Summer Beauty Tips From Hong Kong Make-Up Artists
From how to tackle frizzy hair, running mascara, maskne and so much more, we ask some Hong Kong make-up artists for their advice on looking fresh during the summer months
With the heat and humidity rising dramatically, Hong Kong summer is always a difficult time for anyone with sensitive skin – along with being an especially frustrating time for those who enjoy getting dolled up and wearing make-up. For any beauty or make-up lover there is nothing worse than runny makeup, sweating under your foundation and clogged pores in the blazing heat.
As one of Hong Kong’s most sought-after makeup artists, Megumi Sekine has worked with multiple fashion publications including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Her signature makeup style which focuses on flawless skin and defined sharp looks has landed her A-list clients like Paris Hilton, Carina Lau and Hailey Baldwin.
- My first tip is of course sunscreen! With this hot and humid weather we’re experiencing in Hong Kong, using sunscreen everywhere we go is a must. My favourite is Ampleur Luxury White Protect UV+ SPF50++ PA+++. It’s probably the best sunscreen I’ve ever used. It gives a nice silky finish and feels like a moisturising cream on my face.
- One of my secret tips with waterproofing your foundation in the heat is mixing one drop of Make Up Forever’s Aqua Seal. I use it when I am on an all-day location shoot, or when I have wedding clients who want their makeup to last longer.
- Exfoliate your face! Our skin turnover gets slower as we get older. For example, for those in their twenties, their average skin cycle is 6-8 weeks. However, as we get older, it becomes 8-12 weeks so I advise you to exfoliate your skin ideally twice a week to maintain a healthy glow.
Founder of HK Makeup Artist, Karen Yiu has had a long-standing career in the makeup industry working for publications like Vogue, i-D and Marie Claire. From high-end editorials, to cutting-edge commercial work and event body art makeup, find your next beauty-look inspiration with Karen.
- Ardell magnetic eyelashes are something I have always wanted to try. I've always seen them on social media and stores are finally carrying them in Hong Kong! I think it’s perfect for Hong Kong’s humid weather. You can wear them when you need to, remove in a second and use multiple times. I absolutely love the quality of the brand!
- Wearing face masks every day can create a lot of skin problems (things like maskne!), especially during the hot summer seasons. Sometimes we forget to maintain our skin and we can become lazy with our skincare routine. Weekly exfoliation is very important. I particularly like using MAY’S easy peeling exfoliating action sheet. I use it on my face, then ankle of my arms, and finally feet. It’s super convenient when exfoliating dead skin.
- I am currently using ISPA’s facial lotion to repair my skin. It really does help clear away any skin problems and it’s also super moisturising! I apply it before bed and before applying my makeup. It’s non-sticky, non-greasy and is a great alternative to heavy creams during the summer.
Avid traveller and Youtuber, Kineta Cheung is also a freelance makeup and hair artist in Hong Kong. Her works have been featured in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan.
- For long-lasting makeup in the summer months, I recommend using a fixing spray or setting spray on your beauty blender before applying your foundation. And make sure to apply the setting spray after you complete your makeup look too! A favourite of mine is Urban Decay's Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.
- The golden rule of "less is more" can definitely help mitigate skin problems especially when it comes to wearing a face mask. Remember to always use light and fast absorbing beauty products to reduce skin burden. Avoid rich cream textures during the daytime and apply fewer cosmetic products under your face mask. For example, stick to a primer and concealer for your daily base makeup.
- I put my SK-II facial treatment moisturising mask into the fridge before use. A cool mask can calm down the hotness and redness caused by the weather and help shrink down the pores.
- Many cleansers are actually detergents in disguise – the foams and bubbles are produced by surfactants – chemical petroleum by-products. It dries your skin and disrupts the natural balance of our skin, that's why bar soap which are made with natural ingredients are making a big comeback. Besides deep cleansing, a natural bar soap like Dr Bronner's baby soap bar softens and soothes skin. Nourishing oils and butters can give the appearance of pore-free, softer and healthier-looking skin.
- Floral waters have many uses and can be used directly onto the skin with an atomiser to soothe the skin and refresh makeup instantly. It is a perfect summer treat when you’re hot and bored in the office! Apply floral water to your face after cleansing, instead of your regular toner. It helps refine skin tone without making your face feel too tight. They come in a number of scents including chamomile, geranium, lavender, neroli and rose. I particularly like Tata Harper's Hydrating Floral Essence!
