourself against the harsh rays of the sun with the following: Always wear a lot of sunscreen that offers both UVA/UVB protection and reapply several times; avoid products with acid exfoliating products like alpha-hydroxy and glycolics, as well as fruit enzyme exfoliants, which cause the skin to be much more sensitive.

If you do sunburn, keep makeup to a minimum. Use a foundation with yellow undertones to diminish the red and apply it lightly and sheerly; adding a bronzer or cheek colour can help minimize the color. After a sunburn comes the process of peeling. Remember to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Stay out of the sun and use products like a tinted moisturizer or cream blush. Only apply powder where necessary. The more talc-based product you use, the drier and flakier your skin will look.


Additional hazards of summer are poison ivy and heat rash. The most important rule to remember is to make sure that all your products and tools are disinfected — replace them if they aren’t. Using tools that aren’t will spread the infection. Use minimal products if you experience heat rash so that your skin can heal first. Pull attention away from the area by drawing attention to the uninfected areas.


For dry skin from air travel, try using a humidifier in your home to help your skin regain its moisture. Moisture masks and night moisturizers are great because they take advantage of the optimal night renewal time. Stripping the skin of oil is never a good thing because it often causes the skin to retaliate by producing more oil which leads to breakouts, so use products with essential, hydrating oils.

Arm yourself with these tips and you’re ready to take on whatever the summer casts at you.

Laura Mercier’s award-winning work has graced the covers of Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Mademoiselle and more. In 1996 she launched her own line of cosmetics and her specialty and trademark — the “flawless face” — has made her the most consistently requested makeup artist of choice for some of today’s top models and actresses. For more tips from Laura, you can visit her Web site at: