If you’re an athlete or a dancer, you know that the key to looking good is sweat. And if you’re a makeup artist, you know that the key to makeup for sweating is sweatproof.
The first thing to think about when choosing makeup for sweating is what kind of coverage you need. If your face is naturally oily and acne-prone, go for a lightweight foundation and concealer combo that will still cover up redness and large pores—but won’t clog them with extra product! A BB cream or tinted moisturizer will give you even more coverage than foundation, but not as much as liquid or powder formulations.
If your skin is dry, try a moisturizing sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher (and broad spectrum protection). This will keep your skin protected while also hydrating it and helping it stay soft throughout the day.
If you have combination skin (oily in some spots, dry in others), use a moisturizing sunscreen on your T-zone (the area around your nose), but stick with a heavier foundation formula on other areas of your face where there’s less oil production.
Finally, if you want maximum coverage without sacrificing comfort
Makeup for sweating
1. Primer can help keep your makeup from sliding off with your sweat.
“Mattifying or smoothing primers are always your best bet, especially for those sweaty days,” Jackie Gomez, head of the Make Up For Ever Academy, tells SELF. These are especially helpful if you have oily skin (shine + sweat is a killer combination). She uses Make Up For Ever Step 1 Equalizing Primer in Matte ($37).
2. Even more important than priming is setting your makeup with a powder and spray.
Editorial makeup artist Hector Simancas likes to use powder to set makeup. His favorite is the Clé de Peau Translucent Loose Powder ($105). In addition to powder, Gomez goes a step further by spritzing on a setting spray like Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix ($30), which doesn’t have any alcohol on the ingredients list. “Alcohol can potentially dry up your makeup, causing it to crack,” she says.
3. Choose your foundation texture carefully.
While Gomez notes that any foundation should last if you prime and set carefully, Simancas prefers powder when the heat index is at its height. Even better, go minimal with tinted moisturizer that has an SPF 30 or higher, he says. This lightweight formula is less likely to run than full-coverage foundation.
4. When the sweat beads start to roll, reach for paper towel before powder.
My mom always packs a few sheets of paper towel in her purse, and now I know why. “Always remove excess oil first with a blotting paper (or paper towel if you don’t have one), then re-apply your powder to touch up,” says Gomez. Don’t reverse these steps or the powder will sit on top of the water making makeup look cakey.
5. Keep these basic touchup tools handy.
In addition to your stash of sweat-sopping paper towels, carry a miniature makeup brush like the Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush ($10) to apply powder. “Sponges can sometimes make foundation touchups look a bit cakey as well),” says Gomez. It also doesn’t hurt to keep some Q-tips on hand to remove any mascara or eyeliner that’s ended up in the wrong spot. Try these Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks ($5) which already have make-up remover.
I know that sweat is a very important function of your body, but that doesn’t change the fact that it quite literally puts a damper on things—namely your makeup. Luckily, perspiration doesn’t have to ruin your face beat if you’re actually prepared for it with the right makeup and skincare products.
But if you break into a sweat at the thought of having to re-vamp your entire beauty routine, don’t worry—follow these seven guidelines, below, and rest easy knowing your face makeup is gonna be just fine, no matter how ~hot~ you get.
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara
$12 AT ULTA BEAUTY
Smeared eye makeup in the summer? Tell me something I don’t know. So why even test your luck with a non-waterproof mascara this season when this cult-favorite drugstore formula Does. Not. Budge. No matter how many Lauren Conrad tears you cry.
Prevent Liner Smudges
Tarte Cosmetics Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner
$25 AT DERMSTORE
Unfortunately, sweaty, oily eyelids are a real thing, and most eyeliners can’t compete—except for this one, that is. With a gel pencil on one end and a liquid liner on the other, this eyeliner duo has everything you need for pretty much any eye look. It’s also so long-lasting. It’s like using Sharpie as a liner (but without putting your skin, vision, and overall health at risk).
Prep With Oil-Free Lotion
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel SPF 15
$100 AT ULTA BEAUTY
Despite what you might think, moisturizer is essential all year long (especially one with SPF). Skip it, and your skin can produce even more oil to compensate for the dryness—exactly what you’re trying to avoid in the middle of a heat wave. Since grease breaks down makeup, use an oil-free moisturizer like this one as your base.
Put on the Primer
Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer
$37 AT SEPHORA
A great primer extends the wear of your foundation and keeps shine in check. Look for one that’s lightweight and feels almost the tiniest bit tacky, which helps the primer grab and hold on to your foundation. If you have oily skin, steer clear of anything that feels thick and slick, since your makeup can slide right off them after a few hours.
Pick a Sweat-Resistant Foundation
Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation
$43 AT ULTA BEAUTY
Not all foundations are designed to withstand a muggy, sweaty day, but this one really is. It’s somehow both hydrating and sweat-proof, it doesn’t oxidize and turn a weird orange shade on your skin, it’s available in 40 shades, and one application lasts 24 hours. I bet your regs foundation can’t promise half of that.
Set Your Face
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
$33 AT ULTA BEAUTY
You’ll be obsessed with this genius pro hack for upping your foundation’s longevity. Dampen your makeup sponge with setting spray instead of water, then use it to blend out your concealer and foundation. You’ll get the flawless coverage you love from using a sponge while locking your base in place.
Dust It and Forget It
Wunder2 Perfect Selfie HD Photo Finishing Powder
$11 AT ULTA BEAUTY
The final step in your melt-proof foundation routine: powder. A finely milled, translucent formula is best in warmer weather, since tinted ones can look cakey. Focus the attention on the areas that tend to be most oily, which is usually your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), and lightly dust on a layer of powder with a fluffy brush.