Secrets of the sun

Looking good in the tropics requires some serious beauty tricks. Judy Diptee tells you how to keep your makeup immaculate and beat the heat

Katrina after her makeover. Photograph by Marlon RouseKatrina before her makeover. Photograph by Marlon RouseMakeup artist Trixie Boodram demonstrates her skills on her colleague Katrina Laydoo. Photograph by Marlon RouseMakeup artist Trixie Boodram demonstrates her skills on her colleague Katrina Laydoo. Photograph by Marlon RouseMakeup artist Trixie Boodram demonstrates her skills on her colleague Katrina Laydoo. Photograph by Marlon Rouse


Most makeup artists agree that while there are subtle differences between the looks that are suited to temperate and tropical climates, and how you look by day and at night, those rules are eroding.

But some essentials still hold true everywhere. Cosmetologists urge one all-important rule: hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate. That’s the gospel of skincare.

And of course SPF protection is crucial. The hotter the zone, the higher the SPF. The cooler the climate, the richer the moisturiser. Apply products which contain ingredients such as shea butter, aloes, cucumber, and jojoba oil. The new language of skincare describes such basics as “optimising the performance” of the skin with clinically developed formulas or “skin solutions,” which will depend on your skin type.

Makeup artist Trixie Boodram warns against wearing heavy liquid or cream foundations in the tropics. She advises a light moisturiser and powder, since the talc in the powder absorbs sweat and oil secreted by the skin.

Another trade secret is to slightly dampen brushes with a spray of water to help makeup stay on longer in high temperatures.

Also, a light film of eyeshadow applied to eyeliner will help set it in high humidity.

Cassandra Hosang, Clinique’s representative at Senses at the Falls at West Mall, Trinidad, recommends the Moisture Surge to keep skin cool and lock in makeup. Waterproof mascara is a must, as it is also sweatproof and will withstand a dive in the ocean.

The fresh, dewy, natural, sun-kissed look is the most trendy. Body and face bronzers and shimmering lips create the “nude” look.

One expert, Lena Khan, who has worked with MAC in Toronto and is now based at the Falls, says that women are not sticking to the old makeup. Especially Caribbean women, who have become extremely fashion-conscious.

“They want designer products and movie-star looks,” she says. All it takes is for a celebrity to sport a new look and the market demands it.

So MAC has designed a “Face Chart,” which is a blueprint for achieving a particular appearance. Some are even named after celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe. Actual products are applied onto the printout of a face, using colours and techniques that customers can take home. Following simple instructions, clients can connect the dots to achieve the look they want.

For the not so faint of heart, Khan says, anything goes, since makeup is no longer applied by the book.

“You can use eyeshadow on the lips and lipsticks on the cheeks. Have fun and experiment. You can always wash your face and start again,’ she encouraged.