Tips To Get Your Makeup To Last All The Way Through A Sweaty Summer Day

It’s that time again. From New York to Los Angeles, the streets to the beach, it’s getting hot in hurr and ice cream cones aren’t the only things melting this summer. Cosmetics don’t really stand a chance unless you know these five foolproof ways to get your makeup to stay while sweating all summer long.

I’ve been wearing makeup on the daily since age 12. That means for over half my life, I’ve been battling the east coast heat and humidity that personally attacks me each and every year. It causes my naturally oily skin to freak the eff out. At this point, I’ve tried every tip and trick in the book on myself and others to get makeup to stay in place. So I can truly tell you what works for the majority of human beings.

But here’s the thing: making makeup truly last does take a few extra steps. Makeup can work some miracles, but it’s not magic. There’s no single step process that will withstand heat and sweat and other grossness. For an entire sweltering, 90-degree NYC week, I went the extra mile to really put my life-proofing makeup process to the test.

Here was my makeup at the beginning of one of those days when I applied it first thing in the morning.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself. I worked for eight hours and then ran some errands before going to watch The Bachelorette at my best friend apartment. The subway stations themselves have been sweltering and caused me to sweat an ungodly amount. Yet, I only had to powder just slightly around my nostrils maybe twice throughout the day and reapply my super glossy lipstick.  

Here are the five top tried-and-true tips I swear by, so you too can love your makeup so much that you won’t even want to wash it off at the end of the day.

Always start with moisturizer. Always. For summer, opt for one that’s gel-based or super lightweight, whether you’re dry or oily. You don’t want to suffocate the surface of the skin, but want it to be hydrated enough so the skin doesn’t overproduce oil throughout the day or literally eat your foundation out of desperation if you’re dry.

Lately, I’ve been digging Glamglow Glowstarter™ Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Pearl Glow. It’s miraculously good for all skin types (I’m exceedingly oily and my skin doesn’t feel overwhelmed even though it’s rich). It contains hylauronic acid and green tea, which help energize and flood the skin with hydration. It also contains dimethicone as its second ingredient, which allows it to act like a primer, filling in pores and allowing foundation to glide across without creating texture. If you’re trying to reduce the amount of products you’re using during the sweltering summer months, this one is definitely the way to go. It also comes in Nude Glow and Sun Glow to better fit a wider variety of skin tones.

No matter what moisturizer you’re using, make sure to use only a dime size amount and pat the product onto the skin using the finger pads. This will help the moisturizer to absorb quickly and will prevent you from using too much. Too much, and you’re makeup won’t stick. You’ll know you’re properly hydrated if you can easily drag your finger across your skin and its tacky to the touch. This will hold on your makeup like double-sided sticky tape instead of letting it slip and slide.


2. Prime For Extra Time


If you’re not using a moisturizer with dimethicone (and even if you are), primers will only help to improve the longevity of your foundation. Some, like Hourglass’s Veil Mineral Primer, even help to make your makeup water-resistant, which come in handy if you’re prone to sweating (like me) or live in a stupidly humid climate (also like me).

For face primers, use about a pea size amount, and pat or smooth it in with your finger pads, starting at the center (or wherever your makeup is more likely to move), and working outward. My pores have been gigantic since birth, so lately I’ve been opting for Urban Decay’s Optical Illusion Complexion Primer, which is like photoshop in a bottle. It blurs the texture of my skin, but has a slight matte finish that helps to fight my oil before it even tries to peep through my makeup. It will definitely be my best buddy for the remainder of the summer.

If you want to be extra locked-and-loaded from the inside out, spray your setting spray before you even apply your foundation. Again, the tacky nature of the formula will grip to your foundation like I grasp to my last bits of dignity while on the smelly, sweltering steps of the New York City sewage system

If you plan on wearing any eye makeup, even if it’s just liner or mascara, using an eye shadow primer will make that look stay in place. I truly owe my awe-inspiring eye works of art to Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. I hate investing in my eye lewks if they’re not going to last, but the Primer Potion is so good, it literally pains me to wash off my shadow at then end of the day because it stays so pristine. Just make sure to use an eye shadow primer and not a face primer for this step. Face primers are too dense and slippery to keep the shadow lock on the eye skin, which constantly moves throughout the day.


A grain of rice-sized amount is enough for both eyes. Use your index finger to apply the primer from the ball of the eye all the way up through the brow bone. A translucent eyeshadow primer through the brow will even prevent your brow pencil or powder from wiping right off.

If you have a problem with liner or mascara smudging and transferring, set the primer with a bone-colored shadow or even translucent powder. The powder will prevent oil from seeping onto the lid, therefore preventing your mascara and liner from emulsifying and transferring. Take it from this hooded lidded-gal: It really works.



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