There are a lot of things that cause moans about summers in New York — like being dripped through someone’s window air conditioning or catching a whiff of trash in 97-degree heat — but perhaps most annoying of all is feeling your makeup melt off your face the moment you step outside. When the temperatures reach a certain level (if the words “it’s hotter than hell” come to mind, chances are you’ve reached it), there’s virtually no hope that the look you’ve created will last all day…unless you’re using sweat-proof makeup.
Feeling the frustration of my own sweaty face, I set out to find out what makes a product heat resistant…and tested many of them in an effort to find a few that actually worked. Keep scrolling for what you need to know.
What to look for in sweat-wicking makeup
In makeup terms, “sweatproof” isn’t quite the same as “waterproof” or even “waterproof.” Since sweat is made up of water and skin oils, you’ll want to look for formulas with hydrophobic (“water-repellent”) and oleophobic (“oleophobic”) ingredients. In these formulas you will also find dimethicone and polymers that help form a film on the skin and keep your makeup in place when exposed to water.
Shop our favorite anti-sweat makeup
GrandeBROW, 2-in-1 tinted brow gel + brow enhancer serum — $38.00
This eye doctor-rated serum lasts for twelve hours guaranteed and contains castor oil, conditioners and B vitamins to condition and protect brows. “It’s shockproof and my favorite,” says Edward Cruz, a celebrity makeup artist. It comes in four colors (red, blonde, light brown, and dark brown) and will keep your brows in place all day long.
Beia, Daily Hydrating and Setting Mist — $48.00
When looking for sweat-resistant beauty products, keep an eye out for polymers like copolymers on the back of the label. These are non-water soluble ingredients, so they help makeup stay put. Look for formulas that combine them with nourishing ingredients, like Beia’s Daily Hydrating and Setting Mist, which contains “a combination of VP/VA copolymer and squalane and hyaluronic acid to keep your makeup in place while taking care of your skin,” says Brittany Loprofessional makeup artist and founder of the brand.
How to remove anti-perspiration makeup
“The formulation of anti-sweat makeup is more sticky, so it adheres better to the skin and ends up clogging the pores more because it prevents water from entering and leaving the skin, and makes it difficult to remove,” explains Audrey Kunin MDboard-certified dermatologist and founder of DERMAdoctor. Combine that with the fact that these formulas also contain fewer natural ingredients and more synthetic chemicals, it can really harm your skin and damage your barrier. To keep your barrier balanced, she recommends using a “good AHA/BHA-based cleanser to carefully cut through makeup and follow with antioxidants.”
How To Make Any Makeup Sweatproof
Even if the makeup in your arsenal isn’t technically sweatproof, there are a few things you can do to give any type of formula with a little more hold in the face of oppressive heat.
1. Properly prepare your skin
To prevent makeup from instantly sliding off your face (which tends to happen in high humidity), Shuting Hu, PhD, cosmetic chemist and founder of Academy, recommends preparing your skin with products rich in antioxidants. “These primers help to last longer by reducing the rate at which foundation oxidizes,” she says.
Kerrin Jacksona Los Angeles-based film makeup artist, recommends going for something with witch hazel because “it’s an antioxidant-rich astringent that helps hold makeup in place by locking down the powers. Thayers Witch Hazel Tonic).
For the rest of your routine, you should ideally use products that are oil- and alcohol-free, as the presence of these two ingredients can even out your skin tone. oilier than it would be from moisture alone (in other words: very oily.).
2. Use a light hand
The key to sweatproof beauty is not to overdo it – it’s easier to add the coverage you need than to remove it. Jackson recommends opting for brushes and sponges on your fingers, as they will allow for more targeted applications. Plus, it’s the more hygienic (and less sweaty) choice. “If you’ve ever looked at your fingertips under a magnifying glass, you see the tiny pores and the little shiny dots — those dots are sweat, coming out of little sweat glands on your fingers,” she explains. “So every time you touch that fingertip on your face, it doesn’t matter how much sweat you add to your face,” she explains.
3. Define your job
Setting powder, not sprays, should be considered your best friend for making almost any makeup sweatproof on those really hot days. “They help absorb moisture like sweat and oil,” says Dr. Hu. In addition to Wowder brighterW+G editors love it Kosas clouds set ($35) and Jones Road Tinted Face Powder ($28).
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