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When the summertime rolls around, natural sweat—due to hot and humid weather—often wreaks havoc on our makeup. It's enough to deter most of us from applying any at all. We're all for a minimal, fresh face, but if you need to put together a more curated look, complete with base, eyeshadow, and mascara, take those hot conditions into account. Ultimately, there are several ways to ensure that your makeup lasts longer than a few minutes under the blazing sun. To guide you, we asked experts to share their best tips on sweat-proofing every look. Ahead, their advice for creating a style that lasts, whatever the weather.

woman applying makeup setting spray to face
Credit: Delmaine Donson / Getty Images

Runny Makeup

According to celebrity makeup artist and CATRICE Cosmetics brand ambassador Robert Sesnek, there are several factors that cause makeup to "sweat" off. He lists heat, humidity, oily skin, oil-based products, and heavy formulas as the main culprits. Beauty expert Nydia Figueroa affirms that thick, too-creamy products carry the biggest amount of the blame. "Sweat and oil will always fight against any formula that is too wet or slippery on the skin," she says. She encourages her celebrity clientele to first find the correct formula and then set their makeup for good measure.

Water-Resistant and Oil-Free Formulas

Another pro tip? Figueroa says to take a proactive approach against sweat by using a primer. "Make sure there is a protective barrier between your pores and your foundation," she continues. "This way, the sweat won't affect the way the makeup wears throughout the day." And while no look is entirely sweat-proof, there are certain formulas that will withstand humid weather better than others. Sesnek suggests searching for products that are labeled as oil-free and water-resistant, as they tend to be longer lasting. Matte foundations, he adds, are typically made with the least amount of oils and humectants, so they fare better against the heat. "Anything with a lot of oil or humectants will fade, wear off, and sweat away the fastest," he says. "Products made with fewer oils will allow your makeup to last the longest."

Setting with Powder

Setting your makeup—which is often the last step in your routine—is another way to lock these applied formulas in place, say our experts. Ultimately, there are two ways to tackle this: You can use either a powder or a setting spray. Both Figueroa and Sesnek agree that powders generally work across all skin types, but Sesnek notes that those with dry complexions should use it sparingly. Focus powder mostly in the T-zone area (your forehead and nose) and be careful not to overdo it. "Always apply as little product as possible for minimal fading or sweating off," he says.

Figueroa agrees, adding that powder should be placed on areas where you produce the most oil and sweat. She likes using a tapered, fluffy brush during application and says that putting powder on before foundation (not after!) will help control oiliness. She prefers Jane's Iredale's Amazing Matte Loose Finish Powder ($36, for this step. "It is a great formula that smoothes the skin, absorbs oil, and gives a beautiful matte finish," she says. "It doesn't look or feel heavy on the skin and can be used before or after foundation." Sesnek's go-to is CATRICE Cosmetic's HD Baking and Setting Loose Powder ($12, "I love the longevity and how finely milled it is," he says, affirming that it is a "staple in my kit."

A Final Spritz

As for setting sprays? Figueroa notes that these products act as barriers between your makeup and the environment. The formulas create a light film over your complexion, which holds makeup in place. "Think of it as a hairspray for your face," she says. Sesnek adds that setting sprays come in various types—mattifying, luminizing, and hydrating—and that you should select the option that best suits your skin. When spraying, he says to extend your arm six to eight inches from your face and spray in an "X" motion, which should cover your entire visage. He prefers to use the setting spray post-makeup application, but Figueroa likes to use these products after skin care and makeup.

If you are searching for a formula to test at home, consider Figueroa's pick; she uses Be a 10 Begin 2 End Primer ($30, regularly. "I love the fine mist, which prevents you from over-saturating your makeup," she says "It also adds hydration and incredible staying power to any application." Sesnek recommends CATRICE Cosmetics' Prime and Fine Dewy Glow Finish Spray ($8, for dry skin and the brand's Prime and Fine Anti-Shine Fixing Spray ($8, for oilier complexions; the latter is especially effective during the warm-weather season. "This is a favorite in the summer months and holds makeup on for hours," he says. "From May through October, this is my go-to spray."


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