Five Tips for Long-Wearing, Summery Makeup

With the temperatures steadily rising, it’s time to start thinking about our favorite ways to make our makeup look better longer,-and in the world of beauty, summer collections are already releasing! Coachella, one of the biggest musical festivals of the year, is heading into its second weekend, and Sephora CollectionSephora Collection is the exclusive beauty sponsor for the festival this year. If you’re attending this weekend, you can stop by their DIY Beauty Bar and play with on-trend products or try a complimentary Fiber Mask (which might be just the pick-me-up one needs at such an event!). If you’re not, you can check out Sephora’s top DIY Festival Beauty picks herehere.

In the spirit of festival beauty, here are five of my top tips (and tips within tips!) and some high-end recommendations from products I’ve reviewed over the years.  What are your tried and true favorites that last all day for you?

PRIMER IS YOUR FRIEND | One of the main reasons we reach for primer is to improve longevity out of any products, whether you’re working in an office environment for 12 hours a day or you’re going to be attending your favorite concert outdoors. Eyeshadow and face primers are excellent for prolonging wear, keeping oil at bay, and generally help the products you layer on top adhere better in the first place.

CONSIDER LIQUID & CREAM BLUSH | Liquid and cream cheek blushes and stains often wear longer than their powder counterparts, but the real magic can occur when you use a liquid or cream as your blush primer and then “set” with a powder blush. I recommend using the color you want the most in the cream version, and then layer with a slightly sheerer, more subdued version of it in powder form, which will help you maintain the color, brightness, and intensity you wanted without overdoing it. Alternatively, you can also use translucent setting powder patted over a cream to lock it in place, or if you have a really bold cream blush, you can use flesh-toned setting powder to tamp it down and set it.

CHOOSE YOUR STATEMENT | A more minimal makeup look that uses key products to make a statement is easier to maintain and gives you less to worry about even in the hottest, most humid climates. The easiest way to this is to incorporate a pop of color on the eyes or on the lips. I love using a boldly colored eyeliner on the lash line. If you prefer pencil eyeliners, smudge a similarly-colored eyeshadow on top to help keep it in place even longer than usual. Liquid and gel formulas tend to be more reliably longer-wearing, especially those that go on more liquid and really set and lock in place. One trick I’ve picked up over the years is just how far a bright, rich lip color can go to brightening the face. What’s nice is even a shorter-wearing, but bold, formula is often easy to reapply and keep in a pocket or small bag. However, if you want to avoid touch-ups, opt for a satin or matte shade in a richer hue, like a red, berry, or plum, or a liquid lipstick, as these tend to have the longest wear. You can also use lip primer or a matching lip pencil to extend the wear of your lip color of choice. Keep lip balm or a gloss of your choice with you for easy touch-ups for extra long days out (12+ hours).

SET & FORGET | Setting powders and setting sprays can help to lock in your look before you walk out the door and give you a lot of breathing room for extra-long wear. When setting with powder, make sure to properly apply: it’s not a mere feathery dusting of product; you want to gently press the powder into place with a brush, pouf, or sponge. I like to do a final sweep in a more feathery motion afterwards, which I find gives a more even, smooth look. If you’re not looking for ultra-long wear, you can do a quick spritz of any facial mist or even just water held eight to ten inches away from the face to finish, as this will take away any excess powder and give you a more natural finish overall. Whenever I know I’m going to be outside on a hot day, I’ll use a setting spray as my last step, and I find it does seem to keep everything look a little better a little longer–particularly for base products and preventing blush from separating over time. It took me awhile to come around to them, but I’ve definitely noticed they help. If you have really oily skin, consider keeping a powder compact with you for touch-ups as needed.

DON’T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN | There’s no way to share tips for getting the most out of your summer beauty routine without a reminder to wear your sunscreen. Head to toe, and never skimp on the quantity! You want a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. If you’re going to be outdoors for a really extended time, consider a tinted moisturizer with a higher SPF rating that is easy to reapply throughout the day so you can maintain your protection as well see if physical sunscreens can work for you. A good hat and sunglasses are also additional ways to keep your skin safer from the sun! If you’re reapplying over heavier makeup, pat gently and avoid too much rubbing, but if you need to rub, rub in small circles.

