Good lord, it’s hot. And I don’t know about you, but as temperatures climb…well, I sweat. When summer descends upon Baltimore, there’s just no stopping it, and I’ve learned from extensive trial and slick error that unless I’m willing to forego makeup entirely (I’m not), a solid and streamlined protocol of proven-effective products is necessary. I’m constantly test-driving new contenders that purport to be perspiration-proof—and so far this season, I’m finding that there are more options than ever. Here, my treasured, can’t-and-won’t-do without-them faves—some I’ve used for years that still beat the heat like no other, some freshly minted—so you can hopscotch right over the trial-and-error and enjoy your non-melting makeup.
My new favorite cosmetic line has to be Milk Makeup, and their Lip Marker ($20, milkmakeup.com) is fantastic. I am never without color on my lips—especially now, since the astonishing Dr. Michele Shermak worked her magic on my lips’ edges and subtly turned up their corners (lots more about Dr. S in upcoming posts). I’m always wearing a lip stain and tinted balm at the very least, even to take out the trash (I know it’s weird. I’ve come to terms with it). Milk’s lip marker packaging is modern and clean, whereas most marker stains tend to sorely lack chicness. Plus, the four saturated shades are a bit more sophisticated than those of other brands, and the marker applicator tip is exactly like an actual, crisply geometric magic marker, rather than just a point. I’m particularly obsessed with the vivid orangey-red Turnt shade, and it’s even better and subtly shiny topped with the line’s Oil Lip Stain ($18, Sephora.com) in Tude, a sheer, non-sticky warm red with tons of moisture.
For my face, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 Oil Free ($44, Lauramercier.com) is the unequivocal best of its kind, period. Every season, I almost hope to discover another tinted moisturizer as perfect as this one, just so I can mix it up a little and recommend some other brand, but it never happens. The oil-free version is fantastic for all skin types, especially in the heat and humidity. It’s got buildable, natural-but-very-effective coverage, comes in fifteen shades, and doesn’t migrate or cake, even in super-gross heat and humidity. Essentially, you need it this and every summer.
Ofra Oil Control Pressed Powder($39.95, ofracosmetics.com) is also awesome in a very specific way: to bring light to the planes of the face without any shimmer. I generally steer clear of face powders because, as I get older, I want to avoid anything that could settle into lines. I received Ofra’s finely milled white powder in my June Glossybox (to subscribe, go to Glossybox.com), and tried it as a highlighter and brightener on a hunch. It looked great—I love it when I’m right. Definitely for paler skin tones, though.
I take brows very seriously, and the best and longest-lasting brow one-two punch is from Tarte: the line’s Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil and Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel ($21 each, tartecosmetics.com), applied in that order, offer un-smudgeable staying power. Plus, their skinny applicators are easy to control in subtle, short strokes. Last but absolutely not least, every single person everywhere who wears even a smidgen of makeup needs Urban Decay by Skindinavia Chill Makeup Setting Spray ($ 30, urbandecay.com). I’ve been using their All Nighter 12-hour setting spray for ages, and this newest iteration of the company’s glorious sprays has a cooling effect when its gentle mist hits the skin. I use it year-round on myself and my clients for keeping all makeup looking and feeling freshly applied all day and night. It never stings eyes, feels imperceptible on the skin, and renders me bulletproof—even in Charm City’s scorching summer.