Summer Makeup Tips: Beat the Heat, Fight the Melt, Get the Glow


Summer is a time to play! Out of all the seasons, none more than the summer months beckon us outdoors for playtime: Sports, picnics, and other hot-weather activities abound. This can pose a beauty challenge: Who wants to have a face full of makeup when enjoying the beach, swimming at the pool, or playing a round of volleyball or golf?

Even if your outdoor activity consists of just taking your lunch outside to enjoy the weather, an overly made-up face will appear especially unnatural under clear, intense summer daylight.

This doesn’t mean you have to forgo makeup completely—very few of us are comfortable with a totally bare face. However, you can try the following tips to remain beautifully made up all the way up to September.

Go light. The first and foremost tip for summertime makeup is to use a lighter hand than you would in the cooler months. The main reason is apparent: Hot weather means more sweat, which also means more opportunities for smearing, sliding, and melting makeup.

If you rely on considerable coverage for your desired look, take heart—there are many ways to lighten up and still feel polished.

  • Use a primer. Right after moisturizing your face, take a moment to apply primer. Professional makeup artists love primers as they are second to none at holding makeup in place—even on steamy days—but don’t feel heavy, sticky, or cumbersome.
  • Try skipping foundation. You can either simply spot-conceal problem areas with dabs of your favorite concealer, or if that is not enough coverage for you, use a lightweight tinted moisturizer all over instead (you can also experiment with BB or CC creams). Seal the deal with a dusting of powder.
  • If you go for concealer, try a stick formula, which will stand up to hot weather and humidity longer than a less robust liquid formula.
  • However, when it comes to your lips, skip the stick. Go for a liquid or gloss formula which will both look and feel light and airy. A lip stain is a great, long-lasting idea too.
  • Carry blotting papers in your purse, which allow you to dab away shiny spots without ruining your makeup.

Go colorful, but carefully.

Go colorful, but carefully. What better time is there than summer to try out a beautiful golden glow? We all know it’s best not to get a real tan from the sun itself, but you can use bronzer for a believable bit of warmth. Swirling a bit of it on your face can make your eyes appear brighter, your teeth look whiter, and help you radiate a healthy vibe.

It can be tricky to apply, however. The easiest formulation for beginners is bronzing powder, which you can dust on key parts of your face for a believable look. The trick is to concentrate on areas where the sun naturally hits, such as your nose, cheekbones, forehead, and chin.

  • Avoid covering your face completely—unless you want your tan to look totally fake!
  • For extra credit, dust your temples, earlobes, and neck (especially if you’re wearing a warm-weather-friendly short haircut or updo).
  • A little shimmer in the base of the powder does nothing but good things. Summer is the time to experiment with gleam.
  • Bring the gleam to your eyes as well, choosing shadows with rosy gold undertones to enhance your bronzer.
  • Finish off your bronzed look with either a glimmering liquid highlighter or a pop of brighter blush than you’d usually wear on your cheekbones.
  • You can also apply these to your nose and browbone—carefully. Experiment until you are confident with the products.


Go waterproof. This one should be a no-brainer. Whether we’re talking damp ocean breezes, inadvertent splashes from the kids in the pool, or just plain old perspiration, summer is a wet season. You can still look lovely, however—just choose waterproof makeup to stand up to these gentle assaults!

  • The main culprit that can cause a face full of runny disaster is, of course, mascara. Just a few minutes of a humid outdoor walk can cause regular mascara to bleed, so pick up a waterproof formula—if you’ve never tried one, you’ll be surprised at how resilient they are.
  • Make sure you invest in a good makeup remover, or you won’t be able to get that mascara off! (We told you, it works!)
  • If you have sensitive eyes and find the waterproof formulas irritating, you can try using clear mascara to seal in your regular colored version.
  • Use clear mascara on your bottom lashes to greatly reduce any messy runs.

Feeling fresh? Finally! You can also apply some of these general concepts to your summer fragrance and hair care routines. Go lighter with the products, go for gleam and golden glow, and choose carefully to suit any outdoor activities you have on tap.

And the most important thing? Don’t forget a healthy application of sunscreen! This is important year-round, of course, but essential during the sunniest months of the year.

Have a beautiful summer!

About the Author

Jeff Chiarelli
Jeff Chiarelli is the Head of Marketing for Ogle School. His responsibilities include leading Ogle School's marketing and branding strategy to amplify Ogle School's passion for helping create future beauty professionals in the communities Ogle School serves.