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As summer rears its sunny, sweaty head, the season can wreak havoc on your skin and makeup choices. Boiling temperatures, humidity, chlorinated water, sea air, sunscreen and perspiration are everyday side effects of spending summer in the South, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like a clammy, frizzy mess. We need to keep up appearances year-round, and summer makeup can be just as bright and cheery as that 100-degree sun.

We talked to the experts at one of the world’s best, most highly regarded makeup brands (by both the public and professional makeup artists), NARS, to get the scoop about how to update our summer makeup. James Boehmer, NARS Director of Global Artistry, shared his thoughts with us lucky ladies at StyleBlueprint about the best way to heat up your look in the heat.


James Boehmer, NARS Director of Global Artistry, working during fashion week. He shares with us the details of updating our looks with summer makeup tips and tricks. Image: NARS

StyleBlueprint: How do skin and makeup needs change in the summer? What do we need to pay attention to?

James Boehmer: Because skin typically gets a bit shinier in the summer months, look for complexion products that offer more of a matte or oil control finish. Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF 30 is a great foundation alternative that offers a long wear, natural-looking, soft focus, matte finish that will last in warmer weather. A translucent loose powder applied to the skin will also give skin a soft matte look. Powder blushes and bronzers tend to wear better in warmer weather.

Summer is definitely the time to play with brighter colors, so don’t be afraid to go bold on eyes or lips! Dual-intensity eye shadows are great because they can be worn dry and transparent or wet and opaque.

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A bronzer, like the NARS Laguna Tiare Bronzer, part of their Tahiti Bronze Collection, is a great way to warm the skin and create a golden shimmer. Image: NARS


We love the pops of cool, colorful shimmer from NARS’ Summer Color Collection. The dual-intensity eye shadows can be worn dry, for a sophisticated sheer finish, or wet, for a high-impact finish. The Summer Collection includes hues like Deep End (shimmering teal green) on the left and Pool Shark (iridescent periwinkle), on the right. Image: NARS

SB: How often should we update our makeup bag?

JB: Think of updating your makeup in the same way you update your wardrobe. Focus on the changing needs of your skin, and make sure that you are covered with your basics. Add a few fun colors to your regular makeup, in the same way that an accessory would update a basic wardrobe.

SB: What products/colors do we need for our summer looks?

JB: We typically show more skin and wear more color and patterns in the summer, so makeup should follow suit. Blues and greens look great on the eyes right now. Anything goes with lips. Try updating a classic red by going for a coral, orange or fuchsia. Wear it the same way and with the same confidence that you’d wear a bright red. If you wear eyeliner, think about trading in your basic black for a bright teal, purple or green. Keep the rest of the makeup neutral so you don’t overdo it with color.

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Not only do the dual-intensity eye shadows come in fun, perfect-for-summer colors, but the Under Cover collection packaging is just as fierce. Image: NARS


NARS Lip Cover (pictured here in Members Only, a crimson shade) is a high-pigment, liquid lipstick that has rich color with a luminous finish. Anyone else love the vibes of the cool summer design? Image: NARS

SB: Does the application process change when the weather gets warmer? How does summer makeup (besides color) differ from fall/winter makeup?

JB: Application techniques don’t really change from season to season — it’s more the weights of the products that change. Foundation alternatives are nice because they are more lightweight on the skin and feel more breathable. In general, a more undone or casual feeling in the makeup follows suit with lighter-weight fabrics. Sheer eye shadows, soft-focus blushes, transparent, yet vibrant, lip colors … feel a bit fresher and easier for summer.

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Get that rosy hue with an awesome blush, like NARS’ Orgasm, that has a universally flattering shade. This super rad, limited-edition version comes in an oversize compact that is sure to last all summer long. Image: NARS

Just because your legs may momentarily get stuck to your car seat and the steering wheel feels like a molten piece of plastic doesn’t mean that summer can’t be cool! The warmer weather is a fun time to add pops of color and have fun with your look. The process is made even simpler with NARS’ summer collection, Under Cover, a vivid explosion of hues that evoke a weekend jet setting to the south of France. Whether you’re yachting in St. Tropez or canoeing at Lake Lanier, have fun with your look and follow our tips for summer makeup that just make you smile.

We in Atlanta are lucky to have our very own NARS Boutique. The company opened its eighth boutique at the Shops at Buckhead, 3035 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, last month. The 1,400-square-foot store features sharp lines, modern amenities and, of course, fabulous NARS products, as well as a special, private room reserved for special events, workshops and VIP guests.

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