Makeup For The Golden Hours Of Summer

Translating the dim glow of sunset into a high beam makeup look.
Publish date:
July 31, 2014
makeup, bronze, contouring, tutorial, gold makeup, chanel, Hourglass, dewy skin, highlighter, summer

I used to love summer when I was a kid. School was out, my most difficult decision was whether I wanted to go to the pool or the beach, and I could play outside for hours without my mom chasing me with a coat.

I can still go to a pool or beach now, but I have responsibilities, like a job and stuff, that restrict those days of youthful abandon. What remains to be one of my favorite things about summer is that time about an hour before sunset when the sky gets all dimly glow-y, when the shadows soften and the sun becomes more of a flattering lighting technician rather than an oppressive heat ball. This is widely known as The Golden Hour. (It also happens right before sunrise, except I’m sleeping then, so never mind.) It’s the stuff that reverential Instagram hashtags are made of.

Without bronzing my face to Kardashian levels, it occurred to me that one way to work my favorite time of day into my makeup is to get my hands on some lighting manipulators. Enter highlighters, which are to makeup as Blu-ray is to DVD players. Sure, it’s not necessary and you can do without, but if you could have the sparkling clarity and dimension that it offers, why wouldn’t you?

I love highlighters. Even if it’s hot and humid out I still incorporate it into my daily makeup doings, because there’s a big difference between the sheen of sweat and the sheen of a well-placed highlighter. Either way, you look dewy, but a highlighter creates a soft, decidedly not greasy effect.

The idea for this look is to get a glow without receiving any unsolicited remarks like, “Well, someone’s been to the beach!”

Since it’s a hot mess outside nearly every day, I’m sticking with powder highlighters for the most part. But that doesn't mean that starting off with a well-moisturized base isn’t muy importante.

Mixing a few drops of Le Blanc De Chanel with my tinted moisturizer adds a subtle shimmer that makes my skin look like I just clicked on the HD to my reflection.

Now, meet this amazingly relevant palette by Hourglass, which is aptly called the Ambient Lighting Palette. Normally, I do not mess with palettes--they are the hoarder’s playground to me. But with three perfect little cakes of highlighters, this one is like having your very own facial lighting technician.

I applied the Radiant Light color to the apples of my cheeks and underneath my cheekbones. Then I brushed a little bit of the Dim Light shade on top and dusted it on my forehead around my hairline, down the center of my nose, and on my chin.

It’s a bit like contouring for lazy girl’s, without all the weird dark outlining on the sides of your nose and your temples that makes you look like an extra from the musical Cats. Rather than focusing on creating shadows and depth, I’m kind of doing the opposite.

Last comes the lens flare to the summer blockbuster that is your face.

The Incandescent Light powder gets tapped under your brow bones, on top of your cheekbones, and down the center of your nose (all the bones, just put it there). Blend it in a C-shape going from the tops of your cheekbones to around your temple, with a quick swoop under your brow. I also blended it a bit on the top of my eyebrows (just the tail-end) for extra headlights.

Now, since the landscape can’t be all bright lights turned up to 11 all the time, a bit of warm bronze on your lids is necessary. I used this Jane Iredale Eye Gloss in Brown Silk to paint the outer corners of my eyes and blend into my crease with my fingers.

Slap some black mascara on top and BAM! The hills have valleys.

For extra high beams, I brushed this Sephora Luminizer in Stardust on the inner corners of my eyes. It’s a pearly white powder with subtle gold shimmer.

To compliment the eye shadow color, I dabbed on Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lip Color in Maple Kiss, a shimmery rose-brown.

It's not quite a sunset on your visage, but I daresay this is the kind of look that would appear pretty dope with that Golden Hour light washing over it. It kind of speaks to that whole “I’m not wearing any makeup” natural makeup look, but version 2.0 because everything looks better in the right light, no?

Have you tried any of these products? What do you do when you want your makeup to look all dewy and glow-y? Lazy girl answers, please.