Summer is one of the most popular seasons for weddings for good reason—the weather is warm, skies are blue, and days are long and sunny. Sometimes too sunny, as those blissful summer days can occasionally come with skyrocketing temperatures and sticky, sweltering humidity. It’s enough to make anyone sweat, but the stakes get even higher when you factor in wedding day jitters, lots of activity, and the fact that all eyes are on you.
The last thing you want on your big day is your carefully applied makeup dripping down onto your dress! Thankfully, with a little prep work and some hardworking products that gorgeous bridal beauty look will stay in place even when the weather feels suffocatingly hot. These pro tips from celebrity makeup artist Cara Lovello will keep your makeup where it belongs—on your beautiful, glowing face.
Meet the Expert
Cara Lovello is a celebrity and bridal makeup artist.
Find an experienced makeup artist who knows the secrets to long-lasting makeup.
This isn’t the time to try out a newbie or let your friend who watches a lot of YouTube tutorials flex their skills. You’ll want to call in the pros! "You definitely want to choose a makeup artist who is experienced and knows what they’re doing," says Lovello. "One of the messages I get [from my brides] is, 'The makeup lasted until the afterparty finished at 1 a.m., I can’t believe it stayed perfect!' If you want your makeup to last all day, you may end up paying a little more for that experienced makeup artist."
Do the prep work.
You may think it’s a good idea to skimp on moisturizer to make your makeup last on a hot, sweaty day, but it’s an essential piece of the puzzle to keeping things in place. "Even if it’s going to be really hot outside, you want to start by moisturizing and getting the skin super hydrated," explains Lovello. "We’re going to be layering a lot of products and if the skin isn’t perfectly hydrated, it’s not going to layer as nicely. I really strive for a skin-like finish, so to avoid the dry, cakey feel, you want to start with a hydrated base."
One of her go-to moisturizers is the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, which works for all skin types and can be used as a moisturizer, primer, or even a mask. If you have an oilier skin type, Lovello recommends using a gel moisturizer instead of cream (she likes Innisfree Youth-Enriched Gel Cream for this purpose).
Once your skin is hydrated and happy, use a mattifying primer to create a base for makeup. Lovello recommends Opal Essence Serum Primer or the cult classic Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Matte Primer from Smashbox.
Apply only what you need.
When it comes to long-lasting makeup for sweaty summer days, less is definitely more. "You don’t want to cake up skin with more products than necessary," she says. "You want to work the products into each other so it’s not layering—layering makeup is something you can imagine dripping later."
She begins by color correcting with concealer where needed, then applies foundation. Her go-to favorite is Il Makiage After Party Full Coverage Foundation, which promises a flawless natural matte finish that won’t cake or fade.
If you’re worried about oiliness and shine, Lovello recommends staying away from foundations with "radiant" or "glowy" formulas and opting for natural or matte finishes.
After the skin is perfected with additional concealer (Lovello is a fan of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and Tarte Shape Tape) she adds a beautiful flush with two types of blush, starting with cream. "Blush fades first, so layer cream and then powder," she advises.
Set it and forget it.
Once your base makeup is applied, it’s time to set and blend. "If you stop to talk for a few minutes, go back in and blend any creases that may have formed under eyes, fine lines, smile lines," Lovello says. "I make sure everything is perfectly blended and then hit them with the powder." Her two favorites are Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder and RCMA No Color Powder. "They really keep the makeup in place and lock it in," she explains. "Other powders may appear that they’re working, but they don’t have the same longevity." Lovello then applies powder blush and bronzer on top of the powder.
Lovello locks everything in place with setting spray. Setting sprays have exploded in popularity in recent years for good reason: They keep your face on and even help blend and soften makeup. "A setting spray can help extend the longevity of the makeup and makes the powders and layers on the face become one," she explains. She likes Inn Beauty Power Up 3-in-1 Mist, Toner & Setting Spray to lock makeup in and add a bit of glow, or Morphe’s Continuous Setting Mist, which applies like an aerosol for a fine mist without the chance of splattering and gives skin a radiant look while preventing melting and caking.
Don’t forget the rest of your face!
Your base makeup is definitely important, but your eyes and lips play a very important role in your bridal beauty look—and if you’re sweating, you could be dealing with running liner, smudging shadow, or smeared lipstick. Lovello recommends using a liquid lipstick for ultimate longevity and so you don’t need to worry about precise touchups throughout the night. "The way I put the [lip] look together, it doesn’t need to be touched except a little gloss," she adds.
Using a liquid lip and gloss combination gives you the best of both worlds: color that lasts all day with a hint of gloss for dimension and comfort. "Liquid lipstick underneath extends the wear, but liquid lipstick without gloss ends up getting dry eight hours in," she explains. "The gloss 'wakes up' all the products so you don’t need [to mess with] liner or lipstick. It’s something you can apply without a mirror." Her top picks to refresh are Buxom’s Full-On Plumping Lip Cream in Blushing Margarita and White Russian.
Sweat isn’t your only concern on your wedding day; tears happen too! When it comes to long-lasting eyeliner, Lovello likes Inglot’s AMC Eyeliner Gel, especially if you like to line your waterline. "A black pencil on your waterline may not last all night and you may tear up throughout the day, but this is going to stay there," she says.
Keep touch-ups to a minimum.
Put your MOH or personal attendant to work and have them carry a small kit of products for any necessary touch-ups throughout the day. Lovello says she doesn’t want her brides touching their makeup, but powder and oil blotting sheets are OK for quick fixes. She advises, "Just pat [powder] on the skin, don’t rub."
Stay cool where and when you can.
You can’t control the weather, but you can be prepared for it. If you’re getting married outside, buy a few handheld fans for a refreshing, cooling breeze when you need it most and try to seek out air conditioning whenever you can, even if that means chilling in someone’s car during photos! Don’t forget to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and happy on your big day—there’s nothing more refreshing and instantly cooling than a big glass of ice water, and staying hydrated helps you feel gorgeous inside and out!