Hot Flush Friendly/Sweat-proof Makeup

This month’s makeup blog is all about makeup for hot, humid weather, for learning how to make your makeup sweat proof and for those of us Ladies that are enduring hot flushes. 
From skincare through to setting your makeup, if learning how to prevent makeup from melting and breaking up in hot weather is important to looking your best when it’s hot, humid and sweaty for you, then read on for the best tips.
Me: On the right!


Living in Queensland in Summer is a challenge when it comes to makeup. As I have mentioned before, we can easily reach 40 degrees with 80% humidity and Summer lasts a darn good five months of the year, if not longer. It never gets to freezing here, and we don’t have snow. Even in Winter, we experience 30 degree days. As most Queenslanders will tell you, “its the humidity that gets you”.

So applying, let alone wearing, makeup can definitely be a demanding process. No Woman wants to go out and come home looking like a ‘Panda’: with mascara, liner and eye makeup smudged around her eyes. Or a ‘Tiger’: with sweaty streaks of foundation running down her face and rubbing into her clothing. And it is especially challenging when you’re also dealing with menopausal hot flushes.


Friend: "I'm sooo glad it's Summer!"


Ladies! I am here to tell you that if you are a makeup lover like ‘mwah’, you can still comfortably wear makeup daily. You just have to choose the right products.

Many of us have encountered problems in terms of our makeup staying put and not melting off while we swelter through a hot flush (or 10!)or in extremely hot weather. Whether you have dry skin as most of us do at a certain age, or oily, chances are you’ve had to deal with an unpleasant and embarrassing display of smudged or streaked makeup when heat waves of (both kinds) strike.

Can you relate?




If you’re travelling to a hot and humid destination, the wrong makeup can ruin any photos you plan on taking and make you feel like you want to hop in the shower and start fresh. High temps and humidity can make applying makeup a nightmare, as it can melt off within just a few minutes.

If you want a polished look without the oiliness, here are my best tips as well as the best products to keep your makeup looking fresh, beautiful and long-lasting.



 Tip 1

Wash your face with cold water before applying makeup. Use a light, oil-free cleanser to lather your face, and then rinse with cold water. Washing your face will help cool your skin before makeup application, shrink pores and assist your skincare in plumping and hydrating the skin properly.

Note: Allow a bit of time for your skincare products to set and settle on your skin before applying makeup. This is important if you want your makeup to last. (10 mins or more should be sufficient).

Tip 2

Use a light, lotion-textured moisturizer with SPF.

The perfect moisturiser will be different for everyone depending on your skin type (oily, dry, combination…)

-Skip any oil-based creams, which will cause makeup to slide off your skin in the heat. If your moisturizer does not contain SPF, try a gel-based sunscreen.

-If oily, look for a moisturiser that helps control excess oil, I don’t recommend skipping a moisturiser because your skin will overcompensate for the lack of moisture and produce more oil throughout the day. Makeup will adhere a lot better to skin that is properly hydrated.

Use a lightweight moisturiser, I prefer all my products to be lightweight. The thicker the consistency of the product you put on your skin, the heavier it will feel on your skin and the more likely it will affect your makeup, causing it to break up, slide off or look greasy or ‘cakey’. See opposite for some great lightweight choices.

Tip 3


Use a lightweight sunscreen on your face. I have listed one opposite that ‘plays’ extremely well under makeup.

Tip 4


-Invest in a Sweatproof Makeup PRIMER

Using a primer before applying the rest of your makeup is one of the most effective ways to combat makeup meltdowns. This is especially important in hot Summer weather. 

If you have dry skin, buy a more hydrating primer. If your skin is oily, pick a mattifying primer. Choosing a primer that compliments your skin type will help create a solid base to combat the effects of heat. 

-Use Primer strategically

You only require a very small amount of primer, (less than a pea size for the entire face). Concentrate the primer in areas where makeup wears – sides of nose, chin, forehead and between eyebrows (usually the T Zone), and in any larger wrinkles or folds.

If you wear eyeshadow, be sure to dab a touch of primer directly onto your eyelids as well. 

A primer will help keep makeup on all day, smooth texture and fill in pores.

NB: Not all primers are of the same quality. Always try before you buy. Different ones do different things, but all of them seal in your skincare and create a barrier between your skincare and makeup. Primers prepare your face for the application of makeup products.  

Available widely in Australia from supermarkets and chemists. Prices vary but approx: $18.99 1 litre at Chemist Warehouse
One of the best sunscreens for under makeup


Tip 5

For those who are SUPER OILY, apply a setting powder sparingly BEFORE applying your foundation.

