6 Ways To ‘Melt-Proof’ Your Make-Up This Summer
Between streaky mascara and vanishing blush, summer can wreak havoc with your make-up. Here’s how to increase your staying power and melt-proof your look.

December 9, 2016

Two women on the beach with melt-proof make-up looks

Streaks, be gone!

You’ve packed away your boots, ironed your sundresses and upgraded your Ray-bans – but have you given your make-up a summer makeover? Oil- based products work a treat if you’re cocooned in an air-conditioned office all day, but if you’re dashing to a meeting across town or hitting the party circuit, not so much. Make these beauty swaps, and staying polished will be a breeze.

Liner And Balm

Two products are better than one.
If you’re going to be exposed to the sun, ditch the lipstick and gloss and try a stained look with a slick of balm for hydration. Your handy duo are a lipliner (which provides colour) and an SPF lip balm for lubrication and sun protection. “Stain your lips by filling them in with a coloured lip pencil to create a stay-put, drier textured pigment,” says make-up artist and hair stylist Fiona Gentry. “Next, sweep on SPF balm (colourless or matching your liner), which is a lip plumper for a thinner-looking pout.”


Keep it clean.
“Before you line your eyes, check they’re free of any oily residue from your eye cream or oil-based make-up remover,” says Gentry. “Use as little eye cream as possible before applying eyeliner. Cleaning off the excess moisture from your eye area (lashes, lids, brows and under your eyes) is essential, otherwise your pencil will lose its hold.” After sweeping away make-up, cleanse the area with warm water and a cotton pad to ensure that any trace of solvent is gone. As for your go-to liners, Gentry recommends waterproof and longwear formulations for summer.


Embrace waterproof eye products.
Summer is the perfect time to switch to waterproof mascara but while it has remarkable hold, it can leave you with panda eyes. Make-up artist Linda O’Connell’s recipe for removing waterproof mascara: cut a cotton pad in half and soak the halves in waterproof make-up remover (you can use other make-up removers but there’s a risk of having to rub too hard and losing eyelashes). Next, position the pad under your bottom lashes and close your eye, using the other half to gently sweep downwards, from the top of your lash bed, until the mascara is gone. Cleanse your skin after all your make-up is removed and apply your eye cream.


Check your base is formulated for heat resistance.
Look for foundation that states “longwearing” on its label, suggests O’Connell. “These formulations are developed to withstand heat, perspiration and humidity,” she explains. For ethnic skin, try a moussey-textured, oil-free formulated foundation (think almost powdery) that beats any unwanted shine. Layering product onto your skin can also lead to a make-up meltdown. “Mix a little oil-free moisturiser into a longwear formulation SPF foundation. You’ll create a stay-put base that offers sun protection and isn’t too cakey,” says Gentry.


Use concealer strategically.
“I like to use a creamy concealer or crayon- type pencil,” says Gentry. “These aren’t as liquid in texture, so they mean less moisture on your skin and therefore more hold.” Apply your foundation and then conceal only the areas on your skin that your foundation hasn’t covered so you’re not adding unnecessary product.

If you’re the victim of too much red flush in your skin during summer, a minty- green shade of concealer will reduce it, suggests O’Connell. Or better yet – instead of applying blusher and making matters worse, use a highlighting powder to accentuate your cheekbones and embrace what Mother Nature has given you.


Swap powder for cream.
“Powder products mixed with perspiration can end up looking muddy,” O’Connell warns. She is a fan of cream blushers because they cake less and glisten gently when they catch the light. Don’t want to be parted from your powder blush? Don’t just dunk your brush into the powder and then dab it on, says Gentry. “The result will be colour that sits on top of your make-up and looks cakey. Use a tiny amount, shaking off any excess powder from your brush, and blend well into your cheeks.”


Prep your eyelids.
You’ve aced the smokey eye application, but how do you make sure your five o’clock shadow still looks good? Your eyelids move constantly throughout the day and this combination of movement and moisture means that your shadow ends up sitting in the crease – not a good look. Make-up pros solve this by prepping eyelids before adding eyeshadow. O’Connell recommends first smoothing out any creases made by foundation with your finger, then holding one eye closed and dusting a fleshy coloured (or translucent) powder over your lid.

BONUS: Our summer secret weapon…

Meet your perfect partner for heat-proof make-up… skin primer!
Yes, it’s another item in an already bulging make-up bag, but take it from us: if you live south of the equator, this is a beauty investment you have to make. “Apply a drop of a silicone primer after your moisturiser but before foundation or concealer. The primer forms a layer between your skin and foundation, making it less likely for make-up to slide off your face during extreme heat,” says O’Connell.

Looking for more summer beauty tips? Here are 20 beauty buys that’ll get you beach-ready in a flash, five ways you can soften dry summer feet and our top sunscreen picks of the season.