Summer Makeup that Beats the Heat

By Lauren Lumsden – August 1, 2014
Photo by Brian Fitzsimmons

Every woman who lives where summers are warm and humid knows what it’s like to catch a glimpse of herself in the mirror halfway through the day only to realize that her makeup doesn’t look anything like the perfection of its morning application.

Summertime in Central Texas means extreme heat and humidity, so it’s necessary to alter makeup routines when making the transition from winter to summer to ensure that makeup doesn’t melt off of the face during the long, sweltering days.

Primed and Ready
A makeup primer is a beauty essential during the summer and is a step that shouldn’t be skipped when simplifying makeup routines. The purpose of a primer is to allow makeup to stay in place throughout the day and to diminish the appearance of fine lines, enlarged pores, and other imperfections. Primer is applied after moisturizer and sunscreen, but before foundation and any other makeup, and creates a smooth, even surface to apply the rest of the makeup. It also acts as a matifying agent, which controls shine. 
A primer can be worn throughout the year, but it is particularly important during the summer months to ensure that makeup stays put. One of the best is Giorgio Armani’s Fluid Master Primer ($57;, which claims to be “an innovative primer that visibly smoothes the skin’s surface.”

Tip! Set concealer in place and achieve more of a matte appearance by dusting a pressed powder onto the skin with a small brush.

Lighten Up
Don’t wilt in the heat. Instead, remain as fresh as a southern daisy by applying a lightweight, water-based foundation or tinted moisturizer. In the summer, most makeup will just run off of the face, especially if it is a thick, oil-based foundation. My favorite tinted moisturizer is Rae Cosmetics’ Climate Control Mineral Tint ($39; It has SPF 20, doesn’t sweat off, and still manages to even skin tone. For ladies who prefer fuller coverage, apply a dense concealer with a concealer brush in the areas where more coverage is desired, such as under the eyes to conceal dark circles or on blemishes. 

Shine On  
It is said that women don’t sweat; they glisten. Well, that isn’t the case in Texas. Our summer season lasts from May through September, which means blotting papers are a woman’s best friend and secret weapon when it comes to fighting against shine and oil. Use a blotting paper to remove excess oil prior to applying more powder when skin is shiny.  Foundation will look cakey and uneven if powder is applied directly to an oily face. Shiseido Pureness Oil-Control Blotting Papers ($19; have a bit of translucent powder on them, saving room in your clutch and the step of applying powder post-blot.

Fake the Bake
The added wrinkles and potential for skin cancer aren’t worth the temporary tan achieved from baking in the harmful rays of the sun or the tanning beds. Get a spray tan. Or better yet, wear a bronzer. Apply bronzer where the sun naturally hits the face, the top of the forehead, cheekbones, chin, and bridge of the nose. Don’t forget to apply a little bronzer to the neck and collarbones, if they are exposed, to give an overall tanned appearance. A bronzed face and pale neck will be a dead giveaway that your tan is faux, and dusting bronzer over the entire face will only make you look orange. 
Use a large, fluffy brush to apply the bronzer. A brush with compact bristles will have a tendency to apply too much pigment in one spot, creating a splotchy appearance. Matte bronzers are more user-friendly than shimmery ones since shimmery bronzers have a tendency to make oily skin look even oilier. Pressed, powder bronzers are easier to apply evenly than loose ones. Don’t go overboard though; select a bronzer that is only one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Try Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder ($40; bobbibrowncosmetics). They offer six different shades. 

Lash Out
Less is more during the summer, so don’t pile on the eyeliner and shadow. Simplify summer makeup and focus on the lashes instead. Make sure to wear waterproof or water-resistant mascara to avoid looking like a hot mess. Waterproof mascara is drying and can cause lashes to become brittle and to break, so it shouldn’t be worn every day. Wear water-resistant mascara on a daily basis, but use a waterproof one such as Lancome’s Hypnose Star 24H Waterproof Mascara ($29; for days at the lake or an outdoor wedding.

Lip Service
Switch heavy lipsticks and sticky glosses out with a tinted lip balm or sheer lipstick with SPF such as Rae Cosmetics’ Lip Shade Lipsticks ($18; Wearing lip gloss can actually increase chances of getting the lips sunburned since the moisture of the gloss acts as a conductor of UV rays, allowing them to penetrate the skin more easily.

Take these summer makeup tips and tricks and enjoy the summer without the constant concern and fret of facing a frazzled face in the mirror.  Be confident that your makeup will stay intact and fresh-looking throughout the day.


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