This is the third SPF problem in my little mini-catalogue of sunscreen issues and it’s the one that seems to frustrate people the most: how on earth do you reapply sunscreen over makeup?
I have two good options below. My first thought, though, is this: if you’re doing an activity that requires a full face of makeup, it’s unlikely you’re going to be in full sun, without shade, for the entire day. Of course there must be the odd scenario, but I struggle to think of many where your face will be getting a full solar battering and where full makeup is required and where it’s not possible to wear a hat. Usually someone who works outside for long periods will be used to protecting themselves with clothing/hat/sunglasses and if it’s an event like a wedding or outdoor party then there will normally be some shade.
However, I’m well aware that there’s the impromptu al fresco lunch to navigate, or drinks after work in the pub garden, or people who like to spend all day outdoors and hate hats, or have to spend all day outdoors and love wearing full makeup, and for those situations the top-up ideas below are great. Just try and use common sense, protect your face physically as much as you can (wear a hat, seek shade) and remember that ultimately sun safety trumps makeup.
SPF Problem: How Do I Reapply Sunscreen Over Makeup?
So here’s the age-old problem. You carefully apply a full face of makeup over your sunscreen in the morning but at lunchtime you quite fancy a glass of wine with friends, outside on the terrace. Do you need more sunscreen? Has your initial application still got any life in it? You’re not sure. But in no way, shape or form are you going to take off your makeup, reapply sunscreen and do your face all over again. Just not feasible. So how do you top up your sunscreen?
1 – With a mist.
La Roche-Posay’s Anti-Shine SPF50 Mist* is brilliant. It was one of the first mists of this kind to the market and is still one of the best. It truly is invisible on the skin and acts as a sort of setting spray for sweaty makeup that’s started to move. So if you wanted to revive a full face of makeup that’s had a bit of a party on your face then you could give it a buff with a big foundation brush, maybe add an extra dash of bronzer and then spray the whole thing liberally with the LRP Mist.
Kate Somerville’s Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray SPF50 (here* online) is the pricier, slightly more glamorous older sister – note that it’s marketed as a makeup product and not as a dedicated SPF. I think that this is wise because you actually have to spray a lot of these sunscreen sprays onto your face to get the stated protection…and most people won’t do that. Most people will do a cursory spritz and be done. (Also, I do feel that a lot of sunscreen mist ends up in the air. Or your hair. Or on your office chair, or bed, or carpet.)
Which is why I wouldn’t rely on a facial SPF mist for my full sunscreen application, I only use it as a top-up if I feel as though the protection of my dedicated sunscreen might have waned a bit and I want to be extra sure I’m not going to burn.
But it’s invaluable as this bit of extra insurance if you find yourself having an impromptu bit of frolicking in the sunshine. It doesn’t mess with your makeup – if anything it keeps it in place – and it’s quick and easy to apply.
2 – With a tinted sunscreen.
If your SPF is your makeup base then there’s no issue with reapplying it. You just bosh your tinted sunscreen on over the top of the last stuff, with the added bonus that your new makeup looks fresh and dewy and just-done.
But tinted sunscreen hasn’t been that great an option until recently. Shades have been limited and usually the coverage isn’t quite enough to replace wearing a makeup base. If you go down the CC Cream or tinted moisturiser route then it’s often difficult to apply enough of that sort of product to get the stated SPF – you naturally use a much thinner coat of it because, well, it’s makeup.
Australian sunscreen brand Ultra Violette have an excellent new tinted sunscreen called the Dream Screen Tinted Veil (here online*) – I personally think it’s quite a gamechanger. Firstly, you can easily apply the recommended amount to get the stated SPF50 protection (1/4 teaspoon for face, or 1/2 teaspoon for face and neck) and even in quantities more than this it never looks claggy or overdone. Secondly, it layers up beautifully and actually gives okay coverage. It’s light, it won’t obliterate dark circles, but it does the trick for adding some warmth and making skintone slightly more even.
The Tinted Veil comes in fifteen shades, all of them flexible in that they will sheer out to suit a number of tones. It’s oil-free, fragrance free, suits all skin types and gives very high protection from UVA and UVB rays. I like everything about this little SPF50 and have been wearing it daily, no other face base on top.
