Nothing is better than long, warm summer days where we look and feel our best in the sunshine. But after spending time on your dewy look or bronzed glow, the last thing you want is to sweat it off when you leave the house. To help you keep your makeup intact despite the sweat beads dripping from your hairline, we asked two makeup artists to give their best perspiration-proofing tips and tricks.
1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
It’s important to keep your skin hydrated even in the hot summer months, despite any fears that adding moisture could make it look shinier and feels slicker. In fact, when the skin is dry, it may produce more oil and overcompensate—which, indeed, will ruin your makeup. Boston-based makeup artist Deanna Flanagan recommends focusing an oil-free moisturizer like the Murad Oil-Control Mattifier moisturizer in the T-zone.
2. Put deodorant on your face (just kidding—kinda)
Once you’ve moisturized, you may want to follow up with a sweat-resistant gel—yes, it’s like deodorant for your face. “I really like Neat 3B Face Saver Antiperspirant Gel. This is my secret weapon,” Flanagan says. “It prevents sweat due to heat or stress.” This step works wonders for someone who knows they’ll be sweating a lot. If you likely won't or you have dry skin, consider skipping it.
3. Prime the skin
Think of primer as the glue to this whole sweat-proof makeup operation. “It’s probably the most important step because it creates a barrier for your makeup to stick to,” says Boston-based makeup artist Natalie Lelless. “Make sure whatever you choose for a primer is oil-free and don’t use too much either—a little goes a long way.” Depending on your skin type, Lelless recommends the Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer or Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer for oily skin and the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer for dry skin.
Get the Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer at Sephora for $39
Get the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer at Sephora for $36
Get the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer at Sephora for $34
4. Choose a sheer, matte foundation
To avoid a cakey-looking complexion, use a tinted moisturizer, BB or CC cream, or lightweight foundation after your primer. Apply the product sparingly at first, then layer it in areas where you want more coverage. Lelless recommends using a damp beauty sponge like the Beauty Blender for an even, light foundation application. "This helps to use less product, keep moisture in, and smooth things out," she says. A matte or semi-matte foundation that won't add any excess shine to your skin is best. Lelless recommends the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for sheer coverage, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream for light coverage, and the Urban Decay Naked Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation for medium coverage.
Get the Beauty Blender original beautyblender at Sephora for $20
Get the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 at Sephora for $46
Get the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 at Sephora for $42
Get the Urban Decay Naked Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation on Sephora for $40
5. Powder with caution
Powder is amazing for absorbing excess oil and any beads of sweat that may bubble up, but it also is an extra layer of makeup that adds texture to the skin and can end up looking cakey or dry. Flanagan recommends a finely milled, loose setting powder like the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder to set foundation in place without the caked-on effect that pressed powders or powder foundations may bring. She also recommends abiding by the “less is more” rule and only adding a light dusting of powder to avoid unwanted texture. You can skip this step altogether if your skin is dry, as the powder’s main function here is to absorb any excess oil, which dry skin is less likely to have.
6. Set the whole look
Once you’ve completed the face makeup, use a setting spray that’ll add moisture and blend the face products together while locking them in place for hours. (Think of this as hair spray for your face.) Lelless recommends the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, which claims to use temperature control technology to lower the temperature of your makeup in hot and humid conditions and keep your makeup in place for 16 hours. With a 4.4-star rating and over 9,000 reviews, it seems makeup lovers agree. One Sephora reviewer writes: “Every time I try a new setting spray I always end up coming back to this one. When I set my makeup with this I know it's not going anywhere.”
7. Touch up only as needed
For extra sweat-proof insurance, keep a set of blotting sheets on you, such as the Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. With some gentle dabbing, one sheet absorbs excess oil and shine without removing makeup. If you want to touch up your powder, though, Lelless and Flanagan both recommend MAC Cosmetics Blot Powder. “This powder literally just buffs away shine but adds no coverage or texture to the skin,” Flanagan says. “This would be a fantastic powder to carry with you for touch-ups, after you use the blotting sheets.”
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.