Summer-proof your beauty routine

It’s hot out there!

Summer means a lot of time outdoors. And while I know plenty of women blessed with gorgeous skin and coloring that requires no makeup, I am not one of them. That means that when summer comes I start worrying about raccoon eyes from melted mascara, unintentional smokey eyes from smudged eyeliner, creasing shadow, and oily skin. That means adjusting my routine to accommodate the heat and humidity as well as the increased oil my skin produces when it’s warm.

Step One: skin.

Glowing summer skin. Image courtesy of

Mineral makeup is hot right now, but powdered formulas can cake up and look chalky on sweaty or oily skin. I like Physicians Formula Liquid Mineral Foundation – it goes on very sheer and it’s hypoallergenic so it doesn’t irritate my skin. But you can also go with a tinted moisturizer like this one from Neutrogena. A foundation primer can help create a smoother surface for makeup, mattify oily skin, and prevent shine. Sephora has a wide selection, but drugstore brands like L’Oreal are starting to pick up on the idea as well. Depending on the condition of your skin, you can use a primer to mattify your complexion and skip foundation altogether.

For oily skin, look for oil-free moisturizers, foundations, and primers. You don’t want to add any extra oil to sit on your face all day. I also never leave home without blotting papers in my purse. The Body Shop carries blotting papers infused with chamomile or tea tree oil to help prevent breakouts, but you can find less expensive options as well, like these oil-absorbing sheets by Clean & Clear.

If you like the idea of a bronzer to give you some extra color, be sure to choose one that matches your skin’s natural undertones (fair skin tends to have peach or pink undertones, where darker skin can go more golden). Only apply bronzer in the areas of your face where the sun would naturally hit you: the bridge of your nose, the high-point of your cheeks (try applying it while your smiling), and a little across the hairline. And remember to use a light touch, because too much can look uneven and muddy. If you use blush, switch to a cream or gel blush that will sink into the skin instead of sitting on top and caking up.

And don’t forget the rest of your body! If you’re using self-tanner you need to exfoliate, so keep a body scrub on hand. I like Neutrogena’s Body Clear Body Scrub because it contains salicylic acid to prevent breakouts all over.

Once you’ve got your skin looking great, the sky’s the limit! Bright lips always look great summer, but heavy lipsticks are a pain. Instead, try a lip stain, a colored gloss, or a tinted lip balm.

Bright summer lips. Image courtesy of

Mark’s Gloss Gorgeous applies like a gloss but leaves a stained color behind. Their “lolli” shade is a great sheer cherry red that’s perfect for summer. Burt’s Bees lip shimmer acts like a lip balm while leaving a sheer wash of color on the lips.

Teal and blue eye makeup is this summer’s bit “it” look:

Amanda Seyfried. Photo courtesy of

You can go bold, like the model in this article about the trend, or keep it simpler (and less likely to melt!) with neutral eyeshadow (or no eye shadow) and a bright eyeliner like these waterproof pencils by Sephora. (I highly recommend the Sephora brand cosmetics. They’re inexpensive and high quality. These pencils are only $8 each.) Or for a more neutral look you can use a tiny brush to apply eyeshadow instead of eyeliner. I like to do this when it’s hot out to add a little emphasis to my eyes without having to worry about smudging later.

And a good smudge-proof, waterproof mascara is a girl’s best summer friend. I’ve been using CoverGirl’s VolumeExactt Waterproof. It’s easy to apply without getting too heavy or clumpy and it really stays on. If you want a little eye makeup insurance and are willing to spend a little extra cash, Benefit’s She-Laq promises to keep makeup in place all day. I haven’t tried that, but I have had good luck with Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance – the $17 tube has lasted me over a year and it does a great job of keeping my powder eye shadows in place.

The great part about summer (as far as beauty, anyway) is that you can keep your look simple. Bright lips or bright eyes, or a neutral face with glowing skin, is more than enough to look gorgeous. Summer is the time for color, so don’t be afraid to play! But if you prefer simplicity, a natural face is always in style. Just find what makes you feel gorgeous and what formulas work for you.

3 responses to “Summer-proof your beauty routine

  1. The CheapScot

    I have a weird crease on just my left upper eyelid, because my face has decided that symmetry is gauche for some reason. Even the eyeliners that say “crease-proof” and “smudge-proof” always crease and smudge after just a few hours. I started using a primer, but it did little more than make my eye shadow brighter. So I pulled the makeup sealer spray out of my theater makeup case, and started dabbing it over my eye makeup each morning. It works amazingly well. I can put it on in the morning and still have perfect eye makeup at midnight.

    I don’t wear much makeup other than eye shadow and liner, but the lady at Bare Escentuals talked me into trying their matte foundation, and gave me a sample of their primer. Now, even on really hot days my makeup doesn’t cake up or crease. My skin is far from perfect, but their mineral makeup evens it out enough without me looking “made up”.

    • I haven’t tried the BE makeup. I’ve used other mineral makeups and loved them, except that the powder formula could cake up on my oily skin.

      Lumiere Cosmetics makes fantastic mineral makeup and they have a ton of gorgeous eye shadow colors: I don’t know how their formula compares to BE, though.

      • I’ve actually just tried the BE eyeshadow (came with an ebay purchase, love that!) and I really like it. It doesn’t crease, which is a huge problem for me if I don’t wear an eye foundation and who wants to do that when it’s 90% humidity? So, at least I know the eyeshadow is good. It’s also a really pretty lavender.

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