Translucent touches of watery color yield a polished but never overdone look that’s perfectly refreshing for summer.
The makeup swipes and spills you see above may be thick and deeply pigmented on the page; on your skin, they stay true to their hues but feel weightless and look diaphanous. The magic comes from both the formulas lighter than ever, easy to blend, moisture packed and the technique you use to apply them. “It’s just like creating a watercolor painting,” celebrity makeup artist Troy Jensen says. Rather than dipping your paintbrush in a jar of water, though, “you’ll spritz your makeup brush with a facial mist before applying a sheer wash of powder,” he says. It also helps if you prep your canvas: Smooth a serum or a facial oil (like L’Oréal Paris Cell Renewal Facial Oil) onto your skin right before you blend in your makeup. The effect on your face is a bit like how a drop of paint blurs across a wet surface. “It looks gleamy with no hard lines or defined shapes, which gives off a youthful, effortless vibe,” celebrity makeup artist Matin Maulawizada says. And because the formulas go on so sheer, you have a lot of room to play. “You can embrace the bold color trends that are happening right now in a safe way,” explains Tim Quinn, a makeup artist for Giorgio Armani Beauty. “It’s perfect for an active day or a fun summer night out.” Here, a few more pro pointers to help you nail this fresh new face.
First, you’ll pick a color or two. Models in the spring/summer Armani Privé Couture show walked down the runway with custom mixes of sea-foam and rose or shimmery sky blue and dove-gray shadows on their upper and lower eyelids. When you’re doing a watercolor eye, even unusual combos can be wearable, Jensen says. Next, dampen your eye shadow brush with a facial mist (Jensen prefers Dream Organics Rose Water); swirl it in a powder shadow, then swipe along your eyelid, creating a thin wash of transparent color. For continuity, tap a bit into the inner corner of your eye too, Jensen says. Finish with a few coats of black mascara for contrast.
“This is a step above nomakeup makeup: It’s color light.”
Gleamy flushed cheeks
If you want your blush to last for more than a hot second, then it has to be a powder formula, Quinn says. Problem is, powders don’t typically give you much of the dewy, watery factor we’re going for here. That’s why you will sandwich your blush with a bit of balm or oil. After you’ve applied foundation (“I recommend a semimatte finish; otherwise you’ll just be way too luminous all over,” Quinn says), tap a sheer facial moisturizer (a serum, an oil, even a little Aquaphor) on the apples of your cheeks, and then immediately brush a pink or coral powder blush on top. You can add a touch more of your hydrating formula to soften the edges of the color and up the youthful radiance even more.
Here, you have options: There’s the major gloss look mirrorlike lips almost dripping with moisture and then there’s the balmy lip. Superglossy lips are a statement. “I recommend doing that look when you don’t have colorful makeup on the rest of your face,” Maulawizada says. Try swiping on juicy colors, like watermelon and strawberry; they’re flattering and especially fitting for summer. Or if you’ve gone for colored eye shadow or bright blush, then consider a tinted lip oil or a shiny lip balm. “These let the skin on your lips show through and of er a subtle reflection,” Maulawizada says. It’s that natural, your-lips-but-better effect.