5 tips for keeping your makeup picture perfect at a summer party

16 December 2020

Ensure your make-up stays put and exactly where you want it all festive season with these expert-approved tips.

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

There’s nothing quite like a summer soirée or two to kick off the festive season. But any beauty buff will know that there’s nothing more frustrating than looking in the mirror a couple of hours later only to discover your foundation has completely vanished and your once-perfectly applied mascara has somehow made its way halfway down your cheeks. So how do you ensure your makeup stays looking its just-applied best when you could be on the go (and in the sun) for hours (and hours) after you leave home? Read on.

Start with a protective base

The way you care for and prep your skin is almost more important than the foundation and concealer that follows. If you have time, use a good lightweight gel-based moisturiser or sheet mask and allow it to sink in for at least 30 minutes. This will ensure skin is well hydrated and ready for the next step in your routine. Regardless of whether your plan on being out in the sun or in the shade, SPF is non-negotiable. You can use a make-up-friendly SPF or a primer with the added benefit of SPF – make sure you opt for one with SPF30. A dedicated eyelid primer applied before eye shadow will also keep eye makeup in place if your lids tend to get oily.

Left to right: MECCA MAX First Base SPF30 Primer; Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer; Dermalogica SPF30 Skin Perfect Primer; Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Go easy on your foundation

Don’t be tempted to cake on foundation. Besides, if you’ve followed step one your skin should already be glowing and just need a little foundation to perfect your complexion.


For long-wear that won’t crease as the day wears on: less is more. Take the time to apply a small amount, buffed beautifully into skin with a dense bristle brush. A thin layer is less likely to look OTT and showing a bit of natural skin tone is more modern and fresh for a daytime event anyway.

Even better, stipple on concealer with a beauty blender just where needed, and then sweep a touch of colour over the high points of the face (cheekbones, temples and nose) with bronzer. It looks radiant and dewy and makes your eyes appear brighter and your teeth look whiter.

Avoid overly creamy products like liquid or stick highlighter and blush that will slip and slide and then ultimately disappear, stick with powder textures instead. A light sweep of invisible setting powder will set things in place and diffuse any fine lines.

Left to right: NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation; Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation; Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation; La Mer Longwear Foundation

Choose lip stains and balms

Those budge-proof liquid lippies might seem appealing, but if you’re out in the sun all day they can quickly start to pucker and flake, and dry lips out. Instead, opt for a summer soirée friendly liquid stain, lip oil or tinted balm. They leave lips looking healthy, plump and fresh and most are easy to re-apply without a mirror. If you want a more intense colour, choose a liquid lip with a super fine oil-based texture.

Left to right: YSL Vernis Á Lévres Water Stain; Clarins Water Lip Stain; Dior Dior Addict Lip Tattoo Long-Wear Colored Tint

Go waterproof

When the temperature rises it’s not only your foundation staying put that you need to worry about. Fortunately, waterproof mascaras are a godsend when it’s scorching hot. Forget about it transferring or causing panda eyes, these formulas have been tried and tested in challenging conditions to ensure they stay put right around the clock. .

Left to right: Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara; Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara; Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Waterproof Mascara; Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara.

Set and forget

The final step is as important as the first! Next-generation setting sprays are indispensable if you want your makeup to survive all party long. Although some can feel like you’re applying hairspray to your face, once they’ve settled we consider them sweat-resistant face-insurance.

Left to right: Morphe Continuous Setting Mist; Guerlain Parure Gold Setting Mist; Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray; M.A.C Fix+ Magic Radiance All-Day Hydrating Spray

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