What’s Your Hot Weather Makeup Routine?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To


I *loves* me some hot weather, but extreme heat and/or humidity wreak havoc on my makeup.


MBB reader Sara knows where I’m coming from, and she’s hoping we can help her with a few makeup tips to beat the heat.

I live on the East Coast (New Jersey), and it’s starting to get warmer out. What’s the best summer makeup, and what works best for minimal/warm weather coverage?

I found myself blotting my makeup off the other day because it was so hot, and I was sweating.


Hi Sara,

First off, when it’s REALLY hot outside, I stick to minimal makeup.

Here’s a routine I started doing a few years back while living in a town called Davis (go Ags!). Temps there would often reach triple digits. People would call it “hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk!”

I never gave that a try, but I always wanted to. 🙂

My “It’s Getting Hawt in Here” Makeup Routine

  1. It all starts with a great sunscreen. Then, I fill in my brows and conceal my dark circles.
  2. Next, to brighten my eyes, I curl my lashes and apply two coats of a waterproof mascara (I usually go with waterproof mascara when it’s hot out) like Stila Lash Visor, and if I have the time, I’ll also line my upper lash line with a black waterproof eyeliner like Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof Liner.
  3. For a little color in my life, I’ll dot some liquid blush on my face, and I really like Benefit’s Benetint on my cheeks, blended in with my fingers. I like liquid blushes because they seem to outlast creams or powder blushes in uber-intense heat.
  4. I usually wear both powder AND a tinted moisturizer, but not when it’s hot. It just feels too heavy. Instead, I’ll skip both, but in their place I’ll bring along some blotting papers like MAC Blot to cut down on the shine throughout the day.
  5. I’ll finish with a sheer lipgloss on my lips, something like Chanel Aqualumiere Lipglosses for work or Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Soothers for play.

Lovelies, what’s your take on summer makeup? Do you change your routine when it heats up outside? What can Sara do with her makeup to breeze through the Jersey summer in style?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Paris B says:

    Not sure how hot it gets in Jersey but where I live, its hot and humid all year round so I agree with all of your tips plus I’d add waterproof mascara. Also perhaps an eye makeup sealant will help keep eye makeup on too (if you plan to use it) otherwise I’d say go as au naturel as possible. I actually put up some tips too a while ago 🙂

    Paris B´s last blog post..Day 3 : Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Star Pick!

  2. Hyzenthlay says:

    Are you an Aggie? I’m still living in Davis 🙂 Been here 10 years, and it does get truly hot here. I’m thrilled to find out that you lived here too!

  3. Vonvon says:

    Coming from the same city as ParisB, yes, I agree with her and you too.

    Actually, I just ‘hide’ in my cozy air-conditioned home most of the time and when I do go out, it’ll be to the air-conditioned malls. So no problem with my makeup running when I sweat.

    However, when I do go visit houses without air-conditioned, equivalent to an oven/ sauna (no, not a real sauna, of course), I prefer not to put any makeup on but just a dash of gloss or light-colored lipstick on my lips! 🙂

    Vonvon´s last blog post..MAC Style Warrior Collection – Some Swatches And My Purchases

  4. Jamie says:

    It seems like where I live (Good ol’ CT!) it will be cold one minute and then literally sweltering the next. What I do is usually on really hot, sticky days, I will put some face powder on, some bronzer for a nice glow, eyeliner, mascara. That’s it. I will use concealer also if I have really bad undereye circles or something else that needs to be concealed. Other than that, I try to keep it as simple as I can so my face can breathe and not break up because of the heat/humidity and with all the sweat if I’m doing something outside.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jamie,

      Thanks for sharing your routine. What type of bronzer do you like for hot days? I find that powder bronzer sometimes slips right off of my face.

  5. Citrine says:

    I usually just go with some cheek stain (Stila Cherry crush, Tarte is nice but they melt/sweat during summer, yikes…) during summer…Everything smudges on me plus I am too lazy to do a full-face make-up when I can just wear bright clothes to match the nice weather…

    Citrine´s last blog post..Sally Hansen Evil Bumpy Papaya

  6. Synaesthesia says:

    I’m living in the same country as ParisB n VonVon but different city… As my job requires, I have to travel around the town almost everyday under the hot sun… minimal makeup does the trip but there are moment I feel like to doll up myself more. Some high end makeups do melt under hot weather, like Lunasol Water Cream Foundation. It’s a great foundation but melt on me during hot weather.