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My tips would include sunscreen but that goes for ALL YEAR ‘ROUND. Some skin experts say that you get more cumulative damage from just walking to the store, walking from your car to the office, car to the movie theatre, etc. all through the year than you do from a week’s vacation in the sun. Whether it’s true or not, for me, SPF of at least 25 (it used to be 15 but I’ve upped it over the years) is the bare minimum. In addition, I’d add:

an eyeshadow primer, for sure (nothing works as well as UDPP for me)

a face primer (preferably one that has SPF, like CoverFX) and/or a BB/CC Cream with SPF (I adore IT Cosmetics for this)

a really good blotting powder (MAC Blot still rules for me but there are other great ones)

Clarins FIX MAKEUP setting spray. It really helps set makeup against heat and humidity (I’ve had to put it to the test a few times!) and it is supposed to have ingredients that are good for our skin

A lip balm with SPF (Jack Black does the trick for me)

Marc Jacobs pencil liners – they are crazy pricey but in the hot, humid summer we get in S. Ontario, they really stay put and almost justify their price

and CC creams/anti-frizz/sun protection creams and a HAT for my frizz prone and coloured hair

Oh, yeah, sunscreen all day, every day, rain or shine. Even that is so surface-level when it comes to ensuring you’re using sunscreen properly (effective amount, the type, that it works with the rest of your products).

I’ll have to check out Clarins’ spray! I’ve only tried a handful. The MJB pencils are insanely long-lasting… like it’s a superpower.

I love the Clarins spray. I like that it comes in a glass bottle and I just like the product itself. I do wish you got more for your money – the bottle isn’t all that large but I prefer the product to UD All Nighter (which I do like) and to the Caudalie one. I’ve worn it when I’ve been stuck in heavy rush hour traffic in the middle of a heat-wave and was surprised to find how nice my face looked when I got home….a bit “dewy” but not greasy or sweaty and my foundation was pristine, rather than smeared or going cakey.

“Rain or shine.” I remember reading somewhere that skin cancer (or was it specifically melanoma?) is more prevalent in the Pacific Northwest (known for rain) –even more so than Florida (the Sunshine State). I always thought that was interesting–and this factoid reminds me to buy more hats!

I fully regret NOT wearing a big brimmed hat 24/7 at Disneyland. I don’t burn, and we kept sunscreen with us for regular reapplication, but I was exhausted each day from the heat, lol.

Great post! I can’t recommend enough the idea of a hat. Keeps the sun off your face (and shoulders if it’s big enough) and gives instant style to your outfit. Some sun glasses, and all you need makeup wise is your base and a great lipstick.

I’m happy to have your recommendations for setting powders. The only one I have is an oil control powder from Estee Lauder (I used to be oily) and now when I use it I feel like it’s sucking the life out of my skin. I have slightly dry skin but do have a problem with my foundation separating toward the end of the day (I use Revlon Colorstay which does last really well) and looking patchy and a bit oily. I guess that’s just what foundation does. I don’t even mind looking a bit dewy but I’d like my foundation to hold together longer. Would the Laura Mercier powder help without feeling drying?

How have you been applying the Estee Lauder one? It could be the application method, or it could just be the powder. I have normal-to-dry skin, and even if I am feeling a bit dry, I don’t feel like Urban Decay’s powder makes me look dry. It will give you a very smooth finish, so in real life, I often dust a finishing powder on last to add a little life back to the skin if I don’t have a highlighter on. It definitely doesn’t FEEL dry on, though.

If there is bismuth in it, that might be it. It’s a common ingredient found in some loose powders (probably most notably bareMinerals) that can give you that itchy feeling — if it is, I’d switch to something without it and you’ll probably feel a LOT better.

I used to be oily as well but I’m now combo with dry patches on cheeks. Could it be the foundation AND the powder together that’s bothering you? If I dry my skin out–it gets flakey and overproduces oil. Revlon Colorstay (the liquid) is too drying for me–I use the Colorstay Whipped Creme version now and it’s much more comfortable to wear. I own both the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder and the Urban Decay Loose Setting Powder. Neither feels drying to me but I prefer the finish of the Urban Decay more (more natural-looking–if a powder can look natural) and it’s a lot harder to overdo for me. I also use a setting spray if I absolutely need things to stay on all day.

Usually that’s enough for me to not worry about touch-ups but I also carry blotting sheets, concealer, and Revlon Naked Powder (in the compact) for just in case.

I don’t use the powder, just the Colorstay. It’s possible the foundation itself is a little too dry. Foundation is hard for me to find because I need coverage and I’m a tricky color match, so a lot of formulas get ruled out one way or the other. I can’t do the TM or BB thing because they’re too sheer.

