The sun-kissed, carefree days of summer are right around the corner. For me, summer is all about having an effortless, easy-breezy beauty routine. Not only do I prefer the “less is more” approach for warmer months, but I also love how it saves me time for more fun in the sun!
Even if you have dry skin like me, the summer heat and humidity can do a number on your makeup. But making makeup last all day in hot weather doesn’t have to be a high-maintenance hassle. Thankfully, there are a few do’s and don’ts that you can keep in mind to prevent summer makeup meltdowns.
So, banish the gloppy lipstick, bury the heavy foundation and slippery eyeliner — let’s lighten up for the season of sunshine!
Do go for a lighter base
Unless your skin is dry, use a rich moisturizer only where necessary. Instead, reach for a lightweight Vitamin C serum to inject a light dose of moisture into your skin before applying your makeup. Not only does the antioxidant serum leaves your skin smooth and hydrated but also boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen, adding a second line of defense against UV rays.
Do apply a primer
Prepping your skin with a primer is often an overlooked step but it has a great impact on the look and wear time of your makeup. And this step is even more important during summer months if you don’t want your makeup fading away by half day!
Primers provide a smooth canvas for your foundation to glide on easily and adhere to, so your makeup stays put all day and won’t melt off in the summer heat. Use a lightweight and oil-free primer that not only blurs away fine lines and pores but also mattifies skin for a smooth and shine-free base. My favorites? Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($52) and Rimmel Stay Matte Primer ($6)
Don’t rely on makeup for sun protection
Do NOT rely on your SPF-infused foundation or bronzer alone to protect you from the Sun. With the sun’s harmful rays in full effect, it’s great to have the bonus protection from your SPF makeup but the amount of sunscreen your skin actually needs is far more than a little dab.
If you’re relying entirely on your BB/CC cream or foundation, you aren’t applying enough (you need at least a nickel-sized dollop to coat your face) for your sun protection to be adequate.
Always apply sunscreen under your makeup. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that layers weightlessly under makeup and leaves a silky matte finish. Need a few recs? Here are some of the best sunscreens to wear under makeup.
Do lighten up your foundation
With summer heat and humidity levels, the less foundation on your face, the better. But there’s no need to sacrifice coverage! To the rescue: a lightweight tinted moisturizer or BB cream that provides just the right amount of coverage, along with sun protection and hydration. I love this amazing drugstore tinted moisturizer that covers redness and dark spots and is packed with good-for-your-skin ingredients plus SPF 20.
Need more suggestions? Check out this list of lightweight tinted moisturizers with SPF (there’s one for every skin type – dry, sensitive, oily.) And if your skin tends to be oily and acne prone, choose one of these oil-absorbing matte finish BB creams that will keep you shine-free all day. No more sweating through your makeup!
Don’t wear thick, gloppy lippies
Sticky lips are the last thing that you want on a hot summer day. During the summer months, opt for a long-lasting lip stain or lightweight liquid lip color instead of rich, creamy lipsticks. Also, leave high-shine glosses at home—they can actually magnify UV rays, damaging delicate lip skin.
A bold lip probably isn’t the best idea for those extra humid summer days, when things can get a little sweaty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with bright colors. Add a pop of raspberry pink or vibrant coral to your lips for a sheer, summery look. Pair this look with soft neutral eyeshadows to keep the focus on the lips.
Do get glowing—Safely
Bronzer is an easy way to get a gorgeous sun-kissed glow without risking sun damage. Just a little bit of bronzer can do wonders for adding warmth to your complexion! For a natural-looking golden glow, dust the bronzer where the sun naturally hits your face (nose, forehead and the apples of your cheeks) using a fluffy angled brush. Here are some of the best drugstore bronzers that are all $10 or under.
Don’t overdo the bronzer
You want a natural sun-drenched glow — not Snooki-inspired orange skin. Apply bronzer with a light hand and only use a color that is just a shade or two darker than your natural complexion. And avoid shimmery bronzers for a more natural look!
Do embrace the natural look
Whenever you’re going to the beach or pool, try to keep the makeup as simple and minimalistic as possible. If you are wearing mascara, make sure to use a waterproof and smudge-proof formula that won’t easily rub off or smear under your eyes. My summer favorite is L’Oréal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara ($7.99)…it won’t let you down!
And if you are an eyeliner fan like me, choose one of these waterproof eyeliners that won’t smudge in the summer heat. Also, one of these lip balms with SPF is a must to keep your lips smooth and protected.
Do soak up the shine
Shine is a beautiful thing on your hair, lips, or nails. On your T-zone? Not so much. If you don’t have time for mid-day powdering, start your day with one of these amazing (and affordable!) drugstore oil-control products that can seriously help keep unwanted shine to a bare minimum. These must-have mattifiers don’t just sop up grease—they prevent it from showing up in the first place.
Don’t skip makeup setting spray
Once you are finished with your makeup, lock it in place by spritzing on a weightless setting spray designed to help offset the effects of heat and humidity. It’s just the thing you need to keep your makeup intact throughout the day!
Try Milani Make It Last Makeup Setting Spray ($9.99) The non-sticky spray acts as a sealant for your makeup, making it last through the summer elements, and also keeps unwanted shine away.
Do use an eyeshadow primer
To keep your eyeshadow from migrating amidst sweltering heat and humidity, always start with an eyeshadow primer that seals and sets the color in place. If you have oily eyelids, use a clean eyeshadow brush to dust on a bit of translucent face powder (after the primer step) as extra insurance and then apply your eye makeup. I love Milani Eyeshadow Primer that’s only $5!
Don’t forget blotting sheets
If you’re hot, sweaty and shiny, you don’t want to add powder onto oil and perspiration – you might get a chalky look that’s so not pretty! Be sure to tuck a pack of oil-absorbing blotting papers in your purse or clutch so you can quickly sop up greasy shine without disturbing your makeup.
Try Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens ($10) that are infused with black bamboo charcoal and absorb excess oil while purifying pores. All it takes is one sheet to get the job done. Just perfect for touch-ups on the go!
Do experiment with bright colors
Summer is a great time to play with fun, bright colors! Coral or fuchsia lips are gorgeous in summer. Bright, sunny shades like peaches and pinks are beautiful on your lips and cheeks, giving you a beautiful sun-kissed look.
You can also try trendy eyeshadow or liner shades, from turquoise to sunny yellow for a fashionable pool party look – brights are in! Here are a few more of my summer makeup must-haves that add a sheer pop of color while defying heat and humidity. Just make sure to stick to bright colors either on your eyes or lips, not all at once. Keep it cool and elegant!