While this summer will certainly look different for most Americans, we can still count on hot and stifling days ahead. But what are we to do on the unbearably humid days when we still want to wear a full face of makeup?
According to the pros, skin prep is an essential first step to prevent your makeup from sweating off. Pat on sunscreen to protect your face, whether you’re spending time outdoors or day drinking indoors.
“I like to use SPF before foundation and 30 minutes before you are going outside for it to activate,” says makeup artist Sarah Tanno, global artistry director of Lady Gaga’s makeup line Haus Laboratories. “Always try to keep the skin looking natural and healthy — less is more when it comes to summer skin.”
“I think the name of the game in the summer is making sure your skin is very light and fresh,” says Vincent Oquendo, makeup artist to Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jurnee Smollett and Cara Delevingne.
If you have oily skin, then you still need to hydrate your face with a lightweight face gel. “Try to not over-moisturize before applying foundation,” says Christy Coleman, makeup artist and Beautycounter’s chief artistic officer. “If your skin tends to be on the oilier side, dust powder over your face to remove any excess oil.”
Determined to finally prevent our makeup from sliding down our faces, we asked makeup artists to open up their kits and share the sweatproof makeup products they swear by during the summer months. And don’t simply take our word for it. Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez are just two of the high-octane performers who rely on these pros for flawless makeup application while dancing on stage. Ahead are 15 must-have makeup products and application tips straight from the experts, plus a few cheap thrills that we’ve come to love over the years.
(If you’re more concerned with how a face mask affects your face than with keeping it sweatproof, we’ve got advice from experts here.)
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($54; sephora.com)
“Achieving sweatproof makeup is all about primer,” says makeup artist Marc Reagan. “This is a tried-and-true oil-free primer for every skin type and skin tone. It immediately conceals redness and minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles and has an SPF 15 to boot. It creates a smooth canvas for your makeup application, and repels water to extend wear and keep makeup looking fresh the entire day.”
Pro tip: “Think about where you experience the most shine throughout the day and apply primer and setting powders in those areas to ensure makeup doesn’t break down in warmer weather,” he says.
Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation ($40; sephora.com)
Tanno, who has worked with Lady Gaga for over a decade, recommends this water-based foundation that has “light but buildable coverage and doesn’t feel heavy for summer months.”
Pro tip: “Brushes are essential when you want to apply makeup flawlessly and it helps you avoid adding unwanted warmth and shine to the skin,” says Reagan. “Brushes are designed to work with different textures and give you professional results even if you’re a novice, so let them do the work for you.”
Shiseido Synchro Skin Pressed Powder Foundation ($45; sephora.com)
“It’s a long-wearing powder foundation, so by nature, it is matte, and it’s really great if you’re prone to being really shiny,” says Oquendo. “Apply the concealer first, let it set, then take a brush with very little resistance and buff that over the skin.”
“Once this concealer sets, you just can’t move it, which is great, especially if you are wearing a mask — it won’t transfer,” says Oquendo.
Pro tip: “Apply your complexion products — serums, eye creams and face creams — very lightly and use a tissue to blot off any excess,” he says. “Then deposit your under-eye concealer and smooth out your concealer with your finger. Wait until it completely sets, and then you can go over it with your powder.”
Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Full-Coverage Concealer ($29; sephora.com)
“This concealer really stays put and has great coverage. It dries quickly and locks in place. I love this product for the stage or red carpet. It doesn’t budge,” says Scott Barnes, makeup artist and founder of his own namesake cosmetics line.
Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color ($23; sephora.com)
“My favorite waterproof blush is from Make Up For Ever. It’s so beautiful and gives the perfect natural flush look while staying on all day,” says Lucas Dean Bowman, a makeup artist based in New York.
Pro tip: “Consider using powders versus creams for staying power or consider setting your favorite cream blush with a similar shade of powder blush,” suggests Coleman, who works with Connie Britton, Emmy Rossum and Alessandra Ambrosio.
Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream ($30; sephora.com)
“If you are beach-bound, but don’t want to sacrifice your cheekbones, Tantour is your new best friend. It carves out cheekbones while also creating a rich depth of toasted color (even for fair skin tones) that is water-resistant and sweatproof so no one will see your secrets,” says Kelli J. Bartlett, Glamsquad artistic makeup director.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder ($36; sephora.com)
“This absorbs oil, minimizes pores and controls sweat and shine without looking cakey or creating a heavy buildup,” says Barnes, whose clients include Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Vanessa Williams. “It’s great for touch-ups throughout the night, as well.”
Pro tip: “Even if you are using fewer products, you want them to stay in place. Lock in everything with a setting powder by gently stippling or pressing powder in with a brush. This motion will keep the color components in place and keep shine at bay,” says Reagan.
Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil ($24; sephora.com)
“The key to sweatproof makeup is a highly pigmented, waterproof or water-resistant formula. If you can walk out in the rain without your look smearing or dissolving, you can definitely get your sweat on,” says Jared Bailey, global brow expert at Benefit Cosmetics. “Precisely, My Brow Pencil is an ultrafine brow defining pencil with a highly pigmented, waterproof formula and 12-hour wear. This is my holy grail product and can stand up to any hot yoga class.”
Pro tip: Don’t forget to set your brow hairs in place with a clear gel. “24-Hr Brow Setter ($24; sephora.com) will hold your brows perfectly in place for a full 24 hours,” he says. “Think of it as one of those chic clear raincoats that still lets you show off your outfit — but for your brows.”
Urban Decay Brow Blade Ink Stain + Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil ($26; sephora.com)
“My absolute favorite way to create a feathery and long-wearing brow,” says Bartlett. “The brush tip delivers precise strokes of an inky stain, while the waterproof (and sweatproof) pencil gives brows an extra oomph of volume.”
Skindinavia The Makeup Oil Control Finishing Spray ($25.42; amazon.com)
“This is an amazing product that can be used to set the face after makeup has been applied to help control sweat and oil and keep makeup in place,” Barnes says. “Added bonus: it helps minimize the appearance of pores.”
Pro tip: “Try misting a setting spray between light layers of foundation and really press your foundation and concealer into the skin,” he says. “Take translucent powder on a puff and press into the T-Zone to help mattify shine and lock makeup into place.”
Hourglass Veil Eye Primer ($28; sephora.com)
“The eye primer is a perfect base before eye shadow, as the silky-smooth formula amplifies your favorite eye shadow colors, locking them into place all day, and provides waterproof wear,” says Reagan, who works with model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Pro tip: You can wear this eye primer without shadow or liner, according to Reagan. Its vitamin C helps to brighten your eye area while vitamin E works to nourish your delicate skin.
Haus Laboratories Liquid Eye-Lie-Ner in Punk ($20; amazon.com)
Tanno’s go-to liquid eyeliner is Punk, a blacker than black felt-tipped option from Haus Laboratories. “This is a sweatproof, budge-proof, 24-hour long-wear liquid liner,” she says. “You can trust it’s not going anywhere.”
Pro tip: “Focus on a pop of color on your eye or lips, or both,” says Tanno. “I’m feeling a major white eyeliner trend for this summer after the ’Rain on Me’ video. I used Haus Laboratories’ new eyeshadow palette Stupid Love in shade 911 to create Lady Gaga’s killer white wing liner.”
For a fluttery false lash effect, curl your lashes and then swipe on two coats of this mascara with its spoon-shaped wand. Start at the roots of your lashes and slowly wiggle the spoolie to the tips of your lashes for dramatic lashes. With its proprietary kera-fiber formula meant to add length and volume to your lashes, spidery, clumpy lashes just simply don’t exist with this budget-friendly mascara.
L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick (starting at $5.99; amazon.com)
Summer’s the perfect time to incorporate a fun, bright lipstick into your beauty routine. If you love a bold lip, but hate when it transfers or runs outside of your line, then swipe on this liquid lipstick from L’Oréal Paris. Line your lips using the pointed-tip applicator before filling in the long-lasting formula.
Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers ($12; sephora.com)
“Never ‘swipe off’ sweat from your face as it will ‘move’ your makeup around,” says Coleman. “Best to use a tissue to lift off, and reduces the risk of breakouts from dirty hands.”
We like to pat these oil blotting sheets made of natural abaca leaf and gold flakes to help mattify our greasy skin without disturbing our makeup.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed price at the time of publication.