Waterproof makeup: 9 ways to make sure your look lasts from the pool to the sweaty summer sun

Waterproof makeup
Waterproof makeup

Let’s blame The Little Mermaid for making us think that with a quick flip of our hair, it’s possible to look like a perfect princess when emerging from the water. Sadly, it takes a little bit more of an effort to make sure your hair and makeup can stand up to the elements—and during the summer months, the sweaty, sticky heat can do just as much damage as a dip in the pool.

While we love that summer beauty is all about keeping things to a minimal, it can be tricky to figure out which products work best under the scorching sun. As such, we’ve turned to the Beauty Panel for tips and tricks about waterproof makeup, sweat-proof application techniques and summer-ready hairstyles. Whether you’re going to the first summer pool party of the year or just walking between your office and the subway, we want to make sure that no matter how sweaty things get, you’ll look your best.

Challenge 13: What are your tips for waterproof, sweat-proof or sun-proof beauty? See the answers now! »

For many of our panelists, waterproof makeup is the way to go, but to make sure it lasts it all comes down to the application. Sandra D. Sobon from Moms Makeup Stash offered a great tip for wearing waterproof mascara: apply it overtop your favourite regular formula. This makes it much easier to remove at the end of the day and is a little kinder to your lashes. Still worried your makeup will get ruined from the humidity? Stylish & Literate’s Aleeza Agno and Funny Face Beauty’s Alicia Gilby both suggest the use of a good setting powder or setting spray to keep your makeup from melting off your face. And if you’re seeking a long-lasting look for your next beach party, take advice from Tess Lopez of Makeup By Tess: She tested her entire look out in a pool. Now that’s Beauty Panel dedication!

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at [email protected]. Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.


Waterproof makeup - aleeza

Aleeza Agno
Toronto | Stylish & Literate

When the temperature starts to heat up, it makes sense to change up your beauty routine.

I love tinted moisturizers and lightweight under eye brighteners, it gives that fresh face without feeling heavy on the skin. I’m all about long-wearing powder blushes and sheer lipsticks on the daily. A humidity-resistant mascara to prevent smudges. Primers and setting sprays to help keep makeup last all day. And most importantly, sunscreen. Most face products have an SPF built in, but if not, be sure to apply some. Try not to layer SPF, though. Layering may degrade the SPF and actually offer less protection.

Products used: Chantecaille Tinted Moisturizer in “Just Skin,” YSL Touch Éclat, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in “Tipsy,” Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in “Monte Carlo,” Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara, Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray in “De-Slick”

Waterproof makeup - tess

Tess Lopez
Toronto | Makeup By Tess

If you are like me, you would love to appear above the clear turquoise waters exactly as how you entered: fresh-faced and makeup right where you applied it! But many of you know, this is rarely the case! Even if you avoid the water, after spending a day outdoors in the hot, humid weather, makeup can transfer or melt off.

Here are some tips for waterproof, sweat-proof, sun-proof beauty:

– To prevent your skin from getting shiny on a hot day, wear a primer or matifyer, such as, Make Up For Ever All Mat primer. To protect your skin from the harsh UV rays, wear an oil-free moisturizer with SPF, such as Marcelle Essentials Oil-Free Multi-Defense Lotion SPF 15. Sometimes I like to mix the SPF moisturizer in with my foundation for a sheer foundation coverage with the UV protection.

– If you’re spending the day in the water, I would recommend Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in #22E and #28E. Cream eyeshadows will definitely last longer than powder in the water. And say goodbye to raccoon eyes with Make Up For Ever Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow. I have used this as eyeliner and it survived during both my hot yoga classes and swimming sessions!

– Wear a lip balm with SPF. My new favourite is Carmex Moisture Plus with SPF 15. But if you decide to wear lipstick, choose a matte formula such as Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate.

– Set your makeup with a setting spray, such as Urban Decay All Nighter Longer-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

– If you’ve started sweating, touching up your face with powder can cause clogged pores. Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets are a better way to reduce the shine: just dab the blotting sheet over areas that tend to get oily.

