Melt-Proof Summer Makeup Trends

Published March 17, 2012 by mytimewellspent

Summer’s here, and there’s an extra spring in your freshly-pedicured step for good reason: We actually can’t help but love this time of year because the sun actually increases our serotonin levels, the “happy” moderators in our brain that lift our mood. (And you thought your new, cheery outlook was just about all the pool parties, cute sundresses, and fun newmakeup trends to try.) 

Skip to see the melt-proof makeup trends for summer now.

But as all of us can agree, a surefire way to burst that summer lovin’ bubble is to spot yourself in the mirror with your pretty makeup literally melting off your face. 


If that brings back painful memories from summers of your past, you’re not alone. While most of us know how to treat our skin during the far more forgiving climates of fall, spring and winter (moisturize like it’s your job!), keeping makeup from melting in the scorching heat of summer is a battle we often lose. 

To give you a fighting chance at making sure your makeup can withstand the heat this season, we went to makeup artists Stella Kae and Juliana Landis to get their take on what products you should use to keep your face on — not running down your barely there couture. We also talked to makeup artist Geoffrey Rodriguez to find out how to wear seven of the hottest trends spotted on the runway and red carpet this season. 


“If you’re going to be in any kind of weather and want your makeup to last, you HAVE to prime your skin using an oil-free primer and set it with a powder — you simply have to,” says Kae. “I never leave the house without my Amazing Cosmetics Anti-Aging Face Primer, $34 and Amazing Cosmetics Powder Set, $27.” 

For oily skin, Landis recommends, “the Glo Face Primer, $25. It disappears into your skin instantly.” 

For dry skin, try Smashbox Oil-Free Primer, $36, which keeps skin from looking flaky.


“I always recommend avoiding heavy layers of makeup — especially in the summer,” says Rodriguez. “You’re hot in the summer so you want to keep it light.” And the last thing you want is a caked-on look. Remember the more you put on, the more is at risk of melting off. 

Opt for a tinted moisturizer if you have dry or combination skin. “For most skin types, I recommend the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 Oil-Free, $42, which has an SPF factor of 20 to keep you protected from the sun. It’s light, and you can use spot-concealer for blemishes,” says Landis. Try Cle de Peau Concealer, $70. For oily skin, sebum production becomes especially challenging to handle in the summer. Rodriquez suggests reaching for mineral foundation, as these are powder formulas that help soak up oil and provide sun protection. He recommends Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF 20, $34.50, which stays put.


“I recommend using a setting powder in the t-zone area only. That way you can maintain a dewy look,” says Rodriguez. Dust some loose powder on your nose, chin, upper lip (where you tend to get oily), and the center of your forehead. Leave everything else glowy. We recommendPhysicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Loose Powder SPF 30, $13.99.


An easy way to keep the number of products you use to a minimum (to avoid that dreaded, overdone look)? Use a multipurpose product likeNars Multiple, $39, which you can dab on your cheeks, lids and lips for a quick, put-together look. For touch-ups throughout the day, Kae recommends carrying a 2-in-1 product in your bag. “When I’m working in Miami, I’d be lost without Stila Convertible Color, $25. I quickly dab on a little color to cheeks and lips to instantly brighten the face,” she says.


Even though you’re only using oil-free, non-comedogenic products, sometimes shine can still occur during the day. Instead of applying more powder, which can lead to looking cakey, use an oil blotter to get rid of excess shine. Rodriguez likes Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers, $12. “They’re really good for blotting off any excess shine around the eyes.” 


Bold colored lips were hot on the runways for 2011, spotted at shows like Jill Sander’s. Kae loves the longwearing Lime Crime Countessa Fluorescent Opaque Lipstick, $16 for bright colors. If lipstick feels too heavy for you, try colored gloss like Nars Lipgloss in Wonder, $24. Orange is the “it” color of the season and is particularly fab on sun-kissed skin, which is another hot summer makeup trend. 

Melt-Proof Makeup Tip: To prevent your lipstick from bleeding, use lip stains instead of fussing with lipstick and liner. Rodriguez loves Stila Crush Lip and Cheek Stain, $24, which he says is “wonderful for summer.”