We went to Disneyland last year, and despite going in October, it was 90-100 degrees and ridiculously humid (I don’t think I’ve EVER felt that kind of humidity in California, and I lived in SoCal for three years!) – and all I learned is you need a hat SO badly if you’re going to be outdoors all day with the sun shining on you!

It’s pretty cool that they’ve started to livestream some of the concerts so I can watch from the comfort of my home, haha.

Disney is EXACTLY what I was thinking of when I read this. I’m going to be there again next week and no matter how great your makeup looks in the morning, 14 hours of sun and crowds…well I think a setting spray might definitely be an idea. I’ll have to get one and see if it helps.

Oh, I did not know that either! I will have to check that out! Yeah, makeup has com such a long way form when I was younger. You just basically didn’t wear much in the summer!

“I recommend using the color you want the most in the cream version, and then layer with a slightly sheerer, more subdued version of it in powder form…” You are soooo right! Never tried this but I do think about layering MUFE’s 210 cream blush and a little bit of Incandescent Electra by Hourglass on top. I will try this today! Thanks C!

Let me know how it works out for you, Gilbert! 🙂 It is also a great way to mix and match finishes, tones, and things like that. I love combos!

I can’t say enough about daily sunscreen. I’m 51, people regularly think I’m in my early 30s.

For summer, I feel like lipstick just melts right off. I use a stain (usually Benetint) and top of with lip gloss, because I can slip that in my pocket and reapply any time without a mirror.

You might look into theatrical makeup sealers (brands like Ben Nye), because they’re even more “industrial” products in a sense – hot lights on stage = sweaty!

Honestly, I just skip most base products and just wear sunscreen with touches of concealer. I’ll use Too Faced Absolutely Invisible face powder to knock down the shine in some places, but otherwise I stick to the eyes and lips. It gets pretty muggy and rainy in our summers, so trying to make foundation last in the heat is a futile cause.

I live in S.Louisiana. It’s pretty much warm and humid year round, and insanely hot and humid (we can be 90 degrees but a heat index of 110) in the summer. I also have oily skin. My suggestions.. keep product to a minimum as much as possible, and that includes skin care. If you need moisture pile it on at night, go with a serum or liquid in the daytime.Try to multi task, for example I use my liquid mineral sunscreen to double as primer instead of layering another over the top. Go for less creamy products, use a long wear foundation/concealer even if you want a lighter coverage.. just use a smaller amount, look for powders that contain silica and kaolin clay for the best oil control ( I would avoid pressing layers of powders in.. a heavy powdering turns into mud when mixed with swear or oil.. go with a light dusting and be sure to blot before any reapplication), go easy on the liner and heavy on the lashes, use pops of color, go for stains if possible.. I love the Rimmel and Jordana balm stains and they work as well on the cheeks as they do on the lips. Light on the eyes and bright on the lips is by far the easiest to maintain. Finally I do use Milk of Magnesia on my forehead and lids.. have done so almost daily for five years.. and it has never done a single thing bad to my skin and has made it possible for me to wear makeup in any weather. I simply could not wear shadow in the summer no matter what primer I used until I discovered it.

Neutrogena pure and free liquid spf 50. I just recently had to replace mine since it expired and had a heck of a time finding it. Just about everywhere had the regular version, but it is chemical sunscreen which breaks me out. Finally found the pure and free at Ulta.

You’re welcome.. I can’t recommend it enough, it’s the only sunscreen I’ve ever found that doesn’t make me an oil slick or break me out… usually both. I’m terrified they are going to discontinue it.

These are great tips. I’d say wear sunscreen all year round, and increase the SPF in the summer. With my oily skin + sweating, I switch to using powder foundation daily, and use mineral veil under AND over it. Primers are a godsend, especially eye primer. Use a little lip balm with SPF under your lipstick. It acts like a primer and helps prevent heat chapping and sunburn on the lips. Use waterproof eyeliner and lipliner. Carry blotting papers in your purse. Powder will just mix with sweat and oils, and it will cake and settle into lines. Setting spray helps tons (I just use the e.l.f. Mist & Set).

