How to keep makeup from melting in hot weather

I lead a double life. When I’m not blogging about makeup here, I am a full-time working makeup artist. Here in the midwest, the weather is finally becoming warmer. This means I’m working outdoors on photo and video shoots and have to keep makeup from melting.

When I am working on these shoots, I do makeup for the talent and then stay on set for the duration of the shoot. I feel beyond grateful that I get to do this for a job and I carry that gratitude in my heart every single minute of these shoots.

That being said, this past week, I worked on two shoots outdoors in hot sunshine, including 93 degrees and humidity. I have a 2-day outdoor shoot next week too. On these jobs, it’s up to me to ensure that the talent’s makeup stays intact, prevent their makeup from melting, and not only that, but my own, so I still look professional on set.

Here are some ways to keep makeup from melting, products and techniques that have made my job easier and my own makeup look better all day too.

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

Full disclosure: I didn’t like this primer on myself. I have very dry skin and this seemed to absorb any hint of shine that even tried to pop through. That being said, when I used it on clients lately with oily skin and those in the hot sunshine, I really felt like it performed.

Glossier Wowder

This is a powder that really excels for me in the warmer months but that I find a bit drying for winter. When I set my makeup with this, it stays the most intact all day on nonstop, hot days. I focus on pressing it into my t-zone and can looking forward to matte-ness for hours to come.

Temptu Airbrush

While this is a bit of an extreme solution, it may be worth investing in if you find yourself needing a heat-proof face often. I do airbrush makeup on most of my brides and outdoor commercial shoots because it’s the most indestructible. Temptu’s handheld gun the Temptu Air is a consumer-friendly version of what I do on set.

CoverGirl Flourish

Glossier Lash Slick was my go-to for zero smudging or flaking in high heat. However, this week, I realized how similarly the Covergirl Flourish performed. Both are great choices for hot weather days.

Cooling Setting Spray

This is a must-have for hot weather. While I love the original Urban Decay All Nighter, the Chill version is great for hot temps because it actually has temperature control technology.

Blotting Papers

Resist the urge to powder when you start to look shiny. Instead, absorb the sweat and oil with a portable blotting paper like these. Instead of layering on more product, which can create the dreaded caking effect, absorb the moisture and move on. I like to use blotting papers on set to pick up on shine on hot spots and the talent appreciates not being doused in more makeup too.

Necklace Fan

I think this might be my new favorite thing. This is what it sounds like; a fan on a necklace. The best part is that it shoots up at the wearer. It can also be used to quickly dry setting spray, lash glue or be worn backwards to keep the back of your neck cool.

Tips to Remember

  • Similar to how you dress for warm weather, the less layers of product, the better.
  • The less emollient the product, the better.
  • Blot more than you powder for maintenance.
  • If you have truly oily skin, and I don’t just mean combo skin, you can use this technique. Buff a setting powder into the t-zone before foundation. Don’t use a lot, make sure focus on only the oily areas and use small circular motions. Apply your foundation over that and then set again with powder.

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