6 Tips to Keep Your Makeup Intact While Rocking Sunglasses


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Let’s set the scene: You’ve perfected your makeup look and are heading out on a bright summer Saturday. You reach for your sunnies and are on your way. Then you feel it: the little sweat beads followed by your best sunglasses gliding down your nose, and you know it’s happening—your makeup’s transferring. Instead of internally screaming and wondering what you did wrong in a past life, we spoke to leading makeup artists to uncover their tried-and-true tips and tricks to prevent summer makeup meltdowns, so you look your best while sporting your fave shades. If you’re like us, you will want to save this refresher list before your next long weekend.

Have a summer foundation wardrobe

Must-Haves for a Base Face That Will Last All Day

Sunglasses themselves don’t directly cause sweating, but wearing them in warmer temperatures contributes to increased dampness because they create a barrier that traps heat around your eyes and on your nose. Sharon Becker, SB Beauty makeup artist, shares that when the temp heats up, you need to switch to “a long-wearing primer, matte foundation, and concealer because these products will adhere to the skin and provide less chance for transfer.” To prevent your face from looking flat and cakey, look for formulas that contain moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and non-comedogenic oils—this will keep your skin hydrated while minimizing slickness.

Be prepped and ready

Water-Based and Oil-Free Products for Long-Lasting Wear

Good news: The right skin care can be the difference between sweating your makeup off and staying matte all day long. A matte moisturizer and an oil-free SPF under the makeup will help if your skin leans oily or combo because it guarantees no extra oil is added to the area and can continue to maintain an oil-free surface. If your skin is on the dry or sensitive side, look for water-based formulas as they’ll keep you hydrated, but remember the finish is lighter and reapplication will be needed. Pay close attention to your formulas and make sure you’re staying in the same family, meaning all water-based products, oil-based, or all silicone-based products. A quick scan of the labels will tell you—the first ingredient listed in any product will always be the base of the formula, meaning if the first ingredient is water, it’s a water-based product. The last ingredient means it’s the one that the formula has the least amount of. Don’t forget this rule applies to your SPF too.

Choose the right tools

The Best Makeup Sponges and Brushes

Creating a smooth, even base is essential, so if you’re using “silicone or oil-based products, apply with a brush and not a damp beauty sponge because it can break or lift the product. While water-based products apply better with a damp sponge and brushes can sometimes lead to streaks or lines,” says Maria I. Rincon Djuro, KIKO Milano makeup artist.

Less is more

Set It and Forget It With the Best Setting Powders, Setting Sprays, and Eyeliner Pencils

And while you may have a favorite foundation application technique, to withstand the heat, Djuro recommends stippling your product in and avoiding rubbing and blending, which can work against you, even impacting how much coverage your makeup provides. On the nose and cheekbones, start with an eye primer on the areas where the glasses will sit. Eye primers are grippier and follow with a light base layer to minimize transfer. Let that completely dry, then use a powder puff to press in a translucent setting powder and finish with a setting spray. Make sure to pack it in your bag for touch-ups throughout the day. If you’re opting for a brow look, skip powders, as they’re most likely to rub off, and instead use a longwear pencil with a low-oil formula,” Dani Kimiko Vincent, Celebrity Makeup and Brow Artist and Founder of KIMIKO, explains.

Never reapply makeup to wet skin

Best Powder Puffs and Blotting Papers

You’ll be tempted to fix your makeup when you feel yourself sweating, but to avoid a patchy base, you’ll need to wait until it’s dry. Start by taking a blotting paper to the areas that are damp and gently press and lift until the oil is absorbed—never rub. “Once your face is dry, stipple using a sponge, puff, or your clean ring finger if you forgot your tools (it has the least strength out of any fingers, so it will apply lighter pressure), stipple any smudging and touch up any foundation if needed, only with the smallest amount possible. Then set again with your setting powder puff and setting spray,” says Djuro.

Set your sunnies

Once your face is set, it’s time to give the same love to your eyewear. To start, you’ll rub the nose pads with alcohol; not only will this help stop your makeup from transferring, but it will also prevent contamination from old leftover oil from previous wears. “Next, apply a little bit of your powder to the same nose pads and the areas of your glasses that touch your face,” says Kat Dorn, makeup artist at LRN BEAUTY. The final step before putting your glasses on is to apply a setting spray directly to your frames—this will keep them from sliding and creating imprints on your face.

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