Rejoice: from today we are promised cooler weather and from today, I vow not to use the word ‘heatwave’ again. Why? Two reasons. I have referenced the word - along with many other beauty and fashion writers - around 364 times already this summer. I’m over it. And secondly because although the H-word evokes ideas of lounging in a park with a Calipso and good book, in beauty terms it’s a sweat-inducing, make-up melting, hair-puffing reality.
That is for everyone except Beyoncé, it seems, who graced the cover of the September issue of American Vogue with barely a scratch of make-up on. She has, what I call, a healthy humid face. Healthy humid face isn’t artificially glowing as a result of a shimmery highlighter powder. No, it’s naturally moisturised, happy skin that teeters on the right side of looking dewy without breaking a bead of actual sweat. Lucky you Bey.
Now, if you’re part of the 95 per cent of the population that doesn’t have this type of skin (myself included), there are a few products to help along the way to ensure that whether you’re in the UK or jetting away for a late summer holiday, you’ll look more sun-kissed and less sweat-mist.
The first is a good moisturiser. You don’t want it to feel too rich or greasy, but it needs enough oomph to keep any dry patches satisfied. I have been hooked on the Daily Defence Shield SPF 30 by Elemis (£46) this past month. It is such a light texture you'd be forgiven for thinking it won't be enough: however the clever formulators spent years mastering the right texture knowing that SPF moisturisers are traditionally thick and greasy (ergo, no-one wants to use them). But Daily Defence is different, feeling more like a regular moisturiser and less like a sun cream. It doesn't mattify the skin, nor does it pile it with moisture.
Next up is a good cover-up for the parts of the face you feel you need a little helping hand. One of my best discoveries this summer has been the Nudies Tinted Blur Stick by Nudestix (£28). This is such a good product. It’s essentially a tinted moisturiser disguised as a foundation stick: simply scribble it on the face and blend it in with your fingers. It gives you just enough coverage to make your skin look believably, Beyoncé-ly even in tone, without looking like you’ve got half a pan stick worth of foundation on your face. I’ve been told it keeps selling out on cultbeauty.com but most of the brilliantly inclusive shade range is currently available.
If you can’t go without a good powder in the summer, the best one currently on the market is the La Mer Sheer Pressed Powder in Translucent (£65). Pricey, yes, but each compact has a lot of mileage. It leaves no visible trace of product on the skin and helps to stop any breakouts of sweat (the attractive beads of moisture on the upper lip, in particular), and keeps the skin looking fresh.
For a subtle hint of colour on your freshly rejuvenated summer face, pick up a Baby Lips Balm & Blush by Maybelline (£5) from the airport before you jet away. Silly name, fantastic product, especially in the shade Innocent Peach (there we go again). Rub the balm on the chubbiest part of your cheek and across the lips for a natural flush of colour that stays put in the heat.
And finally, for the ultimate happily-humid-but-not-sweaty face, arm yourself with a really good face mist. The best ones should leave a very fine cover of mist on the skin. The Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic (£6.50), which I’ve used for years, does just that. I love the heavenly geranium and lavender scent which instantly transports my brain to a beach on the Amalfi even if I’m sitting at my desk in London, but I also love the hydrated, healthy look of the skin after a quick spritz. Armed with these five products, never be caught out in a heatwave again (sorry, officially the last time).