Any more sunscreen problems? Let me delve through my product collection and try to find you some answers – just drop me a comment below!
The post SPF Problem: How Do I Reapply Sunscreen Over Makeup? appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
Problems with SPF. We’re wading through a few common issues with sunscreen, while the sun is out and people feel its relevant and topical. The thing is, sunscreen should be topical all year round, if you’re at all worried about the effects of the sun on your skin, but I still think that the majority of people only apply SPF when it’s hot outside. Maybe it needs a rebrand. Lightscreen, instead of sunscreen?
For me, this is where “moisturisers with SPF” play their hand so well; you don’t think twice about putting them on, they’re pitched as more of a daily staple than a fair-weather friend and, if you apply as liberally as you would your dedicated sunscreen you’re getting the same protection. Anyway, maybe that’s a whole other post…
Back to problems, and the previous one with sunscreen was SPF stinging eyes – you can find that post here with a few recommendations on how to avoid irritation. Here’s the next skin issue in the line-up:
Problem: Sunscreen Breaks Me Out
Sunscreen causing spots, another annoying quirk. Many sunscreens break my skin out, too, and it feels like a sod’s law sort of punishment. You try to do the best thing for the health and look of your skin and it goes and kicks you in the teeth with a load of pustulating under-surface bumps or white-headed pimples. If you find that your SPF is breaking you out because it’s making you oily and clogging your pores then take a look at some of the oil-free options that work really well for me – they’re also worth a look if you’re after sunscreen for acne-prone skin.
Paula’s Choice Resist SPF50* is actually hurtling its way to my number one favourite sunscreen spot. It’s high protection but feels just like water going on and leaves absolutely no residue on the skin. It just ticks absolutely every box and also happens to be oil-free so it’s excellent for all skin types. It’s a joy to apply. Find it online here* – it’s £35 and can easily be used as your daily moisturiser unless you have very dry skin.
If you’re after light and fresh then take a look at my five favourite sunscreens on the link above. It wasn’t a post on SPF for spot-prone skin, specifically, but there are some nice oil-free products. Another I find myself using quite a lot is the Kiehl’s Aqua Gel (online here*) with a lightweight feel that doesn’t melt or slide even when it’s very humid. A good one if you need a facial SPF for working out or going running. Chance would be a fine thing.
Both of those suggestions are for chemical sunscreens but if you struggle to find a chemical SPF that you get on with then it’s well worth giving mineral sunscreen a go. Some people are sensitive to specific chemical filters. (Equally, some people get on horribly with mineral sunscreens, finding them very chalky and thick, the residue too white, but there are some beautiful, lightweight, silky mineral products these days.)
Here are some mineral recommendations, I love all of the below:
Ultra Violette’s Lean Screen SPF50 at Space NK here*
Hawaiian Tropic’s SPF30 Skin Milk mineral sunscreen here*
Skingredients Skin Shield SPF50 here*
Coola Mineral Matte Cucumber SPF30 here*
If you have oily skin, you may also really like the matte finish that many mineral sunscreens have – it makes a good priming makeup base with that little bit of grip to hold foundation in place. And I find that I need less foundation on top, for some reason – the mineral sunscreen seems to create a lovely canvas.
As important as finding the right sunscreen formula to help reduce spot breakouts? Making sure you clean it off again effectively at the end of the day. SPF products are designed to stick around for as long as possible, for obvious reasons, so you really need to get in there with a cleanser that will break it down along with the grime of the day and any makeup you have on over the top.
I like to use a balm cleanser first (Beauty Pie’s Hot Oil Double Cleansing Balm* is one of my favourite balms, regardless of brand or price) and really massage it in for a minute or so. I use a flannel to remove – it works on eye makeup too, so you can work it in all over your face. Then if I’m feeling any sort of threat of a breakout (that lumpiness below the skin, or tenderness) then I go in with an exfoliating wash afterwards. I really like CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser* because it can be used on face and body so it’s great for keeping in the shower.
