How I Adjust My Makeup When Sweating Is Inevitable

Summer is not really my best friend, and living in Southern California means that bitch is pretty much always around.

Don’t you hate when you go to the gym only to sweat off all your makeup?! There really is nothing like runny mascara to ruin a perfectly good endorphin kick.

I mean, picture this. You’re at the gym. You’re in your zone. You’re doing squats. Your butt looks so kewt. Oh hey, what’s that tickling your scalp? Dammit. Those inevitable sweat beads have mixed with your foundation, and you now look like you stuck beige colored candy buttons all over your forehead.

Next thing you know…. BAM!

OK, so I don’t actually wear makeup to the gym. Well, I don’t go to a gym.

But still, we’ve all been there before, right? No? Uh yeah, me too. I totally don’t break a sweat at any marginally heightened emotional spike. That most definitely wasn’t me fanning my armpits as I got caught blocking an intersection. I never brush my hair back in order to slyly wipe my head faucet. That girl with the raccoon eyes at the end of the night? Well yeah, that’s me.


For whatever reason (anxiety? poor health? plain repulsiveness?!) I am a sweat machine. Whether I’ve become flustered or the temperature has gone up to an unbearable 73 degrees, my overdramatic pores are quick to burst into tears.

As you can imagine, summer is not really my best friend. (Un)fortunately, living in Southern California means that bitch is pretty much always around. And while I am a huge fan of trashy, more often than not I opt for a makeup-free (and therefore smudge-free) look.

But it’s those days of dressing down that make me feel even more special when I do dress up. It’s like I swipe on makeup and everyone compliments me on how much I look like a girl. Amazing.

This is why I absolutely need waterproof solutions to ensure I look my best when I do put in the effort. And by “effort,” I mean the bare minimum. Hey, what can I say? I’m lazy. Still, my bare minimum tips can surely be applied as the foundation to your full-on and way more put-together look.

Speaking of foundation…


Avoid it. Otherwise, your skin will look like it’s melting. Cool if you’re an extra in a sci-fi movie. Not so cool if you’re at a BBQ, chatting up a swell dude, and he asks you if got some dirt on my, I mean your face.

Stick with concealer to spot-treat blemishes. It’s way more sweat-friendly. Not to mention, it’s easy to carry in your pocketbook in case you need to touch yourself up throughout the day.


After covering blemishes, I swipe a little of the concealer over my eyelids before I apply eyeshadow to help the powder stick. Personally, I use Urban Decay’s ubiquitous Naked Palette. Overrated, maybe, but I love it.

As for eyeliner, liquid liner scares me. I get the shakes--I mean, I have shaky hands, so I stick with pencils. I use Clinique Quickliner because I like those free gift bags that come out every few months. Pencils, for me, are pretty smudge proof and easy to build on for a thicker look, which I prefer.


Mascara is the only product I buy that is actually advertised as waterproof. This is because I’m Asian and have straight-as-arrows eyelashes. Regular mascara renders all the time and energy I put into curling my lashes moot. Oil-based waterproof mascara is lighter and maintains a curl. I LOVE Lancôme Hypnôse Star Waterproof Mascara.

Warning: Some people recommend you avoid waterproof mascara since it can cause breakage. Since I hardly wear it, I adhere to the same “everything in moderation” rule for waterproof mascara as I do for alcohol and hard drugs.

When it comes to my lower lash line, I avoid this area as much as possible lest I look like I just came out of watching The Notebook.

I also happen to have black eyelashes, which makes it easier for me to just skip this step altogether. If you can’t or won’t, stick with the waterproof products.

Let me rewind a little and get back to curling eyelashes: My eyelashes happen to curl, and hold their curl, fairly well even on a sweltering day. If yours don’t, try heating your eyelash curler with your hair dryer for about 10 to 20 seconds before pressing your lashes. You want to heat it to a temperature somewhere between “no difference at all” and “eyelash curler burn marks on your lids.”


Normally, I use a powder blush on my cheeks and bronzer on my temples and cheekbones. However, on a hot day, I skip the bronzer all together and replace blush with one a lip stain instead.

Speaking of lips...


My lips don’t sweat so much as they get drool on them constantly. So, really, a hot day is like any day for my lips, meaning, I wear whatever I feel like wearing on them and just reapply ALL THE EFFING TIME. Hey, no one said it was easy being beautiful.

Advice is nothing without proof, so I have decided to test out my own tips on a particularly sweaty day.

Nothing makes me sweat more than an outing with my boyfriend’s parents. JK LOL! I love those guys. But we are going to the Huntington Botanical Gardens, which is in that part of LA that Dante most definitely would have written about.

I am in the car, totally not dreading going to Pasadena:

It’s freakin' HOT:

By the way, my sweat goes from 0-60 in about 30 seconds. So does my crankiness.

But, I made it. Smudge free.

How about you? How do you adjust your makeup when you know your face is going to be dripping?