I’m loving NYX Butter Glosses right now, a lot. They’re exactly the same feeling formula as Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors, which I bought quite a few of before discovering this. Gorgeous glossy shine, milky kind of pigment that doesn’t settle into lip lines, non sticky & perfect for summer wear. My favorite ‘primer’ at the moment is Too Faced Hangover – really nice & light for summer – and yes, Guerlain Meteorites Perles. Favorite foundations for warmer weather: RCMA (you get absolutely perfect coverage which can be thinned out with a tiny bit of moisturizer) and IT Cosmetics CC+ Veil Beauty Fluid Foundation. Double Wear Light is also quite nice for more active days, providing you can get the right shade. For summer blush that’s incredibly long wearing, Kett Hydro liquid airbrush blushes. They’re phenomenal! So easy to use, beautiful smooth pigmentation, lays on the skin like another layer of gorgeous skin. This stuff doesn’t move once it’s set. An absolute MUST: Anastasia’s new Lash Genius. This stuff will make your lashes damn near bulletproof – no flaking/smudging/running no matter how sweaty you get or what you’re doing – which is something I can’t live without. My newest, favorite setting spray is Heme’s Pore Perfect Mattifying 360 Aqua Splash. Made in Taiwan, I believe. Found it in my local Asian grocery store. Cheap, but best setting spray I’ve found so far – other than the one I make for myself. Much better than Skindinavia, which feels like hairspray on my face. This spray is super light, really does set everything, and has a light cucumber scent. I believe they use a polymer in this spray, which works phenomenally.

Lip balm with shea butter, olive oil & coconut oil in it. This is an absolute must for me, especially on really dry, hot days.

Etude House Zero Sebum powder. This stuff is the sh*t, I’m not kidding. Very different formulation compared to most powders I see. It’s a phenomenal setting powder. I accidentally discovered this product when I made a huge order with a Korean company. They also make other Zero Sebum products like a primer & a few others. Very affordable & worth checking out for anybody with oily skin.

For cooling down skin that’s been overexposed to sun, mix distilled pure aloe with alcohol-free witch hazel in a misting bottle. Mist onto cotton pads til quite wet, plaster them anywhere on your face or body and relax. If the heat from your skin dries them out, dampen them again. Follow immediately with a cold pressed, plant based moisturizing oil such as evening primrose oil. AVOID any perfumed products on damaged/overexposed skin, which can seriously up the irritation level. This routine helps a hell of a lot after a day in the sun. It also improves the skin texture & appearance overall. Great on overexposed lips/eye area as well.

For breakout prone skin: CosRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol line. It’s a perfect product line for any time of year, but especially the summer because it’s very light on the skin. I normally will not touch any product line geared towards acne because they’re so incredibly bad for the skin. This stuff is very different. Probably like what ProActive should’ve been. I’ve noticed that all of my pores are much less noticeable after using these products for just a few days. It’s been weeks now & my skin looks absolutely great, so it does work longterm & doesn’t dry out the skin in any wayIt really does ‘refine’ skin texture & tone, as well as prevents & heals breakouts of all types, including hormonal.

And lastly, very likely the best purchase I made in the last 6 months (except for the CosRX skin care line): Kett Color Theory set (I believe that’s the name). It allows me to lighten/darken/adjust the pink, yellow, red, blue tones of many of the liquid or cream products I have, including foundations, primers, liquid blushes etcVery handy throughout the summer, and the rest of the year, as my skin tone changes, or as my mood suits me. I would highly recommend this set as it’s incredibly multipurpose & well worth the money. It’ll actually wind up saving you cash in the long run & you’ll always be able to adjust your foundations as necessary. Available at Camera Ready Cosmetics or Kett’s website.

Definitely Peacekeeper lip balm. I just picked it up out of a discount bin at our local pharmacy because it was about $2 & the ingredients were great. Best lip balm ever, no lanolin *gag*, no petroleum byproducts, no nasty junk. My lips are like a baby’s backside when I wake up. It’s more like a lip treatment for me. Found it online for $8. Significantly more expensive, but it’s a big lip balm – seems to be almost double the size of others I have – & lasts a long time.

Another favorite when my lips are drier but I want some color, rather than a clear product, is Burt’s Bees lightly colored lip balms. They look gorgeous on & are great for more ‘natural’ type looks.

I wish you had a reviewer that you really respect who could chime in with products for combo/oily skinned ladies. Like a guest blogger, just once in awhile. Or maybe the subject for another poll? Oily/Combo Tips for Summer? 😀

I know we’ve done some dry/oily-focused posts (I think like “Best Products for Oily Skin” or something like that)!

Thank you for this wonderful article Christine! Its refreshing that you sometimes switch things up, you not only post reviews but tips and tricks as well!

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