Already have an account?
Get back to the
Beauty

20 Best Summer Makeup Formulas and Products That Can Stand Up To the Heat

Plus, how to streamline your routine so you can spend less time getting ready

When it comes to summer makeup, it’s all about having a bronzy, glowy look and lightweight, breathable feel. The last thing we want is for our makeup to feel heavy or cakey and patchy on top of the extra sweat we tend to produce during these warmer months. And, we want to ensure the formulas we wear are waterproof and sweat-proof, and will stay put all day long. That’s why we rounded up the best summer makeup products — including pro makeup artists’ go-tos — and formulas that you can feel confident will last whether headed to the beach, the pool or any other outdoor fun under the summer sun!

The best summer makeup formulas

makeup swatches
Getty

As the mercury rises, we unfortunately will inevitably experience more sweating. Sweat in itself can lead to clogged pores and frustrating breakouts, and if you’re applying heavy makeup over this sweat, these skin issues will only exacerbate. That’s why it’s important to look for formulas that are specifically made to perform well in the summer and heat; looking for products labeled “sweat-proof” or “waterproof” is key for summer makeup. Also a bonus, anything labeled “lightweight.” Stay away from any cakey, thick powders, heavy foundations and mascara or eyeliner that is not waterproof.

“I recommend using products that are oil-free and lean towards matte formulas in the summertime. Your skin will produce oil and sweat throughout the day, so I like to create a base that is not adding in extra oil unless someone has extremely dry skin,” says Kat Dorn, lead makeup artist at LRN Beauty.

However, it also depends on your skin type. As Dorn mentioned above, sometimes you may need extra oil in your products if you suffer from very dry skin. Amanda Bell, international makeup artist & Pixi Global Director of Makeup Artistry & Education, agrees, saying “It can be dependent on skin type; essentially how shiny your skin is naturally and how you feel about that. Normal and drier skin, even in summer, will still be fine with cream/balm textures. But the universally flattering formulations will be water-based with humectants to ensure that skin is kept in perfect condition and works so well for all skin types. Whereas oilier skin/combination skin potentially benefits from formulations with mattifying ingredients infused into the formulations.”

1. Look for liquid products

Dorn says that she turns to liquid and cream formulas for summer. Liquid formulas are great because they often are long-lasting, as well as lightweight. For example, liquid lipstick is known to stay put all day, as well as liquid blush and bronzer. Plus, you can feel confident that they won’t cake throughout the day.

2. Creamy products work well too

Cream products are also typically A-OK for summer. Similar to liquid makeup, cream makeup absorbs into skin, rather than just sitting on top. However, the one thing with cream products to look out for is their creamy texture can sometimes spread easily. It’s typically not going to be as long lasting as liquid products. However, it creates a beautiful, dewy, glowy finish and doesn’t feel heavy.

3. Steer clear of certain powders

Beware of powders for summer. While yes, you may need some powder to set your makeup and any oily areas, such as the T zone, you want to avoid caking on powder formulas where you don’t need it since powder is known to easily cake and pill. “Powder formulations which are talc-based can look flat on the skin especially if you (touch up) your makeup during the day,” affirms Bell.

It’s best to look for very finely-milled loose powders, as these formulas tend to blend out more evenly and lightly. “I like to stay away from heavy powders in the summer,” agrees Dorn. “I usually use just a light translucent setting powder to just dust the face and that is it.”

Related: 8 Setting Powders for Mature Skin That Are the Perfect Final Step in Your Makeup Routine

The best summer makeup essentials

For your summer makeup, the makeup artists we spoke to recommend keeping it light and easy. “I prefer to use a tinted moisturizer (preferably with sunscreen), cream blush on the cheeks, eyes and lips and a touch of concealer in any spots needed, then a quick sweep of setting powder on the T-zone,” says Dorn. “Curl your lashes and apply mascara to brighten and bring out your natural eye color.”

While makeup ultimately all comes down to personal preference, there are a few types of products that we find must-haves for the summer.

