I'd love to tell you that I am naturally beautiful, perfectly polished, and never make a makeup mistake. And I certainly would never do anything to embarrass myself. But I'm betting you would catch me if I tried to pass off such nonsense as reality. So instead of making something up, I'll just confess the paltry truth. Yes, I'm embarrassed to say, I have made far more than my share of summer beauty blunders. Hopefully, though, you'll learn enough from MY mistakes that you won't have to commit your own!
The mascara 5k run. We've all seen the videos of the swimsuit model who gracefully dives into the ocean to cool off. She comes up from the waves, flicking her long dripping hair over her shoulder, all the while looking perfectly beautiful and gorgeous, with the sun setting behind her. Naturally, that was the image in my head as I cannon-balled into the four foot deep pool, completely forgetting that I was wearing a full face of makeup. My glorious ascent from the depths of the pool was totally marred by awkward stares and the realization that there was mascara running down my cheeks and dripping off my chin. I dove back under and scrubbed away the makeup in the pool, in a very vain attempt to 'save face.'
Well, you can save face pretty easily by keeping all makeup to the bare minimum if you're going to be around any body of water larger than a half-pint. Stick to the basics, and make sure everything is completely waterproof (forget water resistant - it won't hold up!). If you must use concealer, use a waterproof concealer that matches your skin tone exactly. Use it only on blemishes or discolorations. While you're at it, a little touch of zinc on any acne marks will help prevent scarring from sun damage. Forget foundation, waterproof or otherwise. Instead, use a tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 or greater to protect your skin and your pride. Avoid wearing powder if at all possible. A subtle waterproof, creamy eye shadow, a waterproof pencil liner in a soft shade such as taupe, and some basic waterproof black mascara will more than suffice. You'll look beautiful and put together, without looking overdone or taking the chance on a mascara 5k run.
Powder cake. I love my powder foundation. And I love to layer it over my liquid foundation containing salicylic acid. It really helps prevent shine, and I can dab on a bit more powder in my T-zone throughout the day if I need it. One particularly hot day, I went a little overboard on the powder. Ok, I went a lot overboard. It was fine once or twice, but by the middle of the afternoon, the makeup was starting to get a little thick. Between the extra oil production from my summer skin, the sweat from the sweltering weather, and too much powder, well, let's just say I practically had an entire cake worth of powder on my face. It wasn't pretty, and I had to go wash my face and start fresh before leaving my house for the evening.
Avoid making this mistake by simply avoiding too much powder. Instead, keep some blotting papers handy, and when the shine starts to get out of control, blot away rather than adding powder. If you don't have blotting papers handy, a paper napkin, paper towel, or even a tissue will help. Keep in mind that overly matte skin looks a little pasty and sickly in the summer, so a hint of shine is actually a good thing. Avoid powder if you can, otherwise, use it very sparingly.
Sunblock: epic fail. I'm not one to advocate tanning, and I really don't like to lay out in the sun for very long (I can't sit still that much anyway). But I do enjoy the beach, and I really like being in the sunshine. So I layer on the sunblock, usually around SPF 30, so I get a tiny bit of a tan on my translucently white legs. Last summer, I went to the pool a few days before a big event. I didn't forget the sunblock, but I DID miss a few spots. Namely, I missed the top of my chest, the backs of my arms, a big swatch across my back, and of course, the tops of my feet. Lucky for me, they didn't blister, but they did turn flaming red and, oh, did it hurt. What was I thinking? When I put on my strapless top, I had funny little red spots peeking out at all angles, painfully rubbing against my shirt. And forget wearing strappy sandals- not only did it hurt, it also looked totally ridiculous. I can't tell you how many people laughingly slapped me on the back that night. Major ouch!
The best way to apply sunblock is before getting dressed. You'll be less likely to miss a spot that way, and be sure to use at least a shot glass worth of sunblock to cover your entire body. Remember that you need to reapply every two hours, after being wet, or after sweating a lot. Use a high enough SPF and have someone help you with those hard to reach places. Don't forget your ears, part in your hair, and the backs of your knees. It doesn't hurt to get an added boost from a super-trendy big floppy hat, a maxi dress, or a long sleeve white cotton shirt. You'll look cool and stay safe from the sun.
VPL.* One would think that I have committed enough beauty crimes that the pretty police would either have me arrested or send me to rehabilitation. So I won't even tell you about the other day when I forgot to check my backside in the mirror before running out the door. Yes, there were VPL's.* And no, I don't really want to talk about it. At least not today, I'm too embarrassed….
What were your most embarrassing summer beauty mistakes?
*Visible panty lines.