How To Apply Makeup While You're Sweating

I've mastered putting on makeup when my face is dripping with sweat from the moment I step out of the shower.

Anyone else have a bathroom that turns into a steam room once summer gets going?

I think this is a common affliction for those of us who live in places without central air. The bathroom doesn't get any of the airflow from window units, and next thing you know, your weather app shows the morning temperature already at 85 degrees, and you're trying to put on your makeup after a shower you purposely kept as cold you could stand so it wouldn't generate much heat, with sweat beads rolling down your face and into your eyes.

I feel you.

After 15 summers in New York apartments, I have created a routine designed to minimize makeup slippage and get me out the door quickly. Then I've changed it up a bit for an evening look, because however bad the conditions are in the morning when you're heading to work, they'll be even worse when you've got to look good for a cocktail party or dinner out.


First, put some disposable face wipes in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, when you get out the shower and you're ready to start your face, you may already be sweating. Press the cloth or a wipe on your skin.

Time for SPF. You may have a morning skincare regimen of multiple products, but high summer is not the time for that. Downsize and, depending on your skin type, find either a moisturizer with good SPF, or a sunscreen that will double as moisturizer.

Moving on! Blot again. You don't want to rub off your lotion, so just pat your face down again with the refreshing cold wipe.

Next up is foundation, if you wear it. I'd love to go completely bare-faced in the summer, but I have very oily skin and a tendency towards redness on my cheeks and chin when it's hot out.

For your face, liquids and gels applied with fingers are your friends here. Powder and sweat don't mix. On hot days, I embrace the dewy look.

I squirt half a pump of Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation--an almost watery liquid that nonetheless has great medium coverage--on the back of my hand and use a clean fingertip to apply it in dots down the center of my face and one on each cheek. Blend with your fingers. If you need more in a particular spot, add a little more and blend. The beauty of this stuff is it builds without getting cakey, and you don't need a separate concealer. This is a boon when you feel the sweat brewing again.

Next, gel bronzer: my secret summer weapon for years. I use The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Gel for Face. A little goes a long way, so use the back of your hand again as an artist's palette of sorts. Put the tiniest drop of bronzer there, then apply a dot under each cheekbone, at your temples, on either side of your forehead, on the tip of your nose and on your chin. Whatever is left goes on your neck and, if you're wearing a top that shows it, your collarbone--you don't want a line where your bronzer ends.

Now blend, and lend well. Voila! You look like you just walked off the beach instead of out of your steamy bathroom.

To add a flush, I love Tarte's cheek stain in Tipsy, which is a coral with the tiniest bit of shimmer. I have had the same stick for at least three years. I keep it in the refrigerator during the summer, as it is prone to melting in a hot bathroom, but also because it feels great to put on cold.

I skip eye makeup on the hottest days because it just smudges and melts on me, even with primer. I wear a coat of waterproof mascara--I am loving Cover Girl Clump Crusher--and run a swipe of Maybelline Great Lash mascara in Clear through my brows to hold them.

Bright lipstick looks fresh even when I'm sweaty: Maybelline Vivid Rose if I want hot pink, or Urban Decay's Super Saturated pencil in Punch Drunk for orange or F-Bomb for red.

The final touch: a couple of spritzes of Urban Decay De-Slick makeup setting spray. Shine-free all day, no powder needed, guaranteed. If you get oily, this stuff is a miracle in a bottle. Less is more; you only need about two or three spritzes for your whole face.


So! Now it's evening and you've got a hot date. A literally hot date. And you don't have time to start your makeup over.

Pat your skin again with a clean refrigerated wipe, then use a blotting sheet to sop up any oil. If your blush has vanished during the day, reapply a little.

At night I prefer more done--but barely--eyes and a more natural lip. Waterproof gel eyeliner is the answer, but don't go dark.

Just look at this Aqualillies for Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Splash. It looks like a swimming pool. And believe it or not, teal flatters everyone. It comes with a tiny pointy brush perfect for getting a nice line right at the lashes.

I use a little eyeshadow primer first because my eyelids are oil slicks, but the liner is pretty budgeproof even without. Last week, I went swimming in it, then went to a music festival in 100-degree heat, and it didn't move.

Finish with a little more De-Slick spray aimed at your (closed) eyes and to reinforce your earlier application if needed. Revlon Lip Butter in Creamsicle finishes off my evening look.

What's your hot-weather makeup routine? Any tricks you can add to mine?