Products used: Carmex Moisture Plus with SPF 15, Marcelle Essentials Oil-Free Multi-Defense Lotion SPF 15, Make Up For Ever All Mat Primer, Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in “#153,” Make up For Ever Aqua Brow Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector in “#25,” Make Up For Ever Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in “#22E and #28E,” Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in “#06,” Urban Decay All Nighter Longer-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate in “#110”

Waterproof makeup - jj

JJ Cowan
Toronto | Secrets From Your Girlfriends

There is something about the summer that causes many to favour the cool benefits of an updo to beat the summer heat and sweat but I tend to wear my hair down during the warmer months. This need to feel free comes from our long Canadian winters feeling confined, so when the warmth hits, the hair comes down.

I have a lot of hair to work with, so keeping it down and cool is a challenge but over the years I’ve perfected a light and airy long hair solution that manages to keep me cool on even the hottest days. This great hair strategy begins with curling all of my hair with a thick barrel iron and brushing it out with my fingers. Once completed, I begin braiding the front section of my hair in order to take some of the thickness away resulting in a lighter overall feel. Begin this step by sectioning your hair at the front of your head and start French braiding from one side moving over the crown towards the other end of your head. It is really is as simple as that.

Once complete, secure your braid with a couple of bobby pins and you’re finished. For this particular look I had the help of my girlfriend and what resulted was hair perfection. Another bonus of wearing your hair down is the additional protection it provides to bare shoulders—along with the necessary sunscreen of course.

I also like to keep my makeup light by combining a sunscreen with a glossy lip and great beach fragrance. My ultimate choices are The Body Shop Coconut Perfume and Apricot Lip Gloss.

Products used: Thick Barrel Curling Rod, The Body Shop Perfume in “Coconut,” The Body Shop Lip Gloss in “Apricot”

Waterproof makeup - alicia

Alicia Gilby
London | Funny Face Beauty

Rather than layer a bunch of makeup on my face, praying that at least some of it it will still be there at the end of a hot and humid summer day, I actually like to keep my makeup very simple and find that creating a waterproof/sweat-proof look has everything to do with the products you use.

Despite always using an eyeshadow primer, I have found that on hot summer days, even the best powder eyeshadows start to crease after only a few hours. Therefore, I like to use a waterproof, budge-proof cream eyeshadow such as Make Up For Ever’s infamous Aqua Creams. 

While the obvious choice on really humid days would be to use a waterproof mascara, I personally prefer the way my lashes look using my favourite non-waterproof mascara. But to keep everything in place I use a clear waterproof topcoat, such as Anastasia’s Lash Genius Waterproof Top Coat, to keep my mascara from running or smudging. (No one wants raccoon eyes!)

I love blush! So, to make sure that cheeks look rosy all day, I use a jelly blush, such as Givenchy’s Blush Gelée, which stains the skin for a long-lasting finish.

For me, using a traditional lipstick on hot days means I will have to re-apply it at least five times a day. So, on days that I really want to keep my lipstick from wearing off, I use a liquid lip colour such as Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge Lip Colour. Once set, this lipstick will not budge without the help of a good makeup-removing oil.

To finish my waterproof/sweat-proof makeup look, I always ensure to use two things: a good setting powder, such as Make Up For Ever’s Pro Finish Powder and an oil-free setting spray, such as Urban Decay’s De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray. Both of these products help keep your makeup in place on even the hottest of days.

Products used: Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation in “#3.5,” Make Up For Ever Pro-Finish Powder in “#113,” Maybelline Instant Rewind Dark Spot Eraser in “Light,” Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in “Luminous Light,” Givenchy Blush Gelée in “Croisiére Camel,” Urban Decay “De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray,” Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in “#52” and “#53,” L’Oréal Black Smoke Mascara, Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Top Coat, Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge Liquid Lip Colour in “#17”

Waterproof makeup - elaine

Elaine Atkins
Toronto | Toronto Beauty Reviews

Summer looks like it has finally showed up and with that comes a low maintenance beauty routine.

Even though the sun is out it’s important to keep away from damaging UV rays and always prep the skin with a sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF. For the skin, go with as little makeup as you possibly can—after all summer is all about hat fresh-faced look. Try a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer. If you’re like me and need to cover up blemishes, I use a full coverage BB cream just on the imperfections followed with a mineral powder to even out my skin tone. Because I try to stay out of the sun I warm up my skin with a bronzer on the cheeks instead of a blush. To keep the look dewy and not too “dry” looking, spritz with a hydrosol.

