7 Tips to Prep Your Skin for Flawless Summer Makeup

7 Tips to Prep Your Skin for Flawless Summer Makeup

As much as you may enjoy summer, there’s no denying it’s the most challenging season for maintaining your makeup throughout the day. While you may feel heat, humidity, and excessive sun exposure are setting you up for failure, when it comes to flawless summer makeup, it’s all about the prep work that precedes the application process, so don’t grab that setting powder just yet. Before anything else, here are seven helpful tips to ensure you look and feel fresh no matter what the weather has in store.

1. Start With a Thorough Cleanse

High humidity causes the sebaceous glands in the skin to produce more oil, which dissolves makeup and causes it to fade throughout the day. Nothing creates a clean, smooth canvas for a flawless makeup application like a well-formulated cleanser to balance the skin of its natural oils and remove dirt, excess sebum, and impurities that could lead to breakouts. Of course, this is not to say you still won’t get a little dewy, but a thorough cleanse will help set you up for success.

Pro Tips:

  • Wet your face with water and apply your cleanser with your fingertips. Use gentle circular motions to work the product all over your face.
  • While the length of time you should spend cleansing your face is a debatable topic among professionals, the average is between 30 seconds and one minute.
  • Rinse with tepid (lukewarm) water and pat (don’t rub) your skin dry with a soft towel.

2. Exfoliate Regularly

You may already be aware that regular exfoliation promotes a healthy, glowing complexion and helps the rest of your products work better because dead skin cells don’t impede absorption. However, removing flaky dead skin also helps your makeup go on more smoothly, making it last longer — which is precisely what you need during the warm weather months!

Exfoliate Regularly

Pro Tips:

  • Exfoliate two to three times a week with either a physical exfoliant like a scrub or face brush or a leave-on chemical formula made up of skin-safe exfoliating acids. Which one you need depends upon your skin type, goals, and current condition. For example, you wouldn’t want to use a scrub if you have active acne. Yet, you might gravitate towards a glycolic acid exfoliating solution if you’re concerned about fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Never exfoliate your skin if it’s sunburned or has open cuts or wounds.
  • A two-in-one exfoliator that harnesses the power of physical and gentle chemical exfoliation takes the guesswork out of which one to use without compromising the skin barrier, resulting in a healthy, glowing complexion.

3. Don’t Skip Out on Moisturizer

While you might forgo moisturizer, thinking it will prevent your makeup from sliding off your face, the right moisturizer helps smooth the skin, encouraging an even (not cakey) application of concealer and foundation. It can actually help your cosmetics stay on longer!

Pro Tips:

  • Opt for a lightweight moisturizer that makes your skin feel supple and bouncy without sabotaging your makeup application.
  • Remember, a moisturizer comes before sunscreen and a makeup primer.

4. Sunscreen is Always a Must

Don’t underestimate the power of sunscreen, even if your makeup claims to have some protection. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 is your best defense against UV damage, which can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity. So, make it a non-negotiable part of your summer makeup prep routine.

Pro Tips:

  • Opt for a mineral sunscreen (aka a physical sunscreen) rather than a chemical formula, especially if you have acne-prone or sensitive skin. Mineral sunscreen is less apt to clog your pores.
  • It doesn’t get any easier than using a two-in-one primer with SPF, which consists of an invisible broad-spectrum sunscreen, face primer, and hydrating gel, all wrapped up into one lightweight, velvet-matte formula.

5. Don’t Neglect Your Eyes

The skin around your eyes (the orbital area) is the thinnest and most delicate on your entire body. That said, proper care is always required, with an eye cream that hydrates, depuffs, and softens fine lines and wrinkles before concealing dark circles and accentuating your eyes with makeup like waterproof eyeliner, creamy shadow, and mascara.

Pro Tips:

  • As a general rule of thumb, wait one to two minutes after applying your eye cream before applying the rest of your makeup.
  • For the perfect crease-proof, smudge-proof eyes, use a waterproof eye primer on your lids to ensure your shadow and liner stay put all summer long.

6. Exfoliate and Hydrate Your Lips

Unlike the rest of your face, the skin on your lips doesn’t have oil glands. That said, sun exposure, dry heat, and dehydration can cause them to become chapped — even after the first sunny seaside margarita of the season. If you want flawless, flake-free lips, give them as much TLC as the rest of your skin.

Exfoliate and Hydrate Your Lips

  • Remove flaky dead skin cells with a gentle chemical and physical micro-exfoliant lip scrub two to three times weekly to achieve hydrated and fuller-looking lips.
  • Protect your pucker from damaging UVA and UVB rays with a nourishing SPF 24 lip balm. It also provides ample hydration for an unapologetically gorgeous lipstick application.

7. Prep With the Perfect Primer

Of course, we can’t talk about a flawless summer makeup application without mentioning a primer. This must-have product should always be in your makeup bag because it serves as a base to keep product in place for an extended period of time. The best makeup primers have additional benefits, including refining, moisturizing, purifying, and evening the skin tone over time.

Pro Tips:

  • If you have the time, apply your makeup primer for about 15 minutes after your SPF for optimal results.
  • Use a makeup setting spray to extend the wear of your makeup for 16 hours while perfecting your look with a natural, skin-like finish.

While there’s nothing wrong with going bare-faced in the summer, you don’t have to feel the pressure to forgo makeup just because of warm days and balmy nights. Remember that achieving flawless summer makeup is about more than applying a primer. It’s also about maintaining a solid skincare routine, so your skin looks flawless with or without cosmetics.


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