CeraVe’s cleanser contains salicylic acid to help keep pores clear but if you’d rather swipe something over your skin and leave then I think that Paula’s Choice BHA Liquid Exfoliant (buy online here*) is unbeatable. I use it every PMT week, too, just to keep any hormonal spots at bay. Just pour a little onto cotton wool and wipe all over your face – I concentrate on the t-zone and around my nose – and then follow with your usual skincare routine, though I’d keep textures nice and light if I was on breakout watch!
I think that most of us are now pretty clued up about the fact that sunscreen needs to be a mandatory part of our beauty routines. We’ve long known about the risk of skin cancer but sun exposure is also the leading cause of skin ageing. So if there’s one singular thing we can do to keep skin looking youthful then it’s – drumroll – wearing SPF.
It’s becoming less of a hardship to incorporate sunscreen into a morning routine; there are so many sophisticated formulas with beautiful textures and not all of them cost the earth. Yet there are a few persistent problems with SPF that put people off time and time again. I thought I’d address them one by one and give a few sunscreen recommendations and usage tips. Hopefully, if you find sunscreens problematic, this will bring you some relief.
SPF Problem: Sunscreen Stinging My Eyes
Sunscreen stinging your eyes is a common problem and one experienced nearly every day in my household because my husband insists on applying his SPF by putting it in the palms of his hands, slapping them together like a wrestler going in for the kill and then enthusiastically – some might say violently – rubbing the lotion all over his face, including over his closed eyelids. He then goes outside to do an energetic domestic/light industrial task, such as chainsawing down a dead tree or drilling a hole in the side of the house, and inevitably sweats. Then come the bitter tears of sunscreen-sting.
How can you avoid sunscreen stinging your eyes? Firstly, find a formula that has been specifically formulated to avoid the sting. Mineral sunscreens are a great bet here because they don’t contain the chemical filters that tend to be the culprit for eye-stinging and also from my experience have a more matte finish that’s less likely to melt and move on the skin.
Try Ultra Violette’s Lean Screen SPF50 (at Space NK here*) is a gorgeous high protection sunscreen with a matte finish – absolutely no eye problems with this one! For a cheaper mineral SPF take a look at Hawaiian Tropic’s SPF30 Skin Milk mineral sunscreen – it’s really lightweight and costs about a tenner for a whopping 150ml. You can find it online here*, it’s a great value option.
If you prefer a sunscreen with chemical filters then I’ve tried a lot and can say that Anthelios Ultra with Sensitive Eyes Innovation (online here*) categorically does not sting mine. Maybe its the aforementioned “Sensitive Eyes Innovation”, which locks the oils in the formula into micro-crystals to stop them migrating eyewards. Great as a daily SPF, it’s very moisturising and made for sensitive skin.
You can also try a stick sunscreen (I really like the one from Sun Bum here*) so that you can apply in a more targeted manner, but I find that one of the most helpful tricks is to very lightly powder on top of your sunscreen around the eye area with your normal translucent setting powder. (Max Factor’s Creme Puff* is one of the oldest and still one of the best – it’s also really cheap!)
Just that light dusting of powder can sometimes be enough to stop an oilier sunscreen formula from creeping into the eyes and making them feel as though they’ve been mercilessly set on fire then repeatedly doused with vinegar.
Any other tips for sunscreen application to avoid stinging? Let me know in the comments below. Here’s a little video that basically says everything I’ve mentioned above. Trying to cater for all media-usage tastes, here…
Here’s my current makeup routine, including a rediscovered foundation that’s perfect for the summer months (ultra-glowy but lightweight and non-greasy) and what is possibly my all-time favourite mascara. I’m going to break it down into steps for you, but please do watch the video further on down the page if you’d like to see any of the products in action.
For skin prep in this video I used some products that had been left in my room at High Road House, which is a Soho House hotel in Chiswick. This is the third time I’ve had a little set of these Soho Skin products left in my room and so I can only conclude they are trying the brand out on guests before they are put on sale. They are perfectly pitched for the seasoned traveller who likes a spot of luxury and the textures are great; not too rich but with enough hydration to see you through the night. In the video I use the eye cream, serum and lip balm.
