Here are five words that should never be used in the same sentence: summer, sunshine, exercise, menopause, and hot flashes. But if you happen to be a fitness-loving, 50-something woman who has a broken internal thermostat and a distaste for sweltering August, I see your pain, and raise you a few dollars so you can swap out the contents of your existing cosmetics bag to help keep your cool. The new tenants? A coterie of smart products that will keep perspiration—and makeup—from running right down your flushed face.
Here’s how I justify the investment in waterproof makeup: Sweat can strike anywhere, anytime, and without warning. So simply remind yourself that you’re not just buying the antidote to a summer ailment … you’re keeping your face polished and cool year-round and choosing to wear products that breeze beautifully through everything from a hot yoga session to a stuffy conference room. Here, some glam, no-budge choices to consider.
A primer that won’t slide right off your face
Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Primer; $39, sephora.com
Designed to slip discreetly into pores and lines so makeup won’t, primer is your new best friend. But she’s one of those friends who can turn all slippery on you if not vetted properly, so make sure your primer is a matte formula, like the fan-fave Becca, rather than a Teflon-pan-like version.
A foundation that survives a run without running
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50; $39, ulta.com
A female pro boxer was actually quoted as saying that this foundation stood up to her marathon workout runs, training sessions, and modeling shoots under hot lights. If it can survive a right hook in a notoriously sweat-filled ring, it can handle whatever summer and menopause throw at you.
A concealer that spackles—in a good way
Estee Lauder Double Wear Instant Fix Concealer; $29, sephora.com
The nice thing about this natural finish, lasts-for-15-hours champ is that, unlike some of its thicker, stickier competitors, it’s easy to blend before it settles in for the day. Plus, the sponge-tip wand applicator allows you to hone in on any sun-induced brown spots that may need to take cover.
A powder that stays outside the lines
Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder; $34, sephora.com
Here’s what sold me: It mattes you up, blurs imperfections, and makes any foundation (even a slip-and-slide formula) instantly waterproof … all without migrating into facial lines. Plus, it has a shit-ton of positive online reviews and a claim that you can “cry, sweat, get wet—and your makeup will stay waterproof and flawless for up to 11 hours.”
A blusher that knows there’s a diff between pretty glow and flushed-AF
Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush; $26, amazon.com
You were expecting cream blush, right? Bait and switch—in a good way. This tin of color contains a unique silicone-coated powder that adheres to your skin and withstands moisture (including, apparently, a dunk in the pool). The downside is that it only comes in two colors. The upside is that those colors are Bali (a pinky shade) and Los Cabos (a peachy shade), so you pretty much have warm and cool complexions covered.
An eyeshadow that doesn’t blink when the mercury rises
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot; $22, maccosmetics.com
Apply this long-wearing hybrid shadow with a finger or a brush. It goes on creamy, then dries down to a stay-put, highly-pigmented finish. But don’t let those pigments scare you … the six shades are insanely wearable, with colors like Painterly (a canvas-like nude that I’ve worn for years) and Bare Study (a soft beige with gold pearl).
A liner that avoids travel in summer months
Lancôme Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner; $27, Nordstrom.com
The unique twist tip never needs sharpening, which is great—except you won’t need to twist it very often since this liner is formulated to withstand everything from inclement weather to a total cry-fest. And that, in turn, might make you think it would be dry-as-a-bone and hard to apply. But no … it’s creamy and glides right on.
A mascara that won’t get all emotional on you
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara; $9, ulta.com
Thanks to bad wedding pics, cosmetics manufacturers nailed the art of waterproof mascara quite some time ago. This one’s got all the bells and whistles, though. It gives you that coveted big-lash look, is nice and affordable, is perfect for contact-lens wearers, and steadfastly refuses to come off unless you use the holy grail of makeup removers. (We’ve got a favorite … keep reading.)
A spray that freeze-frames your hard work—and feels really freaking good
Urban Decay Chill Cooling And Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray; $33, ulta.com
You might be thinking, Why would I spray moisture on my face when the last thing I want is moisture on my face? But Chill—designed to stop “makeup meltdown”—is a microfine mist that actually locks in makeup for up to 12 hours, while delivering a kind of youthful glow that looks dewy not sweaty when applied.
A product that turns everything you already own into waterproof makeup
Make Up For Ever Aqua Seal; $21, sephora.com
Not to negate every recommendation on this list, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t alert you to the existence of this sweatproofing miracle: You can mix a drop or two into your favorite liquid makeup (foundation, say), mix it with your powder shadow, and apply as you would a cream shadow—or even brush a bit on over your existing makeup. Poof! Instant waterproofing. If you have any doubts, let me just tell you that one of the online raves was from a woman who performs underwater as a mermaid and leave it at that.
A makeup remover that will actually get these products off your face
Garnier Micellar Waterproof Makeup Removing Towelettes; $7, ulta.com
Let’s save you the bottle of messy remover, the cotton pads, the this-one’s-for-eyes-this-one’s-for-face circus … and just go with a handy pack of all-in-one wipes that get the job done from eyes on down. Even better, Towelettes work for all skin types—even sensitive complexions—and leave you utterly clean and fragrance-free.