February 01, 2023

It’s Getting Hot In Here: How To Sweat Proof Your Makeup

Photography: Brogan Chidley / Hair & Makeup: Michelle Cox @ Union Management / Talent: Brooke Hogan @ IMG

Summer doesn’t stand a chance.

When it comes to a standout beauty look, summer is the best of times and the worst of times. Sure, you’ve got the prolonged golden hour to show off your new highlighter, your skin is fresh from days by the ocean and bright colours have slowly worked their way back into your repertoire. But summer is also defined by one sinister environmental factor: humidity. 

You can blame this bad boy for most of the beauty blunders you’ll face in the warmer months. Think uncontrollable hair, skin irritation and, you guessed it, sweating off your makeup. Whether you’re enjoying an afternoon Negroni by the beach, working up a brunch appetite on a morning walk (aka gossip session) or just dashing from meeting to meeting during the day, everyone has that ‘wait, why is that pimple visible again?’ moment. 

But do not fear, Gritty Pretty is here! And with the help of makeup artist Michelle Cox (who is the maestro behind the beauty looks featured below), we divulge all of the best beauty hacks for sweat-proofing your makeup look.

Step 1: Prep

It’s an age old saying but one that is too fitting not to repeat: by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail. Before you even think about reaching for your base products, you must first ensure the skin is prepped to perfection.

“Using a face mask to hydrate the skin prior to makeup application will help ensure an even application,” says Cox. “Exfoliating is also great for this as it will smooth out the skin texture, helping products sink into the skin more effectively.”

Cox also advises that you avoid applying any face oils right before makeup application and instead opt for a hydrating moisturiser. Then simply spritz your face with a setting spray (yes, before you apply your makeup) and you’re good to go.

Gritty Pretty Loves: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask ($77), Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($89), Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Moisturiser ($38)

Step 2: Layer

Just because most summer days are spent makeup-free by the beach doesn’t mean a little extra coverage goes astray. But between masks, the aforementioned Australian humidity and being more active than usual, you’re lucky if said coverage lasts longer than an hour that is, of course, unless you follow Cox’s recommendations.

“Layering your base products is imperative to helping your makeup stay put,” she says. “I always recommend starting with a lightweight foundation all over, letting it set and then adding your more full coverage concealer on top in the spots where you actually need it.”

Another pro tip Cox recommends adopting is using a Beautyblender for base application as it “helps to work the product into the skin more seamlessly, which will increase the staying power.” Oh, and don’t be shy about layering your cream eyeshadows and blushes underneath powder products – it’s a foolproof recipe for maximum staying power.

Gritty Pretty Loves: Morphe Hint Hint Skin Tint ($26), NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($48), Beautyblender Original ($28)

Step 3: Set

Remember the ‘not to prime, is a crime’ makeup slogan of 2015? Well, in 2021 we’re changing it to ‘not to set, is a regret’. Best used in a sweat-proofing sandwich scenario (as in, both before and after makeup application) a setting spray is your new best friend. 

“Always set your makeup with a setting spray,” says Cox. “It’s a non-negotiable and will serve you better than a setting powder will as powders tend to crease easily and show visible cracks if you have to reapply during the day.”

Plus, who doesn’t love a cool misting when it’s 30 degrees outside?

Gritty Pretty Loves: MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+ ($39), Ciaté London Everyday Vacay Coconut Setting Mist ($35)

Step 4: Maintain

Not to scare you but a summer makeup look can be a little needier than it’s winter counterpart. “Your makeup will require a little bit of extra love once you’re out in the heat and humidity,” says Cox. “Oil blotting paper will become your best friend for touch ups as it’s taking away what you don’t want rather than adding more powder or product to the problem area.”

Cox also recommends opting for waterproof or water resistant makeup formulas where possible as well as using tubular mascaras as they won’t give you that ‘panda eye’ effect should you go for a spontaneous ocean dip.

Gritty Pretty Loves: Tatcha The Original Aburatorigami Blotting Papers ($19), Sephora Collection Oil Blotting Papers ($7)


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