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Update Your Summer Makeup Bag with These Essentials

By: Sarah Kester

When it comes to summer, there are three things we can be certain of: It will be hot, we’ll be living in a pool float part-time, and our makeup will most definitely melt off our face.

So, whether you sweat profusely or simply glisten, “less is more” is definitely the theme of this summer’s makeup needs.

“With increased humidity during the summer, less moisture is lost from our skin into the air, so we generally don't need emollients as much as we do during the winter,” says N.Y.C.-based dermatologist, Dr. Hadley King

While you can’t change the weather, you can make these makeup swaps to ensure you look and feel your best this summer.

Swap Heavy Foundations for Lighter Formulas

While you may love foundation for its ability to conceal a blemish, during the summer months, it could be what’s actually causing breakouts.

“Sweat combined with the added weight of heavy foundation is going to be sitting on your skin and will end up clogging your pores, which can lead to breakouts,” Brianne Larrabee, esthetician and writer/owner of the blog, Puddles and Pine, tells Lively.

To help your skin breathe, swap your heavy foundations for lighter formulas, such as tinted moisturizers or loose mineral powder.

“Loose mineral powder is great for those with oily skin. It has buildable coverage that is easy to control and is not as likely to sweat off as a liquid foundation,” says Larrabee.  

Don’t want to shell out money for new products? Daisy Jing, a YouTube Influencer and founder and CEO of the skincare company, Banish, shares a neat trick to creating your own tinted moisturizer. 

Simply “mix a few drops of foundation with your favorite moisturizer.” For extra SPF protection, she says it’s best to choose a moisturizer that has sunscreen in it.

RELATED: How to Sweat Proof Your Makeup

Swap Your Regular Cleanser for Foam Cleansers

“If you have dry skin or during the dry winter months, you may find foaming cleansers to be too drying because they can strip your skin of its natural oils and leave it dry and irritated,” says King.

According to Boston-based makeup artist, Stephanie Ward, this is just what the skin needs during the warmer months since it may be super oily and in need of back-up. “It is essential to get a moisturizing cleanser to replenish lost moisture and keep it hydrated so it looks fresh, glowing and healthy!” she says.

If you’re looking for a good cleanser, Ward recommends this Cleansing Glow Mousse: “It’s a AHA/BHA foam cleanser that leaves the skin feeling fresh and clean and not stripped.” 

summer skin care

You Can Use Your Choice of Eyeshadow, But Don’t Skip on the Primer

While some beauty experts might advise you to swap powder eye shadows for creamed-based formulas, Larrabee says that they are actually more prone to creasing.

Instead, use what you want — just be sure to use primer first. “A good eye primer is key to preventing eye makeup from sweating off or creasing,” says Larrabee.

As for colors that work best, she says to opt for sheer shades: “These look more natural in sunlight and are easily buildable if you want more color.”

According to Chris Lanston, an N.Y.C. pro makeup artist and host on UBCTV Network Lanston, metallic colors are also really in. “Right now, I’m loving dewy skin (fair or bronzed), paired with a cream blush and a touch of lip balm,” says Lanston. At night, I’d add mascara and keep your natural eyebrow shape.” He also shares a tip for keeping eyebrows in place: clear mascara. 

If you’re looking for extra coverage to keeps makeup in place this summer, Lanston says to finish everything off with a few spritzes of a finishing spray. On a hot day, it’s super refreshing.

RELATED: The Hottest 2019 Summer Trends

Swap Lipstick for Lip Gloss or Lip Stain

It’s no fun to be spending your summer in front of the mirror, constantly reapplying your lipstick. Swap out your lipstick instead for two other options: Lip gloss or a Lip stain. 

If your lipstick is liquid and you’ve had it for six months, it might even be time to toss it. “Old products and used cloths and brushes can be great breeding grounds for bacteria, yeast, and molds,” explains King. “These bacteria, yeast and molds can irritate our skin and contribute to breakouts.” When in doubt, toss it out.

woman summer makeup

Swap Mascara for a Waterproof Formula

If you plan to be in the water a lot this summer, then waterproof mascara is definitely a must. No one wants to be nicknamed “raccoon eyes”! Just be sure to take the mascara off properly since waterproof mascara can be super difficult to remove and can lead to unwanted tugging of delicate skin around the eyes.

“An oil-based makeup remover can help ease the removal process,” says Larrabee. 

While you’re at it, try to remember how long you’ve had your regular mascara. If you’ve had it or liquid eyeliner for more than three months, it’s time to toss, says Ward.

RELATED: 5 Beauty Products You've Been Using Wrong

Swap in an Exfoliator to Your Shower Routine Once or Twice a Week

After experiencing the harshness of winter, you will love the benefits that come with buffing away dead skin with a good exfoliator.

“Exfoliating dead skin away is crucial to getting makeup to settle naturally into your skin,” says Larrabee. “A good exfoliating scrub that anyone can make at home is a mixture of very fine sea salt and any non-comedogenic oil, such as almond or grape seed oil.”

She says that you can use this scrub very gently about once per week to slough off any dead skin cells.

A homemade scrub she recommends for those with sensitive skin is comprised of finely ground oats and water. “You can even add other ingredients, like raw honey and essential oils, to make it a facial mask and give your skin a boost,” says Larrabee.

RELATED: Your Skin Could Really Benefit from Dry Brushing

makeup swap

Makeup Swap Options for Blemish-Prone Skin

Here’s the sad deal for those with blemish-prone skin this summer. More sweat = more chances for your pores to clog up fast.

“If you are noticing that your skin is very oily and you are getting more clogged pores than you were during the winter then it may mean that you need to stop using any heavy moisturizing creams or foundations or other oil-based products,” says King.

She advises on making sure that all of your products are non-comedogenic, including your makeup and sunscreen. “You could try a gel moisturizer and a cleanser or toner with salicylic acid, which can penetrate into pores to remove excess sebum,” says King. She adds that blotting papers are another option to remove excess oil.

Instead of using powder, beauty sprays are a great option for those with blemish-prone skin, says Jing, adding: “I will look for a spray mist that contains tea tree oil, which is known to calm blemish-prone skin. Aloe vera is also an ingredient you will want in your beauty spray mist, as it is very soothing and calming to the skin.”

As a bonus, it refreshes the skin — and you! The end result is a gorgeous, ultra dewy glow. 

Another product that leaves you glistening for summer is Vital Proteins Hyaluronic Acid Super Surge Capsules. In this vegan-friendly option, hyaluronic acid teams up with skin-loving ingredients like biotin and vitamin C for gentle hydration and skin, hair, and nail support.

Makeup Swap Options for Sensitive Skin

If your skin is more sensitive than anything, Jing says to do your research on the ingredients of a product before buying: “If you do have the product and do want to try it, you can also try it on your inner forearm or the side of your cheek or side of your jaw before using it on your whole face.”

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