Primer: Helps makeup last in the summer heat

To start, you’ll want a good, long-lasting, gripping primer. And if you have oily skin, you’ll want to opt for a mattifying primer. Primer creates the perfect base for your makeup, allowing it to stay put with no smudging or moving.

Neutrogena Mattifying Primer
Neutrogena

Neutrogena Mattifying Primer

This primer is a drugstore favorite and has shine control for those of us on the oilier side.

e.l.f. Power Grip Primer + Niacinamide
e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f. Power Grip Primer + Niacinamide

With “grip” in the name, it’s no surprise this primer is one of our summer beauty staples. It’s a cult favorite, and even better, it has niacinamide for a skincare-makeup hybrid in one.

Setting powder: Locks in makeup on a hot, humid day

Again, loose, fine powders are great for summer for setting the undereye area, T-zone and other oil-prone spots. It’s best to opt for ones that are buildable; This way, you can more or less depending on the activity you’re doing.

Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Setting and Finishing Powder
Givenchy

Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Setting and Finishing Powder

Although a splurge, this setting powder is worth it. It lasts for months, and has four different shades within one, which all combine together to color-correct any uneven tones.

Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder
Maybelline/Ulta

Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder

For a more affordable option, you can’t go wrong with this Maybelline classic. It costs just $11 and will also last for months.

Tinted sunscreen: Protects skin and lightly covers flaws

We strongly recommend skipping the foundation in the summer, which can often feel heavy and uncomfortable, and choosing a tinted sunscreen instead. Most of these tinted formulas are moisturizing and lightweight, and provide just enough coverage to conceal blemishes while still looking like “skin.”

Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer
Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer

“I love to use the Charlotte Tilbury tinted moisturizer for its luminous finish,” says Dorn. It doesn’t look tinted at first, but it actually adapts to your specific natural skin tone.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50
La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50

We love this tinted sunscreen available at the drugstore because it’s water-resistant, oil-free and made with skin-loving antioxidants, all while providing a beautiful tint.

Saie Slip Tint
Saie

Saie Slip Tint

Made with SPF 35 and hyaluronic acid, this tinted moisturizer truly does it all. It has a cult following for not only it’s gorgeous finish but also its 14 shades. The hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin and keeps it from drying out in the summer sun.

Related: 4 Best Double-Duty Sunscreens for Face, Body and Hair That Go Beyond Sun Protection

Bronzing drops: Make the complexion look glowing, not greasy

If you’re not keen on tinted moisturizers/SPFs, bronzing drops are a great swap — especially if you’re looking to add a nice golden glow into your complexion.

L'Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion
Amazon

L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion

Makeup enthusiasts rave about this L’Oreal staple, and for good reason: It gives the perfect amount of glow without making you look oily or shiny, and it comes in five shades. Plus, it costs around just $13.

First Aid Beauty Bronze + Glow Drops with Niacinamide
First Aid Beauty

First Aid Beauty Bronze + Glow Drops with Niacinamide

Another skincare-makeup hybrid, these bronzing drops contain skin-loving niacinamide (which helps even skin tone and blemishes) and glycerin (which helps hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier).

Blush: Enlivens dull or dehydrated skin

As mentioned, liquid and cream formulas are great for the summer, but what’s even better when it comes to adding some color into our cheeks are “stains” or “tints.” These can last for hours, even while sweating. Plus, they are buildable and natural looking.

Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Liquid Lip + Cheek Blush Stain
Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Liquid Lip + Cheek Blush Stain

The Benetint lip and cheek stain has been a cult classic for years. It’s so easy to throw in your beach bag for on-the-go use; Just dap one or two drops onto cheeks and blend in with your fingers or a makeup sponge. You can also apply to lips for a pretty, rosy tint.

Essence What A Tint! Lip & Cheek Tint
Essence

Essence What A Tint! Lip & Cheek Tint

For a more affordable option, this Essence tint is just $5 and has the most gorgeous radiant finish.

