Right when I was finally becoming acclimated to LA's mostly dry and hot summertime climate, I left the city to go back home to the Midwest for a couple of weeks. Even though I grew up there, and I visit often, I was still not prepared for the late-July humidity to hit. As I write this, it's 80 degrees outside with 90% humidity. It's so humid that I swear I can feel water droplets collect on my skin when I walk outside. Needless to say, I'm not handling this high-humidity thing well. In fact, it's making me a cranky, sweaty, and shiny shell of my former self.
Not only is it extremely uncomfortable to be in, but it's also preventing me from wearing half of the makeup products I had so naively brought along with me. Instead of stubbornly trying to make them work and ending up with that melted-foundation-and-smudgy-mascara look, or, even worse, feeling like my skin was being suffocated and running for the nearest bottle of face wash, I had to narrow down my routine and get creative. Keep scrolling to see the only makeup products I can stand to wear in this heat and humidity.
The secret to keeping makeup intact in high heat and humidity, at least for me, is good skin prep. Before I crack on with which makeup products I'm wearing, I want to make mention of a couple of skincare heroes, including this face wash by Beverly Hills esthetician and skin expert, Sonya Dakar. She recommended it to me because I struggle with a case of sensitive, rosacea-prone skin that keeps my T-zone in a perpetual state of redness.
Add high heat and humidity to the equation, and my face is a glowing orb of red and pink that even a heavy duty foundation struggles to disguise. To calm my skin, while keeping it clean and hydrated, I've begun to use this cleanser religiously. It's sulfate-free formula, which includes calming lavender and oat kernel, has significantly reduced my rosacea flare-up. That means I can use a lightweight complexion product instead of a thick layer of foundation (but more on that later).
After cleansing, I've been moisturizing with this SPF-infused moisturizer from Supergoop. It's lightweight and hydrating. I like the fact that it keeps my skin protected from UV rays without leaving a greasy residue or a white cast behind. Again, this means I can opt for a lightweight and skin-perfecting complexion product instead of something heavier and fuller-coverage...
That lightweight and skin-perfecting complexion product I was talking about it is this one from Cle de Peau. Believe it or not, I'm new to this iconic concealer, but after trying it once, I totally understand why so many editors, influencers, and makeup artists swear by it. The texture is on the drier side, which I like, because it stays put while mimicking my skin's natural texture. Unlike other cream concealers, this one doesn't highlight my pores, blend unevenly, or move around my face. It's lightweight and breathable, while also offering my redness-prone skin enough skin-perfecting coverage.
I follow up the Cle de Peau concealer with this powder foundation from La Prairie. I know it's crazy expensive, but in all fairness it is the most luxurious powder I've ever used. It's silky, finely-milled, and offers the most flawless, airbrushed look to my skin. It's essentially a skin-perfecting veil that blurs my redness and imperfections, while setting the concealer that I applied before it. I especially appreciate the fact that it absorbs excess oil and keeps shininess at bay. In this weather, my skin has an almost permanent oily sheen, and this is one of the only product I've found that holds up to the humidity, keeping my skin looking matte and velvety for an extended period of time.
If this one's out of budget, don't fret. There are other pressed powder foundations to get you through the dog days of summer. I also like using Burt's Bees Mattifying Powder Foundation, which is only $15 a pop.
In my opinion, blush is an indispensable makeup product for summer, since it makes the skin look bright, youthful, and glowy. This one is only $3, yet it's been a favorite for years (Julianne Hough's makeup artist famously swears by it for giving his clients a healthy glow). I dust it over the apples of my cheeks with a fluffy brush. It gives my skin radiance without shininess (on that note, I'd like to mention that I don't use highlighter, because sweat is my highlighter).
I've learned that less is more in this weather, so that's it for complexion products. Next I move on to eyes and brows. In regard to the former, I've been using two different products. The first is this drugstore classic and personal favorite, which adds some length, but mainly volume and definition, to my lashes. I made sure to use the waterproof kind, since the extreme humidity made the original formula smudge pretty badly.
The other mascara I've been using is this one, which is from Crop Naturals (a very underrated beauty brand in my humble opinion). Here's the thing. It's not waterproof, and while it normally doesn't smudge, it does in this high humidity environment. However, I really don't mind that. Here's why—it doesn't smudge to the point where I have raccoon eyes. Instead, it's what I call a controlled smudging. It smudges into my lash line to create a sultry, lived-in look that I love. So, yeah, in this case, I actually like the fact that my mascara smudges.
After mascara comes brow gel. The reason I use brow gel is because it makes my brows look thick and fluffy, while also setting their shape, so they don't move when I inevitably reach up to wipe sweat off my forehead. The one I've been using lately is by The BrowGal. It's water-resistant, so it stays put, whether I'm in 90% humidity or otherwise.
The final step in my high-heat-and-humidity makeup routine is eyeshadow. I use a cream or liquid eyeshadow, since I find powders crease and smudge more easily. While there are a lot of these shadows that I love, the one I've been using most recently is by Rituel de Fille. It's called Divinus, and it's a pretty shimmery pink shade. I use my ring finger to apply it to my lid straight from the pot. After it's on my lids, I pat around the perimeter of each eye to ensure that it's blended and sheered out into a subtle lit-from-within look.
What I like the most about it is that it actually stays on my lids, and doesn't migrate down my face as the humidity index rises.
If I do wear a lip product, it's a tinted balm or similar. On hot, humid days, I feel too sluggish and irritated to touch-up a traditional cream lipstick or feel the drying effects of a liquid formula. This one is hydrating and lightweight, yet it offers a sheer wash of flattering watermelon pink color to my lips.