How To Keep Your Makeup From Melting This Summer, According To R29 Unbothered Editors

·8 min read

When temperatures rise, you likely tweak your beauty routine in some fashion, whether that means opting for a no-makeup makeup or more playful aesthetic, reaching for multipurpose products that feel skin care-y, or simply forgoing makeup (or at least heavy foundation) entirely. While these seasonal adjustments might come out of a natural desire to shed the heaviness of cooler months, sometimes these changes are born out of past experiences (like learning that waterproof mascara and blotting papers are key to preventing that “drowning in my own sweat” look).

As temps continue to reach 90 degrees (sometimes 100), it felt apt to find out how — and why — R29 Unbothered editors tweak their makeup routines in the summer. To do this, we teamed up with Milk Makeup, whose high-performing yet shockingly lightweight products happen to be some of our favorites to reach for when the weather heats up. From the Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30 (which provides sheer coverage with the added bonus of SPF) to the Rise Mascara (which gives our lashes a natural and long-lasting lift) to the Bionic Glow (mix it with your body lotion for a luminous glow on your legs, shoulders, and collarbone), the easy-to-use, multipurpose range feels like a godsend on even the hottest of days, when applying makeup feels like a herculean effort.

Read on as R29 Unbothered editors walk us through their summer makeup regimens, the lessons they’ve learned from summers past (as well as the subsequent rules they live by now), and the products they swear by all season. Plus, shop our top favorite Milk Makeup products for summer and beyond, below.

L’Oreal Blackett, Unbothered UK Editor

My summer makeup routine:
“I am much more playful with my makeup in the summertime — bring on the dopamine glam. I love pops of colorful eyeshadows and eyeliners, glossy lips, and bright nail art. At the same time, I completely strip back my autumn and winter ‘full beat’ foundation routine in favor of light, dewy, glowy skin tints and concealer. For me, summer is all about fresh, glowing, skin-like makeup with a bit of personality. [This season] I’m gravitating toward Milk Makeup Bionic Blush for staying power and a wash of color, as well as the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer and the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Set + Refresh Spray for a glow. Plus, the Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel as I have very unruly brows.”

Summer makeup lessons I’ve learned:
“In the battle between the sun and my foundation, the sun usually wins (and my summer white clothes are an inevitable casualty). So, to keep my makeup from melting in the heat, I use a really good primer or setting spray to lock everything in.”

The summer beauty rule I live by:
“Good makeup is only achieved by great skin care. So, use SPF. Always. Don’t skip it. And reapply.”

Ineye Komonibo, Unbothered Culture Critic

My makeup routine in the summer:
“As a person with oily skin, the last thing that I want to do in the summer is to look like I’m melting, so I’m very militant about choosing base products that will hold up to the super hot weather. Fall, winter, and spring Ineye can get away with more radiant and dewy foundations, but that’s just not an option for hot girl summer, so I stay strapped with mattifying products to make sure my makeup holds. And layered under all of that — and reapplied throughout the day — is a very powerful SPF.

“New York City feels like the fourth circle of Dante’s Inferno in the summertime, so if I’m wearing makeup, I want my makeup to stay put, and Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer is the only primer I trust to do that. It’s hydrating, so it doesn’t suffocate your skin, but its [grip] also ensures that the products don’t slip and slide even on the hottest days. Once I’m all done, I seal it with a few sprays of Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Set + Refresh Spray to make sure I stay as cute as I feel before leaving the house. Flawless finish.”

Summer beauty lessons I’ve learned:
“Reapply your sunscreen. I used to be so hurt when all of my efforts to fade my acne scars and hyperpigmentation amounted to nothing, and I realized that I wasn’t doing enough to protect my skin from UV rays. Doing the two-finger method — okay, just one finger most times — once a day just wasn’t enough. I had to reapply my sunscreen some way, somehow. So, a few hours after applying my first layer of SPF, I now follow that up with another application, and if I’m wearing makeup, I’ll opt for an SPF spray that protects the beat without disrupting it.”

