The reality of summer is often a far cry from tropical vacations and weekends by the ocean. Often, it's something more akin to humid subway rides and a familiar blend of sweat and foundation smudged on your iPhone screen. During those dreaded 90-degree days, it's not entirely easy to put on a good face (or apply one).
With my apartment sans A/C and the steamy commute that follows in mind, I figured it was time to put an end to all the caking, smudging, and dripping that's become an everyday occurrence. I reached out to six top beauty editors in the industry for their sound advice. How do they keep their makeup in its rightful place come summer? Keep reading for their best tips.
"I tend to sweat easily, so if I know it's going to be a hot day ahead, I pack on the setting spray as a preventative measure. My favorite trick is to spray it on after each layer. My routine goes a little something like this: foundation, spritz, concealer, spritz, blush, spritz, and so on. While it may seem excessive, it makes my makeup bulletproof every time—even on summer's most unbearable days." —Stephanie Montes, beauty director of The Zoe Report
"I swap my normal foundation for a sheer tinted foundation—Milk's Sunshine Skin Tint ($42) feels more like a light moisturizer than makeup. I also only use cream formulas (Tom Ford's Cream Cheek Color, $68, is the best, as well as Rituel de Fille's Highlighter, $29) so that even when they 'melt' slightly, it still ends up looking pleasantly dewy. Blotting papers become a purse staple during the summer months--when I forget, ripping a piece of toilet seat cover will do the trick (weird but it works, I swear)." —Faith Xue, editorial director at Byrdie
"I just straight up stopped using eyeliner. I used to be completely devoted to my pencils and liquids (as recently as this picture), but the truth is that it's the first thing to start running in the heat, and I look younger without it. Instead, I play up my lashes with a mascara that doesn't budge. Currently hooked on Eyeko Fat Brush Mascara ($20), which isn't even waterproof—it's just really good!" —Katie Becker, contributing beauty editor at the Coveteur
"The foolproof tip for keeping makeup on during the hot and steamy summer months: Use setting spray! Duh. It's actually life-changing. My favorites are Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Setting Spray ($30) and Urban Decay All-Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray ($15). These are staples that any beauty junkie probably knows about, but they're considered two of the best because they actually work. I also layer creams under powders, especially for bronzer, blush, and highlighter. Two formulas are better for braving the elements, like humidity. Finally, just carry some makeup minis in your bag, and touch-up when you need it (tip: IT Cosmetics has amazing travel-size products). If you're going to dance all night at a hot summer wedding, this is a must." —Lauren Levinson, senior beauty editor at PopSugar Beauty
"The foolproof tip for keeping makeup on during the hot and steamy summer months: Wear less of it. The less you put on, the less there is to melt off. Makes sense, right? On that note, it sounds counterintuitive, but I skip powders altogether in the summer. I find that they tend to get cakey when mixed with humidity and sweat. Creams and liquids are a better bet and look more natural on skin." —Jenny Jin, senior beauty editor at PureWow
"For starters, I just wear way less makeup in the summer—when it's hot and muggy, feeling like I have product spackled to my face is hardly appealing. And honestly, I prefer a dewy look over a matte look anyway, so I kind of just try to embrace the summer shine and make it look a little more intentional. For me, my makeup tends to stay on better when my skin is moisturized, so I'll combine a few drops of my foundation (Laneige's BB Cushion Pore Blur, $38, which has built-in SPF) with a moisturizer or priming SPF. (Tatcha's Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen, $65, tends to hold up to sweat really well.) Then it's just a few dabs of concealer here and there, some waterproof mascara (Tarte's Lifted Sweatproof Mascara, $23, stays put even in sauna-like conditions), a minimal lip stain (Glossier's Gen G in Leo, $18), and a few swipes of RMS Beauty's Master Mixer ($38) for additional highlight. If I know I'm going to be outside or it's really hot, I'll reinforce my concealer with RMS's "Un" Powder ($34). Also, face mist is a must!" —Victoria Hoff, news editor at Byrdie
"How to keep your face fresh in the summer heat: I avoid moisturizers in the summer—all the sweating mixed with a cream will just clog your pores. Instead, I'll apply an oil in the a.m. that's full of nutrients—right now, I'm obsessed with Marie Veronique Protective Day Oil ($65). This keeps my face hydrated all day while still letting my skin breathe. I'll also keep a face mist on hand at all times. Odacite Aloe + Immortelle Hydra-Repair Treatment Mist ($39) smells amazing, gives me that dewy look, and is absolutely necessary when dealing with that subway station humidity." —Rachel Lapidos, associate beauty editor at Well + Good
"Switch to stains. In the summer, I trade in my powder blush and creamy lipstick for stay-put lip and cheek stains instead. They look fresh and natural, and won't get cakey or bleed in the heat. My current go-tos: water-resistant Becca Beach Tint in Guava ($25) for my cheeks and ultra-hydrating Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Peach ($25) for my lips. They're both tiny and totally portable, making touch-ups a cinch." —Jill Provost, editor in chief at Total Beauty
Now, read about the time the guy I was sort of seeing told me I wear too much makeup.