When it comes to makeup, I’m a summer person. I like bronzed, glowing skin; plumped, glossy lips; big, feathered brows and pretty, shimmering eye looks. If you ask me, the glowing and glistening makeup looks of summer are far more enticing than the deeper, darker and more matte finishes that we tend to opt for during colder months.
However, there is one issue that I have with summer makeup, and it’s quite a large one. It seems that no matter what I do, my makeup just won’t stay put. I could spend hours creating the perfect glowing base, and within 10 minutes of stepping outside into the heat, I’ve sweated it off. This year, however, because there are just too many new product launches and pretty inspiration pics that I want to try for myself, I’m determined to get to the bottom of this issue. So in a bid to create my most long-lasting summer makeup looks yet, I reached out to six of the top makeup artists in the game to see what I’ve been doing wrong. Keep scrolling for the tips and tricks they swear by.
With all of the experts I spoke to, this is by far the most common piece of advice. Getting makeup to stay put on your skin isn’t necessarily to do with the makeup itself but instead to do with the canvas that you are applying it to. “For me, creating a long-lasting base is all about the prep and the tools,” says Kelechi Onuoha, national pro artist for Charlotte Tilbury. “Charlotte [Tilbury] always says that a skincare routine is the foundation of great makeup, and I strongly agree. I always find the more nourished my skin feels, the better and more long-lasting my makeup is.”
With that being said, the application of your skincare (and base itself) could be make-or-break. Instead of slathering on thick formulas that will struggle to sink in and will instead slip, try layering products. “Lightweight layering of makeup is the way to go. Always use a good light moisturiser on the skin before applying your base in the heat. Just make sure it has a moment to sink into the skin first,” says makeup artist Mira Parmar.
And it turns out it’s not just your skincare that should be layered, Nars Director of Global Artistry Uzo says it’s also a technique to adopt elsewhere in your makeup routine. “When it comes to things like blush, try layering different textures such as using a cream blush before applying a powder blush to make your cheek colour sweat-proof and fade-proof,” she says.
I must admit, out of all of the makeup products out there, I think primer is probably the most boring. It’s boring to look at, boring to use and, frankly, boring to talk about. There’s nothing instant or glam about primers. However, when it comes to summer makeup, basically everyone I spoke to said they’re a must. “I always use a primer. They work in harmony with your skincare and foundation and will create a smooth and even canvas to work on. Your foundation base will adhere to the primer and last for hours,” says expert makeup artist Cher Webb.
If you feel as though smoothing primers have a tendency to suck the life out of your glowing, summer complexion, Nars lead artist Rachel Hardie has the answer. “Multi-priming is a great way to ensure makeup applied to different areas of the face will stay put. Use a radiance primer on areas you want to glow and an anti-shine primer where you want to absorb oil,” she says.
Okay, so I have a confession to make: I’m fully aware that a big reason my makeup doesn’t stay put in the summer is because I refuse to wear setting powder. I know that all of the experts say powder is essential if you want your makeup to stay put, but I just hate the way it dulls and diminishes glowy shine. It turns out, though, using a setting powder doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, affect your glow, providing you’re applying it correctly—which I clearly do not. “I always recommend powder. My makeup would disappear without it! The best way to apply is to use a ‘rock-and-roll’ technique. Use a powder puff to apply a fair amount and then press and roll onto the skin, focusing on the oily areas. It often looks matte to begin with, but the natural oils will gradually warm up the makeup for a seamless finish,” says Hardie.
If you don’t want to risk going in too heavy, Parmar recommends swapping a puff or a large powder brush for something more precise. “I love a fine, loose setting powder when it’s applied with a soft, small brush. Using a small brush lets you target certain areas and mattify what you need to,” she says.
Nothing annoys me more than when I have spent a long time perfecting my eye look only for it to run, smudge and spread halfway down my cheeks after an hour. And yes, while eye shadow primers will help prevent shadow smudging, the worst culprit is definitely mascara. First and foremost, almost every makeup artist I spoke to said that it’s always worth swapping your mascara for a waterproof formula come summer if you want to avoid panda eyes. However, there were a few other handy tips that cropped up too. For example, Onuoha recommends utilising powder. “A lot of people tend to have oily eyelids without even realising. One of my greatest tips is to prime the lashes by very lightly dusting translucent powder onto the lashes, lids and underneath the lower lashline before mascara application,” she advises.
And although waterproof mascara is key, it’s also important to consider how you’re removing it in the evening if you want to avoid mishaps the following day. Webb warns, “If you are using an oil-based cleanser around the eye, it can sometimes sit within the lashes and cause mascara to smudge in the heat.” So always, always make sure you’re removing any trace of oil from your lashes at the end of the day.
I consider setting sprays a summer makeup essential for a number of reasons. First of all, I love face mist as a way to freshen up and boost glow, and on a basic level, I just love how refreshing they are. It turns out, though, makeup artists also rely on their staying power. “I love a setting spray to set a look once it’s finished. I keep Urban Decay All Nighter in my fridge for a daily spritz and use it on my clients too. It’s refreshing but also prevents fading and creasing,” says Webb.
Similarly, setting sprays are also a great way to add some glow back into the skin if you’ve used long-lasting matte formulas. Vimi Joshi, a global senior artist at MAC, says, “I use setting spray in many ways. Firstly, I spray it generously before I start makeup as it hydrates and plumps the skin, making it look fresh and youthful. Secondly, I spray it to set powders, and thirdly, I use it throughout the day to freshen up and boost hydration.”
Something I had never really considered using before is a mattifying stick. I often feel as though anything in stick form will only smudge my makeup more. However, the idea of using a pore-refining stick to absorb oil and create a long-lasting makeup look is one that definitely appeals to me as an oily-skinned gal. “Applying a pore-refining stick ensures the longevity of your base as well as mattifies the skin, reduces the appearance of pores and removes excess oil,” says Joshi.
Plus, Webb reveals she loves using them as a primer too. “It’s a multitasking hero that minimises the appearance of pores, combats shine, secures makeup throughout the day and works amazingly when applied as a primer pre-makeup,” she says.