Summer and warm weather are wonderful for lots of different things: beach days, backyard BBQ parties and even certain fashion trends like easy-breezy dresses. Something that doesn’t do as well in the heat? Makeup. Whether you’re figuring out how to keep your makeup from sweating off or how to look flawless throughout wedding season, you’ve come to the right place.
Ahead, we consult five expert makeup artists on sweatproof makeup. They fill us in on tips to keep your makeup in place, the tools and techniques they swear by and of course — the products they go back to time and time again when it comes to makeup that stays put and looks perfect all day long.
As with most makeup looks and techniques, it all starts with a well-prepped base. “How you prep your skin will help your makeup last and stay put for hours longer,” explains Carolina Dali, a celeb makeup artist who has worked with stars like Gisele Bündchen and Julianne Hough. “A good hydrating moisturizer that’s not too oily is key,” she says, recommending her go-to, the La Potion Infinie from Argentum Apothecary. “Moisturized skin will allow for the makeup to grip and last longer.”
“You don’t want heavy layers on your skin,” adds celebrity makeup artist Emma White Turle, who counts Carey Mulligan and Niall Horan as clients, among many others. “So light, oil-free products that have a good intense pigment are my personal favorites.”
As this concept relates to skin care, more isn’t always more. Turle recommends using an SPF product that is also moisturizing, which can help prevent “the overheating feeling you might have when your skin is overloaded with products.” She recommends starting with a vitamin C serum and then applying an SPF moisturizer like Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum or a product with an anti UVA/UVB shield like the Sisley Paris All Day All Year, both of which leave a radiant finish to the skin.
Nick Barose, a celeb makeup artist who has worked with stars like Lupita Nyong’o, Winona Ryder and Kim Cattrall, recommends a gel or gel-like moisturizer like the Sisley Paris Express Flower Gel Mask because it keeps skin hydrated without getting greasy. “For people who get super oily, you could even skip moisturizer and instead use alcohol-free toner or cleansing water,” he adds, sharing that his favorite option is the Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water, which eliminates greasiness without drying out skin.
When it comes to makeup products, “try and just stick to waterproof formulations and products that are naturally water-resistant,” shares Rae Morris, a bestselling author, four-time Australian Makeup Artist of the Year and the longest serving makeup director for L’Oréal Paris. She recommends going for a more glowing, dewy look — since if you start to sweat, it won’t look so obvious. “I like to avoid powders, because once they get wet they can change color,” she says. “Keeping a matte look is too hard to maintain in the heat.” Barose agrees, adding that too much powder — even when you’re just touching up throughout the day — can end up looking cakey. That’s why he opts for blotting papers like Tatcha’s Aburatorigami Blotting Papers, which you can use throughout the day and before applying powder (if you must) to help oil control.
If you’re a die-hard powder person, there are ways to keep them in your routine without sacrificing the longevity of your makeup. “Powder-based makeup when layered over cream makeup will last hours longer than just applied alone,” shares Dali. “Cream-based products, if applied alone, will sweat off the fastest.” The layering of powder over cream helps to seal both products in place and create an unmatched lasting power. Dali uses this technique specifically for eyeliner (layering a powder eyeshadow over a pencil liner) and blush (applying a cream blush like the Westman Atelier’s Baby Cheeks Blush Stick and following with powder blush in a similar color).
“As a rule, a little goes a long way with most products,” Turle explains. “Always apply light layers onto your skin and don’t rush it. Allow products to settle into the skin before adding more on top… and finger tips can help blend products, especially cream based, into the skin for a flawless finish.” As a final makeup step? “Using a setting spray can definitely help prolong your makeup if you are in the heat,” shares Turle. She recommends the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray or the UncompliKated SPF Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray, which serves the dual purpose of setting your makeup and protecting your skin from sun damage.
Along those same lines, Barose recommends carrying around a simple rose water misting spray. His favorite is the Cortas Rose Flower Water, which is affordable on Amazon and probably even more inexpensive at your local grocery store. “Put it in a small misting spray bottle or reuse a bottle from another misting spray,” he explains. “And a few sprays really helps keep makeup fresh.”
