How I Get My Skin to Glow — Not Shine — On the Hottest Summer Days

I love matte skin all year round, but I love a good non-shiny glow in the summer.
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Publish date:
July 13, 2016
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foundation, moisturizer, Make Up For Ever, Kiehl's, L'oreal, maybelline, matte, primer, cleanser

You will never catch me complaining about hot weather because this is what I spend all year wishing for. Now that it’s finally here, I’ll take what I can get. It was only a few months ago that I was freezing my, um, brows off, wishing for summer to arrive.

A change in the temperature can mean a change in your skincare and beauty routine. When the weather is at its hottest, I like to switch things up from the jump and use a few products made to keep my skin as matte as possible throughout the day.

I love matte skin all year round. In the summer, I know that, no matter what matte makeup and skincare I use, my skin is still going to glow a little, but I find that starting with the matte base helps regulate oil and keep me from getting too shiny throughout the day. You know what I mean? Besides, I love a glow in the summer, on myself and others, especially when it's natural. Your face is shiny because you’ve been out in the sun all day, you have a natural bronze glow on your forehead and the bridge of your nose and a flush on your cheeks. It’s cute!

Looking perfect at all times during the summer is too much work. Perfect isn’t fun, and summer is all about fun. You don’t want to be that person worrying about their lipstick in the middle of a night out, and I can say that because I am always that person.

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So, even though I know that, whether I like it or not, I'll still have a little glow on my face after running around on a summer day, starting with a matte base before I leave my apartment always makes me more confident.

I start off with a one-two punch from Kiehl’s.

Kiehl’s Men’s Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash

Ugh, another “men’s” product. You know how I feel about gendering any product, especially a face wash. 1-800-Can-We-Not.

But I’m guessing gendering products like this isn’t going to go away anytime soon because men are stupid and they need to be told, point blank, what they should be using.

No matter what your gender, this face wash will be great for you, and for a few reasons.

I love to exfoliate, so much so that I know I overdo it at times. I find this exfoliating face wash to be on the gentler end of the spectrum. Because face washes, like gender, exist on a spectrum.

It’s a really thick gel, super clingy of the face, which I love. The exfoliators are made from apricot seed and argan shells, and while they’re prominent in the cleanser, its not packed with them, so it’s gentle enough to use every day. Also, these are natural exfoliators, not exfoliating beads, so they're not harmful to the environment. Pair the exfoliators with salicylic acid that helps to slough off dead skin and unclog pores. It’s gentle but effective and is a great start in having matte, healthy-looking skin.

Another great thing about this cleanser? It’s almost seven ounces, which is an ample amount for the price. While you can’t take it in your carry-on, there’s enough for you to squeeze some into another jar to take with you without making a dent in the tube.


Kiehl’s Men’s Oil Eliminator 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer For Men

A companion to the cleanser above, this baby is a gentle moisturizer that hydrates your skin while controlling shine throughout the day. It’s ultra-lightweight, and just a drop or two will cover your entire face, so you get a lot of mileage out of one tube. Skin looks soft, healthy, and hydrated, without leaving behind any sheen.

This is the difference that I see from this shine-controlling cleanser compared to others I’ve used. Some cleansers and moisturizers try to block your skin from creating oil in order to keep you matte. That may work for some, but for me, that just left me with clogged pores, which wasn’t a good look. This Kiehl’s moisturizer allows your skin to operate as normal, absorbing oil after it's created, almost like a translucent powder in the form of a moisturizer. My skin looks great when wearing this, but more importantly, it doesn’t freak out afterward.

Make Up For Ever STEP 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer

If I’m going for a matte face, it only makes sense to use a matte primer under makeup. You don’t necessarily have to — I sometimes go the other direction and use an illuminating primer under a matte foundation if I want healthy, luminous skin without any shine. I save this little trick for the cooler months, when I won’t be sweating and producing more oil throughout the day, but in the dead of summer, it’s all matte, all the time.

STEP 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer is the thickest primer I’ve used in a while. Instead of being a liquid that you rub in until it feels tacky, it’s more of a gel that rubs in, leaving an almost immediate cling, perfect to grab onto your foundation. It diminishes the appearance of pores and fine lines, creating a great base for makeup.

I actually use this whether I’m wearing makeup or not. It looks great on bare skin, fighting shine while blurring lines and imperfections. If it’s really hot and I know I’m going to be outside in the sun for any amount of time, I’ll forgo foundation altogether. If it’s a bit cooler or I’m going to be indoors, I’ll grab my favorite matte foundations. I’ll usually stick to something out of my drugstore selection, just in case plans change and I’m outside for longer than I expected and I end up sweating it all off. I’m not trying to have a $65 foundation melt off of my face in the first hour, you know?

L’Oreal Infallable Pro-Matte Foundation

This is one of the best liquid foundations you’re going to find in the drugstore. It’s creamy and gives you medium to full coverage. You can blend out or build up, depending on what you're going for, and it wears well for hours on end. L’Oreal says you can get 24 coverage out of this, but, please promise me you’re not wearing your foundation for a full 24-hour day. Your skin will hate you.

Despite the name, this isn’t the most matte foundation you’re going to find. It sets to a demi-matte finish, and helps keep you from getting too shiny from hours of wear. Everyone’s skin is behaves differently, so the end result will look different on everyone’s face after a while. I have pretty normal skin, and this tends to stay matte with just a little bit of glow on me by the end of my day.


Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation

Right now, this is my grail drugstore foundation. It has a light, fluffy, mousse texture, it’s full-coverage, and it stays matte. On my face, it does a better job of staying matte than the Pro-Matte foundation, but they’re two completely different formulas.

They’re really not playing when they say "full-coverage," so a lot of times, I find myself using this sparingly; even sheered out, it’s beautiful. The texture is light with a lot of body, but it sinks down to the skin and never looks cakey. It blends beautifully, and wears well all day. I think everyone should have a tube of this in their makeup bag.

What do you guys use in the hot summer months? What are your favorite mattifying products? Tell me in the comments — summer is far from over!

Tynan is matte on Twitter @TynanBuck.