Makeup for Humid Weather: How to Avoid Makeup Meltdown in the Summer Heat

No matter where you live, we all know the struggle of the hot, rainy day against our beauty routine.

Rain in the summer–even a drizzle here or there–will make your hair appear greasy, will give you fly-aways galore, and will make your makeup melt like a popsicle on the 4th of July.

Here’s how you can fight the humidity and heat, by preparing your makeup and hair for it, before you ever step out of the door. Step by step, (based on my most recent live makeup tutorial from 一直播) here we go:


Step 1: Prepare your Base Carefully

Using an oil as a base is nothing new; it helps keep your skin hydrated and protected, before applying makeup. Though one might be more likely to use an oil-based primer in the winter, today I used SHINE as a base oil for a few reasons. You may feel like your skin doesn’t need any additional moisture in humid weather, but the essential fatty acids in SHINE moisturize your skin in a way that sweat doesn’t. Also, if you’ve stepped out the door without sunscreen even once this summer, using SHINE daily is a pre-emptive way to both ward off and mitigate light sun damage.

After the oil base comes to makeup primer: the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer. It’s the perfect go-to primer that won’t clog your pores and helps make up stay on all day. It does have a teensy-tiny bit of white cast, but if you’re wearing foundation anyway, it won’t matter.



Step 2: Foundation or Nah?

Onto foundation: Even though your inclination may be to pick up the powders in summer, I find that for light coverage that lasts – evenly – all day, liquid is the way to go. But liquid foundation can feel so heavy! Nobody wants their makeup to sweat off.

What’s a girl to do?

Recently, Dior’s Nude Air Makeup (in Color 010) has been #life for me. It’s light and airy. It blends like a dream and offers medium coverage without the feeling of anything actually being on your skin.

However, today I tried out Clinique’s Superbalanced foundation in color 05, Silk Ivory. It’s medium coverage that feels liked medium coverage, but the color is a perfect match for my skin. Who can turn that down!? This a close #2 to Dior Nude Air, and certainly makes it appearance in my routine through the transitional months of spring and fall.

Step 3: Contour, if you Dare

In the video, I wore a very light powder bronzer and blush (NARS Laguna, NARS Orgasm, respectively).

HOWEVER – IN GENERAL – powder and liquid do NOT go together.

I am not one to spend all day blending liquid products together; I don’t even carry a liquid bronzer or blush – only liquid highlighters – but in general, one should keep powder with powder and liquid with liquid.

(Note: They do have a liquid NARS Laguna and Orgasm, I just don’t currently own them.)

Further, if your makeup carries any risk of sweating off, a complicated contour is most certainly not the way to go. Contour if you dare; you’ve been warned!



Step 4: Prep + Paint Your Eyes

Now that you’ve made up your face, its time to head to eye makeup. In humid weather, I’ll usually do a super light brow with curled lashes and mascara.

However, today was a date night look – yes, date night in the freaking typhoon-sauna that is Shenzhen in the summer. I can’t be alone in this! We don’t choose the weather, but we gotta make it work, ya know?

To make sure everything stays in tact (who wants to accidentally WIPE off their brows? Ugh!), use an eyeshadow primer on the entire eye area: the lids, the area between the lids and brows and the full brows. If you’re making up your brows, you might as well prime them to stay on!

For the look in the video, I used:

The starred items were new for me. In the video tutorial, I go in depth on what worked and what didn’t.

In general, my quick thoughts on these new products:

1Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel – It was very wet. It felt much different than Glossier’s Boy Brow, which is what I use on the daily. The color was too reddish-brown for me. However, once it dried, it was appropriately gummy–meaning it did a good job of styling brows, coloring them, and holding them into place. It was truly volumizing, which I wasn’t expecting. Not a bad product, just not the right color for me. Definitely worth a try if Boy Brow’s small range of colors don’t fit your hair/skin/undertones.


2. Tarte’s Eyelash Curler – Really not that bad. The eye shape fit was right for me. It didn’t feel like I was getting as close to the skin as I do with the Bobbi Brown Gentle Curler. I won’t be switching any time soon, but it’s a good backup to have. It got the job done.



3. Pacifica’s 7-in-1 Mascara: The selling points on this cruelty-free mascara are that it has lash enhancing ingredients inside (which sorry, won’t work; the ingredients need to the follicle to work, not the hair shaft) and the retractable mascara wand. The mascara wand DOES work and is really cool.. but I wasn’t quite sure how to use it for longer, thicker, or better looking lashes. The formulation was a good middle ground between Better Than Sex and Benefit’s They’re Real! Some find Better Than Sex too dry; I find They’re Real! too wet. This is a good middle ground, but it really didn’t make me say WOW! If Better Than Sex is a 10 out of 10, it was a straight 7 out of 10.




One note: The eyeshadow primer makes eyeshadow STICK. So if you’re going to use primer, make sure to tread lightly. It can be tough to blend out your shadow, especially if you’re not used to using a lot of eyeshadow. Count me in on that; primer makes it dang near impossible for me to properly blend! Eyeshadow primer does make a 100% difference in the length of time your makeup will last, though, so it is 100% necessary.


Step 5: Lips! Oh, Lips.

Lipstick is a tricky one.

This blog started as an entire homage to lips and how to get your lipstick to stay forever, because its that hot of a topic.

In the video, you’ll see me using Too Faced’s Lip Insurance lip primer. This primer is key. I use it if I know I will be eating or drinking a lot, because nothing else in the world will make your lippie stay, no matter WHAT the commercials say!

After the lip primer, I lined my entire lips with Gorgeous Cosmetics’ lip liner in color Red Carpet. This was a newbie for me (previously #gifted) and it was FABULOUS. I loved the red color and the real pencil (there’s something great about sharpening a pencil, isn’t there?). It glides on smooth and stays on all day.

And just when you think the lippie looks done… you gotta add the actual lipstick!

I layered with the real lippie color: Bite Lipstick in Gazpacho.

It looks like RiRi Woo/Ruby Woo from Mac. It’s as deep as a bright red can get, sexy, sultry and seductive. There’s something powerful in this deep, bright cherry red.

Hands down the most gorgeous color I’ve ever worn.


Here it is, live, in action:


Here’s 3 hours later, no touch-ups:

And after I ate a big dinner and drank a soda through a straw, it slowly started to come off:

It really stayed on forever.


Step 6: Lock It IN

If you’re going out, you’ll want to also lock in your makeup with a makeup setting spray. I didn’t do this – though I planned to.

The best makeup setting spray – hands down – is Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.

As the box instructs, use 4 squirts: make an X across your face and do an up and down spray. Your makeup won’t stray or sweat off, no matter what.


Takeaways: Makeup for Humid, Hot Weather

Overall, the best tips I can give are just prep + lock in your makeup! A good primer and good setting spray make a huge difference in how long your makeup lasts. They’re the boring products that none of us want to spend on, but they make a huge difference in how your makeup looks and lasts – like proper insurance for your makeup!

Most of all, don’t worry too much about your makeup. Once it’s done, it’s done. Just try to enjoy your night!



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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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