Sort your summer make-up bag with our guide...

Sort your summer make-up bag with our guide...


You may not quite have made the leap from cardis to crop tops just yet but you’ve probably already got your eye on a new bikini and at least given Zara the once over. The question is, have you given your summer beauty wardrobe the same amount of thought? If the answer is no, it’s time to prepare for a seasonal update and we’ve enlisted the help of MAC Senoir Artist Dominic Skinner for his top tips on making the transition.

Go sheer

“Nothing says summer more than a fresh, dewy complexion”, says Dominic. Afterall, a combination of heat, humidity and unforgiving light means that no one wants to be advertising a heavy blanket of foundation. So swap your winter base for a BB cream, CC Cream or a tinted moisturizer such as Liz Earle’s Sheer Skin Tint SPF 15, £22.25, for a perfected glow with the added bonus of an SPF. “We all want that covetable ‘just got out of the pool’ skin but think a splash of hydration rather than sweaty and greasy” says Dominic who recommends adding a touch of shine everywhere but the t-zone.
And for those needing a bit more oomph from your base, MAC’s Studio Face and Body Foundation, £21.50, gives you “the best of both worlds” according to Dominic thanks to a heavier coverage with the finish of a tinted moisturiser.

Prime Time

For day-long longevity and to stop things sliding, it’s essential to make friends with your primer in the summer months. “I go for primers that have a mattifying quality but that don’t dry the skin,” says Dominic. “Even if you don’t usually wear them, they’re a must for summer brides.” We love Benefit’s Stay Flawless Primer, £24.50, as it stays put for an impressive 15 hours.

Lasting Impressions

Dominic stresses the importance of “staying power” for summer makeup. “Opt for long-wearing, waterproof formula’s that will take you from beach to beach party (or tube to post-work sundowners) and beyond.” Cream formulas tend to be better for summer as long as you get your base right as powders can go a bit cakey when the heat is on. It’s all about being a bit savy with your make-up and layering up. For example, lipgloss feels more summer-y than a pigmented lipstick but the trick is to use a lip stain under it to amp up the colour and keep it there for longer.

Less Is More

Contouring may look great in a selfie but Dominic warns that make-up-y looks like this are less than practical when things start to heat up. “I recommend keeping things simple in summer as no one wants the heaviness of a Kimmy K look when it’s 30 degrees outside. If you’re hooked on powder and want a bit more definition, I’d stick to one super-soft powder such as MAC’s Studio Sculpt Defining Powder, £22, as it gives an airbrush-like finish and a couple of sweeps under the cheekbones will add a hint of contour and warmth.” For a more dewy, beach-bunny glow, try Estee Lauder’s Limited-Edition Gelée Bronzer, £32.00.

Go Bold Or Go Home

Summer is the perfect time to go a little bit more playful with your make-up as a tan is a lot more forgiving when it comes to rocking brighter colours. “For blush, I prefer picking colours that capture the spirit of summer like an Ibiza sunset hitting your cheeks,” says Dominic (try the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks, £30, in Moonbeach and Ibiza which also double-up as lip colours). For eyes, Dominic recommends keeping it tonal for day but suggests ramping it up for night with a bold eyeliner in ‘Free party’ colours such as azure blue or seventies purple.

Keep It Clean

“I always recommend washing your brushes more often in summer due to the extra oil we produce in the summer heat,” says Dominic. “I would suggest every few days but if not at least once a week.” Opt for a dedicated brush cleaner or simply wash with some gentle baby shampoo letting the bristles dry upside down to keep them in best nick. 

By Sabrina Soormally

Need help with perfecting your flawless base? Watch this video about how to apply your CC cream...