Putting on My Summer Face

After my marathon journey down to the south of France at the weekend (The Open Road and Speed Freak Granny) I am gradually settling into my holiday home where I will spend the next few weeks. And oh, how pale, wan and tired my face looked when I arrived!

Actually it's not just the skin on my face which looked pasty and unhealthy, my whole body was in need of some serious love and attention. I don't know if you find the same thing happens when you go on holiday to a place with a different quality of light, but it's as though everything that looked fine back home - clothes, hair and makeup, now looks 'wrong' and slightly out of place. It's also quite hot down here, so covering up isn't an option! This happens every year, however, so I do know how to deal with the dissatisfaction that these feelings provoke in me.

Putting on My Summer Face

I take a two pronged approach to my pale and wan face. The first is to give myself some 'spa' treatments. I see the first two or three days as an opportunity to give my face a 'breather' and after exfoliating and deep cleansing with a mask, I go makeup free which is quite a challenge for me. However, as I am in the deep countryside, I can guarantee that no-one will see me! Each night I apply a fake tan to my face (I am using St. Tropez gradual face tan) so that when I wake up my face has a 'sun-kissed' look which alleviates some of that deathly London pallor. Then I am ready to re-appraise my makeup and think about what I need to use to look my best in the bright Mediterranean light.


After applying a moisturiser with an SPF of 30 to give me some sun protection, I then take stock of the amount of unifying and coverage my skin needs. This is entirely dependant on my acne rosacea. This flares up with stress, so a few days of relaxing has already seen some improvement. I have brought Continuous Cover Foundation in 03 with me and I have been mixing a small amount of this with some Cover To Cover Conceal in 02 and applying this mixture very lightly over the central area of my face in order to even out the skin tone, cover any redness and also disguise specific blemishes.

Next I apply some Instant Bright Highlight to the tops of my cheekbones and brow bones as this will catch the light as I move my face and help it to look fresh and dewey in the sunshine. Then I dust my face very lightly with Enduring Summer Bronze to add the merest suggestion that the sun has 'caught' my forehead, cheeks and chin. I use Powder/Bronzer Brush 1 with big, sweeping movements so that the bronzer looks subtle - you want to avoid any heavy looking brown patches!

Lastly I add a pop of pinky toned Real Radiance Blush with just enough density of colour to bring my whole face to life. Just as with the bronzer, I use Blusher Brush 2 to make sure that there are no hard lines - just the suggestion of some healthy-looking cheek colour. Now I am ready to think about what eye makeup and lip colour is going to work best!


I feel the best answer to adding definition to your summertime eyes is to apply the Bring Back Brow Shape first so that your eyebrows are creating the right level of 'framing' and then use some very softly coloured No Shimmer Eye Shades to your lids after applying the Smooth Out Eye Prime. This morning I used Cappuccino, but I also love Cream or Soft Grey for my cool toned skin. Choose Cappuccino, Soft Olive or Cream if you have warm tones. Then using Wedge Brush 8, I applied some Taupe along the lash line and topped this with a couple of coats of Lithe Lash Mascara. I could have used Aubergine instead, or Cocoa or Forest if I was warm toned.


In London, I feel that Lustrous Colour Lipstick in Soft Plum is my best 'go to' colour. However, as soon as I am in the summer sun I always feel that it's not got quite the right level of vibrancy. So I reach for Fuchsia or Cherry Red and wow - what a difference! My whole face comes to life and I feel brighter, healthier and all that pale pastiness has been finally banished, as you can hopefully see in the photograph above. I have also made a short video to show you exactly what I do to improve the look of my face when I am in the summer sunshine on holiday. I do hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!

What is your favourite summer makeup product you can't live without? Let me know in the comments below!

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