Summer creates a huge dilemma with makeup. It’s hot and it’s humid. So do you go full face and full matte and hope for the best or do you just give in and hope that greasy skin passes as dewy skin? I’m here to tell you that there’s a healthy middle ground. It’s where you can keep wearing makeup the way you like to while making it last longer without melting and smearing from sweat. Whether you want to hold on to that full glam or go easy on the makeup, no worries. I’ve had my makeup done several times by different makeup artists. And while each of them has their own thing, they all seem to agree on certain things when it comes to wearing makeup in summer. And that’s what I’ve covered here. Find below some of the best summer makeup tips on how to sweat-proof your look, what kind of looks to try for a natural-looking base, what types of products to go for, and so much more. Dig in!
The Best Summer Makeup Tips
1. Start with your skincare.
First things first. Proper skin care is the best way to prime your skin no matter your skin type. In fact, we have a whole guide on how to transition your skincare for summer. But here’s the recap.
Make sure you go for an oil-free, summer-friendly moisturizer to hydrate your skin. If your skin is too dry, you can go for slightly emollient moisturizers. This is to care for your skin and cover the hydrating aspect without a greasy, heavy feel. Don’t forget your SPF!
2. Embrace primers.
Prior to having my makeup done by a professional, I used to think that primer is just another over-rated product. But trust me when I say that summer is the best time to utilize makeup primers. They make your makeup last longer, mattify your skin in advance to prevent grease, blur out pores, and minimize skin imperfections like wrinkles.
Basically, a makeup primer empowers your foundation and your base makeup. So if you’ll be wearing a foundation, try mattifying primers. Even if you go for no-foundation looks, you can still use a primer alone. Most pore minimizing primers are like filters. You just get a little amount and apply the primer on your T-zone or wherever you tend to get oily.
And to give you an idea about how a primer can help you with texture and oiliness in summer, see the image below. I used Make Up For Ever Step 1 Primer Pore Minimizer on the back of my hand. And as you can see, the crease on my skin and the color of my veins are significantly blurred out.
3. Try a lighter base makeup.
Just putting it out there. You can always go bare face. After all, your foundation cannot melt if you’re not wearing it. A fully matte base is glorious, but it takes a village to keep it that way. And if you’re someone who doesn’t like wearing a lot of products, you can skip foundation completely and go bare face.
On the flip side, if you’re used to wearing full base makeup, going bare face can be intimidating for you. If you are not ready to give up on foundation yet, you can try alternatives like tinted moisturizers, tinted sunscreens, or CC creams. You can also try skin tints. They don’t provide any coverage, but they offer the easiest way to warm up your complexion in the lightest possible way.
Tip: A quick reminder to think twice before buying a new foundation for summer. Remember that your foundation has an expiration date. You buy a new one for summer with a darker shade and you probably won’t be using it for the better part of the year. Instead, try a foundation shade adjuster and save yourself some money.
4. Prevent crease with under-eye brighteners.
While we’re at it, you can try an under-eye brightener instead of a concealer too. In case you’ve never used one before, an under-eye brightener is exactly what it sounds like. It brightens the eye area and provides very little coverage. Think of it as a tinted moisturizer but for the eye area.
It’s a skin-friendly, natural-looking alternative to a concealer. Without heavy coverage, you minimize crease and cakiness under the eyes. So you can try an undereye brightener to basically look more fresh and awake without looking heavily done. And they don’t require a lot of touch-ups during the day either.
5. Set your foundation.
If you’re going to keep wearing a high coverage foundation, you might as well set it. It’s more than normal for your foundation to separate or look patchy in sweaty summer weather. And if you don’t want to take any chances, use a translucent powder to set your base makeup.
Keep it in your bag for touch-ups during the day too. A few dabs here and there on the T-zone and around the nose will absorb excess oil and keep your foundation in place.
6. Wear waterproof makeup.
Waterproof makeup products are must-haves for summer weather. We need them because we don’t want our makeup smearing all over the face. A waterproof eyeliner and a waterproof mascara make sure your eye makeup is in place and that there’s no dark shadow under your eyes. That’s not the best look when you’re in the pool, lying under the sun, or just going about your day.
Additionally, and this is something people with sensitive eyes will understand, the sun can make your eyes watery. I have ocular rosacea and my eyes generally get watery in summer, which ruins my makeup. If that’s you, rest assured. A hypoallergenic mascara/eyeliner will save you a few trips to the bathroom.
7. Use a cheek tint instead of a blush.
There’s a blush for every skin type and skin tone with different levels of shimmer. But nothing holds a candle to cheek tints when it comes to longevity. Instead of a regular blush, try a cheek tint to color up your face. A cheek tint literally stains your cheeks and lasts all day long no matter how hot it gets.