As for the eyes I like to keep it to minimum. Curling the lashes and using waterproof mascara is the key for a bright-eyed and smudge-free look in the heat. Because the eyelids are essentially naked, I make sure that my brows are groomed, shaped and filled in.

The lips are where you can have fun! Bright lips are perfect for summer. There are a number of long lasting formulas that will stand up against the summer heat so go ahead and experiment. I tried my hand at orange lips. I’m not sure if I’m sold yet but that’s what makeup’s all about—having fun!

Products used: Kellett Skincare Clear Adult Acne SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray, Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage BB Cream in “BB5 and BB7,” Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Based in “Warm Sienna,” Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in “Aruba,” Beulance Naturose Skin Toner, Tweezerman Eyenhance Pencil and Highlighter, Tweezerman Browmousse, L’Oréal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes in “Blackest Black,” Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge in “#17 Bright Coral”

Waterproof makeup - sandra

Sandra D. Sobon
Toronto | Moms Makeup Stash

Everyone loves warm weather but not the smudged eyeliner and melted makeup that comes along with it. During hotter temperatures the heat and humidity can definitely make wearing and applying makeup a challenge. Stick to these 5 budge-proof, melt-proof tips and you’ll be just fine!

1) USE A PRIMER. Adding a primer to your routine only takes a few extra seconds. It provides a light, smooth base and also ensures that your makeup stays put all day.

2) AVOID Heavy Foundation. Keep your makeup light by using a BB/CC cream or a tinted moisturizer (i.e. Laura Mercier’s with SPF protection) if you have normal/combination skin or for oiler skin types, choose a mineral or powder foundation. When applying your face makeup, do not use your fingers. When the oils in your skin mix with the oils in the product, the ingredients break down and start to dissolve, move around or completely melt off your skin. Instead, use a foundation sponge or brush to ensure all-day coverage. Also, try to avoid unnecessary layering and keep the number of products you use to a minimum. Look for products that are multi-purpose, such as Annabelle CC Cream or Nars Multiple.

3) GO WATERPROOF. Waterproof mascara and liners are definitely the way to go in the summer months, but waterproof mascaras can harm your lashes and be difficult to remove. To get the full benefits of waterproof mascara in hotter temperatures, I like applying a coat of my regular mascara and topping it with a waterproof formula. This technique locks in both mascaras and makes the waterproof one easier to remove. Also, pencil liners are the most likely to smudge, so choose a waterproof formula or switch to gel/liquid liner.

4) USE Cream Blush, Bronzer and Eyeshadow. Powder-based products (e.g. bronzer, blush, eyeshadow) look terrible when combined with the perspiration on your face. Easily swap out powder products with gel or cream-based formulas. Some wonderful options that I include in my summer arsenal are Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadows, Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush and Bourjois Bronzing Primer.

5) PROTECT. Make sure to wear an SPF product on your lips. Lips can dry very easily so make sure to have a lip balm with sun protection handy. Also, lip glosses, lip stains and liquid lipsticks, such as Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, are all great colour options for hot weather months.

Products used: L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base, Avon ExtraLasting Concealer in “Medium,” Annabelle CC Cream in “Natural Finish,” Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in “Periwinkle,” Dior DiorShow Iconic OverCurl Mascara in “Over Black,” Vichy Lip Protection Stick, Capital Soleil SPF 30, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Tesoro”

Waterproof makeup - christa

Christa Potter
Kawartha Lakes| Perilously Pale

With summer comes heat, humidity, and melting makeup. When choosing my products for a summer look I turn more to waterproof and cream products, as well as a more translucent, natural complexion. No one wants heavy foundation melting off their face, or powder products congealing into a nasty mess in the heat! For foundation I look for adequate coverage and a finish that looks very natural, dusted with only the lightest bit of powder. My favorite product for this is the Make Up For Ever Face & Body foundation. It’s waterproof and gives light, yet buildable, coverage while looking completely like skin. For eyes, it is all about keeping products from fading and migrating, so products like waterproof cream eyeshadows and shadow sticks are my go to, either alone or as a base to help powder eyeshadows adhere through the day with any swimming or sweating. Waterproof mascara or a product like the Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Top Coat are of course a must for lashes!

