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Beat the heat! 11 top tips for summer makeup

Summer is full of wonderful things — but melting foundation, smeared eyeliner and super-sticky lipstick are not among them. So here's top makeup artist Jimena Lemck with her best summer makeup tips.

Sticky, sweaty and smudgy makeup isn’t a good look no matter what the weather… and so as the summer hots up we called on makeup expert Jimena Lemck to share her secrets on the best summer makeup tips including looks, brands and products to wear for keeping your face looking natural, fresh and pretty, even when you’re sweating on hot days.

Photo credit: Rachel Claire / Pexels

1. Moisturise, moisturise

The way you care for your skin is just as important as the makeup you apply on it. Use an oil-free moisturiser in the morning, and opt for an oil-free foundation formula to match. These will be less likely to leave your face greasy throughout the day, especially in the heat. 
JL’s top choice: La Mer, Clinique, Esteê Lauder. 

2. Apply SPF

Besides hydrating your skin, you also want to make sure it’s properly protected from the sun — and that means wearing broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every single day, even under your makeup. (Applying makeup over sunburned skin is not fun!)
JL’s top choice: Dermalogica, Clinique.

3. Primed and ready

You won’t regret the few seconds it takes to apply a makeup primer, which goes on after moisturiser but before face makeup. Primers are definitely the way to go in summer. They help hold makeup in place without feeling like a heavy additional layer.
JL’s top choice: No7 Airbrush Away Primer, which uses hyaluronic acid to help soften wrinkles and blur imperfections — all while keeping your makeup in place. 

4. Less is more

If you want to prevent your makeup from creasing and caking, say it with us: Less is more. If you can, use only a tinted moisturiser and a concealer where you need it. Makeup likes to move around when it’s hot, so the best way to avoid that is to wear less of it.
JL’s top choice: Kryolan, La Mar, Clinique.

5. Skip the shimmer

Everyone loves a nice dewy glow, but there’s a big difference between a healthy radiance and an over-the-top shine. Avoid cream foundations or anything too luminous, as the humidity will make you extra shiny and sweaty-looking if you have too much sparkle on your skin.

My Advice? Go for sheer shades. Rich, deep colours have their place, but they can look heavy in summer. To lighten up your look, switch to sheer versions of your go-to lip and eye colors. Use a lipliner pre-application if you need extra definition, but go for a nude shade to keep that carefree feeling, or try “invisible” lipliner, which deposits a clear, waxy film to stop color from bleeding. And because sheer colours are more subtle, you almost can’t go overboard.
JL’s top choice: Seeds of Colour, MAC, Nars.

6. Blush lightly

Blush adds balance and healthiness to any look, but if you’re still using the same powdery formula, your flush might be getting cakey faster than it takes to get to work in the morning. Stains are great for longevity in hot weather. Use a gel or blush stain, then blend a touch of a cream blush on top of it. 
JL’s top choice: Seeds of Colour, MAC.

7. Bronze appeal

Bronzer makes your eyes look brighter, your teeth whiter — everyone looks better with a little warmth added to their skin. To keep the results looking fresh and natural, I recommend applying bronzer just to the high points of your face, where the sun naturally hits you: your forehead, cheekbones, chin and nose. (Covering every nook and cranny is what gives you that fake, baked look that’s a major bronzer mistake.) Powder bronzers are the easiest to apply and least likely to slip around in summer heat. Look for one that contains varying shades — they’ll blend together for the most authentic-looking results. You can also sweep a little bronzer onto your neck to blend, especially if you have short hair or are wearing a pony­tail.
JL’s top choice: MAC.

8. Lip service

Toss your heavy matte lipsticks for the summer and try the season’s simplest trend: lip stains. These long-lasting formulas offer sheer coverage that can be built up, making them super versatile. Stains are lovely because you can always add a lip balm for moisture without worrying about the colour travelling.
JL’s top choice: Seeds of Colour, Nars.

9. Go bright

Just as you’re probably more likely to wear a vivid top or carry a bright bag this season, now’s the perfect time to amp up the colours in your makeup palette. Besides looking summery, livelier colours brighten the face and bring a youthful glow to skin. If you tend to stick with neutrals, experiment with just one area of your face, like a punchy blush on the apples of the cheeks, a coloured eyeliner, or a poppy sheer lip colour.
JL’s top choice: MAC, Seeds of Colour.

10. The eyes have it

For longer-lasting eyeshadow, avoid using eye cream on your lids (it can break down makeup), and smooth on an eye primer instead. It will minimise creasing and create a base for the shadow to cling to so it lasts longer. For the ultimate in all-day wearability, layer a powder eye shadow over a cream. Doubling up works for eyeliner, too. Apply your regular pencil or cream liner, then use a small angled brush to press dark shadow over the liner to set it for longer wear. Invest in a good waterproof mascara. 
JL’s top choices: MAC, LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara, COVERGIRL Amazon. 

And finally…

The final step in getting your makeup to last all day and night is to spritz on a makeup setting spray to seal in your look.
JL’s top choice: Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. 

Jimena Lemck is a professional makeup artist and hair stylist with more than 18 years of experience in the industry working with an impressive roll call of clients that includes Courtney Love, Elton John, Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor. She’s worked with top photographers, designers and global brands all over the world, and her work has been seen in the top fashion magazines including Vogue and Elle. She’s based in Surrey.

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