Summertime Makeup Tips: Poolside Beauty with Nkenge Brown

Nkenge Brown always looks cool — and it’s not just her killer clothes or sweet shades. The style blogger and FIT student has mastered the art of summer makeup, a.k.a., how to wear makeup when it’s hot and humid and your morning masterpiece wants to slide off your face by noon. “I don’t go for the dewy look in the summer, it eventually just turns into that,” the influencer jokes.

She knows what she’s talking about. As a New York City native, Nkenge’s first superpower is handling heat and humidity like a boss. (“I love the weather!” she says. “I also feel like people are a bit nicer in the summer.”) Her second? Figuring out how to tote everything she’ll need for the day — her favorite summertime activities include eating outside and going to rooftop parties — while looking effortless.

So we asked the ace photographer (seriously, check out her trèStique Instagram takeover) for her thoughts on all things summer beauty. Read on for Nkenge’s tips and tricks to staying shine-free and pretty in a hot summer in the city:

First of all, what are your thoughts on wearing makeup before you go swimming?

I have to put on makeup. Well, nobody has to, but honestly because my mom is a designer and a tailor, I grew up in the fashion world. She was always around beauty and would bring it home and teach me.

What’s your poolside beauty routine?

I’m always okay leaving the house as long as I can do my eyebrows first. So before going to the pool, I do my eyebrows, 100 percent. Then I’ll do a tinted foundation and add some highlights. Blush isn’t 100 percent necessary but I’ll put it on if I have the time.

What about on a hot day around town — how do you keep your makeup in place?

Have a really good primer like the trèStique Mattifying Duo or a setting powder. And the less makeup the better! Because then, you don’t have to worry about it sliding.


Do you consider yourself a makeup minimalist maximalist?

When I started wearing makeup, I thought it was about a full face and that’s it. I started with eyeshadow, then I added a minimal foundation, then I started using a highlighter. Soon, I was doing a full face every day.

Then I started cutting back. When I saw what trèStique was going for — go-to products that you can take on the go — I started enjoying that aspect of makeup. Now I’m like, What are the things I can do to make my routine 10 minutes or less?


How do you transition from day-to-night?

I’m just getting obsessed with lashes. If I’m going out to dinner with my friends, I’ll bring the lashes with me if I didn’t already put them on in the morning. I’m just getting the hang of it. It takes me 30 to 40 minutes to do, depending on how long it takes for the glue to dry. And then I would add blush and lipstick.

What are your specific must-have products?

Popping these trèStique sticks into a Le’ Pak bag is the best solution for my on-the-go makeup. They’re all the essentials I need for the day:

  • Brow Pencil in Espresso
  • Mattifying Duo
  • Concealer Crayon in Toffee
  • Blush Stick in Bora Bora Coral
  • Highlight Stick in Maldives Luminescent (“I just love highlights.”)
  • Lip Crayon in Florence Fig (“It’s really nice for going out to dinner or out with friends after the pool. I also like Belize Bordeaux or Tuscan Wine for nighttime.”)


What do you always have in your bag?

I used to carry a lot. I would be the person everyone would come to whenever they needed a backup item. A mini sewing kit, hair ties, safety pins — I would have them all just in case. Now I’ve been very inspired by Parisian style. A big part of it is, apparently, that they don’t carry a lot.  I wanted to see if i could do that, so I switched out my big wallet for a card holder, my big bags for mini bags.

But especially in the summer I always have a lipstick to touch up my lips throughout the day, and I carry the Mattifying Duo with the blotting sheets so I can wipe off shine.

Most important question: How do you always manage to capture that summer glow in your photos?

If you’re taking a phone selfie, you don’t want to do it at night. There’s a lot of visual noise at night and camera phones don’t have the greatest day/night controls.

Take your selfies in the best natural light possible. The sun sets after 8 p.m. in the summer, so you have more selfie time, which I really appreciate.  

(Portraits courtesy of Nkenge Brown.)

