You don't have to turn into a hot mess this summer: Steal these secrets to avoid makeup meltdowns, excess shine, and raccoon eyes.

By Holly Dawsey
June 16, 2015
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summer heat beauty
Credit: Getty Images

Getty ImagesBeach weekends, backyard BBQs, brunch at sidewalk cafés: You want to be outside enjoying the long, sunny days—and look great doing it. "Summer makeup should feel as comfortable as your favorite T-shirt," says Troy Surratt, founder of Surratt Beauty. But unless you're in some sort of perfect-climate dome, you know the havoc steamy temps can wreak. Happily, these strategies and beauty finds stand the test of time—and humidity.

A Fresher Face

Rethink your lotion: A rich moisturizer—paired with all that humidity—can cause makeup to slide off. "I tell my clients to use their heavy-duty creams at night, so skin is soft and smooth for foundation come morning," says Mally Roncal, founder of Mally Beauty.

Remember that it's all about that base: Switch to a long-wearing foundation, like MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation ($32; It tends to have less slip. Blend with a damp makeup sponge: "When wet, the sponge will bounce over skin, depositing the perfect amount of coverage for a dewy finish," Surratt says. Then gently press a tissue over your face to lift off any excess oil.

Banish grease: As the day goes on and your face gets moist, powder will settle in all the wrong places (those lines and creases). So use a mattifying balm to nix the slick instead. Try Revlon PhotoReady Prime + Anti Shine Balm ($12;

Budgeproof Blush

Fight the fade: "Creamy formulas melt into skin, imparting a natural glow," Roncal says. We like Charlotte Tilbury Colour of Youth Lip & Cheek Glow ($58; Dust a similar shade of powder blush right on top to keep color intact.

All-day radiance: "Everyone looks better with some warmth in their skin," Surratt says. He suggests sweeping bronzer over the places where you overheat first—across the hairline, down the nose and up the cheeks. Our pick: Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion ($36;

Pretty Eyes Now

Start with a clean slate: "Remove every stitch of oil before you put on shadow so it won't slide," says New York City celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein. She swipes a remover-soaked cotton pad over lids before dabbing on a layer of primer to create a base.

Lighten up: Stick to pale, shimmery shadows, which have a brightening effect in the sun, Surratt says. He likes champagne, warm gold and crystal blue. Opt for creamier versions of your fave summer shade, since they have less fallout. Try Guerlain Summer Waterproof Cream Eye Shadow in Ocean Blue and White Sand ($32 each;

Layer your liner: Dip a liner brush in gel eyeliner and push it right against the lash line for subtle definition. "Then trace with powder shadow to set it," Roncal says.

Seal the deal: No need to give up your go-to mascara just because it isn't waterproof. After you put it on, apply a water-resistant topcoat, like the new Clarins Double Fix' Mascara ($22; Says Surratt, "I love that these formulas keep you from rocking a pair of raccoon eyes but don't feel like tar on your lashes."

Lasting Lip Color

Add a hint of tint: Gloss may be light, but it has a habit of slip-sliding away. Instead, Gerstein says, fill in your entire mouth with a pencil the shade of your lips, then top with a tinted balm. A good combo: It Cosmetics YLBB Waterproof Lip Liner Stain in Blushing Nude ($20; and Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Hydrating Lip Balm in N.10 ($36;

Boost staying power: To keep color from feathering and weathering, trace the rim of your mouth with concealer, Roncal recommends, using a thin lip brush for precision.

Sunscreen that looks good on you
The latest formulas are light and sheer—anything but goopy and ghostlike.

Mighty mist: Coola SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray ($36; Shield your skin as you set your makeup with this invisible spray; infused with green tea and aloe, it feels wonderfully cooling on hot days.

Safety tint: Skinceuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 ($25; The cream is perfect for summer: It provides just enough coverage (no foundation needed), mattifies oily skin and, of course, protects against sun damage.

Everyday essential: Tarteguard 30 Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($32; Made with maracuja oil and red algae, this nonsticky physicial block softens skin. Wear it alone or apply before primer.

Powder protection: ColoreScience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 30 ($42; This powder provides a soft-focus finish and a broad-spectrum UV block; the self-dispensing brush makes it a no-brainer to apply.