A makeup artist on how to make your face last in summer

Illustration by Twylamae
Interview by Alyce Greer

Save face.

If you’ve ever tried to apply makeup in summer, you’ll know the pain is real.

A pedestal fan six inches from your skin as you apply foundation. A magazine waving furiously across your face, warning the sweat to not even think about it. Getting into your car and feeling all your hard work dripping down towards your knees. Makeup in summer is just not fun, but how do the pros do it?

We decided to enlist the help of one of our makeup gods, Rob Povey, to impart his wisdom on long-lasting makeup that stays where it’s told.

OK, my cute makeup look for the day is complete, but then I go outside and it disappears. What are the key mistakes I’m making?

Honestly, skin prep is so integral to literally any makeup application, as well as making sure that the products you’re using are suitable to your own skin needs. It’s everything you do before starting your makeup that will give you the longevity.

What are your best tips for making makeup last in warm weather?

First and foremost, try and keep everything as fresh and minimal as you feel comfortable in. Truly, the fewer products you have on your skin, the less there is to slip and slide around – makes sense, right?

If you’re struggling to keep your base in place, invest in a primer. They’re usually silicone-based, which has the ability to smooth out skin texture, while creating a silky canvas for makeup to glide right over. Choose a foundation that’s going to work for your skin type – if you’re oil-prone, opt for mattifying finishes that’ll keep excess shine at bay, but if you’re on the drier side, select a more hydrating formula to keep skin looking luminous. For cheeks and lips, stains are another way of getting extra staying power in summer.

Powders and creams tend to go cakey and congeal in the humidity, so instead, opt for thin gel formulas that set. If you’re prone to the panda eye, dust a little translucent powder over the lid and under the eye to absorb the excess oils, and be sure to use a lightweight waterproof mascara to withstand wear.

I’ve only got five to 10 minutes to do my makeup. What would you recommend I do?

Keep it simple! Three immaculately applied products will always look more flattering than ten that have been slapped on in a rush. I would suggest a great concealer that addresses your personal skin concerns; a tinted brow gel that gives great hold and soft definition; a lash curler to open up the eyes; and a multi-purpose lip and cheek tint in a colour neutral to your skin tone.

If you have another few seconds to spare, a liquid illuminator is the quickest and most impactful way to take your look to the next level.

This whole desk-to-dinner thing… Is it a myth? Can we actually do our makeup in the morning, and have it last right through ’til bedtime?

Even the best makeup isn’t magic, so you’ll want to quickly polish up your day look before heading out for the night.

Spritz the skin with a hydrating mist to revitalise your base, then take a kabuki brush and buff the product out and work it back into the skin (I like Becca The One Beauty Brush). You may lose a little coverage doing this, but you can go back in with a few dots of your concealer and blend that out to perfect the skin again. Using the same brush, set your T-zone with some translucent powder and a swirl of additional bronzer/blush, if needed.

For eyes, if you’ve used a good primer, they really shouldn’t need much attention. If you want to give them a ‘pop’ that takes them from day to night, take a fluffy eye-blending brush and wash
a shimmering or smokey complementary colour over the lid – this will also help smooth out any slight wearing to the existing shadow.

As for lips, they’ll definitely benefit from a fresh application – especially liquid lipsticks, which are super drying and not conducive to layering up. Take a makeup wipe to remove all remaining colour, then apply a silky lip primer to aid smooth application, followed by your chosen lip colour, for a refreshed pout.

What are your holy grail products for long-lasting makeup? And why are they so great?

Great primers! For the face, I love Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, for the eyes, I’d choose the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, and for the lips, the MAC Prep + Prime Lip. They are all worthy investments to address longevity issues.

Additionally, a setting spray like the iconic Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, will help secure your makeup and prevent fading. As for touch-ups, the Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Papers are the gold standard of blotting sheets and a makeup bag essential to remove any unwanted shine.

Lastly, the new Rae Morris Invisible Mattifier Powder has been a game changer and kit breakthrough! The colourless product is less translucent powder, and more a pressed silicone gel that completely disappears on every skin tone.

Plus, because of the total absence of colour, it can be reapplied repeatedly without building texture like a regular powder would.


This article was originally published in Fashion Journal 185. You can read it here.

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