Stay Matte this Summer

Dear Friends & Readers,

The warm weather brings many good things like lighter clothes, gelato, picnics in the park, going to the beach…. and some bad ones, like oily skin becoming unmanageable.  I have nothing against oily skin, on the contrary I know I should count my blessings because mine is keeping me young.  But trust me, when your make up melts on your way to work and you have the BIG BOSS coming in for a meeting, it’s  just not fun!


For me looking for the perfect primer/foundation/mattification is a trial and error process, but a necessary one. I want to look put together for my corporate life and be able to still have make up on when I get out of the office for the occasional drink/dinner with friends. But if makeup fails because the temperature is rising what is a girl to do? The most hilarious solution is provided by the movie Death Becomes Her, where Bruce Willis paints the face of his 2 costars Goldie Hawn and Meryl Street with actual pain and they start chipping.  If you still have a pulse unlike the ladies in the movie and are affected by the summer oil slick, you may want to read on.

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector: This primer is the best I have used in a long time for many reasons. The first and most important is that it is silicone free.  I can use silicone based primers once or twice, but in the long run the make me break out. This is a safe one and even if I use it every day I have no breakouts. It also doubles as an eye primer and lip primer. I have tried it with some very smoky eyes and got NO creasing. Likewise, I used it under a major red lip and the color stayed put all day. I call this a “major keeper” but I may be a little partial because I love this brand.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation: One of my favorite makeup gurus, Wayne Goss, swears by this brand and I had never tried it even though Sephora across from me apartment sells it. Not sure why we are attracted to some brands and not others, but that is another story. When I heard that this foundation is the “ultimate” mattifying foundation I was quite curious, so I gave it a try.  I am very pleased with the staying power and the ease of application but I need to give you a warning. This foundation oxidizes within 10 minutes that you put it on your skin so you need to try the color at the store and wait before you buy. Even better, get samples of different shades and try them all at home. Yes I do that all the time and I look demented with streaks of color from my cheeks to my neck. But at least it works!

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream: Yes, I know you are going to say that I jumped on the bandwagon of the BB Cream Craze. I don’t actually believe that 1 cream can do it all and all those BB creams promising you 10 different things are just big fat lies. A BB cream can do few things for your skin: keep it hydrated, protect it from the sun, and even it out. Period. Full Stop. That’s it. Maybe some of them can mattify your skin and stay put all day but that’s tricky to find…. unless you try the Clarins one. I am pleased to report that I purchased a tube (No. 1) while traveling when I realized I was going somewhere warm and I had forgotten my foundation. BIG leap of faith but it paid off.  This BB Cream accomplishes the 3 tasks outlined above and at the same time mattifies your skin and stays put all day. It’s a plus that it actually smells good (because some of those I have tried before were really honestly disgusting). So if you are looking for an oil free tinted moisturizer on steroids, this is your best bet.

Chanel Les Beiges Poudre Belle Mine: Dear Readers I am about to make you VERY jealous. During my last trip I managed to put my hands on this lovely product that is not available in the US until August. I usually hate powder make up, especially powder foundation because (no matter what they tell you at the Bare Escentuals counter) it makes even teenagers look old. Case on point: a friend switched from normal liquid foundation to powder a couple of years ago, she immediately looked older. When this winter she went back to liquid foundation (after a little encouragement from me),  people actually asked her if she had had a facial  (code word for “did you get botox and fillers done?”)! Les Beiges is not a powder foundation but a skin perfecting powder. Applied over moisturizer or primer it is impressive: while the coverage is mostly matte, it’s not flat. Let me explain: matte powders usually look like someone put flour on your skin. Les Beiges make my skin (and in August, yours) look matte but natural, not “flour in your face” dry. I can’t wait to try the bronzed version when it launches in the US!

And to those of you who say that I always pick top shelf solutions here is the cheapest EVER. Milk on Magnesia. No I am not joking. Unflavored Milk of magnesia can be used to mattify skin as a primer: saturate a cotton disk and lightly swipe over your T-Zone BEFORE applying make up. Make up artists have been using it on brides forever. Next time you are at a pharmacy grab some, no explanation needed!