  7. Emelette says:

    Minimal makeup is the way to go during the day. Gel makeup is great for summer because it blends really well into the skin and looks very bright and fresh. Love gel eyeliners from Shu Uemura and Bobby Brown. MAC makes my favorite gel blush.

    But sometimes I want to GLAM IT UP!–and not have makeup melt off my face in the heat! Minimal or glitzy, I start with a stay-put foundation base, so my eyeshadows etc don’t slide off.

    My “stay-put” foundation routine loves:

    mattifying gel– a thin coat for my eyelids and t-zone (I like “Matte It” from the Body Shop)
    waterproof/sweatproof sunscreen (My favorite= Neutrogena Dry Touch)
    Liquid or mineral foundation, I use them both, depending on the coverage I want

    I’ve found that a waterproof/SWEATPROOF sunscreen is the key that keeps my makeup from sliding. I really like the dry touch line by Neutrogena– it isn’t greasy, absorbs really well, and doesn’t have a strong smell.

    I just mix a dollop of it in my hand along with a little liquid foundation and smear it on. It’s lightweight, easy, and tinted. Minimal makeup, but with enough coverage for me. If I want something heavier, I’ll put on the sunscreen, allow to dry, and follow with mineral powders.

    I’ll follow either foundation with a loose powder.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Emelette,

      Thanks for sharing your routine. Neutrogena Dry Touch is a good SPF. I will have to try mixing it with my foundation. 🙂

  8. Alexzandra says:

    Hello Aggies! I live in Woodland right now 🙂 For summer makeup, I usually wear eyeliner (I love my eyeliner), curl my lashes, apply lip balm or sheer lipstick and go, and sometimes I wear a light dusting of sheer powder to keep oilies and sweat at bay. On a separate note, I also like to wear a scarf tied around my head like a headband, it keeps my hair off my neck so I stay a little cooler.

    Alexzandra´s last blog post..Smashbox on Sale @ Hautelook

  9. Caz says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for the great tips.

    The weather is starting to heat up here in the UK too, though it never gets too hot!

    My problem in this kind of weather is my spots (gah), I feel I have to use some kind of cover-up but don’t want to make it worse by suffocating my skin with products.

    Do you have any advice?

    Ta v much!

    Caz´s last blog post..Chartreuse Watch

    • Karen says:

      Hi Caz,

      I break out too, so I feel your pain!

      What I usually like to do is apply an acne medication first on the pimple that won’t mess up makeup. I like Clean & Clear’s Invisible Acne Patch. Then, with a fine tipped concealer brush, I apply a concealer like MAC Studio Finish Concealer on top, carefully blending out the edges so it doesn’t look so obvious.

      If you can wait until July Clinique’s introducing a new concealer called Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer ($14) that’s supposed to heal and conceal pimples. I plan on trying it so I’ll let you know if it’s any good.

  10. Sonja says:

    Since it’s getting really hot here where I live (Mediterranean) I switch for 30SPF to 50(La Roche Posay makes the best sun creams, without that chemical stink that most have!) and just apply concealer mascara and bit of blush. Maybe a bit of Terracota Guerlian bronzer if i get a tan. I don’t usually wear a lot of color on my lips but it’s much easier to apply lip color than eye(hello smudginess!) so I go with some bright reddish/coral lipstick (or my favorite for summer Chanel Allure Genius, a perfect soft orange).

  11. Laura B says:

    Summer is time to break out the mineral make-up for me. It doesn’t slide off and has a matt-ish look.

  12. icha says:

    in here (Indonesia) almost everyday is a sunnyday =)
    I usually wear high SPF products to protect my skin, and my favourite is Chanel Precision UV Essentiel SPF 50 as makeup base ang Diorsnow powder with SPF 30 PA+++
    I think that’s enough to protect my skin against UV and free radical


  13. Meream says:

    I always skip the eyeliner when it’s hot. Blotting papers are lifesavers.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meream,

      Yes they are!

      What type of eyeliner do you usually wear? Some liners, like MAC Fluidline, Liquidlast and Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof will stand up to sweat and heat…

  14. Shiny says:

    I’ve been giving this lots of thought lately since I’m leaving for India in a month and I don’t like going sans makeup.

    1) I apply foundation over my moisturizer (and sunscreen)… I just use enough to even out the cheeks
    2) I buff my blush in with a kabuki which is less natural looking than my usual blush but lasts longer
    3) Fluidline rather than my usual blended eyeshadows, waterproof mascara
    4) Simple gloss rather than lipstick… I bought NARS in Stella yesterday 🙂

    Great timing on the post Karen, I will keep checking comments to see what other ladies do!

