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May 30, 2016

Ugh, the weather these days. Those blazing afternoons make us contemplate dunking our heads into the nearest receptacle of water multiple times a day; we’d do anything to cool down in these face-melting temperatures. Until we found a better, and much less unglamorous way of beating the heat: water-based makeup.

Here’s why water in your makeup can help with bringing skin temperature down, from knowledge we dug up from our murky memories of secondary school physics lessons. Water, compared to other substances, is better able to hold heat energy without itself undergoing a rise in temperature, due to its relatively higher heat capacity. And that’s why when you apply a product with a watery texture onto your skin, it feels cooler to the touch than if you were putting on a cream. So while the heatwave lasts, we’re incorporating as many water-based makeup products into our routines as possible; they’re better for the skin too, since our pores actually get to breathe.





We’re so used to face primers being of the cream or gel varieties that this begs the question: Will
a water-based primer do the job of creating an even base and keeping makeup in place through the day? Smashbox is a credible primer authority, though – their Photo Finish Foundation Primer is pretty iconic. They call this Primer Water the purer, more refreshing version of the Foundation Primer, with all of the benefits but in a much lighter texture that holds on to makeup just as well. The brand recommends popping it in the fridge before use, and we can imagine what a treat spritzing it on cold will be when the weather decides to go crazy again; it can also be spritzed on top of makeup as a mid-day skin recharge.

$52, available at Sephora.




With foundation, we’re always chasing after the “bare skin look”, i.e. a flawless complexion that looks like it has not a drop of makeup on. In the bid to achieve this elusive ideal, the makeup brands have released these watery foundations one after the other, and shu uemura’s version is this one with a bi-phase formula, so you have to give it a shake before use to mix the pigments with the water. The result is a solution that gives very sheer coverage, for the days that you want your skin to be able to breathe. You’re supposed to dispense five drops in your palm for each use, then use the flocky side of the included sponge to apply; after that, tap the spongy side on the skin to even out the coverage.

$68, available at shu uemura stores and counters.





We’re really glad that brands get us, and launch these watery foundations over the warmer months so our skin gets some room to breathe. Also, we’ll have to get used to dispensing our foundations with these droppers. The multi-reflective pigments in this formula get your skin glowing, and in a natural way, and the ionised water doesn’t simply evaporate off the skin – together with hyaluronic acid and essential minerals, it forms a complex that keeps skin hydrated and nourished. We like to think of foundations like this one as water with magical powers.

$77, available at Sephora.






The actual consistency of this liquid foundation isn’t exactly like water, like the name implies – it’s slightly more viscous than that, like a “gel serum”, in M.A.C’s words. Still, we’re including this in the list because it goes onto the skin like water, leaving a sheer yet easily buildable coverage with a light texture that settles like a blurring veil over the skin. It’s left feeling nice and silky, and nicely hydrated thanks to the Moisture Fusion Complex M.A.C’s included as an ingredient. One tip we’ve picked up from the M.A.C pros is to pick up a watery foundation like that with a denser brush (M.A.C recommends their own 196 Slanted Flat Top Foundation Brush), as it can hold on to the product better and dispense the right amount onto your skin without it dripping all over.

$62, available at M.A.C stores and counters.



Ah, the stain that everyone wanted at one point. Today, we’re inundated by things like cushions and matte liquid lipsticks and we’ve kind of forgotten about the humble multitasking stain, but here’s to taking a moment to appreciate just how much of a staple product the Benetint really is. The story goes that it was originally created for an exotic dancer back in the 1970s, and it’s made to go on sheer, but stays put for hours. Figuring out just the right amount to apply on your face as well as how to blend it properly might take some practice, but once you’ve nailed it, it’ll be hard to step away from this rose-coloured liquid.

$54, available at Benefit Cosmetics counters and Sephora






Many cheek colours promise to achieve that watercolour effect, but Stila’s is one of the few that actually comes in the consistency of watercolour paint. The clincher has to be the packaging – the colour is dispensed by tapping a brush onto the netted surface (yes, it’s kind of like a cushion), so you don’t have to worry about spilling product everywhere. The five shades are all floral-inspired and made to look like a natural flush on the skin, also thanks to the transparent water base.

$37, available at Sephora.




You’ll have to be pretty adept with liquid blushes to try these, which are already making their rounds online, especially among the beauty blogger community. Daniel Sandler’s liquid blushes come in plenty of pretty shades ranging from pastels to almost-neons, but the tricky thing is the way they’re packaged – you need to be every careful about dispensing just the right and very small amount, and then blend them onto your skin properly. Here’s a handy rule for liquid blushes: More often than not, just a tiny amount is all you need to get that desired flush.

£15.50, available on cultbeauty.co.uk.






We didn’t think that eyeshadow could come in a watery base too, but YSL Beauté made us think again. This Full Metal Shadow is made up of 40% water, which the brand says is supposed to leave a cooling effect on your lids – which is great for the kind of weather we’ve been melting in this year. Despite the water base, the colours aren’t at all sheer; these metallics go on shiny and super pigmented, so you can use the doe foot applicator to create all the graphic eye looks you want.

$45, available at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté stores and counters.





Watery lip tints in colours that pop is very much a K-Beauty trend, and we’re glad more of these have been making their way to local shelves. They might look almost scarily bright in the bottles, but they go onto the lips in a sheer wash of colour that dries into a lasting stain. The whole point of these tints is to make your lips look like they’ve been sucking on a brightly-coloured lollipop – or keep the colour to the centre of your lips for that classical Korean ombré lip.

$9.90, available at selected Watsons.




This watery lip stain can be worn two ways: Apply it straight from the tube for a transparent coat of colour; or give it a good shake to mix the pearlescent micro-prisms throughout the bi-phase formula to add some sheen. Sure, it’s a stain that’s a whole lot pricier compared to its Korean counterparts, the quality of the colour payoff and the option to mix in the fancy micro-prism particles maybe helps justify the price tag a little.

$50, available on sephora.sg.







Main image: benefitcosmetics.com