HOW TO | Long Lasting Makeup for the Summer

Summer is officially here in the Great White North, and here in Ottawa, the weather has been going as expected (i.e. from nippy to straight up sweltering). I know that summer is the season that people decide that wearing less is more when it comes to makeup, because who really wants to wear a full face in 40°C weather? However, sometimes we have days where putting on makeup is necessary. For those days, I want to equip my lovely readers with a few tips and tricks I have adapted into my summer routine over the years to keep makeup looking flawless under the sun. So what are these tips, you say? Keep reading to find out!

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First thing’s first: wear sunscreen! Everybody is probably sick and tired of hearing about this piece of advice, but no amount of makeup in the world is going to keep your skin looking youthful unless you protect your skin by wear sunscreen diligently. Protecting your skin during the summer is especially important because that is when the UV rays are at their strongest and will cause the most damage. So if you know you’re going to be out in the sun for longer than 30 minutes in a day, I seriously recommend slapping on something with a decent SPF rating (~SPF 30). And no, wearing a moisturizer, foundation, or primer with sunscreen is not enough, even if you’re dousing your face in it (as shown here). It really isn’t too hard to incorporate into your daily routine, I promise! The only thing is that we know we can’t reapply sunscreen over makeup without ruining it, so what I use is a powder sunscreen. It’s easy to reapply throughout the day and does not disturb my makeup. Another option is a sunscreen “setting spray“, but this is not the best option for people who are sensitive to chemical sunscreens.


This part really depends on what skin type you have. Typically the problem most people have during the summer is that their skin gets a little too shiny when it’s hot out. What I do to deal with this issue is use a powder foundation rather than a liquid. A powder foundation will give a decent amount of coverage while preventing the face from getting too oily throughout the day. I find that using a liquid foundation while being outside for hours just doesn’t hold up as well and requires too many touch ups. Some powder foundations I recommend are:

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder

If you have a drier skin type, using a lightweight liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer would be ideal in order to provide some level of coverage while feeling light on the skin. Some recommendations are:

  • MAC Studio Face and Body foundation
  • NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

We all know that highlighters are still going strong, and while I do love going a little extra with the glow, I try to apply them more modestly on really hot days – only because I have an oilier skin type so I know that I will get that “glow” as the day progresses. If you’re really into that “glow life”, try mixing a few drops of liquid illuminator with your foundation/BB cream/tinted moisturizer to get a subtle all-over glow.


On super hot and humid days, the best products to use would be anything waterproof. As for what kind of looks to go for, precise and intricate eye makeup probably isn’t ideal. I usually do a half-assed winged liner with a bullet-proof, sweat-proof, heavy duty liquid liner, such as the Stila All Day Liquid Liner, or I’ll go in with a very smokey, messy, smudged liner look which usually looks better the more smudged it gets. The other alternative is to keep the eyes simple with just a coat of waterproof mascara. Eye makeup is a perfect example of “less is more” during the warmer months.


Keeping with the theme of low-maintenance makeup, my lip product of choice is a tinted lip balm. I’m usually the type of person that wears lipstick on a daily basis because I just feel naked without having any colour on my lips. But on days out in the sun, touching up your lipstick is one of the last things you want to be doing or worrying about. Tinted lip balms give that flush of colour and look fine even when applied sloppily – the best of both worlds! If you are looking for something a little more bold, liquid lipsticks are your best bet. They usually barely require touch ups even after eating and/or drinking (unless you’re eating really greasy foods) and will not smudge.

Finally, for the pièce de résistance, the product everyone should use to keep their makeup locked in place on a long summer day is a setting spray. Think of settings sprays as the hair spray of makeup. It keeps your makeup looking the same for hours on end and will keep you from looking like a greaseball at the end of the day. My personal favourite is the one made by Skindinavia, which also happens to be the brand that makes the setting sprays by Urban Decay.

And there you have it! Some of my tips and tricks to wearing makeup for long, hot, humid, summer days. I’ve used all these tricks during music festivals where I’m out all day in the sun and my makeup was looking pretty good all day and night, so trust me when I say that these have been tried, tested, and proven to work!


What are some of your tips and tricks to wearing makeup in hot weather?

Leave your tips and tricks in a comment below!

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