- In case you haven’t heard yet, it's a proven fact that a diet high in sugar is pretty terrible for your skin. Glycation, which occurs when insulin doesn't metabolise sugars properly, destroys the collagen thereby causing wrinkles, dryness, reduced skin thickness and loss of elasticity! Besides changing your diet, skin creams with nianinamide like Cerave's AM and PM moisturisers can also help fight glycation. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly minimise enlarged pores, tighten pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dullness, and strengthen a weakened surface.
Hong Kong-based makeup artist Nicole Lau specialises in bridal makeup, but also dabbles in pregnancy photoshoots and makeup for events. For those looking for wedding makeup inspiration or planning their special day, look no further than Nicole.
- Oil-Free Moisturiser. In the summer, your skin naturally produces more oil, so try using a lightweight and oil-free moisturiser. It’s non-sticky, gives your skin the moisture it needs, will help balance your skin texture, and is great for prepping your skin for makeup. I recommend trying the Tatcha's Water Cream.
- Sunscreen. The sun’s UV rays are so much stronger than we realise, so it is incredibly important to use sunscreen to shield it from harmful UV rays. A good sunscreen like Skin Aqua's UV Super Moisture Gel prevents premature aging and sunspots. If you’re planning to wear makeup on top of your sunscreen, aim for something non-greasy or lightweight. Just remember to apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you step out, to give your skin enough time to absorb!
- Makeup Setting Spray. Using makeup setting spray helps prevent your makeup from smudging, creasing, or fading quickly. It locks in your entire face of makeup and definitely improves the longevity of your makeup. I personally like using MAC's Prep + Prime fix + Setting Spray. To apply your makeup setting spray, make sure to wait until your makeup is completely finished before spraying. There’s no need to rub it in, just leave it to set.
After graduating in 2017 from Glaucia Rossi School of Makeup in London, Meegan Seek returned to Hong Kong and began her career as a makeup artist. She has since gone on to work with many renowned Hong Kong names like Maggie Siu, Yui Lee Tin and Kathy Chow.
- Minimise your beauty routine, especially if you’re planning to apply makeup afterwards. Find multipurpose products like a moisturiser that also offers SPF protection, that way you only need to apply one product and it will feel a lot lighter on your face! I recommend Hourglass's Veil Mineral Primer which not only primes your skin for makeup, but also offers SPF protection.
- Invest in a good matte powder to get rid of any oil when you’re out and about. Pay particular attention to your T-zone area and the apples of your cheek. Try Cover FX's Matte Setting Powder and make sure to gently press the powder onto those areas for a longer shine-free and oil-free fresh look.
- Besides your skin, makeup on your eyelids and waterline are also susceptible to becoming runny in the heat. I’m sure everyone has experienced this before, when your mascara or eyeliner smudges off because of the humid weather, it can especially be hard for women with single eyelids. To avoid any smudging try using an eyeshadow primer like Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion, a waterproof mascara like L'oreal's Double Extension Mascara and waterproof eyeliner like D-UP's Silky Liquid Eyeliner.
Hong Kong makeup artist Jennifer Ho has worked for the likes of Horizon T Mag, Elle and Flanelle Magazine. When Jennifer is not working on editorial and commercial projects, she also provides makeup services to brides and creates makeup tutorials for her many followers on Instagram.
- I always make sure to carry a small sun mist in my bag to shield my skin from the harmful sun rays. The PIXI sun mist is a sheer SPF 30 sunscreen mist with soothing botanical extracts. So you can feel confident that it won't clog your pores or leave your skin feeling weighed down and greasy.
- Your lips need protecting, too. People always forget to protect their lips. Make sure to have a lip balm that also has SPF protection. I personally like the Supergoop Play Lip Balm SPF 30, it's packed with rich shea butter and nourishing vitamin E.
- For those who suffer from creased eye-makeup, try using an eye primer. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion is always in my makeup kit to provide longer-lasting makeup and smoother application. Even when I don't apply any eye makeup, I still put a tiny bit of the product around my eyes for oil-control.