How To Stop Your Makeup Running This Summer (According to MUAs)


makeup running summer

Picture it now: You’ve just put on a full face of makeup and have sauntered out the door, only to realize 30 minutes later that mascara crumbs have made their way under your eyes and your foundation looks a bit splotchy. Not to mention the sweat on your upper lip and around your hairline…

Summer is great for sipping chilled sangria poolside or enjoying an alfresco brunch with your besties, but we’d be lying if we said warm, thick air didn’t have a few drawbacks. Lucky for you, we recently hit up a handful of top makeup artists for their best advice on this very topic. Obvi you know that waterproof mascara is bae at the beach, but were you aware of these novel pro-tips for keeping makeup in place even during the hottest, sweatiest, wettest days?

Pro Tip #1: Clean Your Eyelids Before Applying Makeup

Setting yourself up for makeup success in the summer means adding a few extra steps to your routine. A really important one is cleaning up your lids. (This is a good rule of thumb for your entire face, too.)

“Always wipe off your eyes with some sort of spa water or micellar water to ensure that there’s no oil on your eyes,” advises Etienne Ortega, celebrity makeup artist, and Deck of Scarlet brand partner. “This ensures your eyeshadow doesn’t crease later in the day.”

Next, apply your preferred primer (or concealer), and then make sure to reach for long-wear, waterproof/sweat-proof eye products that won’t flake, smudge, or smear.


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Try Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Makeup Remover, $11, Urban Decay Cosmetics Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion, $25, Deck of Scarlet Metal Leaf Shadow Pot, $25, and L’Oréal Paris Volume Building Waterproof Mascara, $10.

For pigments that last, there’s nothing like our Huda Beauty Matte & Metal Melted Double Ended Liquid Eyeshadows, $25, to keep your look on lock.

Pro Tip #2: Apply Translucent Powder Before & After Foundation

While translucent setting powder is often applied after you’ve finished putting on a full beat, doing this step before and after can be a real game-changer, says Nicole Faulkner (AKA Lipsticknick), makeup artist and director of global artistry for Morphe Cosmetics.

“When I want my makeup to really last, I apply a layer of translucent powder to my bare face before my foundation, then set my t-zone with more translucent powder,” she says. “It leaves me looking so smooth and my face stays matte longer!”

After applying the rest of your makeup, Faulkner recommends adding another layer of the powder followed by a setting spray (yes, both!). “This is an old theatre trick that dancers and actors use on stage to make their makeup sweatproof,” she says.


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Try Morphe Cosmetics Bake & Set Setting Powder, $12, and NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray in Matte or Dewy, $10.

Pro Tip #3: Give Yourself a Nice Lip Scrub

A lip scrub helps in three key ways. First, it’s a nice way to give your pout some TLC. Second, it nixes dead skin bits and flakes while also hydrating. And finally – you guessed it – a clean surface will help your lip color last longer.

“I love to do a lip scrub before I do the lips,” says Ortega. “People forget about lip care, but it is so important. It helps your lips stay soft and it also removes any fallen foundation or powder.”


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You can DIY your own by adding a bit of sugar to some olive or coconut oil. Or you can buy one pre-made, such as FLOWER Beauty’s Petal Pout Lip Scrub, $10.

Pro Tip #4: Use a Lip Stain Versus Lipstick

Longevity in a product always matters, and it becomes even more important once the weather heats up and we’re prone to sweat, water, and humidity.

“Use a product that’s going to stain the lips rather than something super creamy that will slide off,” recommends Charlie Riddle, makeup artist and global beauty director for Stila Cosmetics. “Apply it directly to clean lips, and if you need a balm apply it after the product sets on the lips.”


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Try Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, $22, or Tony Moly Delight Tony Tint, $6.

Pro Tip #5: Dab Sweat Away, But Do It Right

There may come a point in the day where you need to dab away some sweat or oil. Doing so will help preserve your makeup, but do make sure you’re going about it the right way.

“Normally I touch up my makeup with a powder puff and translucent powder, but during summertime, I use a beauty sponge to touch up my face with a ‘press and roll’ motion to rework the product and remove excess oil and sweat,” explains Faulkner.

Riddle agrees and even puts his own spin on this trick. “Dampen a Beauty Blender, $20, in cool water and bounce it on the skin,” he says. “This will not only refresh and remove sweat but cool you down as well.”


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And if you don’t have time for the above, Ortega says to use an old-school rice paper sheet. Gently press it on the affected areas and you’ll be good to go. Try Tatcha’s chic ABURATORIGAMI Japanese Blotting Papers, $12.

Did you learn any new tricks today? Or do you perhaps have your own pro-tips to keep makeup in place? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment to review products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.