Summertime and the livin’ is easy -- unless you’re trying to keep your makeup on when the temperature outside reads 90 degrees (32C) in the shade!

On those days when you’re sure you’re going to melt, minimal makeup is your best bet. Skip foundation in favour of a tinted sunscreen product (Neutrogena Healthy Skin or Prada Hydrating Gel Tint in SPF 15) or make your own by mixing a bit of your foundation with your facial sunscreen. Lightly dust powder over your t-zone and then use blotting papers or a product designed to soak up excess oil during the day (MAC Blot Powder). This will avoid the chalky build up of pressed powder.

Lightly dust a slightly shimmery powder blush over your cheekbones. The heat will give you a natural glow when you’re away from the air conditioning, and powder won’t disappear into your skin as easily as a cream blush will.

Avoid heavy lipstick formulations in favour of sheer textures and glosses. Try Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey, a colour that works with many different skin tones. Or MAC’s new lustre glass, a lighter formula than the reliable lipglass; Ornamental is a popular red-bronze shade. Sonia Kashuk has Luxury Lip Sheers available at Target stores in the United States. Return to your teenage years and try a Bonne Belle gloss or Lip Smacker. Filling in your lips with lipliner in a nude shade, or one that matches the colour, even of gloss, will add staying power.

Eye makeup creases on most of us even at the best of times, and in the summer heat, this effect is heightened. If you have oily eyelids and are outdoors a lot, it’s an almost impossible task to keep shadow and liner on. Use concealer or an eyelid primer to provide a base for any colour you might want to add (Quo in Canada, available at Shopper’s Drug Mart, or Benefit F.Y. Eye). Dust powder over that to set it. MAC Paints or Lancôme Colour Dose Eye are cream shadows that dry to a waterproof powder finish and last all day. Or try a waterproof liner across your lash line for a hint of colour throughout the day.

At this time of year, waterproof mascara, applied to the upper lids only, will help you avoid raccoon eyes!

Summer nights are the right time to try new and daring colours: a dash of lime green eyeliner (Makeup Forever Pearly Waterproof Eyeshadow Pencil), or the subtle effect of shimmering peach shadow from lash line to crease (Maybelline Cool Effects). Splash on a light scent like Estée Lauder’s Beautiful Sheer, Randi Schindler’s Clean or Dior Sweet Sun.

If you’re a Pretty Pale Princess and feel you MUST have a touch of sun-kissed colour, there are bronzers available at every price point and in every formulation. Bonne Belle has liquid and powder bronzers for less than $10, and prices go right up to $55US for Nars Body Glow.

Self-tanners can clog facial pores and look dirty, but one member here suggested adding a small amount to facial moisturizer daily to get a subtle glow. Coppertone, MAC, Lancôme, Bain de Soleil, Neutrogena, Banana Boat and Olay all have products available in gels, creams and lotions. Remember to exfoliate thoroughly when using self-tanner and make sure skin is well-moisturized before applying. A tinted product will help ensure you’ve left no spots uncovered.

Don’t forget your manicure and pedicure: pale colours will look best on your hands. And since toes are often on display in your strappy gold sandals, remember to keep polish neat and chip-free.

Remember your sunscreen and enjoy those summer nights!

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