  15. Anna says:

    Hot humid weather doesn’t agree with my oily skin.
    But my skin needs a bit coverage year-round. I just change the base (use mineral makeup foundation in the summer — too drying in winter) after applying my sunscreen. The mineral makeup doesn’t slide off my face. Blot when needed.

    I skip the waterproof mascara — it doesn’t on when face gets oily. Add a cream blush, and lipgloss.

  16. NeenaJ says:

    As a former Jersey girl, now living in North Carolina, I feel your pain!

    If you have to go with foundation, I recommend a powdered mineral makeup. These won’t melt as the liquids do plus, you usually get the benefit of an SPF 15 in the mix. otherwise, stick to a good concealer like Stila’s Perfecting Concealer.

    Use a powder blush, as liquids and gels will tend to migrate as you sweat.

    Urban Decay Primer Potion as a base will keep everything on your lids instead of in your eyes.
    Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner is the bomb – it won’t budge once set.
    For lid colors, I try to stick with something light, shimmery and neutral. I like Bare Minerals eyeshadows in Bare Skin and City Lights.
    As Karen recommended, Stila Lash Visor is the way to go for mascara. But, I like Max Factor 2000 Calorie too – just not on my lower lashes (as it may smudge with sweat).

    Color rules in summer, so if you’re sticking to a neutral face for day, pop your pout with a bright pink or coral. Right now, I’m loving Sally Hansen natural Beauty (by Carmindy) in Sunburst – a peachy-pink.

    Good luck and have a fun summer!

  17. rex says:

    i live in palm springs- you better believe it’s hot! we’ve already gone above 100, and it’s not even june. during the summer i switch to a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation (right now, i like shiseido), tend to wear brighter/ a little more blush. i use mac’s paint in bare canvas as a primer for my lid, and most days i just dust a little gold on the lid (i like stila’s ‘wheat’), and work a dark brown or navy eyeshadow into my top lash line, just to define it a little, and slap on some mascara. i think summer kind of calls for a lighter look, so i keep it pretty bare.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rex,

      Thanks for sharing your routine — I have all of these items and will definitely try it when the weather heats up here in the Bay.

      Stila’s Wheat is one of my faves, btw! Are there any other colors from their eyeshadow line that you love?

  18. ines says:

    when it gets humid and hot (montreal and seoul are both very very humid in the summer):

    i cleanse with cetaphil, and refresh with nivea refreshing toner for normal/combo skin. then i apply the body shop vitamin E eye cream to the eye area and finish with biore dual preservation moisturizer + SPF 30. at night i would replace this with dove sensitive skin facial lotion, which is lighter than the cream.

    if i’m planning on going outside for a longer period of time, rather than just going to the office, i apply neutrogena sensitive skin sunblock SPF60 to the face instead of the biore moisturizer.

    i don’t like the feeling of having too much foundation, so i keep it light with powder based product if at all possible.

    if i have dark circles or bags, or blotchy areas, i lightly dot MAC select-cover up in NC 15 or NW20 (if i get a little darker) to cover darkness/redness. then i lightly dust bareminerals spf 15 power foundation in FAIR or FAIRLY LIGHT (depending on how dark i get) to counteract shine.

    i then apply guerlain poudre bronzante legere in BRUNETTE all over my face, with a little NARS blush in ORGASM on the apples of cheeks. if i want to look a little more tanned, i will use bobbi brown rouge pot cream blush in STONEWASHED PINK instead. if i want to look extra sculpted, i use NARS the multiple in COPACABANA along the cheekbones.

    i apply a light layer of NARS the multiple in COPACABANA across the brow bones. i skip the eyeshadow entirely. i either apply blinc kiss me mascara in BLACK or dior diorshow extreme waterproof in EXTREME NOIR, or i line my lids with mark. on the edge eyeliner in NEFERTITI. i just do either mascara or eyeliner since i hate the feeling of being overdone.

    i apply a light layer of biotherm aquasource levres spf 8 and use a punchy lip gloss, like clinique long last glosswear spf 15 in CABANA CRUSH, or clinique superbalm moisturizing gloss in GRAPEFRUIT, or NARS lip gloss in CHIHUAHUA (fruit-punch esque glosses are my favorite in summer). if the lip gloss doesn’t have spf, i use MAC lip care stick spf 15 instead of the biotherm.

    i slather on tons of sunscreen – the same sensitive skin sunblock from neutrogena.

    a lightly bronzed, not overdone look that takes me 10 minutes tops to do. i emphasize the glow instead of trying to make it look overly matte.

