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8 Makeup Artist Tips For Melt-Free Summer Makeup Looks

Look cool no matter how hot it gets.

With makeup booming again, ladies across the country are delighting in the opportunity to have a second coming of a hot girl summer. We know that it requires a cool girl wardrobe, a hairstyle that gives you the confidence of a queen, and of course, makeup looks that display your personality and let you have fun. But there’s nothing fun about having your full face of glam running down your face and neck halfway through a poolside hangout. Avoid the hassle altogether and follow these expert tips from makeup artist Jonet Williamson for how to create melt-free summer makeup looks. The New Orleans bred pro knows quite a bit about keeping makeup in tact through hot and humid weather!

Tip 1: Pick Primer For Your Skin Type

“The first thing to keep in mind is to know your skin. Know what areas you sweat in and what areas you get really oily in and prep those areas accordingly,” says Williamson. It’s all going to come down to the skin prep, eye prep and whether you’re using the right primers. Look for primers that are going to help with oil control—something that’s going to be hydrating but mattifying.”

Need a recommendation for a great summer (and year-round) primer? Grab the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Lock Makeup Primer for a matte finish that smooths the skin while keeping oil at bay.

Tip 2: Pay Attention To Formulations And Ingredients

You also need to pay attention to what’s in your products and how they’re formulated, according to Williamson. Are they waterproof? Do they have a claim of being sweat-resistant or water-resistant? If you sweat heavily those are the products you want to stick to.

“Whatever you prep your skin with is going to affect how things layer on top of it. And whether you’re putting down something that has a lot of slip to it, then layering something more sheer, or if it’s something that has more of a silicone base and then you layer on products with more of a water base or oil base—it matters,” she explains. “That’s how you can end up with makeup pilling. You have to think about it from a molecular standpoint, they’re going to go on differently. Oil and water don’t mix and they’ll want to separate throughout the day and so [that mix] won’t be long-wearing. 

Tip 3: Change Your Moisturizer

“When you switch from your winter to spring and summer moisturizer go for something less emollient and oil based, and try something more gel based so it can seep in and settle into the skin,” Williamson advises. “If it’s just sitting on it, it can create bounce and shine.”

Tip 4: Opt for cream, not powder formulas

Many people have the idea that for summer you should always use powder but Williamson says opt for cream foundation and cream blush instead. “Cream [formulas] are going to have those ingredients in them where you can sweat through a product and it won’t just melt off, whereas with powder, the more you sweat the more it’s going to disappear,” she explains. “Your face is going to ‘drink’ it and you’re going to dab it and it’s going to come right off. So try a creamy formula instead. People have even taken to using longwear lipstick and blending it out on the cheek [as a blush alternative]. It makes your products multitasking and you get more bang for your buck!”

Pro tip: You can use a translucent setting powder to lock your look in but foundation powder by itself runs the risk of vanishing, especially if it isn’t transfer- or sweat-proof. Avoid that all summer long by finishing every look with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder.

Tip 5: Invest In Eye Primer And Base Eyeshadow

“Summer is the perfect time to start incorporating shadow bases and eye primers,” says Williamson. “If you sweat or have oily eyelids it just gives your shadow longer wear versus the minute you get moisture on it, it’ll fade away and crease. You want something that’ll grab onto the shadow so that it holds in place longer.” 

And while some people love to hack their concealer as an eyeshadow primer because it makes the shadow colors more vivid,  Williamson says it could be a moot action in the summer. “If it’s not a true matte concealer that’s made to be longwearing, skip that and go for an eye base. A creamy concealer is going to add more moisture and it can create more oil and slip.”

Tip 6: Set With Powder And Spray

The debate over whether it’s better to use setting powder or setting spray to finish your makeup look ends here—at least for Williamson, who says that it’s good to use both for all seasons, with some caveats. “If you have super dry skin you want to stick to spray, if you have combo skin then you should focus each on specific areas [that need one or the other]. But I’m a huge fan of dusting the T-zone with a light translucent powder and then setting the rest of the face with setting spray.” 

Pro tip: Also look for a translucent powder that has hyaluronic acid if you have combination or dry skin. If you have oily skin look for something oil-free that won’t clog pores. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Pro-Spray & Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray.

Tip 7: Don’t Set After Each Layer

While you may have seen professional makeup artists, including Williamson herself, post videos where they set their makeup with a light layer of powder after each application (color corrector, concealer, foundation and more), she warns folks to use this technique with caution. 

“It has to be a very thin layer and you have to be very particular about what you put on top of it,” she explains. “It’s risky, because the more you [set with powder] the more [your makeup] can come off cakey. A pro makeup artist will know and understand how this should be done but if you’re not skilled at setting each layer, just leave it to the pros.”

Tip 8: Don’t Skip Touch-Ups

While we love setting products for extending the life of our makeup, Williamson says that touch-ups are still a necessary part of keeping a look together. “I feel like people have this idea that they don’t have to do touch ups anymore. They want makeup that lasts from when you leave your house until you get home, that looks exactly the same, but in between you eat and sweat. You have to do minor touch ups,” she finishes.

And when it comes to doing efficient touch ups, what you pack in your makeup bag matters. Williamson suggests packing blotting papers for sweat and oil, a mini translucent powder or one that comes in on-the-go packaging and always packing your lip product to keep your lips looking polished. 

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