A final tip if you’re still not getting the results you’re looking for: Make sure you’re not applying makeup on skin that’s already hot and sweaty. “A useful trick we use to cool down overheated skin before makeup is an ice bath,” shares Turle. “Literally dunk your face into a bowl of ice and water until cooled.” You can also run an ice cube over your skin before your skin care routine, or use an ice roller like the Esarora Ice Roller.
“During the hot and sticky summer days, I would suggest using a light moisturizer and longwear primer under an oil-free foundation,” shares Ayami Nishimura, a New York-based professional makeup artist. Her long-wear primer of choice is this mattifying, oil-free option.
MUAs all agree that a primer is a must when it comes to sweat proof makeup. Barose and Dali both recommend this mineral primer from Hourglass, which also boasts SPF 15.
“A mattifying primer like this one is key for keeping makeup from melting or sliding off,” Barose says. This option from Lancôme serves the dual purpose of reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines while it mattifies your skin.
Morris often opts for this hydrating primer, which “adds deep hydration and grips your makeup like its life depends on it.” While it is invisible, Morris has a note of advice when using this product. “Don’t use too much and wait a minute before applying your foundation.”
Turle calls this priming balm a “brilliant all around primer that works on all skin types.”
“Laura Mercier’s products are always a go-to for me,” shares Morris. This primer simultaneously hydrates the skin, fills pores and boasts all-day staying power while still having that lightweight feel, she explains.
“The texture, thickness and complexity of the skin around the eyes is different than the rest of the face,” Dali explains, which is why she opts for a separate primer when it comes to eye area.
Turle calls this pore-refining primer “remarkable,” sharing that “works just as well as on the men amongst us who want a flawless, pore-minimized finish” to their skin.
The best sweatproof foundations and concealers
“I love this foundation because it’s matte but not dull, and long-wearing without looking thick,” shares Barose. It sets as a “nice, velvety matte finish that you won’t need to add much powder to,” he explains. And when it comes to powder, Barose recommends a light dusting on the T-zone, or skipping it all together. “I prefer a sheer blotting powder like the Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder.”
Morris calls this two-in-one foundation and concealer “so fab.” You can target the coverage to exactly where you need it, one of Morris’ top tips for a sweatproof complexion. “Most full-cover foundations have some form of wax or oil as their base,” she explains. “They are great for resisting sweat but can feel a little heavier than standard makeup, hence why you need to buff them in.” She recommends using a brush like the Rae Morris #27 Mini Radiance to buff in heavier complexion products for a more airbrushed look.
Turle calls this foundation “one of the best full-coverage and long-lasting foundations on the market.” Nishimura echoes this, adding that it’s also her favorite full-coverage, sweatproof foundation.
Morris raves that this gel foundation is “so creamy and rich with a beautiful smoothing formula.” It’s also a medium-coverage favorite of Nishimura’s.
“For sweatproof foundation I prefer a satin, semi-matte or matte finish,” explains Dali, “because those tend to last longer.” This stick foundation, which is super buildable with a natural finish, is one of her go-to picks.
A full-coverage favorite of Nishimura’s, this foundation is described as weightless with a satin, natural finish that can last up to 36 hours. She recommends applying this with a foundation brush and with a damp sponge, pressing it firmly into your skin in order to “blend away any lines or uneven patches,” explains Nishimura. This is especially important “as the oil-free or long-wear products can be heavy,” she shares.
“As far as foundation and concealer goes, you want to look for matte and long-wearing foundation,” explains Barose. “My go-tos tend to be liquid, because it doesn’t go on thick and so it won’t get cakey in the heat.”
“This is the only radiant or glowy foundation I’ve used that has staying power,” shares Dali. “For a blended and seamless application I highly recommend applying and blending with a foundation brush,” she explains — her go-to being the Westman Atelier Foundation Brush. Once you’ve applied foundation, “apply a light wash of loose powder to the face, concentrating on the center of the forehead, folds around the mouth and a touch under the eyes,” Dali shares. “This will seal the foundation and help it last hours longer.”