  19. ines says:

    yes! going with cha cha. a little furball of hyperactivity. he’ll be ready for me to take him home at the beginning of july!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ines,

      Oh, that’s a great name. I’m so jealous! 🙂 I’ve been wanting to add to another cat to my family, but something tells me Tabs would not be down to share the spot light.

      What kind of personality does Cha Cha have? Is he a snuggly type of cat?

  20. ines says:

    he’s still very little (not weaned yet even), so he kind of just stumbles around. he doesn’t mind being petted, so i’m hoping he’ll grow up to be a cuddlebug/lapwarmer.

    tabs might be ok with a kitten though, especially if he’s spayed/neutered… you should try exotic shorthair cats, they’re so funny looking and cute!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ines,

      Oh, I bet he’s adorable. Sometimes I wish I had the chance to know Tabs as a kitten. I bet he would’ve melted my heart. You’re so lucky!

      I will have to sell El Hub on the idea of another cat. I think he’s afraid another one will send me down the Crazy Cat Lady road.

  21. Shiny says:

    Thanks Karen! It is for the internship, so while I want to look nice I think too much makeup will make me seem unapproachable… not to mention it’s a pain in the ass to keep on my face. I will say, UDPP is pretty amazing even in super hot weather, I am picking up a new tube before I leave.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shiny,

      Yah, I hear you. I like to wear makeup but sometimes I tone it down if the situation calls for it.

      I’m not the biggest fan of the old school UDPP but I love it in Sin! All ya need is a lil’ bit on the lids and you’re good to go!

  22. Christa says:

    I start with a mattifying sunscreen. Shiseido ultimate sun protection, spf 55. This doubles as a primer and helps makeup grip the skin.

    My go to concealer for humid summers in New England is Vichy Dermablend foundation (at CVS). It covers everything yet has a thin texture, and it has physical spf of 20.

    Then I buff on Lorac Wet/Dry powder foundation with a kabuki.

    This combo gives me coverage for spots (with the concealer) yet light coverage that doesn’t melt off (with the powder foundation).

    For mascara, Bourjois Liner Effet from Ulta. This stuff will not come off, holds a curl all day, and gives really good definition without smearing all over your lash line. Honestly, it takes me 2 rounds of eye makeup remover to get this stuff off, but it’s worth it when the weather is bad.

    Too Faced eye primer keeps any shadow on. I love Benefit creaseless creams. They go on light and never crease/clump up in humid weather like dry powders can.

    For lips, Nivea lip care sunblock (spf 30) and a light non-sticky gloss. I am loving oranges and corals this summer. Faves are Palladio or Korres.

  23. Rachel says:

    I found that I still need coverage for my poor skin but living in the Southeast I needed it to be sweat proof and long wearing – so I tried Estee Lauder Double Wear, and it lasted through a South Carolina day in the 90’s! I also used the Double Wear cream eyeshadow and it didn’t move, either! I even went swimming (I didn’t dunk my head under) and my makeup stayed perfect!

  24. Hyzenthlay says:

    Mmmmm . . . Dos . . . Yes, there are two of them. The Marketplace and Oak Shade, by the two Safeways in town. I LOVE the paella burrito. What was your favorite?

  25. Jane says:

    Another Aggie here! Class of 2000! I miss the Quad…

    And I’m also on the East Coast – in Philly.

    It gets nasty-humid here as well, so I try to do very minimal makeup. I don’t even bother with concealer or foundation because they seem to melt off my face. Here’s my summer makeup routine:
    *cheeks (cream blush)
    *eyes (eyeliner, mascara, brows)
    *lips (liner, gloss)

  26. Rachel says:

    Minimal makeup is a mainstay for me generally. Wow, that was a lot of Ms. I always wear SB bc I am really afraid of wrinkles and sunburns, but SBs are even more important when it’s summer bc the sun is stronger. I think I would also carry around those Clean and Clear Oil-Absorbing Sheets. They might be handy for sweat and oil slicks. Ooh, and one of those Evian Brumisteurs.