Because I was going to Wimbledon for the day I applied Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50 in copious amounts – I was a guest of La Roche-Posay and so my choice of sunscreen seemed very appropriate. Helps that it’s one of my favourites anyway – this fluid SPF is so lightweight and now contains an incredibly effective UV filter offering really high protection. (You can find the new formula here* online.)
I have been using Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder Foundation* loads recently. It’s a lightweight fluid with a sheer-side-of-medium coverage that feels very hydrating and gives a gorgeous sheen. Convenient packaging makes it easy to travel with or stick in your handbag and the finish is just beautiful. I use shade 5 – the ahde range in this particular product is much narrower than in the other Tilbury foundations but the sheerness makes it more flexible, so you don’t need an exact “match”. You can find it online here*.
I have been setting my foundation with powder, which I virtually never do, but I have been in the city quite a bit and I feel as though it makes things hold against the heat that bit better. It’s not a matte powdered look, either, I use the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (Space NK here*) which is a huge investment, makeup-wise, but unparalleled in terms of getting a very grown-up “lit from within” finish to the skin. It’s so good: no glitter or glimmer and doesn’t actually look like a powder at all once it touches your face. Easy to apply, foolproof, I use the two darker colours to create a sort of base to my bronzer.
I’ve just seen that they do this palette in other shade combinations – where have I been? Volume II looks very summery. I may have to invest.
Bronzer and Blush
I’ve been bronzing with the cult contouring product Filmstar Bronze and Glow from Tilbury* but also the new cream bronzer that’s been launched. I didn’t have that on me, I’ll have to do a separate post. It’s lovely, definitely on a par with the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, if that’s what it’s called. (Is that what it’s called? Surely not! Hold on…. No, it’s now Les Beiges Bronzing Cream, find it here*.)
I use the Filmstar bronzer just beneath my cheekbones and then blend it out well. I don’t like this thing for harsh contour lines, I find it a bit draining and ageing on my own face and think it looks very artificial on even really young faces. So, not my bag, baby. But well buffed-in, it adds some shapely glamour and a hint of bronze and if you add the sparkle from the palette (which often I don’t) to the tops of the cheekbones it really is a red carpet sort of effect.
The blush is a Gen Nude blush from Bare Minerals, but it looks as though they are discontinuing it – it’s here* online. Any pretty pink would do for this – it needed to be pink because I was using quite a pretty pink lipstick and sometimes I think it looks slightly weird if they’re not in the same tonal ballpark…
This is where you really need to watch the video! I’ve used two cream shadow sticks and blended them – the first is By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Shade 6 (“Frozen Quartz”, online here*) all over the lids, blended in, and then Vieve Eye Wand in Mahogany* blended in at the corners.
I blend outwards and upwards towards the end tip of the eyebrow to give myself a natural little lift in the tired eye department – watch the video for a demo. Can’t really stress enough how much you need to watch this video. Just skip to the eye bit!
Mascara is the Telescopic from L’Oreal which is one of my all-time favourites and costs just over eight quid (find it here*). The fine comb really gets into the base of my lashes without spreading mascara all over my lids and then it’s easy to draw it through to the ends of the lashes to get maximum volume. It’s not one of these mega-wow mascaras (though the False Lash one is equally great and gives more volume, here*) it just leaves them longer, blacker and more separated. It’s really excellent stuff if you have fine, flat lashes that don’t do well with bigger and messier brushes.
Brows are groomed and set into place (with a bit of extra colour and oomph thanks to the fibres) with Gimme Brow from Benefit. Another all-time favourite, I use shade 1 in this and you can find it online here*. You just brush it on, brushing brows upwards (there’s a theme emerging!) and it adds some fullness and sets them into place. Wipe off the excess from the brush into the neck of the bottle before you start otherwise trouble awaits.
I have been quite enamoured with a Nip+Fab lipliner in shade 03, Caramel, but it doesn’t seem to exist online.
