The thought of sunny summer days is likely one of the most foremost things on your mind right now. And as the year’s hottest months approach, you might start to consider implementing a summer makeup routine so that your favorite beauty looks can still go on as planned. The secret? Using some of the best sweat-proof makeup products to provide a gorgeous complexion that won't immediately melt off your face.
When it comes to choosing makeup that can withstand the hot and humid summer without budging, you might come across a few different terms: sweat-proof, waterproof, and water-resistant. What differentiates them lies in their formulas. For example, waterproof makeup is formulated to not break down or move at all when submerged in water, whereas water-resistant and sweat-proof makeup (which are generally the same thing) can resist the penetration of water up to a point before eventually breaking down. While water-resistant and sweat-proof makeup may eventually smudge if you go swimming, they won’t budge if you get splashed poolside or walk around sweating on a sweltering day.
However, as Melissa Murdick, celebrity makeup artist for Selena Gomez and creator of The Pretty Fix, tells TZR, the difference doesn’t really matter if you’re looking for summertime makeup products. “All three have slightly different meanings, but one thing you can count on is that all three are designed to make your makeup stay put longer,” she says. “If you have oily skin, notice that your makeup tends to slide around or smudge easily, or just want extra lasting power, look for these keywords on the products you’re buying.”
An industry secret to battling a full face of makeup through the heat is to layer products. "Creams on their own are pretty, but won't last through sweat," Gita Bass, celebrity makeup artist who works with clients including Laura Dern and Olivia Wilde, tells TZR. "However, when you layer a powder over a cream, it adds pigment intensity and locks the products in place for extra staying power." This tip works for face products, including blush, bronzer, and highlighter, as well as eyeshadow. "Start with a cream eyeshadow that dries to powder and then add a powder on top to lock it in place."
That being said, Murdick also recommends not going overboard with the powder, as that too can get cakey fast in the heat if you put on too much. In fact, her go-to product for sweat-proof makeup looks is setting spray. “Opt for a setting spray to lock your makeup on,” Murdick says. “For extra lasting power, use a foundation primer, then do a few spritzes of setting spray underneath your foundation and again on top.”
Below, find the best celeb makeup artist-approved sweat-proof makeup that promises minimal touch-ups required throughout the day.
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Ever been to a summer concert wondering how on earth the performer's makeup looks so good under all the bright lights? Well, the secret lies in the primer. "Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Primer is what I use on my singer clients because it has a velvety smooth matte finish that combats oils and sweat," Ashley K. Holm, celebrity makeup artist who works with the Kardashians and Jenners, tells TZR. "A little goes a long way with this product. Not only is it mattifying, but it has hyaluronic acid in it to hydrate and lock in moisture as well." Bass also uses mattifying formulas as sweat-proof makeup primers on her clients, and one of her personal favorites is Hourglass' Mineral Veil.
Like choosing clothing to wear in the summer, a heavyweight foundation simply doesn’t make sense for the season. “In hot summer weather, it’s best to wear lighter-weight foundations or a tinted moisturizer rather than heavy coverage on the skin,” Murdick says. “The mix of heat and sweat will turn heavier foundations cakey in an instant.”
"Opt for a lightweight formula that doesn't contain any pearlized or shimmer finished," Neil Scibelli, celebrity makeup artist who works with Elle Macpherson and Yvette Noel-Schure, tells TZR. He adds that looking for a matte formula will help you stay in the right playing field. "One of my favorites is the Covergirl TrueBlend Matte Made Foundation," he says. "It's very pigmented, which means a little goes a long way."
Holm also notes that long-wear, matte formulas are best when dealing with heat. "Foundations with a long-wear formula will block your skin from oils," she explains. "Armani Power Fabric+ Foundation stays matte and has an all-day wear."
Applying concealer in the morning only to find it melting off by midday is frustrating, but it can be avoided with the right products. "Today's waterproof concealers have the best formulas, and they don't crease or slide down the face," Bass explains. "I love NARS' Radiant Creamy Concealer, as it stays put all day without becoming dry or flakey."