“This is wonderfully light coverage,” shares Turle, “just enough for the summer months.” If you, like Turle, typically opt for a tinted moisturizer over a heavy foundation in the heat, this tint from Chanel is a great option.
Turle’s “go-to at the moment,” this useful product can be used as a concealer or a foundation. “It’s a really intense pigment but blendable with a great color range,” she shares.
Morris is a “big fan of this lightweight foundation,” which effectively helps to control oil but also leaves a “beautifully silky feel” to the skin.
When it comes to sweatproof concealers, Dali calls this her go-to. “Not only does it cover everything, it also has lasting power,” she explains. “A little bit goes a long way, and applying it with a concealer brush is essential.” She recommends the Westman Atelier Spot Check Brush. “Once you’ve achieved the coverage you desire, use a small powder brush to seal the concealer into place with a loose powder.”
Recommended by Nishimura, this handy concealer stick is perfect for spot concealing and for bringing with you on the go for any touch-ups.
A sweatproof mascara favorite of both Dali and Turle, the striking packaging is only a plus to the stellar product itself. Turle shares that the smaller brush on the mascara wand helps you “get right to the base of the lashes easily,” which of course makes it easier to coat each and every single one of your lashes.
Barose is a fan of this classic drugstore mascara. Because of its great price and excellent quality, it’s a wonderful option for the occasional waterproof mascara wearer, who might not be looking to wear a waterproof formula everyday — just for those super sweaty (or cry-inducing) types of days.
Recommended by both Dali and Nishimura, this mascara aims to lengthen, thicken and curve your lashes. It’s available in two different colors (a bright blue and a brown), in addition to the classic black.
Turle calls this mascara “utterly brilliant.” She describes that it creates “fluffy lashes you’d normally achieve with a non waterproof mascara,” something that always seems like you have to sacrifice when it comes to waterproof formulas.
A favorite of Barose, this do-it-all mascara provides your lashes with volume, length and definition. One reviewer calls it “the least clumpy waterproof mascara” that they’ve found, noting that their lashes still look natural and feathery after application.
Nishimura recommends this waterproof mascara, which is all about volume that lasts. If you’re looking for big lashes and tons of impact, this is a great option.
Morris raves that this smudge-proof mascara features “the most amazing applicator.” Perfect for those who prefer a tubing mascara, you’ll get a lot of length and even some volume without the clumpiness.
“I would usually avoid liquid liner in the heat,” shares Turle, but there are “a couple that work, for those die-hard cat eyeliner fans.” One that does really live up to its name? This option from KVD Beauty. The pigmentation is great, and the precise brush tip is perfect for achieving sharp lines.
Recommended by both Barose and Nishimura, this waterproof pencil eyeliner is available in a ton of different colors, and in both matte and pearly finishes. The design features twist-up packaging and a built-in sharpener, a huge plus in our book.
“All gel liners are water-resistant,” explains Morris, so they’re a great option for when you really want a smoky or dramatic eye look that won’t budge. She calls this pot from Bobbi Brown one of the most pigmented options on the market, noting that it lasts incredibly well.
Turle shares that this liner has “been in my kit as a constant” since its launch. “They glide beautifully across the skin,” she shares, “and also work really well as a long lasting liner on the waterline.” Dali agrees, noting that this waterproof liner is also one of her faves.
This waterproof liquid liner is just what you need for a sweatproof eyeliner look. Recommended by both Dali and Nishimura, the smudge proof formula is great for those looking for a reliable liner that’ll last all day.
Morris raves that these pencils are “incredible and don’t budge one bit.” One side of the dual-ended product features a gel-based eyeliner formula, while the other has a built-in brush that you can use to soften and blend out the liner.
Recommended by both Nishimura and Morris, this gel eyeliner is super pigmented and reviewers note that it applies really smoothly.