6 Summer Makeup Tips

How do I love thee, summer? In too many ways to count. But what I, and probably you, don’t love so much about the season is that it’s not very makeup-friendly. Excess heat and humidity can cause some major streaking, fading, smudging, melting, and caking; and with the sun shining at full force, we’re all more prone to burning.

But by prepping your skin properly and choosing the right formulations, you can avoid that fate entirely. Follow these six tips for keeping your summer makeup on point (and on your face), so you can go about this fan-favorite season with one less thing to worry about.    

1. Slather on the sunscreen

You already know this one. So instead of expounding on the virtues of wearing sunscreen, I’ll gently remind you that there are tons of sunscreens out there that don’t feel sticky, tacky, greasy, or overly drying. You’ll actually want to put them on every day.

These days, I’m loving TULA Skincare Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel SPF 30. It’s the lightest, most refreshing, and most hydrating sunscreen I’ve tried. It’s also the rare sunscreen that provides protection from both UVA/UVB rays and the blue light that emits from all those screens we’re staring at all day.

If you have oily skin, try a mattifying sunscreen, like this La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreen. It’s powerful enough to keep oil at bay for hours, and the gentle, non-comedogenic formula is suitable for people with sensitive, acne-prone, and irritation-prone skin alike. 

2. Prep with primer

When you’re gearing up for a long, sweaty day ahead of you, a weightless, non-greasy primer is essential. Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer ticks all those boxes, and it’s waterproof, too — a good choice if you’re hitting the beach or pool (or if you’re extra-sweaty).

If you don’t have $54 to spare, the Ordinary’s High-Spreadability Fluid Primer is a budget-friendly choice. The consistency is more like a serum than a cream, so it feels super refreshing and silky, especially on dry skin. The silicones in the formula blur out any inconsistencies in your complexion, and create a smooth, grippable canvas for your makeup.        

3. Swap your foundation

I’d never tell you not to wear your full-coverage liquid or powder foundation, if your full-coverage liquid or powder foundation brings you joy. But in the dead of summer, when temperatures rival the ninth circle of hell, it just feels good to let your skin breathe a little. So if you’re comfortable with it, forgo base makeup entirely and “spot-treat” your face with concealer, instead. Otherwise, a hydrating tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or a slightly fuller coverage CC cream is a nice middle ground. Apply your product of choice in thin layers, then blend well with a makeup sponge to ensure it stays on all day.    

4. Switch to waterproof

Avoid racoon eyes, cheek-streaking, or any other form of melting, molting, and smudging by opting for waterproof formulations wherever you can. Waterproof mascara is an OG in the waterproof cosmetics world, obviously. But if you dig a little bit, you’ll find that virtually every makeup item under the sun comes in in a waterproof formulation. Try a waterproof liquid liner for a transfer-free cat eye, a waterproof eyebrow pencil to keep your brows from gravitating all over your face (not the look we’re going for), or a lipstick that’ll stay in place when you cool off in the pool. 

5. Set with a spritz

Double down on the sweat- and pool-proofing front with a makeup setting spray. There are lots of finishes available, whether you want to boost your radiance, keep oil under control, or calm redness and inflammation. I like using a hydrating setting spray to refresh my makeup throughout the day and cool myself off a little bit. 

6. Be bold!

Experimenting with bold, colorful makeup doesn’t have to be reserved for summer, of course, but it does match the season’s carefree attitude. So whether you’re going for a rainbow-inspired eye look or coating your lids in glitter, take a cue from the season and have some fun with your makeup. And by following the tips above, all that color, glitter, sparkle, or shine will hold strong, even in the hottest temps.