Romain du Quesne
Even if you've used your most steadfast primer, selected your favorite waterproof mascara, and diligently dusted on a layer of setting powder, you know that you're still taking a gamble when you face off against midsummer's steamy temps. Individually, high humidity, sweat, and stagnant air are all enough to dislodge even the most resistant makeup. Together, they can practically evaporate your entire face in a matter of minutes. (You know this if you've ever stepped on the NYC subway in July, only to step off a few stops later in a pool of perspiration and mascara.)
This hellish cycle is enough to make you want to ditch makeup altogether until September. We're here to tell you that abstinence doesn't have to be the only option. If you strategically stock your bag with the right products, there's no reason you can't look impossibly fresh-faced for hours—no reapplication necessary. Keep reading for the only touch-up tools you need.
Primer might not guarantee that your face stays on lock all day when it's 105° outside, but that doesn't mean it's not immensely helpful. "If you use a great primer, you're less likely to face serious makeup meltdown," says Andre Sarmiento, who works with Zoey Deutch and Brittany Snow. He also advises to top your primer with as little foundation as possible—thick, gloopy makeup isn't doing you any favors in the summer heat.
When you're sweating and can feel your makeup starting to do the "Cha Cha Slide," job number one is to cool off. Finding air-conditioned refuge is ideal, but at the very least, seek out some shade, whip out a bottle of face mist, and blot with a tissue. In addition to providing some much-needed refreshment, "this removes the product build up so you can touch up without getting cakey," says Sarmiento.
"Q-tips are great for cleaning up mascara or liner that travels on your face with heat, as well as lipstick that may start to bleed or smudge," says celeb makeup artist Amy Strozzi. Keep these makeup remover–infused swabs on hand for stubborn waterproof mascara or eyeliner.
Blotting papers are a beautiful thing—they're the quickest and cleanest way to absorb any excess oil and grime. Both Sarmiento and Strozzi always have Tatcha's Beauty Papers on hand. Just remember to get the technique right: "Blot, don't wipe when the sheen starts to hit," says Strozzi. "That way your makeup does not move or lift." Paper towels or even toilet seat covers will work in a pinch.
Sarmiento raves about these genius papers, which deposit a subtle flush (read: not of the "it's 95° and I'm dying" variety) with just a few dabs. "They're the ultimate hack," he says. "The color is sheer and they're talc-free, so you don't have to worry about blotchiness or cakiness."
Because lip pencils are generally formulated to act like primers, they're that much more likely to stay put. (Real talk: We have enough trouble keeping our lipstick from budging in the dead of winter.) "Color your entire lip and add a touch of balm on top for long-lasting color that stays in place," she says.
Once you lock things down again with some kind of setting product, you can go ahead on your merry way. FWIW, Sarmiento says he thinks sprays are preferable to powders. "It lets you set and mattify your makeup without worrying about powdery build up," he says.
Got any tips for summer-proofing your makeup? Call them out in the comments below.