8. Pick your bronzer wisely.
When it comes to bronzer, you might want to diversify a little bit in summer. Let me give you the recap so you know what to expect.
A powder bronzer can have a matte or shimmery finish. But regardless of the finish, it’s still a powder. It’s easy to apply and reapply with just a few swipes. A cream bronzer comes in different finishes too. But again, it’s cream-based. It blends into your skin and moisturizes too. While we like to pick and choose our cheek products based on the finish, the formula is more important in summer.
Here’s how you can decide. If you have dry skin and don’t get too oily, you can try cream bronzers that give you a healthy glow. If you have oily skin, you can try them too. But powder formulas may be the better option if the humid weather is already too much and you find that creamy feel uncomfortable.
Either way, don’t forget to warm your complexion with a nice bronzer while looking natural. You can also experiment with the finish of the product. For example, skip the highlighter and use a shimmer bronzer for a more youthful look and the perfect summer vibes.
9. Water-proof your lips.
A lipstick allows you to look fresh and put together even if you don’t wear any base makeup. But in summer, nothing stays put including your lipstick. So understandably, you go for waterproof, transfer-proof lipsticks. The downside is that they can dry and dehydrate your lips.
A better alternative is a waterproof lip liner. It’ll define and color up your lips and it’ll last longer. But it’s unlikely to make your lips dry. So after you apply your liner, you freshen up your look by reapplying your lip balm or your lipstick during the day. Even if it fades away, you still have your lipliner in place.
10. Invest in mini makeup products.
This summer makeup tip comes straight from my Sephora bestie who is the store director. Mini size or travel size makeup products are more affordable and convenient for when you are on the go. Moreover, you may need touch-ups throughout the day. And carrying full-size makeup products in your bag is a burden when you’re by the pool or the beach.
There’s also the fact that when you are on vacation or moving around, you risk breaking or losing those full-size, expensive products. So save yourself the trouble and go for travel-size makeup products.
11. Carry multi-purpose products in your bag.
Some examples of multipurpose makeup products are multi-use sticks, lip & cheek tints, and multi-use pencils. These types of products are used in several areas of the face. A pencil, for example, can work as an eyeshadow, eyeliner, or lip liner.
Similarly, a multi-stick can work as a highlighter or concealer. And a lip & cheek tint is perfect for creating monochromatic looks with one single product. Keep these in your bag to refresh your makeup in a matter of seconds.
12. Focus on one area.
If it’s too much trouble for you to keep your makeup in place with extra steps and products, you can try this trick. Just focus on one area. For some people, base makeup is unbearable in summer. For others, eye makeup is too much.
So find your strength and focus on that area. For instance, don’t wear any foundation but just use a nice bronzer and define your lashes with mascara. Similarly, wear something high coverage for your base and top it off with a bold lip.
13. Try softer looks.
We all love a fully sculpted face with contouring and highlighting. But that makeup look is really high maintenance. Even in normal weather, a sculpted face with a full coverage foundation and contoured cheeks requires a lot of products and touch-ups.
In summer, that makeup look has the potential to look muddy and you’re likely to sweat through it. Instead, go for a softer look. Use your concealer, bronzer, and blush to define your face without going too heavy and sculpted.
14. Use fresh, summer-friendly colors.
Trends come and go but certain looks are forever. Instead of focusing on trending colors that will prove to be a waste of money next year, go for universal shades. I mean, remember those neon oranges, and turquoise colors? We got all excited and went ahead and bought eyeshadow palettes, which are currently waiting to be expired.
That’s frustrating when you’re someone who doesn’t buy several palettes in a year. On the flip side, vibrant colors like corals, peaches, and nudes are universal and timeless. And they complement the exciting summer weather. So you don’t go have to go out of your way and get a new eyeshadow palette to fit in.
15. Don’t forget to set your makeup.
I can’t tell you how helpful a makeup setting spray is going to be for your summer makeup looks. Normally, I don’t care if my makeup lasts for 12 hours. But in summer, the minute you go outside, the heat and humidity work against you. And your makeup starts to melt. So, always finish your makeup with a setting spray. Even if you don’t wear a lot of makeup, utilize a setting spray to cover your basis.
So these are some of the best makeup tips for summer. You can always utilize primers, powders, and setting sprays to sweat-proof your makeup. But a more convenient way is to go easy on the makeup, to begin with. That way, you don’t need to go over it every hour to refresh it.
Read Next: The Best Summer Makeup Products