Brit & Co: TrèStiQue Is All About Simplifying Your Beauty Routine

Jenn Kapahi

“If you’re a beauty maven who has tested out makeup tutorials based on TV characters, organized your top products into a stunning organization system that rivals any Sephora makeup counter, and have the latest and greatest makeup apps downloaded on your phone, you might be interested in a career in the makeup industry. Perhaps you’ve even considered launching a line of your ideal beauty products. In this week’s How to Quit Your Day Job series, we chat with Jenn Kapahi, the co-founder of beauty brand trèStiQue.”

This month marks our second birthday so we were thrilled to have our co-founder, Jenn Kapahi interviewed by Brit & Co. In the feature she breaks down how she turned her idea into a reality.

Read the full story here.

Bari Studio: Sweaty To Ready With Our Athleisure Essentials

Athleisure Essentials

The trèStiQue woman lives on the go. She is the epitome of the modern woman and never stops moving, and our goal is to create products that can carry her effortlessly through each part of her day.

As a long-time product developer and busy working mom, our co-founder Jenn Kapahi is committed to creating quick, easy-to-use solutions that fit into your lifestyle, not the other way around. And that’s where our new Athleisure Essentials come in.

Athleisure Essentials

Athleisure Essentials

Athleisure Essentials

We wanted to take one more step towards our goal of offering an alternative solution for the overwhelming beauty selection on offer, while creating the perfect answer to the age-old question, “what products can I use to go straight from the gym into real life?”

The curated collection features everything you need to go from Sweaty to Ready: our Mattifying Duo to absorb oil & erase post-workout shine; Concealer Crayon to hide any under eye circles or spots; Tinted Face Stick to even out skin tone and cover residual redness and our fan-favorite Brow Pencil to frame the face.

To celebrate, we invited a handful of our favorite influencers to put the Athleisure Essentials to the test with a workout at Bari Studios.

Athleisure Essentials

Athleisure Essentials

Athleisure Essentials

Women We Love: Kristin McGee

Kristin McGee

Kristin McGee is all about beauty. For her, beauty starts from the inside out and health is the top priority. With over 20,000 followers, her Instagram account has become one of the go-to destinations for the kind of inspiring, but relatable content that makes living a healthy lifestyle feel achievable.

A top yogi, she’s inspired men and women to strike a pose wherever they are; whether that’s sitting on the subway on the way to work, or at a desk, all of which you’ll find in her top-selling book, Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch and Strengthen Your Way to a Happier, Healthier You. We couldn’t think of a more inspiring person to front our brand new Athleisure Essentials, designed to take you from Sweaty-to-Ready.

Read on to discover Kristin’s top tips for sticking to a wellness routine in the midst of a busy schedule (she just gave birth to twin boys – busy is an understatement!), why she adheres to a less is more approach with her makeup and why she refuses to leave the house without using our Define, Sculpt & Set Brow Pencil.

Kristin McGeeWhat sparked your love of yoga and Pilates?

I started practicing yoga and Pilates in the early 90s when I moved to New York and started going to NYU. I was a theater major and we were using it as warm up. I was athletic growing up. I came between two older brothers and one younger brother. We lived in Idaho so we grew up playing tennis, skiing, hiking and cycling – you name it.

What do you enjoy most about Pilates and Yoga? Do you find they complement each other?

I love the mind-body connection that yoga and Pilates can give you. It completely centers me and keeps me focused. It is such a meditative practice. Pilates helps me stay stable in my yoga postures and helps with flexibility. Yoga helps me get deeper into my core in my Pilates sessions.

How has your practice changed your perspective on life?

They have really allowed me to find my own center and core, which has translated into my core values too. It’s taught me how to stand on two feet, stay open in the moment, get grounded in the present and truly appreciate everything about myself and others.

Any tips to help us manage stress?

Always take deep full breaths when in doubt workout exercise is one of the best stress reducers I know.

What about quieting our minds before bed?

  • Trying to find a quiet space to sit and watch your breath before you go to bed
  • Make a cup of tea
  • Invest in some nice essential oils
  • Turn off your mechanics and read a book or write in a journal or snuggle someone you love

Kristin McGee

Any tips on how to stick to a workout routine?

