A guide to wearing makeup in south east Asia

Makeup for Humidity

Travelling to south east Asia is fabulous but when it’s over 80% humidity and your sweating like a boxer in the ring how do you keep your face on? Do you opt for nothing and then look like the ghost on Halloween night? I freeze with fear at the thought of my dark circles under my eyes being unleashed in public without eye concealer. Here are my tips to get you through the heat and looking link Cindy Crawford with a guide to wearing makeup in south east Asia.

Rule Number one

“It is a crime not to prime.” Napoleon. Who is Napoleon I am hearing you ask – a fabulous makeup artist. I will admit when I heard this I had no idea what primer was. I am fortunate that makeup was not a huge necessity until closing in on 40, and boy have I had some catching up to do. Some women have 20 years of experience over me. Back to the point – primer. It is required. Benefits have a pore primer which is light and doesn’t clog the skin. 

But wait before you prime, daily moisturiser

Oil free moisturiser is best in the morning – especially in Asia. Your skin needs to breathe. I use Mario Bedescu. A Roman who moved to New York and has been in business for 40 years. I trust he has got he’s sh*t sorted and knows what he is doing. I trust him as I use the drying lotion for blemishes and ‘poof’ they are gone. In my mind, he is a magician. The fact the bottles are not fancy and he is not wasting funds on graphic design gives me more confidence he is concentrating on the product and not the sale. Win for me.

Bronze babe

I have mentioned previously – stay away from the Donald Trump orangutan look but go for the sun kissed look of Cindy Crawford or even Kate Hudson. I use a daily build up body lotion. Palmers Body Lotion for the win here. I use the coconut scented version as I want summer to last forever. It is thick so if you have dry skin this will give it a good drink. Use lightly over the face. 

But that is not the bronzer I am talking about; bronzing powder is meant to be the topic. I think it is most effective when the rest of your body has a glow. Bronzer brightens your face. Yep. Your eyes pop and your teeth even look whiter. Plus let’s face it, have you got a friend that is red haired and covered in freckles? I do and she is all kinds of amazing. Give her a fake tan and she feels like a million trillion dollars. She feels sexy and hot. Why? She loves her skin and her tones but the added warmth the bronze adds to her skin gives her that extra boost.

Now you know the importance of this one routine. To keep the result looking natural just do the t-junction. (forehead, chin, nose, and cheekbones) I use Physicians Formula as I carry it around and the powder breaks – so I throw it out once it gets messy. I am not buying Chanel to purchase and chuck. Essentially it blends colours and is not all the one colour.

Foundation time

You need to keep it light. It’s hot you need to breathe. If you can use a tinted sunscreen – do it. If you are going somewhere special and need the coverage. Go light and my tip for that is back to Benefits. The two products are listed in the shopping list below. The first is oil free and light, the second a mix of foundation and powder together. The second has SPF to help in the sun. Honestly less is best. 

No time for shimmer

Its humid. You will sweat and at best glow from the heat. Do not use illuminators in the humidity. I know – it’s my best friend as well but you will be sun kissed form the sun – you will not need it on top of bronzer.

Unforgettable eyes

Ditch the dark colours and heavy eyes. Tropical weather is for light colours and kisses of colour. You do not need a deep lip – perhaps in the evening at dinner to make that red dress pop but honestly you should be packing light nude colourings,(think sorbets as your colour palette) and golds. Trust me, drag queen makeup is easy to achieve in the heat. I would use creams and not powders. I use an oil free concealer but I flip and flop between the two products listed below.

If there is a time to roll out the Princess Diana blue eyeliner it is in the tropics. Don’t stop there, there are loads of colours to make that kaftan pop. Have some fun. You’re on a gold and colour vacay! I have suggested a waterproof eyeliner – saves smudges and a waterproof mascara.

In summary, you need

  1. An eye primer.
  2. An eye concealer.
  3. Colour cream.
  4. More colour liner.
  5. Mascara

N.B. when using waterproof products make sure you pack a good eye-makeup remover. 

Kiss me, kiss me lips.

I only pack one product, sorry two. A Dior pucker stick (actually, called a lip maximiser plumping gloss) and if I need some colour I go for the Keihl’s. It’s a butterstick lip treatment with colour. The coconut oil helps hydrate in the sun. I don’t use a lip liner. Just a natural colour and then overload with pucker me up. You don’t need to use both – you can use one or the other. I won’t pack more than those two. The butterstick has SPF so use it during the day.


All you need is this tint. Ditch the sticks and powders. We want a natural look and not adding more to the face to make it sweat. Benefits have a rose-tinted stain. You can use on lips if you want some additional colour.

Blot for the win

You need to free yourself of shine. If you are sweating, move to the shade, find some breeze and get those dew drops off your face. We are aiming for sexy glow do sexy drip. Blotting papers are good but nothing wrong with a good old Kleenex.

Set me

Setting spray sounded like hairspray for my face and I was not liking the idea. Now that I have tried this – it’s a winner.

You may have noticed I have recommended many Benefits products. I am not on a kick back – (I completely wish) but rather I choose them as you can get these products in a travel size. Winning! Do you know how much your makeup weighs? We haven’t even added skincare yet and we have some weight here. Where you can use travel size to minimise not only weight but to ensure you can carry everything in your hand luggage. Just imagine arriving at your sexy holiday destination with no makeup!

Shopping list.
  1. Get your primer here. Click here.
  2. Oil free daily moisturiser. Click here.
  3. Tanning Body Lotion. Click here
  4. Bronzer powder. Click here
  5. Foundation. Click here
  6. Foundation Two. Click here.
  7. Eye primer. Click here
  8. Eyeshadow in a cream. Click here
  9. Eye concealer. Click here or alternative click here.
  10. Eye liner. Click here.
  11. Mascara. Click here
  12. Butterstick for lips. Click here or for a waterproof version  – if you must have colour. Click here 
  13. Pucker me up. Click here.
  14. Cheek tint. Click here 
  15. Setting spray. Click here or the alternate click here.

I found this list from Sephora whilst I was looking for links. Click here for Sephora’s guide to make-up for humidity. It’s similar to mine but much fewer products.


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