Summer is full of wonderful things — but melting makeup, smeared eyeliner, and super-sticky lipstick are not among them. We asked top makeup artists and our very own experts from the GolfHr Institute's Beauty Lab to spill their best tips for keeping makeup looking fresh and pretty — even when the weather is working against you.
1. Start with moisturizer
The way you care for your skin is just as important as the makeup you apply to it. "Use an oil-free moisturizer in the morning," says celebrity makeup artist , adding that you should opt for an oil-free foundation formula to match. The GolfHr Institute's Beauty Lab rounded up their top picks for face moisturizers so you know what to look for.
Shop the Best Face Moisturizers
2. Layer on sunscreen and UV protection
Besides hydrating your skin, you also want to make sure it's properly protected from the sun — and that means wearing sunscreen every single day, even under your makeup. (Applying makeup over sunburned skin is not fun.)
You should be re-applying sunscreen every two hours, but that can be hard when you're out and about — especially when you don't want to use your hands. Sabina Wizemann, senior chemist at the GolfHr Institute's Beauty Lab, swears by this sunscreen trick she adopted from makeup artist , that involves repurposing an empty makeup compact:
- Use dish soap to clean an old and cushion. Let dry.
- Soak the cushion with your favorite face sunscreen inside the compact.
- To re-apply, dip a sponge applicator into the cushion and dab on your face.
3. Invest in a powerhouse makeup primer
You won't regret the few seconds it takes to apply a primer, which goes on after moisturizer but before face makeup. "Primers are definitely the way to go in summer," says New York City-based makeup artist . "They don't feel at all like a heavy, additional layer, and they really help hold makeup in place." Try , which uses hyaluronic acid to soften wrinkles and blur imperfections — all while keeping your makeup on your face!
4. Glow up with some bronzer
"Bronzer makes your eyes look brighter, your teeth whiter — everyone looks better with a little warmth added to their skin," says New York City-based makeup artist . To keep the results looking fresh and natural, he recommends applying bronzer just to the high points of your face, where the sun naturally hits you: forehead, cheekbones, chin, and nose. (Covering every nook and cranny is what gives you that fake, baked look.)
Powder bronzers are the easiest to apply. Look for one with varying shades — they'll blend together for the most authentic-looking results. You can also sweep a little bronzer onto your neck and earlobes to blend, especially if you have short hair or are wearing a ponytail.
5. Wear less makeup
If you want to prevent your makeup from creasing and caking, say it with us: Less is more. "If you can, just use a tinted moisturizer and a concealer where you need it," says Stiles. "Makeup likes to move around when it's hot, so the best way to avoid that is to wear less of it."
Shop the Best Tinted Moisturizers and Concealers
6. Skip the shimmer in the summer
Everyone loves a nice, dewy glow, but there's a big difference between a healthy radiance and an over-the-top shine. "Avoid cream foundations or anything too luminous, as the humidity will make you extra shiny and sweaty-looking if you have too much sparkle on your skin," warns Stiles.
7. Go for sheer shades
"Rich, deep colors have their place, but they can look heavy in summer," says Surratt. To lighten up your look, switch to sheer versions of your go-to lip and eye colors. Use a lipliner pre-application if you need extra definition, but go for a nude shade to keep that carefree feeling, or try "invisible" lipliner, which deposits a clear, waxy film to stop color from bleeding. Bonus: Because sheer colors are subtler, you almost can't go overboard.
8. Give your eyeshadow staying power
For longer-lasting shadow, avoid using eye cream on your lids (it can break down makeup), and smooth on an eye primer instead. "It will minimize creasing and create a base for the shadow to cling to so it lasts longer," says Seattle-based makeup artist Sharona Schweitzer. For the ultimate in all-day wearability, layer a powder over a cream. Doubling up works for liner, too. "Apply your regular pencil or cream liner, then use a small angled brush to press dark shadow over the liner to set it for longer wear," says Schweitzer.
9. Ditch the powder blush.
Blush adds balance and healthiness to any look, but if you're still using the same powdery formula, your flush might be getting cake-y faster than it takes to get to work in the morning. "Stains are great for longevity in hot weather," says Stiles. "Use a gel or blush stain, then blend a touch of a cream blush on top of it." Try — it's a Beauty Award-winner. One tester said it's “like that healthy vibrance your cheeks get after a jog out in the cold, but in a bottle.”
Pro tip: Want to increase its wear? Dust a light, invisible setting powder overtop. Just be sure not to get too heavy-handed; you want to lock your look, not mattify it.
10. Play with fun, vibrant colors
Just as you're probably more likely to wear a vivid top or carry a bright bag this season, now's the perfect time to play up the colors in your makeup palette. Besides looking summery, "livelier colors brighten the face and bring a youthful glow to skin," says Surratt. If you tend to stick with neutrals, experiment with just one area of your face. A punchy blush on the apples of the cheeks is a good place to start — you can follow our blush guide to find your perfect shade.
11. Replace shininess with dewiness
A slick T-zone instantly telegraphs the message "I'm hot" — and we don't mean sexy. To eliminate unsightly shine in seconds, nothing beats . "They're cheap and easy — you just press and go," says Sheriff. If you need to perk up your makeup too, blot first, then follow up with a pressed powder with a hint of luminescence. "You want to eliminate shine, but you still want to look a little glow-y, especially in summer," says Surratt.
12. Swap heavy lipsticks for lip stains
Toss your heavy matte lipsticks for the summer and try the season's simplest trend: lip stains. These long-lasting formulas offer sheer coverage that can be built up, making them super versatile. "Stains are lovely because you can always add a lip balm to add moisture without worrying about the color traveling," notes Stiles. Get your hands on the — this product doubles as a balm and a stain, so of course it won a GolfHr Beauty Award in 2018. Try sweet pink or peach shades for a traditional summery look, or go bold with tangerine and grape colors for something more daring.
13. Try waterproof versions of your favorite products
Love to swim? Don't worry about getting raccoon eyes — there are lots of amazing long-wear beauty products out there these days. "Invest in a good waterproof mascara, or if you're blonde, get your eyelashes tinted," advises Stiles. PS: check out our beauty editors' favorite waterproof makeup!
Shop the Best Waterproof Makeup
14. Stow mini cosmetics in your purse
Never look oily in a photo again by staying prepared with purse-size products that are so perfect for travel. "Carrying is a great way to whisk away the sweat and oil without piling on more product," says Stiles. Plus, you never know when your lip color will need a touch-up.
15. Always finish with a setting spray
The final step in getting your makeup to last all day and night is to spritz on a setting spray to seal in your look. Our Beauty Lab recommends . In their consumer tests, one person said, "I definitely noticed my makeup lasting longer throughout the day, and I didn't get as slick or shiny as usual."