lady in the summer with sunglasses and hat

How to master wearing makeup in the sun

04 Jul 2023 • 3 min read


When it comes to getting ready for a day in the sun, wearing makeup might be the last thing on your mind. After all, who wants to have to deal with smudgy eyeliner and melting foundation?

As the temperature increases, your skin loses more water yet produces more sweat and sebum, so wearing makeup whilst this happens can leave you looking shiny, smudgy, and oily.1

While letting your skin breathe in the heat is a great idea, if the thought of going out in the sun with a bare face fills you with dread, there are a few easy things you can do to maximise the staying power of your makeup in hot weather.

Here are our eight top tips for wearing makeup in the sun.

1. Keep things simple

In the heat of the summer months, less is more when it comes to your makeup. Makeup tends to move around a lot when it’s hot out, so simplifying your makeup routine in the summer is an excellent way to stop your makeup from smudging or creasing.

If you can, cut back on heavier makeup products like thick foundations and instead opt for lighter products like a tinted moisturiser or even just concealer or bronzer.

2. Preparation is key

Making sure your skin is prepped properly is key to keeping your makeup on all day, and this starts with your skincare routine.

Don’t skimp on your moisturiser! On sunny days you should still moisturise in the morning like normal but try to choose an oil-free moisturiser as this will be less likely to leave your skin feeling greasy and uncomfortable during the day.

3. The importance of sun cream

The one product that you simply have to wear when you’re going to be spending time in the sun is SPF. Your skin needs protection all year round from the sun’s UV rays to stop you from getting sunburnt and damaging your skin, but this is even more true in the summer when the sun’s rays are at their strongest!2

You shouldn’t rely on just makeup products with SPF in them, though. You need to be applying a good layer of SPF underneath your makeup and even reapply it during the day to properly protect your skin.3 Don’t forget your lips and scalp too!

For the best results, apply your sun cream after you’ve moisturised but before you add any foundation, and top it up throughout the day with a powder foundation that contains SPF – this helps you stay matte and protected.

4. Choose your products wisely

Once your skin is prepped and ready, you want to make sure you choose the right makeup products to use on top

For foundations, BB creams, tinted moisturisers, and concealers, you want to pick water-resistant, oil-free products to help prevent your makeup from running and melting in the heat.

But don’t forget your base. If you choose to wear a foundation or BB cream, pick a long-lasting matte primer to put on first. A really easy and quick step, using a primer helps prepare your skin for the next layer of your makeup and encourages it to stay put for longer!

When you’re out in the sun, and it’s hot, you’ll no doubt sweat and look a little shinier than normal. But choosing the right products can help to keep you keep the sweat at bay.

5. Go for bronze

If you’re after a natural glow or an easy tan in the summer without baking in the sun, a bronzer is your new best friend. Bronzers help to add warmth and a subtle glow to your skin, mimicking the way the sun will brown your face. Powder bronzers are super easy to apply and are less likely to move around in the summer heat.

For an effortless, sun-kissed look, apply your bronzer to the high points of your face where the sun would naturally hit you, like your cheekbones, forehead, chin, and nose. You can even apply a little bronzer to your neck and collarbone for a seamless finish.

6. Cut the shimmer

In the sun, you’re likely to sweat more than usual, so choosing shimmery or even glittery makeup products can lead to over-the-top shine instead of a healthy, dewy finish. Choose more mattifying products to avoid looking extra shiny or sweaty looking!

However, at night or in the evening, adding a highlighter to your makeup routine adds an effortless glow and looks really pretty on your skin. Add a sweep of shimmery highlighter to your cheekbones, nose, and collarbone to accentuate your features and tan, as well as add a subtle glow - definitely, a product to add to your routine on those balmy nights in the summer!  

7. Set it in place

Setting powders and sprays are essential final steps to completing your summer makeup look. Use a sponge or fluffy brush to set any oily areas (especially your t-zone) with a light powder. You can easily through your powder in your bag for use during the day too! Or invest in a pack of blotting papers to pat away any excess oil.

Then, once you’ve completed your makeup, finish off with a spritz of setting spray to seal your look.

8. Swap to waterproof

If you love to swim or even if you just want budge-proof makeup, you want to make sure you opt for waterproof makeup - particularly your sun cream and mascara (waterproof mascara is great for stopping you from having panda eyes after getting out of the pool!)

Lots of brands offer waterproof versions of most of their products, so you’ll likely be able to get your hands on water-resistant versions of your holy grail makeup products. Why not try a waterproof foundation for flawless skin or even a waterproof eyebrow pencil to keep your brows in place?

The final say

Doing your makeup is an art, but so is actually getting it to stay in place all day! In the summer, when the weather is warmer and the sun is stronger, keeping your makeup on is even more of a challenge.

Summer makeup is meant to be fun, with lots of colour and bronzy details, but it shouldn’t be something to constantly worry about or top up frequently. Try our tips and tricks for long-lasting, sweatproof makeup that lets you get on with your day.


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