  27. pouneh says:

    hello Ladies
    I live in South California (O.C) and it is summer year around so I do not change my makeup much.
    I use Aveenos positivly radiant spf 30 on my face then if I need cover up under the eye are i use NYX concealer in a jar. I use my beloved Maybelline mineral power liquid foundation on the areas I need coverage, and finish off with powder all over to even out my skin. I am a blush girl so depending on my mood i change up my blush color i have noticed i go brighter as it gets hotter outside. I also use highlighter (right now trying out Revlon’s colorstay in brighten) and GOSH’s last summer release bronzer on my tramples a lil on my cheeks.

    I love playing with shadows but usually go without it but if i do want to wear shadows i use UDPP under it for sure!
    IF I feel like my eyes can use a lil help depending on my mood I line them with my colored shadows (fav color: purple, green, blue, brown) I usually go with the same shade family only lighter on the lower lashes. I use a white liner to brighten the inner corners of my eyes (NYX one lasts the whole day even with allergy eyes) Since I have naturally long dark curly lashes I just use clear mascara to keep them from tangling.

    I LOVEE tinted lipbalms (revlon’s beyond natural is my fav) I go with brighter colors depending on my mood but i love berry colors.

    my skin info: I am fair with yellow olive undertones so blushes make a huge difference in my look.
    another tip EYEBROWS lady keep them nice and groomed and u will always look polished and they frame ur eyes. Also never underestimate the power of smile!

  28. redhead says:

    I go for longer-lasting products like Revlon Colorstay eyeliner, MAC shadow (always!), Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Waterproof mascara, and MAC Beguile Tinted Brow Set for natural medium neutral brown brows. I don’t really opt for blush in the summer because I know the heat will flush my cheeks to a dark pink. If it’s a cool but humid day and I need some cheek color, I LOVE Pixi’s (at Taregt) cheek stains because they’re natural and long-lasting. I tend to go to matte bright lip products like MAC’s Pink Nouveau lipstick It’s a bright, almost-matte blue-based cool medium pink (it has a bit of shimmer and shine, but hardly any at all) .- in summer, you can go as bright as you want! 😀

  29. Anna says:

    My favorite mineral makeup is Buff’d Cosmetics. They have 3 formulas depending on the coverage (original, light, or concealing). I like this better than Everyday Minerals because their makeup does not oxidize/darkens on my skin by the end of the day.

  30. Nicole15 says:

    Anna – I never heard of Buff’d Cosmetics but love the idea of picking the coverage level I want & the only other mineral makeup that i knew offered that was everyday minerals. I would love to see what else is out there like this. Can you get Buff’d Cosmetics online or in-store, if so, where? Please share 🙂

  31. Samantha says:

    I seriously HATE when my face melts. it’s the worst possible feeling ever!!

  32. Michelle says:

    I switch to a tinted moisturizer and use a lot of cream products, such as cream shadows and cream blushes. I still like to finish w/my mineral veil though.

  33. Solé says:

    It gets hot as Hades here and I still wear full makeup all through summer because LA heat is nice and dry. No humidity here. And I am usually between air conditioned locations so it’s not like my face is melting off. The changes I make with my makeup in summer are more based on the colors I use and the looks I go for, like bronzers, a lot of gold, bright colors, fun looks, etc.

    If I know I’m going to go swimming or be outdoors a lot though, I can’t really go barefaced because I have pale, blotchy skin. I’ll use a moisturizer with SPF, Clinique Almost Makeup, I fill-in my brows, dab on a cream or liquid blush, and use a waterproof eyeliner on top and bottom lids (loving the MUFE Aqua Eyes!). On these rare occasions I’ll skip e/s. Waterproof mascara and some tinted lip balm with SPF and I’m good to go. Nice and easy.

  34. Kathleen says:

    I just bought Avon’s Magix Skin perfector. It is a gel to powder in a slightly pigmented compact formula. This stuff is *amazing* .. the coverage is very light, but it made my skin so smooth.. my fine lines and pores just blended away (looked like someone had photoshopped me using the “soften” function!), and I did not get oily once, all day! Incredible stuff. I highly recommend it.

    Kathleen´s last blog post..Product Review: Biotherm Biocils Express Makeup Remover for the eyes

  35. Anna says:

    Nicole15 –
    Buff’d Cosmetics is a Canadian company. Their website
    is http://www.buffd.com.

    There’s soooo many mineral makeup lines available — Monave, Pür Minerals, Afterglow, Meow Cosmetics, Silk Minerals etc — just to name a few. I’ve only tried Sheer Cover, Alima, Everyday Minerals, but love Buff’d. The colors are perfect match and formula works better for my skin.

    You should check out http://www.themineralmakeup.com. It’s a great place to see the different brands before buying.

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