Sweat-friendly makeup

The camera I sent with Justin to Mt. Rainier


It has been unreasonably humid lately. I know it’s June in North Carolina but the humidity feels more like what we have in July or August. You cannot go outside without sweating!

As sweat was literally dripping off my face as I mowed the lawn last weekend, I got to thinking about a makeup routine for when you know you are going to be sweating. I’m not the kind of girl that would apply makeup in order to mow the lawn, but I had some on from earlier on in the day when I was running errands with the boys. It was very basic and light, and as I mowed I thought I’d share the products I would grab if I knew I would be sweating in humidity but still wanted to look a little made up. Basically, what I’ll wear the rest of the summer whenever I plan on being outside.

Primer: Benefit Stay Flawless 15 hour primer ; I got this years ago and it worked really well with my skin. There are mixed reviews on Sephora’s website, but I didn’t have any clumping issues with foundation. Another runner up primer is Hourglass Veil Mineral primer. It sinks in to my skin so well and feels great.

Foundation: When I know I’m going to sweat, I reach for Bare Minerals Original foundation. My only complaint is that it’s a mess when I’m applying it. I really dislike loose powders. Even if I’m meticulous and careful, I still feel like they get everywhere and it’s such a waste! I grab it, though, because it’s light enough for my skin to breathe and doesn’t streak or clump up on my face. The only thing I’ve noticed is that the foundation can collect under where my sunglasses rest on my nose, so I just have to rub that in if it’s a particularly humid day. Another alternative, for fuller coverage on humid days, is Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation (also in loose powder). I have trouble getting an exact color match with this but I love the coverage.

Eyebrow pencil: Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil cannot be beat. It’s been my favorite for a long, long time and the color is perfect for my super neutral and light eyebrows. I tried using Pixi Endless Brow Gel Pen on my brows but it melted off. I actually prefer that for liner versus brows!

Mascara: I wore my usual combo of Benefit Roller lash + fibers + Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes but a waterproof version, if you prefer, would be Tarte’s Lights, Camera, SPLASHes.

Blush: Cream blush works well for me on humid days as I’m less likely to get the sweat drip effect in powder blush. I’ve been using Honest beauty blush in Truly Thrilling and love the pink shade.

Lipstick: It’s basically gone in the photo above, but I love the Dior Addict Lip Glow in the summer. It’s just the nicest little boost in color on your lips!

And that’s about it. Again, I’d keep it very simple!

Do you have a favorite product that you always grab to wear on super hot days? I’d love to know what it is!

For more, check out this summer makeup tutorial for a glowy simple look!


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Cheryl says · 06.16.16

I live in Florida and the only foundation I use is Cover Girl, the original formula. It holds up pretty well, but any make-up is going to sweat off after awhile, unfortunately. Oh, the joys of living in a swamp. 🙂

Melissa G says · 06.16.16

I needed this video! I live in TN and my girls play travel softball. Last weekend we were at a tournament from 7am to 9pm. It was almost 100 and very humid on Saturday, and again on Sunday. By mid afternoon I noticed that my foundation was flaking and collecting under my sunglasses. I use Clinique Even Better and just love it normally. My daughter suggested I don’t wear any foundation on Sunday. I am tan…just have skin that tans even with always wearing sunscreen. But, as a 40 something, I do have unevenness. SOOOO…I am looking for something very light, that will just even things out, without a ton of coverage and stand up to the sweating!! I don’t want a full coverage so the Tarte one is out. Any thoughts anyone??

Rachel says · 06.16.16

I don’t wear a ton of makeup to begin with so my summer routine is basically the same as my winter.

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin “WORK IT!” Tinted Moisturizer is AMAZING for me! It’s sheer-ish and has an SPF of 40 (I live in Florida and it’s pretty much mandatory). It evens out my tone and covers my red — I don’t have a ton of a redness as it is but there is some. I use no other foundation.

I tend to have oily/combo skin and this doesn’t aggravate it. I also always do a light dusting of translucent powder (another in the “Organic Wear” line) to take away any shine. I have always done this with other foundations.

It’s not orange on me and I like that there isn’t a bunch of gunk in the ingredients. I was able to find it at Walmart for $13-ish.

Kasey Jo says · 06.16.16

I love the bare minerals complexion rescue tinted hydrating gel cream (could the name be any longer?)… it is not a lot of coverage, but it evens out my skin tone and that is what I wear on no makeup- makeup days… plus the color selection is very forgiving.

Carrie says · 06.16.16

Which color of the arch pencil do you wear?

Krystie says · 06.16.16

I’ve heard her mention before that she uses the platinum blonde color. ?

Michelle says · 06.16.16

This is our first summer in the Raleigh-area, so I totally needed this. Thanks!

Jess says · 06.16.16

I’m a makeup noob and my most made up look is very basic. So I usually just give up on wearing make up in the summer, so this post was very helpful! I love reading and watching you transform your look though!

anonymous says · 06.16.16

I’m more curious to hear how you find time to mow the lawn with 2 little boys. Are they napping? If so, do you have the monitor? If they are awake, how do you keep them contained and not getting hurt by the mower? I cannot find time at all to do things like this and it’s frustrating as my husband is traveling often and I have to get all of these things done. Thanks!

Michelle says · 06.19.16

A while back she was looking for a part-time nanny so I’m assuming she probably does stuff like that when the nanny is there.

Hannah says · 06.16.16

Have you ever used the Bare Minerals pressed powder? The loose powder was my biggest complaint about Bare Minerals but now that they came out with the pressed powder they’re my favorite!!

Lyndsay says · 06.16.16

Thanks for sharing. Illinois has been very humid lately. I use the bare minerals also and have the same problem with the sunglass marks.