I always say a downward dog a day keeps the doctor away. People think they have to do a very long work out or something formal like going to the gym when in reality, as long as you make your lifestyle active you will always get exercise and you will stay in shape. It’s simple things like walking to work or incorporating your kids into workouts like I do with my twin babies. It also helps to schedule exercise in. I make sure to put something on the calendar at least once a week so I know that I’m getting a good workout in.

Kristin McGeeYou have three boys under three including newborn twins. How do you find time to do manage work, family and your own fitness practice too?

I let the boys work out with me or I will do something while they’re all entertaining themselves. I also have scheduled work out times for myself when I have a nanny and my son is at school. I just make it a priority to book a Pilates session with one of my mentors or go to one of my favorite yoga classes otherwise I will never do it.

Your new book, Chair Yoga gives lots of poses that can be done anywhere. What are some of your favorites?

I love eagle arms because it is so good for setting up the shoulders and upper back and all of us get stiff there. I also love goddess side bend – it really opens the hips, inner thighs and waist. And I love doing a downward dog using the back of the chair too.

What are your top 3 favorite fitness tips? 

  • Move every day
  • Plank is your best friend
  • Flexibility is the key to longevity

How would you describe your beauty style?

It has always been super natural. I am definitely a less is more type person and I think it’s evolved over the years. I’ve just been able to refine it more and accent the places on my face that really stand out while leaving the rest to be. As a mom, I don’t have near as much time to care about my beauty routine so I just do the top things that are the most important: brows, concealer, a great lipstick and curled lashes.

Kristin McGee

What is your no-fail trick to looking bright-eyed, awake and camera-ready, even when you’re feeling exhausted?

I like to pinch my cheeks. I keep a little rollerball of this anti-aging lip treatment in my fridge and roll it around my eyes. It’s cool and really brightens me up. I also use the trèStiQue Concealer Crayon and Brow Pencil because I feel like when my eyebrows are done, it makes me look and feel better.

Kristin McGeeWhat are some of the trèStiQue products you find yourself turning back to?

I can’t live without the Florence Fig Lip Crayon. I carry it with me everywhere. I also love the Highlight StickConcealer Crayon and the Brow Pencil.

What beauty mantra do you swear by?

Always wear sunscreen no matter what

Who are some of your beauty icons?

I’m a big fan of Sienna Miller. I think she is beautiful and has a very natural look and style. I’m also a fan of Christie Brinkley. She’s aged really well and kept in amazing shape. I like Naomi Watts too. I think she has also been great about staying out of the sun. I love women who age naturally without doing too many crazy things to their face.

Any beauty hacks for regular gym-goers? 

Find a good sweat proof sunscreen and carry a spritz sunscreen to reapply after you work out. Dry shampoo your hair before a workout to absorb the grease where you put your ponytail so you don’t rip your hair. And only apply mascara to your top lashes otherwise you get raccoon face.

We’re all about helping women put their best foot forward through beauty. When do you feel the most confident and beautiful from the outside in?

When I am active, when I am true to myself and when I am with my children.

Featured In This Post

Athleisure Set

Refinery29: This Mattifying Stick Comes With A Twist

TrèStiQue Mattifying Duo

“This mattifying stick has ingeniously-placed blotting sheets that look just like the old-school paper hidden inside the tube. (Another reason to love it — especially because we’re all about finding hidden compartments in our beauty products.)”

“At first glance, it looks like your ordinary chubby makeup stick that’s meant to de-slick your T-zone and mattify oily areas on your face. While it’s true that it does all of the above, and it does it well, there’s more to it than that. Pop open the top and bottom magnetic sealing caps, and you’ve got receipt-sized blotters that you can use to dab throughout the day. (Oh, and did we mention they’re refillable?)”

This summer, our Magic Balm & Blotting Sheet Mattifying Duo is a mainstay in our bags to combat oily skin in the heat. We were thrilled to see it featured on Refinery29 as the ultimate “modern-day invention”. Used over makeup, it instantly eliminates shine to create a velvety matte look with a soft focus. No powders needed!

Read the full story here.

Featured In This Post

Magic Balm & Blotting Sheet