Neither does the lipstick, Almost Pink by Bobbi Brown, so I’m not doing very well here. I need to do a big old lipstick clear-out and see what’s new out there on the beauty counters. I’ve been sent so many lip oils, glosses and tinted balms but good old solid lipsticks don’t seem to be de rigueur at the moment. I like a tinted balm, but sometimes you want a bit more of a definite colour, don’t you? And don’t get me started on glosses… They are usually the work of the devil.
I always forget to mention brushes and so here we are: large powder brush is the Chantecaille Face Brush, smaller powder one is a Bobbi Brown Face Blender. I applied my foundation with a Real Techniques 200 and blended with fingertips, too, off-camera, because it sort of melts the foundation in at the end and I like the finish.
On my eyes, a fluffier brush to blend the By Terry shadow – My KitCo 127 – and then two little Zoeva brushes for working in the lashline and at the corners. The Luxe Pencil Brush 2020 is great for corners and under the eyes, but the 226 Smudger is invaluable for blending out liner into a softer haze!
Right, that’s the whole face. My dress at the end is from Me+Em – find it here* online, I wear a UK10 – and if I’ve forgotten any other details then just drop me a comment below!
Did you know that bees in a hive have this thing called swarm mentality, or hive mind, which is this amazing sort of collective thought that happens when you get lots of social insects (ants, bees) together in a colony? I’m no Attenborough, but I’ve been Googling this for all of about, ooh, four minutes, and it’s so interesting; the behaviour of the insects in the colony is so coordinated and the mental activity is so collective that it’s comparable to a single mind controlling their behaviour.
It’s kind of creepy when you think about it for too long, especially if you’re apiphobic. I don’t have a problem with bees, thanks to having been mentally conditioned from a young age to see wasps as the enemy and bees as the insect equivalent of Dumbledore from Harry Potter. (Necessary for survival, essentially good and kind, very unlikely to sting you without extreme provocation. Wasps would be Voldemort.) It was perfectly acceptable to swipe at a wasp with a rolled-up newspaper; a fallen bee presented something of a small national emergency. The invalid bee had to be scooped up with an empty yoghurt carton and placed on a silken pillow and provided with a tiny pool of sugar water to sup from.
Still, many bees together: creepy. (If you want to read an excellent and highly imaginative novel that’s quirkily written from a bee’s-eye-view then I highly recommend The Bees by Laline Paull*.) And the idea that their common need and purpose creates a sort of mega-mind gives me the tingles. But I suppose it would all completely fall apart, wouldn’t it, if they didn’t have the single goal or intention? Imagine if bees were just up to their own bits and pieces all day, like we humans are. Pottering. Living in millions of tiny mini-hives rather than one big one – spending Sundays fixing a leak in the roof of their condo-hive or painstakingly harvesting the honey from their comb and pouring it into tiny little glass jars ready to send to the local hipster market. It would be chaos! The world would come to an end!
‘Where have you been, Brian?’
Brian comes sauntering in from a day out in the rose bush, his face covered in pollen.
‘Here and there, Geoff. Here and there.’
‘Well we’ve all been toiling in the hive, Brian, whilst you’ve been faceplanting the good stuff all day. Look at the state of you! It’s on your back, your thighs, you’ve even got pollen on your eyelids.’
Brian isn’t remotely regretful because he has no swarm mentality. What Geoff doesn’t know is that he also banged the Queen Bee three times that morning and he’s not even the correct ranking of bee to approach her, let alone climb into her bed! That’s just the way he rolls; he’s a renegade bee with his own way of thinking, his own unique –
‘Go and get cleaned up Brian, for God’s sake. You’re an absolute disgrace.’
And ants! Imagine if ants didn’t have swarm mentality. It’d be a total shit show. There they go, carrying their brown leaf in a perfectly straight line, three of them on each side like little fast-legged pallbearers. There’s no “to me, to you – to me, to you!” in the ant world. They know exactly what they’re about – perfectly attuned to one another. But if you had even just the one ant anomaly; blimey. Carnage.
‘Erm, guys?’ says the free-thinking ant wearing the orange trousers and a snazzy cravat. ‘Which floor are we taking this crumb of bagel to? Do you want to go the short way through the slurry pile or circumnavigate the mess and head on through the air brick?’