Julie says · 06.16.16

There is a new product on Sephora’s website called “sweat”, they’re marketing it as a “for athletes by athletes product”, but I’d be curious to see a review of it for the average non athlete who lives in a humid climate.


Adrienne says · 06.16.16

Ahh thank you did this because I’m melting here in KC too!

TC says · 06.16.16

Hey Kate! The loose powder foundations might be less of a mess if you use them with a BeautyBlender or other damp sponge. It sounds crazy but it REALLY works!

Khrystin Parra says · 06.16.16

I need to try this! I love my Bare Minerals because it’s great for my sensitive skin but I hate wasting the product. Thanks for the tip!

Kacie M says · 06.16.16

Where I live, it doesn’t get as humid as NC, but it can get bad! I have been using Smashbox Studio Skin 15-hour wear foundation for a couple years now, and love it. It seems to hold strong, even after gym sessions where I am a hot mess! I had previously been using the BE line of foundation/powders but it just wasn’t working with my skin anymore after MANY years. I also use the Smashbox primer, which also helps on my combo skin. So that, the foundation and then a dusting of Ben Nye powder in banana… that’s my usual go to. A majority of days, this combo lasts all day.

Now, if only I could find hair products that work with my hair texture (straight, a thicker fine, and no uplifting foam works) to defy the humidity… that would be great! *lol*

Kacie M says · 06.16.16

Also, I put the foundation on with a beauty blender. I used to use a brush (the Smashbox foundation one), but the BB works SO much better.

lily says · 06.16.16

Great post—thanks Kate! It has been pretty steamy here in KC this past week & it’s testing my makeup & patience, already! It’s great to read what others are using to beat the heat & still look fab-u-lous! 🙂

Silly question—you use a primer before loose powder? Never thought that was an option. Please ‘splain, Lucy. lol! Thanks.

Kate says · 06.16.16

Sure, you can use primer before any kind of foundation!

lily says · 06.17.16

Thanks Kate!

Kim says · 06.16.16

Love this! This’ll be really helpful here in DC while it’s insanely humid!


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Ashley Raska says · 06.16.16

Thanks for this post! I live in Virginia and we’ve had some hot and humid days too and it will only get hotter and more humid from here. I’m not one to put on makeup to do a sweaty activity either, but because I’m 30 weeks pregnant just loading the car to get my daughter and I out the door in the morning can be a sweaty activity.

Mel says · 06.16.16

I love Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue when I am trying to fight the heat. I go super light and natural. 🙂

Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

Andrea says · 06.16.16

This post is perfect because my makeup is always melting off my face! I love using bb cushions since they are light on my skin. I like carrying it around with me in case I need a touch up 🙂


Sarah says · 06.16.16

It doesn’t look like you’re wearing any foundation at all! Which is weird, because when I use Bare Minerals I hate the way it looks. It’s very heavy and doesn’t blend well. I feel like it looks much more natural to use a liquid foundation, lightly.

Karly says · 06.16.16

I do crossfit, so during a South Louisiana hot & humid summer the temperature is extremely hot. I sweat my booty off like drenched.LOL. I workout in the afternoon, so that’s after a long day at work. I wear the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation also and after I leave the gym sometimes it still looks like I have make up on under all that sweat! Yikes, needless to say I’ve been wearing that foundation for at least 2 years now. Of course after I heard about it from you! I love it and will never go back from what I’ve used in the last.

Laura says · 06.16.16

Kate this is so helpful, thank you!! You are gorgeous Mama, love how you look with little makeup.

Casey says · 06.16.16

Hey Kate! I have a quick question, but I wasn’t quite sure where to post it. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a pretty pigmented, lightish pinky blush that you really like? I have a NARS one I like, but sometimes I feel like it’s not pigmented enough for me when I want a little more blush. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you and have a great rest of your day!!

Katherine says · 06.16.16

You look great! I love your freckles showing through. Which Dior Lip Glow color do you use: pink or coral?

Courtney says · 06.16.16

This is random and not related to the post at all but can you bring back cubicle conversations?! And make it weekly?! I loved them!!!

susan says · 06.16.16

Kate what’s a good everyday lipstick lipgloss for running errands?????

Abigail says · 06.17.16

Nice to know that I wasn’t the only one struggling to color match with the Tarte foundation!!! I LOVED it but couldn’t find one that worked for me. 🙁 Making a Sephora trip today and probably will switch back to Bare Minerals for the summer. 🙂

Susan says · 06.17.16

Keep a can of Avene Hydrating spray in the fridge.
Keeps your make-up from melting.


Doreen says · 06.17.16

Hey there, I do not use a foundation but instead a BB cream as my skin doesn’t have that many breakouts during summer. I use Vitamin E cool BB cream by The Body Shop and it is absolutely amazing! It is especially good for dry skin!

Sage says · 06.19.16

This was such a handy post to read, Kate! I really need to try those foundations you were suggesting, I’ve been on the hunt for some this summer. 🙂


Momzi says · 06.20.16

Ditch the Bare Minerals loose powder foundation and go for their READY foundation. Same thing, but a pressed powder. I actually think its even better, if that is possible. I use the ecotools body bronzing brush to apply and let me tell you, you get FAB coverage -light medium or full – in a minute. Maybe 2. But nothing longer than that. IF you get color in the summer, you keep your same shade and add bronzer .. theirs are fine. I’ve been using one by PF that smells like EL bronze goddess. But READY foundation is where its at. The colors don’t immediately translate over by name, you need to look at them. What was your color in the loose powder, may not be your color in READY. And get the brush – eco tools – its key.

Sarah Sharpe says · 06.22.16

I had the same problem with my Bare Minerals Ready Foundation (which I personally love!) I found that if you use their setting powder over your foundation, it helps SO MUCH with the sunglasses lines!