For dry girls, be very careful in hot and humid weather with setting powder. Personally, I cannot wear only a minimal amount in the t-zone in summer as it tends to streak and look caked if I overdo it!




Choosing the right foundation is crucial if you want makeup to be long-wearing and sweat proof.

-If you have normal to dry skin, look for a foundation that gives a natural or satin finish. Choose light, oil-free formulas. (A matte foundation on heated, dry skin is NOT a look you want to go for, as this will only emphasise any dry, flakey, or dehydrated areas, eventually breaking up, looking cakey and settling in any lines or wrinkles you have. Similarly, do not opt for a dewy foundation in extreme heat, as it is way more likely to slide off very quickly. These foundations are great for normal to dry skin: Smashbox Studioskin  Osmosis Performance Wear and CC creamIt Cosmetics CC CreamToo Faced Peach PerfectLoreal Infallible Matte.

-For oily ladies, opt for a slightly matte foundation like Revlon colour stayMaybelline Superstay, Loreal or Mac Face & Body opposite.

Use a light hand with minimal product for foundation and spot conceal

Use a light layer of foundation and use concealer for the strategic cover of problem areas (hyperpigmentation/age spots etc…) – this is key to a great base in the heat. (My concealer of choice is still Taste Shape Tape – but many find this is far too drying for them, I love it because it self sets

It’s OK to mix any of these non-oily foundations for the perfect formula. In fact, I encourage this.

-Apply a setting powder if you are an oily skin type only, as I guarantee in hot weather if there is any likelihood of you sweating, your makeup will end up a cakey, gooey mess with powder emphasising all the wrong things,(particularly if you are dry). It is for this reason, that I will not be including any pics in this post. If you MUST have one, I recommend a very light hand with a very light powder: one similar to Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish. (Personally, this is the only one I now own but never use in Summer unless I want every line on my face to show.)


Some Great Foundation Options may include


Tip 7 


-A Beauty Blender type sponge ($2 from Kmart is fine, although I love the Original Beauty Blender and The Real Techniques Sponge), blends and sheers out foundation while looking even and removes the excess product from the skin. They can ensure that you build up in lighter layers than a brush. This is ideal. Remember, less is more in extreme, sweaty heat. The more product you apply, the more chance you have of foundation slippage as well as it appearing cakey and sweaty, streaking and moving.

-The sponge should be ‘damp’ (not too wet/not dry) to ensure an even blend and allow it to absorb the excess.

-Please clean sponges regularly to avoid contamination and unwanted break-outs. 

-When using a sponge; use a ‘pouncing/pressing motion’ to blend out and blend into the pores of the skin. A sponge will build up subtly in the areas needed if using a light hand. 

-If using fingers, make sure they are clean (goes without saying). Work product into the skin and I recommend using a Beauty sponge to blend around the perimeters of the face to blend so there are no harsh lines. Blend down the neck. Again, the sponge will remove excess product and ensure a smooth blend.

The Right Brush/the right way

– If you do prefer a brush to apply foundation, the right type will make a huge difference to your finished look.

-Use a dense brush, not a thin foundation brush (as these tend to lay product on top of the skin,) whereas you need to work it into the skin in hot weather. The correct foundation brush can be a game-changer as it will allow you to use minimal product (obviously when it comes to long-wear makeup, this will be healthier for your skin) with less chance of the foundation moving and sliding around in the heat – thus, better, smoother, more even results.

 –Stipple and then buff with a brush, pressing your base products into the skin. Take your time, you don’t want to leave it to sit on top of the skin, as when skin heats up and produces oil, it’s more likely that the product will move around and settle into texture/wrinkles and folds and more chance of makeup transfer. 

Tip 8

Use a wax-based pencil to fill in your eyebrows. Wax-based pencils will resist moisture and are unlikely to run or rub off. Finish off by brushing your brows with a clean mascara wand to blend the colour and top with a brow gel.

Or if you prefer a powder to fill in your brows, be sure to use a gel to set.


Tip 9

To keep eyeshadow on, always use an eye primer and use a liquid shadow. They will always last longer. They are also way quicker and easier to apply and you can sheer out with fingers.

Tip 10


Stay away from concealers that are too creamy or oily as these will move around in the hot weather, you want a concealer that self sets.

-Also, be wary of concealers that are too dry, they will make the undereye appear cakey and settle into fine lines, ageing you. The concealer of my choice for long wear in Summer (in fact most of the year) is Tarte Shape Tape.

-Be strategic with concealer also

If it is too thick, it will magnify texture. Avoid painting big triangles under the eyes, use sparingly only in the areas you need it and use a beauty blender to sheer and blend out.

