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How to Sweat Proof your Makeup

How to Sweat Proof your Makeup

As a self-proclaimed skincare and makeup junkie, I am always on the hunt for the next best product. I’m constantly amazed by how far the beauty industry has come since the days of cold creams and alcohol-loaded toners (antiseptic...for the face?!). Despite how far we have come, I still often find products—albeit well-loved by many—that just do not work with my “situation”.

The “situation”:

One of the challenges I face every year around this time is trying to keep my face from melting off every time I leave my perfectly AC-d apartment. Even though I would put my skin in the dry to normal range, my body likes to cool off through my face and pretty much nowhere else (aka I tend to sweat on my face first, before the rest of my body).  This often leaves me with raccoon eyes, patchy foundation, and the coveted sweat mustache. This may be a grunge-chic look for some, but a bit off brand for me. If you are like me and want some tips and tricks on how to keep your makeup on your face throughout the day during the humid and hot summer months, stick around.

The Prep:

Your base routine quite literally sets the foundation for your foundation (or concealer or tinted moisturizer or whatever you choose) so this is the first and foremost step to do well. For me, the most important part is to moisturize and protect. As recommended by dermatologists like Shereen Idriss and well respected skincare experts like Susan Yara, you don’t necessarily need to “wash your face” in the morning. I simply rinse it with lukewarm water and skip any cleansers. Then I pour some toner on my palms, rub them together, and “gently” slap/smother it over my face, neck and chest. I switch between a hydrating toner and an exfoliating one.

Bonajour is a Korean skincare line that is great for people with sensitive skin. The founder struggled to find products that worked for her ultra-sensitive skin so ended up starting her own line. Bonajour works with experts and prioritizes research, ingredient selection, extraction to create highly concentrated, efficacious products. They manufacture all their products in South Korea.

I like their Green Tea Water Bomb Toner ($17.50) that contains different forms of hyaluronic acids for the best absorption. It’s also fragrance free and made without synthetic alcohol, silicones or artificial coloring.

I do the same with my Vitamin C booster from Paula’s Choice, but try Bonajour’s Green Multi-Vitamin Serum ($30) if you want something more affordable or if regular Vitamin C serums irritate your skin. This is made from a Vitamin C derivative and suitable for more sensitive skin types.  

Then, depending on my mood, I opt for a moisturizer in the form of a cream or oil. I love the Super Bioactive Face Serum ($115) which is a more oil based texture.

Aremes Fermentis is known for their research and use of phytonutrients through their PhytofermentationTM process. This is a proprietary technology in which ingredients are extracted and put through a 14-day infusion process to help maintain and incorporates their vital activity into unique formulations. This helps the bioactive ingredients used in their products penetrate deeper layers of the skin where vital cellular processes take place.

And last, and most importantly—sunscreen!  Sun damage can wreak havoc on your skin, from causing premature aging to cancer. If you don’t wear sunscreen consistently, make it your #1 priority in your skincare routine. In the summer, I use tinted sunscreens in place of traditional face makeup. Unsun is an LA based company that formulates sunscreens that don’t leave a white residue.

Their Minteral Tinted Face Susncreen ($29) is SPF 30, 100% mineral based, reef safe, and water resistant. I use it in place of foundation on a daily basis. Make sure you use at least a full teaspoon worth of sunscreen to ensure coverage and protection.  Too much is better than too little in this case.

The glow – up

I oscillate back between “my face is a canvas to express my creativity” to “no makeup makeup” so depending on the day, I can have anything between red carpet ready or the girl next door look. However, I usually always use the following products –brow pencil, mascara, and blush.

Being East Asian, it’s hard to find brow products that match my undertones and don’t look off. I like the Etude drawing pencil and mix the Gray and Gray Brown shades. If you have blond/brunette/auburn hair, check out these Brow Kits that give you the option to contour and highlight your brows/brow area. Brows shape the face so much so even on days where I don’t put on any other makeup, I still try to fill in my brows.

Once that’s done, I typically curl my lashes (I use Rephr’s curler and it’s life-changing) and then use a waterproof mascara. Curling your lashes and using waterproof mascara will help keep your lashes/pigment away from the bottom area of your eyes and preventing that raccoon-y look.  Lastly, I add some color onto my cheeks. I often just use a lipstick for my lips and as blush. Beloved by La Bella Donna ($28.50) is my go-to because it is just so natural and versatile. I will use it as a base for more vibrant reds and mauves on the days I want a pop of color, but still want it toned down a bit.

La Bella Donna was founded by a mother and daughter duo who wanted to create a makeup line that was healthy and good for the skin. They use natural minerals in their makeup formulations that have benefits to the skin (including SPF!!). 

Locking it in

The key to helping me keep my makeup in check is this last step—powdering. Instead of powdering the entire face, I like to focus on different areas to help keep the make up on without looking cakey or too matte. I take some loose powder like this one Mineral Foundation SPF 50 ($62) and use a fluffy, but smaller brush like Crease Defining Brush ($29), dip into the powder and then dab on the lid or a hard surface (back of your hand). I repeat this a few times to get the powder into the brush (not just on the surface). Then, I gently sweep it over these areas on my face:

  • Around the lids and under eye area
  • Around and all over my nose
  • Under my nose & around the “sweat mustache” area
  • Between the brows and center of my chin

Finally, I take a tissue (only use 1 layer so it’s almost see-through), cover my lip and dab some powder on top of the tissue paper that’s over my lips to set it and prevent it from running.

This helps lock in the areas that sweat of produce the most oil while keeping the rest of the face nice and glow-y. I’m personally not a fan of setting spray (I find most of them contain a lot alcohol and fragrance), but it also can help.

Do you have any other tips and tricks? If so, let me know so I can try it out.

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