There are affordable options out there, too. "Covergirl's TruBlend Undercover Concealer never fails me even on the hottest summer day; the formula is nothing but perfection for a drugstore brand," Holm explains. "Your makeup will remain flawless for over 14 hours, and the smallest drop of concealer goes a long way."
Sweat-Proof Setting Spray
"Choose one that's oil-free and will lock your makeup in place," Mai Quynh, celebrity makeup artist who works with Chloe Moretz and Sandra Oh, tells TZR. Her top pick is Urban Decay's All Nighter Ultra Makeup Setting Spray.
As for Murdick, her go-to pick is Skindinavia’s The Makeup Finishing Spray, “because it locks your makeup on without adding any heaviness to the skin that would make it look cakey in the heat.” If you're one to get oily, try a product that'll keep you from looking overly shiny. "Make Up For Ever's Light Velvet Air Shine-Control Refreshing Spray blurs the look of imperfections, reduces pores, and keeps the skin shine-free all day," Holm says.
Start by prepping the eyes with a primer. "The NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base creates an oil-free base to grab onto your shadows," Bass says. Next, Quynh explains that the trick to making eyeshadow last longer is to layer a powder formula over a cream. "Use a cream shadow that’s water-based so it dries down like a primer." She recommends Armani Beauty's Eye Tint Eyeshadow, and then locking it in with any powder formula on top.
"Long-wear, waterproof formulas have amazing staying power that will last through oil, sweat, and tears," Bass explains. "Choose a formula that's soft enough so that you can control your shape and smudge, but that when it dries it won't budge."
If you're looking for a waterproof product that comes in a slew of colors and is MUA approved, opt for Inglot’s AMC Eyeliner Gel 77, because as Murdick says, “it truly stays on through anything.” And if you’re a liquid eyeliner enthusiast, try out Holm’s pick. “For liquid, I love Huda Beauty's Life Liner Duo Pencil & Liquid Eyeliner; it stays on for up to 48 hours,” she says.
Not only is a waterproof mascara great for watching sad movies or a sweaty workout, but it's also ideal for keeping mascara from running down your face in the summer. “Invest in waterproof eye makeup like waterproof eyeliner [and] a waterproof eyeshadow base so that everything stays in place and doesn’t crease or smudge,” Murdick says. She recommends Rare Beauty’s Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara, “because even though it’s not labeled as waterproof, I find that it's very smudge-proof.”
"Waterproof is best because it'll stay on and you won’t have to worry about it moving," Quynh adds. "I love the Armani Beauty's Eyes to Kill Mascara." Plus, the formula will moisturize your eyelashes.
"If you sweat, waterproof formulas are essential because they still hydrate the lashes, don't clump, and are easy to remove," Bass explains. "If you still find they are smudging, try a tube-like formula that can only be removed using warm water and friction." The top two on her list are Chanel's Inimitable Waterproof Mascara and Blinc's Mascara Amplified.
Sweat-Proof Blush, Bronzer, & Highlighter
As Bass explains, layering is ideal for ultimate staying power. However, if you only want one formula, Holm suggests sticking to powders. "Powders will be your best friend if you need your makeup to stay through sweat," she notes. She has a few must-haves that she uses on her clients. "Buxom's Wanderlust Primer Infused Blushes have a 14-hour wear time and are so rich and pigmented,” she says. “Jouer's Powder Highlighters will make you glow from outer space all day long. And Dior's [Forever Natural Powder Bronzers] feel lightweight but are very pigmented."
Brows can typically stand up to the heat, but there's an insider secret on how to make the most out of your products. "You can use any product you want as long as you lock it in with Eyebrow Queen's Brow Fix," Holm states. "This turns any formula into a waterproof brow."
However, if your skin is on the oily side, a pencil might be your best option. "If your skin gets pretty oily, I think that pencils would work better over any liquid or even wax brow product," Scibelli tells TZR. "A pencil brow product or even a water resistant comb-through formula [...] would work great."
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