Armani eye tint


Tip 11

Opt for liquid or gel eyeliner pens.

-Pencil and crayon eyeliners tend to be oil-based, and may just leave you with ‘panda eyes’ by the end of the day. Liquid and gel liners are less likely to smudge or smear.

-For long-lasting colour, use a small brush to trace dark eyeshadow powder overtop of your liquid lines.

When you need a budge-proof eyeliner that lasts all day long, I cannot recommend the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner enough and for a gel pencil, you can’t beat the Marc Jacobs Highliners. (Best ones on the market IMO).


Tip 12

Use waterproof mascara. Just because it has been marketed as waterproof doesn’t always mean it is IMO. You definitely want a mascara that doesn’t run, bleed, flake or move in extreme heat. Luckily, I can recommend some excellent waterproof ones that I have tested (even swum in some!). See pic opposite.

Use mascara VERY sparingly on the lower lashes. Mascara will inevitably touch the skin and if the skin is warm or oily it can break up the makeup on your lashes and lead to smudging.



Tip 13

-Invest in cream and matte powder-based blushes in the heat. Using cream products as a base for powders will help lock in the colour on your cheeks (and eyelids). 

-Layer powders on top of creams when applying eyeshadow, blush and bronzer.  The cream will serve as a base for the powder to stick to your lids and cheeks. Opt for blushes in bright, vibrant colours to play off your natural skin in the sun

-Use a blush that is matte and not shimmery over top of the cream. Your skin will already have a natural glow in very hot and humid weather. Avoid high shimmer blushes if you want your blush to last all day as blushes with a lot of frost or shimmer tend to magnify texture and make the skin look greasy, shiny and sweaty. So go shine-free in the heat.


Tip 14

-Opt for lip stains over matte bullet lipsticks. These products will colour your lips for upwards of 10 hours without the risk of smearing, and with no need for reapplication. If your lips get dry, use a lip balm to moisturize.

-Apply a lip balm with SPF before filling in with other lip products. A tinted lip balm is less likely to slide off your lips than a gloss. Use lip liner to trace the outline and even fill in your lips to help the colour pop and to prevent feathering and running.

Consider a liquid lipstick (Some of these can be particularly drying, so I don’t recommend them for everyday use. (This particular formula from Maybelline is one of the least drying on the lips I have found).

-If you have issues with lipstick running or transferring, dust some loose powder around the lips, it acts as a barrier and can prevent ‘lipstick bleed’ and feathering which is more prevalent when the skin is hot. Likewise use a lipliner to line and fill in lips as this also does the same.

Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink


Tip 15

 Use Setting Spray to Stay Fresh and Lock-In your Makeup for the long haul

It doesn’t matter what your skin type is, I recommend using a setting spray (NOT a hydrating mist) that dries down to a matte finish. If you have oily and normal skin types, this may be obvious. For dry skin types, though, you want something that’s not going to introduce oils onto your face and cause product break-up. Don’t be afraid of a little matte-ness! You can still pump up the glow with your primer and highlighter for the best makeup for hot humid weather. When you’re finished applying your face in full, simply spritz and go.

Hold the bottle a few inches away from your skin, and allow the product to mist your entire face. 

Tip 16

Keep blotting papers in your purse or backpack to touch up your face if it gets oily or sweaty throughout the day.

Alternatively, take a tissue (or loo paper at a pinch), separate the layers and blot your face.

Tip 17

Always keep your skin well-hydrated by applying a light moisturizer before you go to bed. When your skin has a good moisture balance, makeup is easier to apply and stays on your skin longer.

Tip 18

Remove your makeup thoroughly at the end of the day with a cleansing routine. Doing so will help prevent clogged pores and oily skin, and help guarantee clean, healthy skin. 

(For a great year-round skincare routine- see our previous blog!)

Tip 19

Always try before you buy. Don’t waste your hard-earned dollars. Most places like Mecca, Sephora, and Department Stores in Australia will allow you to choose free samples. (Even Priceline and Chemist Warehouse will allow you to try sample products, just be wary of cross-infection here though!) I take my own small sample containers and have never had a problem when asking for a sample to take home and try.

Cover FX Matte Setting Spray

**All products above are available in Australia, either in store or online from one of the following stores                          




DISCLAIMER Please Note: While I am 100% confident in the products recommended above, we all have different skin types. Mine is normal to dry most of the year with a slightly oily t-zone in hot weather.  I tend to lean dryer in the cooler months and I used to get some sensitivity in the Summer months but not any longer. What works for me, may not work for you.


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For a great skincare routine in midlife. CLICK HERE

3 thoughts on “Hot Flush Friendly/Sweat-proof Makeup”

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