The others in the ant removals crew wouldn’t even answer him, because they all communicate telepathically, probably; I imagine they’d just put down the bagel crumb, advance menacingly towards him and then trample him to death. Before stopping for a cup of tea.
Seriously, though; what would all of these insects do if they had total free will and didn’t have to work for the good of the swarm and for the purpose of survival? Would insects get any enjoyment from just meandering about? Would a bee see a pollen-filled flower in the same way we see a hotel suite? Comfy bed, room service, bit of a change of scene? If bees were just working for themselves – freelance bees – would they work as consistently or as hard as the ones enslaved by the hive mind? Or would they, like me, spend a morning polishing all the cutlery from the cutlery drawer with an old t-shirt and then cram all of the actual work into the afternoon?
If I was a freelance bee, an escapee from the swarm brain, then my day would look like this (remember this is only in the summer months, because in the winter I’m dead):
5am: sun comes up. Poke head out of detached mini-hive (didn’t want neighbours) and decide it’s too early to go out. The air is a bit fresh and the dew still sits on the grass and the petals. If there’s one thing I hate then it’s getting damp. My fur takes an age to dry out and if I leave it damp for longer than a few hours, I smell like wet dog.
6.30am: do another dew check. Still dew present. Other bees are beginning to take off on their commute to the hive-rise office: I am still grooming my leg hairs.
8am: dew point acceptable. But wait! What is this floating through my doorway? White and powdery…pollen. In the air. What an unexpected bonus. This is what happens when you cannily set up house next to a protected wildflower meadow. The plot was pricey but I am reaping the benefits now, let me tell you.
8.03am: Nose-dive into the pollen pile.
9am: hive-rise secretary rings to see when, or if, I might actually turn up for work. I do not like his tone. Mainly because am high as a kite and struggling to make out all of the words. Call in sick for the morning and roll about in the remaining pollen for a few minutes to take the sting out of the experience.
10am: bored. Can’t go outside in case another worker sees me and reports back to the collective hive mind. Disguises don’t tend to work well for bees so is a last resort option. Peer jealously at my colleagues who are working the lavender, bobbing up and down and having a right old time of it. They are getting heavier and heavier with the pollen – one of them is so loaded he keeps flying into the wall.
10.30am: attempt to tune into the hive mind. Can still pick up signals now and then if I sit really still and concentrate on my antenna but today is mostly static. Omega Patrol have been called to the rose garden and there’s a wasp incident in sector nine (fig tree, always an absolute battlefield) but apart from that, nothing via the airwaves. Nap.
11am: do some crunches to try and tone up ever-expanding gut pouch then some lunges to strengthen legs. Clean out my pollen-collecting baskets with a damp cloth, even though they are really hard to reach because they’re on the backs of my legs. What idiot decided that was a good idea?
11.05am: sit holding the damp cloth, staring at wall.
11.45am: don disguise (large furry coat that takes me from worker bee to bumblebee in a matter of seconds!) and clumsily fall out of own doorway. Fly as quietly as possible down to the foxgloves and insert myself into best-looking flower. I say insert, it’s like trying to stuff a cat into the end of a trumpet; the bumblebee disguise is both heavy and cumbersome. FML.
11.49am: am heating up unbearably in bumble disguise. Sweat everywhere, including top lip. Can smell the nectar, feel the nectar, but can’t move to lick the nectar as am restricted by aforementioned coat.
11.53am: fear for own life. I have heard of honeybees doing a mass pile-up on wasps and then their generated heat kills the wasp: now I see how this is possible. Cannot sustain this level of discomfort. Must. Leave. Flower.
11.56am: have been spotted by Pieter in management. Am red-faced. Not least because my core temperature is equal to the sun. ‘Why are you wearing a fur coat in summer?’ Pieter said as I fell out of the flower and I wanted to punch him in the honey gut. Told him I had a summer cold and had called in sick. ‘But you’re feeling better now, aren’t you?’ said Pieter. Rhetorical question.
Noon: went to work.
Next week: the life of ants.