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Tips for Nailing Your Summer Makeup – and Not Letting it Melt Off

Foundation disintegrating by 11am when the heat rises? We’ve got your back.

Written by Casey Milano

We’ve all been there – your make-up looks pristine by the time you catch the train at 8.30am and you did everything right… you looked on point! And then disaster strikes when you walk into the bathroom at 11am, and realise that your face looks like a half-melted chocolate bar, just in the same colour as your foundation. Summer is when make-up works against us, from concealer that will not stick and foundation that will not stay where it’s supposed to, throw in some liquifying eyeliner and you could have gone straight from the gym to work rather than bothering.

Now as no make-up artist myself, I’m not the best at that winged eyeliner look (OK, I’ve never achieved it) for example, but I have tried a hella number of products, tip and tricks (when you have acne you will try everything!) with some disastrous, some hilarious and some workable results.

Here are some of the top tips I’ve learnt for hassle free summer make-up.

  • Let’s get the annoying one out of the way first: SPF. Always have it, always wear it. Preferably an oil-free spray mist rather than a heavy cream that will just sit on your skin and then have your make-up spread on top of it. Not only will it make drag your skin down, but all those heavy products will clog up your pores, and no one wants a whitehead for that weekend beach visit!


  • Let products soak in! This is one of the best tips I’ve ever learnt. Always allow products to soak in before applying another, each product does a different job, so giving each one a couple of minutes to soak in and do that job is worthwhile and helps your make-up sit better.


  • Go for light rather than heavy creams. Probably an easy one, but how many of us actually change our entire product range for each season? Keep your basics but switch to a light cream – preferably a jelly which will keep your skin hydrated all day which in turn will help your make-up to stay put.
  • For the minimalist… If you’re not a make-up buff or you simply don’t wear a lot, then a BB cream is the way to go. It will cover most of your needs – I say most of because, if you have moderate skin conditions such as acne or rosacea, a BB cream won’t cover like a concealer or foundation. Which leads me to my next point…
  • Go for concealer rather than foundation! People tend to think foundation is the be all and end all, but it’s concealer that does all the hard work. Concealer covers while also being lightweight enough to let the skin breathe, making it perfect for those days when you really don’t want to deal with melting foundation.
  • Go for liquid highlighter rather than powder. Liquid highlighter will give you that dewy look, which is all we want to achieve in the summer right? While powder has a tendency to cake up and cause the skin to look dry in the heat… more of a Morticia look than a sunkissed, glowy one (but, hey, if you love that look then go for it!).
  • Choose neutral, shimmery eye shadows. One of the easiest things to help you transition into summer make-up are the colours you choose. In terms of trends, nothing really changes in the summer – it’s all about the glowy and shimmery colours that last season to season. Spring colours will not only brighten yourself up as well as your make-up, but they ‘open up’ the eyes and, unlike dark colours, don’t attract the sun and cause that half-lid-covered look. Cheek colours count as well!
  • Lip gloss, not lipstick. Moisturising and long-lasting, lipgloss is the way to go for summer. Lipstick tends to cake in the middle of the lips and bleed at the corners. Step away.



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