Glossier Cloud Paint
Glossier

Glossier Cloud Paint

This one isn’t a tint like the other two, but we felt it deserved to be included as one of our favorite summer blushes because of its ultra-natural, dewy finish. Bonus: It contains anti-aging collagen and blurring powder pigments to leave the complexion looking extra youthful.

Waterproof mascara: Volumizes lashes sans any smudging

As mentioned previously, look for waterproof formulas when choosing a summertime mascara to ensure no running or smudging in the water or when sweating.

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Waterproof Mascara
Amazon

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Waterproof Mascara

With over 75,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, this L’Oreal waterproof mascara is our clear winner. It adds amazing volume to even the thinnest lashes and of course, is waterproof.

“I would switch to waterproof mascara for the lower lashline for the entirety of summer,” suggests Bell. “Water-resistant is fine for the upper lashes only to ensure your mascara doesn’t smudge.”

Related: Mascara Cocktailing Is the Viral Beauty Trick That Makes Lashes Look Thicker + Longer Instantly

Brow gel: Fills in sparse arches and locks them in place

Brow gel will be your new best friend this summer, as opposed to waxy brow creams or pencils that easily smudge.

Refy Brow Tint Eyebrow Gel
Refy

Refy Brow Tint Eyebrow Gel

We’re not kidding when we say we think this brow gel could last through running a marathon. Its strong, long-lasting hold will keep each hair in place no matter the weather.

Lash Spell Tinted Brow Gel
Lash Spell

Lash Spell Tinted Brow Gel

“(One of) my personal summer favorites is the Lash Spell Tinted Brow Gel, which lasts for 10 hours,” says Dorn. We love the thin spoolie for precise application.

Related: 8 Best Eyebrow Products That Make Thin, Sparse Brows Look Instantly Thicker

Lip gloss: Adds a sheer tint and shine to lips

A makeup look isn’t truly finished until you apply your lip product. “I can’t live without a good gloss in the summer,” says Dorn.

Jason Wu Beauty Good Lip Gloss
Jason Wu/Target

Jason Wu Beauty Good Lip Gloss

Dorn says her favorite gloss is Jason Wu lip glosses. “They are so velvety soft on the lips,” she says.

Pixi TintFix
Pixi

Pixi TintFix

Similar to the blushes mentioned above, this tint can be used on lips and cheeks. Bell says she likes using “Water-based long wear stains that can be used on cheeks as well as lips, like Pixi’s TintFix, for long-wear/summer-proof color for cheeks and lips.”

Setting spray: Seals makeup in place and refreshes it on a hot day

Setting spray is an essential step for getting your makeup to last in the summer! Simply spritz on after applying your makeup, and throw in your bag for touch-ups on the go.

e.l.f. Power Grip Dewy Setting Spray
e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f. Power Grip Dewy Setting Spray

This setting spray goes hand-in-hand with the e.l.f. Power Grip Primer mentioned above. Using both creates the ultimate power duo for makeup that will last hours. Plus, the ultra-fine mist won’t make your face look “wet.”

Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Makeup Setting Spray
Urban Decay

Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Makeup Setting Spray

This is Dorn’s recommendation as far as setting sprays go: “A great setting spray is important for the hot days! My current favorite is Urban Decay All Nighter to finish and lock in the makeup at the end.”

ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr On 'Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray
ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr

ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr On ‘Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

Influencers and makeup artists swear by this setting spray, which has a matte finish (perfect for oily skin) and is waterproof. Some have even filmed themselves after a workout wearing a full face of makeup with this setting spray, and it looks like they didn’t even break a sweat.


For more our favorite makeup products and tips, click through these stories:

16 Best Summer Beauty Heroes to Look and Feel Refreshed + Glowy All Season Long

Underpainting Makeup Is the Latest Beauty Trend That Makes Mature Skin Look Smooth, Flawless and Youthful

The 9 Best Makeup Products for Rosacea to Avoid Further Irritation and Inflammation

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.