So your makeup has melted into a pool of sweat and distress, and you haven’t even made it to the office yet. Though your first instinct is likely to turn around and head home to the comfort of your AC, everyone who wears cosmetics in the summer swelter knows your struggle. While some might decide to forgo foundation and any other makeup for the season — hey, it would certainly shorten your beauty routine — you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your #motd if you don’t want to.
Aside from touching up when shine (or sweat) starts to sprout, it can be hard to figure out how to keep your face in place when temperatures climb into the 80s, 90s, and 100s. But making a few seasonal adjustments to your makeup kit and technique can guarantee that your skin appears fresh, healthy, and flawless no matter the temp.
Sephora PRO Artist Myiesha Sewell and NYC-based makeup artist Merli Estime say that when it comes to maintaining your makeup when the mercury rises, your best bet is to stop piling on more product to fix the problem. “People tend to add more powder onto shiny or sweaty skin, which can cause cakiness,” Sewell says. Instead, the pros suggest switching up the products on your vanity and how you use them for a flawless face throughout the season.
Switch according to skin type
Our skin goes through seasonal changes no matter if you’re oily, dry, or in between. The natural humidity of summer helps hydrate normal to dry skin types but pumps up the sebum production that can create an even shinier situation in combination and oilier complexions.
While we often adjust our skincare routine accordingly, we often don’t do the same for our makeup kit, which can create a bit of a cosmetic conundrum. “Having a well-rounded makeup wardrobe allows you to use products based on your needs for that day instead of settling,” Sewell says. That means swapping out the heavy, more emollient options that you used in the winter for lighter and mattifying formulas to keep sweat and shine at bay. You’ll also want to exchange dewier foundation formulas that can make you appear sweatier than you really are for more matte and waterproof options. Estime suggests snapping up a formula that’s transfer-resistant, like Fenty’s famous Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation ($34).
Dry skin types might worry that the matte makeup will make their faces appear extra parched, but the proper preparations will help ensure you have a smooth and hydrated canvas to work with. “What’s going to be key for that is definitely moisturizing and priming and then using the foundation, so it doesn’t look dry and cracked,” Estime says. So it’s best to listen to your skin’s needs before you begin your application process.
Prep and Prime
It’s not just what’s in your makeup kit that can determine how your final look will fare when it meets the heat. Both of our experts agreed that how you prime and set up your look can mark the difference between something long-lasting and a melted mess.
Sewell suggests prepping the skin first with a light moisturizer such Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer ($39) or a hydrating serum like Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum ($65) if your skin is dry. And don’t be afraid to slather on the sunscreen either, as it not only prevents dark spots from deepening and keeps UV rays at bay but can also allow you to use less foundation and concealer later on (though a primer can provide more grip on your makeup if you need it).
Save The Face For Last
Estime suggests pushing the application of your complexion products, like your concealer and foundation, for just before you leave the house. Aside from preventing you from having to repair any runny spots of sweat, saving your face products for the finish also helps hide any mistakes made in the eye area. Need to sharpen a liner wing? Camouflage any shadow fallout? Your concealer and/or foundation can quickly cover it up before completing your look.
Set It And Forget It
Baking has become an incredibly popular way to set makeup up for hours, but there’s no need to wait 10 to 15 minutes before your face is done. Estime advises anyone who sets their T-zone with powder like Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($38) to then sweep it away after two to three minutes at most, and then simply pat the powder on any other areas and sweep the excess away immediately. “I wouldn’t let it sit for more than two minutes because it’s basically absorbing all the moisture from your foundation, concealer, [and] your eye cream,” she explained, as the results can leave areas like your under eyes looking dried out and wrinkly.
Don’t USE Sponges for Touchups
Most pressed powders are sold with its own sponge, but it might actually be doing more harm than good. According to Sewell, applying powder onto shiny or sweaty skin can cause cakiness and buildup.
Instead save the sponges for when you initially set your makeup. “One, you’re adding layers, and two, the makeup that’s there is becoming unsettled, so you’ll start to get splotches on your skin,” she explained. “That is the hardest thing to fix. Usually, you can’t fix it, and you have to take everything off.”
Blot Then Blend
Instead, Sewell says, “The best way to prevent cakiness in your makeup is to blot away the oil build-up first, and then assess your skin.” One way to do it on the go (and on the cheap) is to carry a pack of blotting papers or facial tissues. But if you want a more environmentally friendly option, Sewell suggest snapping up the Beauty Blender’s Blotterazzi Pro ($20) to blot and blend it back into place and wash when you get home.
You usually don’t need to reapply any powder afterward, unless you’re prepping for the perfect selfie. “I wouldn’t do that unless maybe you’re being photographed and you want your skin to look fresh,” Estime said, as it can contribute to makeup appearing cakey later in the day. To cut down on the product pileup, just use a travel brush like this Sephora Purse-Proof Charcoal Infused Retractable Brush ($24) with a cover so you can cut down on the germs.
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