You wake up out of a deep sleep and into a hot, steamy, sticky reality: summertime heat. While the heat is something most of us Midwesterners wait nine months out of the year for, sometimes it gets to us too. More importantly: it gets to our makeup. Your mindset about the weather can be changed, but the way your makeup feels on damp skin...well, there’s not much you can do but work with it.
In the summertime our skin is clear, glowing, and moisturized, which means that we don’t have to wear nearly as much makeup as we do in the other months—nor would we want to. When you feel like your skin is about to melt off the second you get into your sun-baked car, you probably instantly regret the layers of foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, highlighter, eye primer, eye shadow, blah, blah, blah, you put on. Luckily for you, I’m going to share one of my favorite makeup techniques for the summer that will leave you radiant and rosy, but without using a ton of different products...like less than five.
What’s the magic technique, you ask? It’s using monochromatic makeup. You might be asking yourself, "TF is that?” but don’t worry, I’m going to break it down nice and easy for you.
Since I’m feeling very educational today, let’s start with the word itself first: monochromatic. As we’ve learned in like probably second grade, the prefix (the element of a word that is at the beginning of the stem of a word that changes what it means) is “mono” which means “one.” So "one, what?” you ask? Well, “chromatic” refers to color…so you guessed it, this is a one color makeup technique.
Typically when applying monochromatic makeup, you’re going to turn all your focus on your eyes, lips, and cheeks. The upper, middle, and lower thirds of your face.
Now, before you get all, “I’m not slapping red lipstick on my cheeks,” let me say that with monochromatic makeup, you can still play with the shade of the color a bit. So if you’re going to wear a coral-based red lip, you’re not going to have to apply the lipstick on your cheeks—you can use a coral-based “red” (not clown-like though) blush in a lighter hue. The secret to doing monochromatic makeup is to remember to differ the intensity of the shades.
In my experience, the most intense hue is going to be your lip, the medium intensity will be your eyes, and the least intense hue will be on your cheeks.
So, now that we know what monochromatic makeup is, how do we do it?
Step 1: Apply a moisturizer with some really good SPF in it. If your moisturizer lacks in the SPF department, put on your normal lotion, give it a minute to soak in, then apply a layer of SPF.
Step 2 (optional): After your sunscreen and moisturizer has soaked in for 1-5 minutes, apply a primer. If I know it’s humid out that day, I never skip this step because it really does help your makeup stay in place. If you don’t think your face will get sweaty, then totally skip this step if you want.
Step 3: Apply a layer of BB cream to your face like you would with foundation. Your skin might not need the coverage, but the BB cream will help even out your complexion and when you’re working with monochromatic makeup, you’re going to want your skin tone to be even to avoid looking splotchy (especially if you get red or have sun burn).
Step 4: Do not set your face with power if you plan on using a cream blush or lipstick as your blush! You can do this at the end. Putting cream products over powder is a nightmare and a half to blend.
Step 5: Apply your lipstick. You can either make this a polished look by lining your lips, or a carefree look by just dapping the product on and blending it out with your fingers.
Step 6 (option 1): If using your lipstick as your blush too, apply your lipstick to your finger tips, a light coat, and dap along the apples of your cheek. Blend this out with your fingers or a damp makeup sponge. If you’re having a hard time blending, take your BB cream on a sponge and use a little bit of it to help blend out the color.
Step 6 (option 2): If using the same shade for your blush as you are your eyes, put away your lipstick and use your blush as your normally would.
Step 7 (option 1): Grab a hue similar to the one you used on your lips and cheeks and blend it into the crease of your eye and a little bit on your eyelid.
Step 7 (option 2): Use your blush as an eyeshadow and blend it into the crease of your eye and a little but on your eyelid.
Step 8: Finish off with mascara on top and bottom lashes.
Step 9: Set with translucent powder or a setting spray. See, that wasn’t so hard!
Now you can either do this technique with color (pinks, corals, reds, mauves, bronze shades, gold, etc) or with highlighters. I personally love to be glowing like a fresh-cut diamond in the summer time, so I tend to do this same technique with highlighters. I start off with a nude gloss for my lips (the same tone/hue as my highlighter), and apply my favorite highlighter (I’m loving Prosecco Pop by Becca x Jaclyn Hill) to my cheek bones, brow bone, and inner corner of my eye.
Be creative with this technique. Have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color, especially in the summertime! If I’m not using my highlighter for this technique, my usual go-to is coral shades—and I always have great feedback on it. As long as you blend and are confident, you can pull off basically anything (but let’s not get too crazy, like no blues and greens, okay?)
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