Ask Grace: How Can I Make My Makeup Shine-Proof?

Dear Grace,  

How can I make my makeup shine proof? Every summer (and winter under all those layers) my makeup slides off my face and no matter how many mattifying products I try, I just can’t seem to get it to 1) resist the heat 2) keep sweaty patches at bay 3) avoid the oiliness that seems to be inevitable when wearing makeup. Please help! I just want my makeup to stay flawless even in the heat!  

Emma, 25 

The secret to getting makeup to last well and look good on skin is all about the prep. That’s true of any skin type, but when you throw excess oil, sweat, and heat into the mix then you’ve got to work that little bit harder. But of course, you already know that. Mattifying products are a great place to start, but they can only do so much – if the groundwork they’re applied on top of isn’t right then you’re still gonna notice that 3pm shine coming through. Let’s start with your skincare routine. 

If your skin is naturally oily, then having a routine to target excess oil is a must. Ingredients like niacinamide and salicylic acid (which you’ll find in many cleansers and serums) are great for helping to target oil while it’s still in your pores, but the most important thing is to ensure that you’re moisturising your skin. Many oily-skinned people have grown up thinking that this will make their oiliness worse, but in actual fact it can do the opposite. Skin produces excess oil when it’s not well hydrated – as a means to overcompensate and “self-moisturise” – so keeping your skin hydrated will help to balance things out. Avoid thick creams and oils, and instead look out for gel-textured serums and water-based creams which will feel light on the skin and provide moisture without clogging pores. Make sure that you’re layering your skincare properly so that each product can absorb sufficiently. As a general rule, layer products from thinnest to thickest – so after cleansing, toners or mists come first, then serums, then moisturiser, and finally SPF. Then wait around 20 minutes before starting on your makeup routine.  

The first step in your makeup routine should be primer. Primer might seem like one of those faffy, unnecessary steps, but if you’re oily or you’re about to put your makeup to the test of some extreme heat or a 12-hour day, it’s going to be a total gamechanger. Now, not all primers are created equally, some serve to give skin glow, others are all about creating a smooth texture. When you’re up against oil, heat, and sweat, you want something that’s going to be durable and long-lasting, so I would always take time to read the product description and also check out the ingredients list for silicones. Silicones (anything that ends in ‘-icone’ – commonly dimethicone) are gonna be your new best friend – they serve to create an invisible barrier between your skin and your makeup that prevents oil and sweat from disturbing your base. They also help to create a smooth texture, so when you apply your foundation and concealer they adhere well and are less likely to fade or melt off throughout the day. 

Your mattifying or oil-free makeup comes into play next. Try dusting a thin layer of face powder in between each layer of makeup to set each one separately, then do a final layer of powder once you’ve finished application, focusing on your T-zone which is where most of the oil glands on your face are. Finally, use a setting spray to seal it all in. Far more than just a face mist, setting sprays work by creating a weightless film across your makeup to hold it in place and add some waterproofing power. The gold standard of setting sprays is Skindinavia’s Makeup Finishing Spray, which cleverly lowers the temperature of your skin to prevent makeup from melting. There you go, you’re all set. Literally. 

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From chafing to ‘chicken skin’ arms, summer brings a whole new medley of beauty concerns into play. If you have a question for our resident beauty editor Grace Day, tweet us at @beautybay using the hashtag #AskGrace for a chance to be featured.