Don’t forget sun protection for your lips, not only for health reasons but to avoid unsightly sunspots forming on your lips! I like to apply a long-lasting lip stain, waterproof lip liner or liquid lipstick, (like Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip and Aqua Rouge), and top them with a lip balm containing SPF.

Products used: Kiss My Face SPF 40 Sunscreen with Hydresia, Make Up For Ever Face & Body Foundation in “38 Pink Porcelain”, Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Powder in “110 Pink Porcelain”, Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in “1 Pink Porcelain”, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in “52 Pearly Green Lagoon and 14 Satin Brown”, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in “Sin”, YSL Baby Doll Faux Cils Volume Effet Mascara in “Black”, Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Top Coat, Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric in “5 Raspberry”, Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Liner in “20C Baby Pink”

Waterproof makeup - ellie

Ellie Somfelean
Montreal | My Beauty Box

The secret to a long-lasting summer makeup look lies in the products for me.

My favourite base is Consonant Skincare’s Tinted Sunscreen: you get a mattyfing moisturizer with all natural SPF, all in one. You want to keep it simple and use multifunctional products. My favourite summer foundation is the famous M.A.C Face and Body Foundation, lightweight and medium coverage, it adheres to the skin and won’t budge during the day. My trick for making foundation last longer is to go over it with a damp sponge and stipple all over the face. I generally need to use a powder to keep shine at bay, and the Make Up For Ever HD Powder works great for that. To set the makeup, tone down the powderiness and give my skin a dewy glow I always like to use refreshing makeup setting spray like the Lise Watier MagniFix.

I like to keep the makeup simple: a hint of bronzer and blush and gloss or a long-wearing lipstick is all I need. For the eyes, my trusty Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes never fail me. They are a base and color all in one, and are completely sweat and waterproof.

Products used: Consonant 100% Natural Sunscreen, M.A.C Face and Body Foundation, Lise Watier Magnifix, Maybelline Mascara in “The Rocket,” Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream and HD Powder, M.A.C VivaGlam Lipstick in “Nicki”

Waterproof makeup - gen

Genevieve Peeke
Montreal | Gen In The City

For hot summer days where I know I will be outside or in the water, cream-based products are my best friend! Primers also work wonders on keeping your makeup sweat-proof, waterproof, and long-lasting.

First, make sure to apply your favorite light sunscreen all over your face and neck. I’m loving the Estee Lauder SPF 50 DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection UV Defence Creme right now. I then apply a face primer to really make my makeup last. Personally, I like a green-toned primer to fight redness in my face but use whatever one works for your particular skin. Apply a BB cream after that so that your skin looks flawless yet natural and add some concealer to your under eyes and any blemishes you might have. I like to set that with the Rimmel “Stay Matte” powder since it is light and will control the oil in your face. After that I like to apply a creamy highlighter right above my cheeks to give me a bit of a glow and a cream blush in a dusty rose colour to the apples of my cheeks for some colour. I then like to apply a stick-form bronzer in a “3” motion starting at my temples, then under my cheekbones and then across my jawline. Don’t forget to blend it out! Next apply an eye primer and choose your favourite creamy waterproof eyeshadow. I like to keep it simple in the summer so I just used a pretty shimmery aqua colour all over the lid. I then like to use a pretty cocoa-coloured waterproof eye pencil since it is less harsh then black for the summer. I apply it to my waterline and smudge it across my upper lash line. I then apply a waterproof mascara and add a fun summer-colored lip stain to finish it off. Don’t forget your makeup setting spray; trust me it’s your new best friend for the summer!

Products used: Estee Lauder SPF 50 DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection UV Defence Creme, Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Oil-Free Foundation Primer in “Adjust”, Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in “Medium Sheer Tint,” Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 10 “Light,” Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in “001 Transparent,” Benefit High Beam Luminescent Complexion Enhancer, M.A.C Cream Blush in “Ladyblush,” Nars The Multiple Stick in “Laguna,” Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Color in “#53,” Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in “#25L,” Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara, Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “Rendez-Vous”