beauty . Interview

How To Stay Fresh When It's Hot And Humid, According To A Beauty Expert

We talked to a beauty expert to learn her secrets

We're no strangers to starting each day with our makeup on fleek, only for our faces to turn into living, breathing oil slicks by midday no thanks to the hot, humid weather we deal with on a regular basis. With the hectic city lifestyles many of us lead these days, we also face a common problem — exhaustion. Be it as students, professionals, mums, or a combination of some or all of these roles, we often find ourselves feeling stressed, having late nights, and definitely not getting the ideal eight hours of sleep a night.

How then can we achieve that effortless, naturally flawless look that does not diminish when lunchtime comes around? Since time immemorial, beauty enthusiasts like us have tried just about every makeup and skincare trend with varying results in hopes of finding more effective solutions. Shannon Pirie Charles, Vice President of Global Education at IT Cosmetics, has been there. So she shared her very own tips and advice with us.

Shannon Pirie Charles It Cosmetics

Shannon Pirie Charles, Vice President of Global Education at IT Cosmetics

Living and dealing with heat and humidity

Shannon recalls the first time she came to Singapore, and how she did not know what to do back then because she'd never had to cope with warm, humid weather before. But this time around, she is much better prepared.

"You have to set your makeup," she said. However, Shannon cautioned against talc-based powders. While talc keeps the excess shine off your face, in the presence of humid air, it also wicks away moisture from your skin causing makeup to crease and crack, which can make you look older. She recommends using a talc-free powder that won’t dry out your skin — like IT Cosmetics' Bye Bye Pores, which contains skin-loving ingredients such as anti-ageing silk, hydrolysed collagen, antioxidants, and peptides.

Keeping signs of fatigue away from your face

"Undereyes," said Shannon without missing a beat, when asked about the number one giveaway that someone is exhausted. "I think eyes are windows to the soul, and the people around you will often make eye contact with you, so when your under eyes are tired and you're not using an eye cream or you've applied a mad heavy concealer, it can make you look exhausted."

To combat dark eye circles and bags, Shannon cannot stress enough the importance of staying well-moisturised by using a good eye cream. Apart from the under eyes, exhaustion usually shows up on the skin in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and acne as a result of a weakened skin barrier. So using skincare products containing ceramides will help strengthen that barrier and help other ingredients work better on your skin. Of course, combating fatigue should not be merely a skin-deep undertaking. It's also important to drink plenty of water in order to keep skin supple and hydrated for that a lit-from-within glow.

Makeup in a hurry?

As a super busy lady who's always on the go, Shannon is no stranger to the hustle and bustle of city life. When asked about her makeup must-dos when in a hurry, she emphasised the importance of using CC cream as a base and filling in one's eyebrows. “Brows frame your face; you don't have to do a full brow, but give some definition and fill them in,” she said. “They're the only form of symmetry on your face, and symmetry is beauty." If you've had a late night or look tired, adding colour to your face with some bronzer and blush also goes a long way to making you look refreshed and awake.

Shannon personally prefers to apply concealer last and recommends the newly relaunched Bye Bye Under Eye concealer by IT Cosmetics, which can be used to cover anything from dark eye circles to hyperpigmentation to little acne spots or even on the entire face. It also contains skincare ingredients such as anti-ageing peptides, vitamins, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants to care for the delicate skin around your eyes. "It is very concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Use it sparingly," she advised.

Brushes are also key in the application of makeup, shared Shannon. "Picasso didn’t paint with his fingers — he painted with brushes." Investing in a good brush will go a long way in improving the longevity of your makeup. Shannon likes using the double-ended Heavenly Luxe™ Complexion Perfection Brush #7 by IT Cosmetics as one tip mimics the shape of a fingertip for accurate placement of concealer, while the larger end helps to blend product flawlessly.

Don't choose yourself last

For someone who has an extremely packed schedule and travels frequently, Shannon looks impeccably fresh and well-rested without a hint of jetlag, despite having flown in from Paris just the day before we met her. So we knew we had a thing or two to learn from her own personal routine.

As it turns out, it all revolves around making a conscious decision to care for yourself. "I always have my moisturizer and my eye cream next to my bed," said Shannon. Adopting this tip from Shannon ensures that even after a really long day, and you're too exhausted to do anything aside from laying in bed after you get out of the shower, you can just reach towards your nightstand and do some quick skincare before sleeping.

Speaking of which, getting a good night's sleep whenever you can and preparing for it well is also something Shannon recommends. The process of winding down takes three and a half hours, so making a conscious effort to begin clearing her mind hours before bedtime is something that she finds immensely useful to achieve a restful night. "Sleep is so important; I think it’s something we have to see as a massive part of our lives," she said. "We (tend to) choose ourselves last, and need to take care of ourselves and sleep better."

Shannon Pirie Charles It Cosmetics

Shannon Pirie Charles, Vice President of Global Education at IT Cosmetics with April of Team Clozette