Summer beauty rules I live by:
“When it comes to foundation, always go a shade darker than what you think — that summer sun will tan you way faster than you think. Also, carry a portable fan wherever you go. Your base will thank you.”

Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Unbothered Global Deputy Director

My summer makeup routine:
“I love a good summer glow that looks natural, so the Milk Makeup Bionic Glow is something I’m excited about. I’m big on moisturizing a lot in the summer so that my skin looks luminous (plus, I can pretend that sweaty shine is on purpose!), so this product is right up my alley.”

Summer beauty lessons I’ve learned:
“To wear sunscreen. I know that seems simple, but when you’re a Black girl who grew up hearing that Black folks don’t need it, getting used to a regular sunscreen routine can be tough. I like a sunscreen that is lightweight and sits well under makeup.”

Summer beauty rules I live by:
“No dark colors (I reach for light eyeshadow and lipsticks with pink tones), and I usually opt for semi-permanent lash extensions so I’m not worried about runny mascara.”

Sandy Pierre, Unbothered Branded Execution Specialist

My summer makeup routine:
“I try to avoid full-coverage makeup as much as possible because of the heat. So, I usually always wear a tinted moisturizer with SPF or a matte foundation along with concealer, brow gel, and lip gloss. I’ve become a blush girl over the past year, so anything that gives me a bit of a rosy-cheek look, I’m snatching off the shelves. Also, [I’m into] the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer this summer. Anything that feels mattifying in this heat is a winner, and I like that it makes for a natural-looking finish.”

The summer makeup lesson I’ve learned:
“My skin gets darker in the summer, so I have to switch my foundation shade. I got a major tan a few summers back and made the mistake of using my normal foundation. Let’s just say I was looking like a clown. So, always have a winter and summer shade.”

The summer beauty rule I live by:
“Applying sunscreen before makeup and only wearing matte products. I sweat a lot, so anything that makes me look too dewy isn’t for me.”

Venesa Coger, Unbothered Style & Culture Specialist

My summer makeup routine:
“Instead of a full face of makeup, I typically just stick to lip gloss, eyeliner, and under-eye concealer. Though I don’t use much on my face [in the summer], I use Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek as a base layer underneath my lip gloss to add a pop of color for Zoom meetings or when I go out to lunch with friends. I love how versatile it is — I could use it in multiple ways (even as an eyeshadow). And because I like carrying mini handbags, I love the fact that this two-in-one (or three-in-one, really) is special and small enough to take on the go.”

The summer makeup lesson I’ve learned:
“‘Less is more’ is the motto I live by. It’s way too hot to wear a full face of makeup, and I sweat a lot in my T-zone, so I prefer to keep my base to moisturizer and sunscreen to protect my skin. It’s best for me to let my skin do its thing.”

The summer beauty rules I live by:
“Embrace the natural glow of my skin, always wear sunscreen, and add pops of color, whether that’s through my lipstick or lip gloss, eyeshadow, or blush.”

Rissa Papillion, Unbothered Producer

My summer makeup routine:
“I tend to shy away from foundation in the summer, and it’s not because [it results in me having] less acne or that my skin thrives in the 90% humidity that happens from June to September — I just prefer to keep it simple, opting for mascara, blush, and lip gloss. I love using Milk Makeup Rise Mascara because it lengthens and lifts my lashes. I have long eyelashes, but they’re so straight and only visible from my profile, which makes this a go-to for me.”

The summer makeup lesson I’ve learned:
“To protect your skin and keep your makeup from melting at all costs. Nothing’s worse than making eyes with the equally sweaty but hunky guy across the subway platform only to realize that he’s staring at your face basically dripping down.”

The summer beauty rule I live by:
“If it can’t fit in my ever-shrinking purse, then I don’t need it with me. I hibernate in the winter, so summer is my time to be around people, and being able to reapply my makeup throughout the day is key.”

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