9 Ways to Waterproof Your Makeup, According to MUAs

woman floating in pool smiling


If you put on a full face of makeup, you want it to stay pristine—which makes learning how to waterproof your makeup a crucial skill. With that in mind, we've enlisted the help of our favorite celebrity makeup artists (and spilled a few secrets of our own) to ensure we're waterproofing our faces the right way. So whether you want to keep your brows in place, the blush on your cheeks, or your foundation smooth, we officially have you covered.

Meet the Expert

  • Adam Breuchaud is a celebrity makeup artist known for working with Kate Beckinsale and Hilary Duff.
  • Kristee Liu is a makeup artist who has worked with Cher.
  • Sarah Kimmel is a licensed esthetician and COO of Lunita Beauty Co. in Glen Cove, New York.
01 of 09

Dust on Setting Powder

"Everyone knows to help your foundation last longer, you use a setting powder," says Breuchaud. But did you know it also helps waterproof it? Apply your foundation with a Beautyblender ($20), and dust on your favorite setting powder on top. It'll keep your makeup set through a day at the beach, no problem.

02 of 09

Layer Your Eyeliner

Now that you've set your face, Breuchaud suggests using that technique to keep your eyeliner in place. "Use your usual black, brown, or navy eyeliner, and set it in place with a cream shadow in the same tone," he says. Products like the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadows ($32) are waterproof—they're great solo or layered for extra staying power.

03 of 09

Apply a Tint

"One thing that makes us look fresh and youthful is a good blush. Sometimes it fades or smudges when you're out and about at the beach or by the pool," says Liu. "Try a cheek stain instead, which stains (tints) your cheeks, so the color lasts until you take your makeup off. You can also apply another blush on top if you want to bump up the color."

Is your makeup bag already full to bursting? Good news; cream cheek products often pull double duty as a lip color, and the stain effect means even the greasiest pizza won't make it budge.

04 of 09

Seal Your Makeup

You can use this for anything. Coat your eyeliner, lipstick, brow color, shadows, and blush with a quick-drying, smudge-proof liquid like Make Up For Ever's Eye Seal ($21) for completely water-safe wear. It's basically a miracle. Just apply a few drops in a small bowl and dip your brush before continuing with your usual makeup routine. Make sure to use an oil-based cleanser when you wash your face and your brushes later on; regular soap and water won't cut it with this super sealant.

05 of 09

Spritz on Setting Spray

A generous spritz of setting spray will form a film that makes it extra tough for things like sweat, humidity, and an errant water splash to break down your beat.

If you want extra insurance, spray a bit before your foundation application. "Using setting spray both before and after application will give you the comfort of knowing your makeup will not come off," says Kimmel.

Kimmel recommends Urban Decay All Nighter ($36) and Sephora Collection All Day Makeup Setting Spray ($13).

06 of 09

Prime Your Brows

Designed to keep your brows in place, a waxy primer like Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Primer ($21) also keeps water at bay if applied on top of your favorite powder or pencil. Work it forward through the brow hairs (pushing them towards the nose) as well as backward to ensure you don't miss any stragglers.

07 of 09

Moisturize with a Lightweight Gel

A muggy, damp city day doesn't leave us inspired to slather on rich, creamy moisturizer. Liu recommends, “To prepare the skin around the eyes, skip the heavy eye cream and try a lightweight gel instead. A gel is moisturizing but not oily and is absorbed more easily and quickly by your skin, so you won’t have to worry about it washing off.” Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream ($41) is a great option that includes golden root extract to provide antioxidant protection (essential for protection from free radicals in air pollution) and hyaluronic acid for hydration.

Key Ingredients

Golden root extract comes from the Rhodiola plant, which has long been used in medicine in northern Europe. It functions as an adaptogen, giving the body a hand resisting physical and environmental stressors.

08 of 09

Swipe on Lash Primer

Waterproof mascaras are an option for budge-proof lashes, but we know how personal finding a mascara formula that works can be. Enter a lash primer: swipe it on before your usual mascara to transform any formula into a tear-proof powerhouse.

09 of 09

Add Duraline

Kimmel swears by this trick to ensure makeup stays put. "Mix a little of Inglot's Duraline into your products to make them instantly waterproof," she says. "Only a drop or two will be needed."

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