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How to build a makeup routine to withstand the summer weather

We break down the foundations (get it?) of how to put together a summer makeup look whether you're into keeping it simple or full glam.
Jasmine Hoffman
Vancouver makeup artist Jasmine Hoffman offers her recommendations for summer makeup products.

We get into routines with our makeup and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

For most of us, it's part of an overall morning routine that is focused on getting out the door and getting to work on time. Perhaps you don't even wear a full face of makeup every day anyway. Maybe all the extra little finicky bits are just for weekends or special occasions.

Even so, when you're going to the effort of laying down a base you want it to last if you're going out for a full day or just a night out and in the summer; the heat, humidity, sweat, and beating sun can interfere with the most tried and true routines.

What works for makeup application in the winter is not going to work the same in the summer and vice versa.

It's important to switch up your products and some of your techniques when you lay your base so it's long-lasting, regardless of the weather. In winter your skin might be drier and you may focus on hydrating products which are still crucial in the summer, but any additional moisture or oil on the skin and most of those products will slide right off if you don't set them correctly.

Here are some tips and product recommendations for the best summer makeup routine.

Application is key

There are two key steps to applying makeup that will last: priming and setting.

Applying skincare and then a good hydrating and grippy primer like the Milk makeup Hydrogrip or the Elf cosmetics Powergrip will help form a base that can be layered up nicely.

Lightweight products are best for summer so your skin doesn't feel like it's suffocating. In an ideal world, we wouldn't need foundation in the summer, our skin would just be magically smooth and blemish-free. One of the ways to ensure that our skin is looking and feeling its best so that we don't need to use too much makeup is to emphasize skincare and only use the pore-clogging products sparingly, making sure to wash them thoroughly at the end of the day.

It's also a good idea to apply a skin tint or moisturizer with SPF (like this one by Ilia or this one by It Cosmetics) that will help even out your skin tone and avoid layering multiple products on top of each other. The skin-evening effect also avoids the need for a full coverage foundation and you can spot-conceal instead.

The Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter foundation is usually sold out for a reason. One, it's a TikTok favourite and two, it's a glow-y light coverage buildable foundation. Pair it with another TikTok darling, the Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer and Daytime Eye Cream by Kosas, and you've got your base.

Setting with powder and spray is also going to keep your makeup in place, according to Vancouver makeup artist Jasmine Hoffman. She loves the On 'Till Dawn setting spray by One/Size.

If possible, try setting between steps as you layer, too, but don't use too much product. Each time, use a little less than you think you need and build up if necessary. Oftentimes excess products are what cause creasing, cakiness, or pilling.


Choosing waterproof products is also going to stave off the effects of sweat and humidity.

The setting spray is waterproof which takes care of the base, although if you're going for a full glam look even in summer the Tarte Shape Tape concealer was originally developed to be worn while exercising so it's a waterproof option for extra protection. MAC also makes a nourishing waterproof foundation.

Otherwise, eyeliner and mascara are the other things that will melt off the face or smudge in the heat, especially if you have oily eyelids.

For waterproof eyeliner, there is really only one tried and true no-budge option and that is the KVD Beauty waterproof Tattoo Liner. When the rest of your makeup is gone this will still look fresh.

As a wedding makeup artist, Hoffman has applied mascara on a lot of brides and prepared for lots of tears. She says she loves the Tom Ford Extreme Eye Bad Ass Mascara. Sadly there are no known drugstore dupes. But this Tarte one is also good.

Summer colours

Once your base is down it's time for the fun stuff.

Keep it dewy and fresh on the face with liquid blushes, bronzers, and highlights and then create a seamless ombre effect by mixing blush colours. Rare Beauty and Saie liquid blushes are super popular right now and very easy to mix and blend together.

Makeup brands often come out with special summer palates inspired by travel or cocktails this time of year, and I like to turn to them as a road map for pre-approved summer colours. Stila has just come out with a new collection of multitasking palettes inspired by both called the Color Cocktail Travel Cheek, Lip & Eye Palette in three shades. The eyeshadow quad is an instant eye look to finish off the makeup routine and the blush/bronzer shades can be used as a topper if necessary.

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