“Bronzed faces come back EVERY summer,” says Kae. “But thankfully people are starting to pay more attention to matching their faces AND their bodies.” She recommends “Red Carpet Kolour Body Glow, $39.95, which unifies skin tone but won’t sweat off or rub onto your clothes.” To complete the glow, try dusting St. Tropez Bronzing Rocks, $40 on the apples of your cheeks. 

Melt-Proof Makeup Tip: Use mineral powder that’s a shade darker than your skin to cover up any fresh tan lines you have after sitting by the pool for too long. Rodriguez says the minerals won’t bleed onto your clothes.


For those of you who aren’t daring enough to brave the neon lip runway trend this summer, try glossy beige lips instead. Celebs like Leighton Meester and Selena Gomez showcased them at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, and Kae says anyone can wear this look. “I recommend Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Beige Tweed, $27, [which is] a universally flattering pinky beige.” 

Melt-Proof Makeup Tip: While you don’t want too many makeup layers on your skin, you can layer your lip color, says Kae. To make your lip color truly last, first apply a stain in the color you want, then apply a lipstick, lip gloss, or even a tinted balm.


“Not everyone will be able to pull off the golden lip or lash shown at the Rodarte Spring/Summer 2011 runway show, but what everyone can pull off is an ethereal glow,” says Kae. For a wearable, summer-proof version of the metallic trend, lightly tap Smashbox Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion, $24 on the high-planes of your cheeks after applying your makeup. 

For eyeshadow, the shade of gold depends on your skin tone. If you have pink undertones, use warmer golds. For olive undertones, use yellowy, brighter golds. For brown undertones, use pink golds, and for yellow undertones, opt for dark brown golds. 

Melt-Proof Makeup Tip: To keep eye makeup from smudging, take a large eyeshadow brush and dip it into loose powder. Apply the powder just around the edges of your eye makeup to keep it from bleeding, says Rodriguez.


Shows like Alexander McQueen capitalized on the minimalist makeup look, which is perfect for summer. Follow these tips for a natural, dewy look: 

Tip 1: Use a concealer that matches your skin tone perfectly and spot conceal blemishes, dark spots, and red spots (a prime spot for these is around your nose). 
Tip 2: Use a multipurpose product (like Nars Multiple, $39) for a pop of color on your eyes, cheeks, and lips. 
Tip 3: Line your eyes with a brown pencil (tryMake Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Light Brown, $18), then apply swipes of waterproof mascara. 
Tip 4: Line your lips with a neutral lip liner and blend in. 
Tip 5: Brush up brows with a clear gel.


“This season, the runways gave us everything from bleached out bare eyebrows to extremely thick un-arched ones,” says Kae. “But in reality, what most women want is the perfectly groomed Kim Kardashian brow — not too thick, not too thin. I swear by Anastasia Classic Stencils, $20,” says Kae. 

Melt-Proof Makeup Tip: Pair strong brows with a soft eye. “If you do a smoky eye, make sure it’s really blended. Use lighter colors with bronze colors,” says Landis. For example, you can do a bronze lid and contour with deep green. Or light blue, and contour with dark blue. “It’s all about blending,” says Landis.


Eyelids aren’t shying away from bright, neon colors and pastels this summer. Feel free to experiment with colors this season, says Kae, who recommends using Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream, $22 with a hard angle brush for maximum control. Finish with a waterproof eyeliner and mascara (try L’Oreal Paris Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner, $8.49 andMake Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash, $22). 

Melt-Proof Makeup Tip: “Never use a kohl liner! It will travel downward on your face as [the weather] heats up,” says Kae.


The key to getting this trendy look is all in the blending. “You don’t want to put a ton of color on the cheeks,” says Rodriguez. Dip your brush in the color, tap it off, then apply to your cheekbones. Make sure you use a different brush to blend it into your skin — or you can use your fingers to blend out the harsh edges. 

Melt-Proof Makeup Tip: In the summer, Rodriguez recommends using cream blushes, “because they tend to hold a little longer.” We recommend Urban Decay Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tint, $24, which comes in an array of bright colors.




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