How to Look Sweaty in a Cool Way (No, Really)

Physical exertion and b.o. are optional.

Fun fact about me: I hate working out. I won't do it. I need to be tricked into it. I'll go swimming in a pool or the ocean for an hour or two and feel sore the next day because I'm that sedentary (I do love swimming, though).

Being that in NYC I walk everywhere, I don't feel like I'm going to turn into a blob just yet, but I do resent that once the city starts incubating the filthy humidity and sweltering June heat, all of a sudden no amount of blotting papers or finishing powder can hold back my shiny complexion for long.

Sitting in my tiny hot box of a home office and watching my forehead glisten like a glazed donut, I thought, "Fuck it — this is a look" and proceeded to amp up the shine, kind of like that Mentos commercial when the business dude sits on a bench with wet paint.

If your forehead and eyelids insist on being an oil factory all day anyway, there is a way to make that look like a post-SoulCycle glow rather than a dismal toil.

Start with these:

First, let's talk blush placement. While you may generally apply the stuff on the apples of your cheek or just below your cheekbones, go against everything you know, and start putting a vibrant terra-cotta/rose shade right above those apples and blend outwards. Depending on your complexion, you can go coral, orange, or even a brick red — go warm or whatever color you tend to blush naturally.

And now the fun part, eye gloss! Wait, wait, wait — come back. I promise, this is legit.

OK, here are the virtues of eye gloss when you're already oily/sweaty. As long as you pick a relatively sheer, clear or nude tone, it just gives your eyes a hit of shine, and you don't really have to worry about creasing because of the sheerness.

This MAC Eye Gloss in Lightly Taupe is a mostly clear shimmer with glints of teeny glitter in it just so, you know, it looks like you meant to put gloss on your eyes. This stuff is super-tacky, by the way, so dabbing on with your finger makes for a sticky feat.

Last stop: that dewy wet look.

Mixing a dab of the white highlighter in & Other Stories' Luminising Quad with a little blob of Milk Makeup's Face Gloss on the back of my hand, I dabbed that on top of my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and on my cupid's bow. Build and dab until it seeps in around the edges, giving you a wet finish.

Finishing with a swipe of a pearlescent nude lip color (Revlon's Coffee Bean) gives a warm boost of color on the lips so you look alive and vibrant — not like a fever swamp witch (which, to be honest, can be worked, I believe).

Now off to blast Nelly's "Hot in Herre" and try not to think about how I was in high school when that came out and I still know all the words. Either way, I figure if I'm going to schvitz for the next two months, you can only fight it so much. Work it, make your own perspiration your beauty bitch. So shine on, you sweaty diamond.

  • How do you guys deal with perspiration vs. makeup?
  • You think with the advent of highlighting becoming the look of the decade that sweat-whispering can become a thing?