By Maita Atienza
“If I could offer you only one tip for the future,” began Baz Luhrmann in his famous speech to the class of ’99, “sunscreen would be it.”
The speech went on with more sage advice for the youth of the noughties, but if there were anything in that whole commencement address your dermatologist would wish you to take to heart, it would still be that bit about sunscreen. Indeed, there are only two things on which doctors and scientists would bestow the title “fountain of youth.” The first would be retinol. The second would be SPF.
Not long ago, baking in the sun was a beauty secret in Hollywood. There was nothing like a Riviera tan to show off your status among the rich and famous. Since then, the harmful and aging effects of the sun have been proven. Sun bathing gave way to spray tanning and sunscreen was elevated to the status of nutritional supplements: doctor’s orders.
Fortunately for Filipina skin, staying away from the sun to keep our skin youthful has always been a beauty tip passed on from our parents and grandparents. Since it was introduced to the Philippine market, sunscreen made it easier for us to maintain young and fair skin without having to hide in the shadows all the time. Thanks to titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, the two main ingredients in SPF.
But sunscreen tends to leave an unattractive white cast on the skin, making your face paler than the rest of your body. Most girls have one of two solutions for this sunscreen problem. The first is to chuck the offending tube into the trash bin and purchase another product (a tinted sunscreen, perhaps) just to get the same results. The second is to continue to usea current bottle or tube of sunscreen and put up with having a strange gray face, hoping that no one will notice.
It does not have to be this way, though. The deathly pallor you get from wearing sunscreen can be adjusted to match your skin tone in just two easy steps.
Step 1: Apply a yellow tinted foundation over the sun screen
Most women in the Philippines are yellow toned while most sunscreens are stark white, putting them in the blue toned side of the spectrum. This is what makes our skin look too pink or too gray when we apply SPF.
Moreover, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, protect the skin by reflecting light which adds to the unnatural paleness we get when we use it. The solution? Balance the white by warming it up with a yellow-toned foundation. Make sure that it matches your skin at the jawline and neck. Set your foundation with a matching powder.
Step 2: Use a matte bronzer
After you have toned down the ashy coolness of your sunscreen with a warm foundation, you might still find your skin a little pale. At this stage, you can use a matte bronzer to slowly build color around the sides of your face like a halo. Choose a bronzer that is about four times darker than your natural skin tone.
With a medium powder brush, lightly sweep the matte bronzer under your cheekbones and blend upwards towards the temples and hairline. Then blend the bronzer from underneath your cheekbones to your jawline.
The idea is to apply your bronzer darker at the sides of the face and lighter in the center to create a healthy glow. Just remember to build the color up slowly and blend thoroughly for the most natural effect.
Apply your makeup as usual, knowing that you have done your skin some good by protecting it from the harmful rays of the sun . . . without having to look like a white stone statue.
Maita Atienza is a makeup artist and hairstylist trained by Hollywood educated industry leaders. Visit her website: http://www.maitaatienza.com/