Toolkit for Humidity-Proof Makeup


My skin is out of control oily—a great advantage in the wrinkle-formation long game, but terrible for now—now being June, July, August, and September, living in a city that was once considered a swamp (or maybe not), but still has an undeniable humidity problem. Some of these days I slap on sunscreen and skip out the door, and some days I take a step further. No matter, I’ve earned a PhD in how to make makeup stay put in the muggiest of conditions. Want to learn?


This may sound contradictory, but you’ll need moisturized skin to minimize makeup slippage later in the day. This is a fact especially important for my oily-skinned sistren (a lack of adequate moisture triggers pores to produce oil in excess). The trick is finding the elusive moisturizer equilibrium. A new staple in my routine is Valmont’s Hydra 3 Regenetic, a serum actually, that hydrates better than many a moisturizer. It sinks into pores for a lightweight, but thirst quenching guzzle of water to skin (probably due to its abundance of a precursor to the moisture powerhouse, hyaluronic acid).

Primers are essential too. Not all primers work well though, but two of the very best are Hourglass’s Veil Mineral Primer and Cover FX’s Mattifyng Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment (which I highly recommend if you’re more than prone to a breakout or two).

On days when I’m feeling extra fancy and want to dip into an eye shadow, Blinc’s Eye Shadow Primer is more than required. I can personally attest to its pigment-gripping powers that prolong the flimsiest of shadows on the balmiest of summer days.


Unless you’re a masochist, liquid and cream foundations are out of the question in the summer (with one small exception I’ll mention in a minute). Powders are best, but BB creams are a useful alternative if your skin tends to be dry. My all time favorite foundation is bareMinerals’ Matte loose powder—it was made for days when the humidity levels read like a winning grade report (99% anyone?). If you’re seeking heavier coverage, Pur Minerals’ 4-in-1 Pressed Powder and Make Up For Ever’s Multi-Use Powder Foundation are also first-class formulas. The one caveat to summer liquid foundation makeup is Armani’s Maestro, which sinks into skin the same way foam slips into a full-bodied latte. As far as BB creams, Iman’s version is always a welcome experience.

Eye makeup is another frontier, and if you’re not careful, a few hours in the summer heat can leave liner and mascara anywhere but on your eyes. There’s nothing that can stop a waterproof eyeliner, however, and I strongly recommend Smashbox’s and Dior’s versions (Java and Trinidad Black are my regular go-tos). For lashes, there’s water-resistant mascara from Chantecaille, which is a new favorite that I hate/love (hate that’s it’s pricey but love that it works for fullness, length, longevity, and no clumps).


All makeup, no matter the formula, requires a setting powder. My favorite is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder, which keeps makeup in place without casting a chalky shadow. Using a foundation brush, I press the powder (pressing works better than sweeping, I’ve found) onto my forehead, nose, and above my chin. The super fine powder applies smooth and translucent for both dark and fair complexions alike. Throughout the day blotting papers are essential, so I typically carry a pack of Paula’s Choice Oil Blotting Papers in my bag. You know what also works: toilet seat covers. I am in no way ashamed to admit that I’ve siphoned a cover or two from the office bathroom to keep developing oil at bay.

With these tools in place you’ll be ready to fight the good fight against balmy weather. After all, balmy weather ain’t all that bad: my curly hair has never looked better.

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One comment on “Toolkit for Humidity-Proof Makeup

  1. Curvy CEO says:

    Great tips! Lately I have been feeling lazy so I have just been putting on sunscreen and some sort of lip stain and calling myself done. I will check out that MUFE foundation.