Unlike the rest of the people of the world who try to look glowy in the summer, in the land of the merciless sun we need to try to look cool and collected. Shimmer in the middle of June can lead to you looking overheated; so be circumspect. In the winter, however, you can glow like you mean it. Here’s how to do it all!
Where, how and why?
Imagine a face and body, all oiled up, lying in the sun. The sun creates shadows in the crevices of the body and makes brilliant bright spots on the tops of bones and swells of flesh. The tip of a shoulder is a beautiful glowy point; the hollow behind the collar bone is a beautiful dark shadow. Check out the fantastic Italian Vogue cover, shot by Steven Meisel. While the shoot is a dark commentary on the 2010 Gulf oil spill, it does beautifully demonstrate the image I am trying to draw for you. Notice how her highlight spots – forehead, nose, upper lip, chin, upper cheekbone and above the jawline (read my previous column “How to contour your face” to review the rules) are glowing beautifully with shimmer and that her shadows (temple, the bottom half of the cheekbone, the jawline, either side of the nose and the hairline) are velvety dark spots, beautifully darkened with a glowy but dense contour powder. The idea is to look sun kissed and dewy… even if there is no sun!
Illuminators: Liquid, powder, cream or all?
For a truly glowy look (the kind of look I have given Aamina Sheikh in the picture), I often use up to five kinds of illuminators, which gives me five sizes of illuminating particles. But I am a make-up artist! The key, as a layman, is to work out what you think will work for you.
Dry skin/dry cool weather
For this, use the liquid illuminator. This will give you an all over glow. After you do your contours, your left over skin is automatically effort-free highlight spots. I will often mix up to three liquid illuminators into a liquid foundation and set with a sheer powder. Add some oomph to this by mixing in some shimmer powder into your face powder.
Oily skin/humid weather
Use a powder highlighter or a formula that is oil-free. There are many liquid formulas that become non-tacky as they dry, but I would say that your safest bet is to use a powder shimmer. Be sparing on highlight areas that you know are oily and generous on highlight areas that you know are not.
Normal skin/indoor evening
You can do all of the above! But you have another option. Do your base as you normally would and powder. Over the powder (yes, I mean this) add a shimmery cream blush. Be careful to pat gently while blending, too vigorous a motion will take off the base underneath.
Looking like too much? Just remember a disaster is easily averted by putting on swirl of matte powder on top. So don’t panic and just enjoy it!
Armani Fluid Sheers “0” is a pale pink, “1” is a pale gold
Nars “Orgasm” illuminator (a beautiful coral glow)
Benefit “Girl meets pearl” is very sheer so use lots of illuminator and get coverage with concealer
MAC “Soft and Gentle” and “Light Year” mineralise skin finish (very shiny, be sparing)
NARS “Albatross” is pale gold and so easy to use
Benefit “High beam” is liquid but sets absolutely oil-free
The Body Shop “Shimmer Waves” (use the paler waves for highlighting and the warmer ones for contouring)
NARS “Enchanted” (a beautiful coral with chunky bits of shimmery glitter. One of my favourites)
MAC Cream colour blush in “Luna” (pale white) “Pearl” (pale white-ish gold or “Hush”(pale peach)
NARS “Copacabana” the multiple (you can use it on your brow bone, inner V and even to lighten up your lipstick)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.