Every summer, the temperatures get hotter, and this summer is no exception. When the sun is at full force, sunscreen is non-negotiable. After all, we all know how much it saves the skin. Though sunscreen is a necessity, it’s not exactly the easiest product to work with—especially if you wear makeup. Anyone who’s applied sunscreen before knows the formula: Thick, goopy, and often leaving behind a white cast. If you’re trying to wear makeup on top of that, things can get annoying.
Instead of forgoing sunscreen at the risk of damaging your skin, or opting for a weaker option that won’t work, we’ve got you covered. This post will give you the perfect balance between sunscreen and makeup, and how to rock both this summer. Celebrity makeup artist, Nikki La Rose, isn’t a stranger to harmonizing the two as a Los Angeles native. Read on to get her tips for a flawless application and accessorizing hacks.
Table of Contents
1. Prepare your skin.
You know the theory that if you have a good foundation, the rest will be stable? The same applies when it comes to sunscreen and makeup. Prepping your skin reduces oil production, balances your skin’s pH, and maintains the look and staying power of your makeup.
So, when we reference skin prep, what are we talking about?
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Skin prep is the process of getting your skin ready to withstand products, such as sunscreen and makeup. “One tip we forget about, it’s just as important to prep skin thoroughly and hydrate and moisturize it,” Nikki says.
The two things to remember when prepping are moisturizer and hydration, no matter your skin type. “Even if you tend to be on the oily side. We actually produce more oil in our skin due to dehydration and lack of moisture,” she mentions.
To accurately prep your skin for makeup, you need to balance your skin’s pH, which will keep it from looking red and puffy. Nikki advises to do three things to achieve this: Toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
Nikki notes, “Toner is the main part, meant to balance and treat your skin. What that’s going to do is soften that top layer of skin and get it ready for your moisturizer.” Moisturizer is another step to get your skin hydrated, and sunscreen locks it in.
If you have a problem with makeup oxidation, it may be due to lack of preparation. “Over time [foundation] starts to change color because you’re dehydrated. The formula is changing the way it interacts with your skin because of it.”
By prepping, she says, your makeup application will be flawless. Putting makeup on top of a happy, hydrated canvas makes it absorb into your skin better. Nikki even mentioned that if you prep your skin correctly, you may not even need to use primer. Thoroughly cleansing and hydrating the skin is all you need.
2. Remember to reapply.
How do you usually reapply your makeup and sunscreen? If you’re anything like me, you probably just smooth both products all over your face and hope for the best. Nikki tells us to think about the kind of products you have and how they’ll interact with your skin before using them.
For instance, Nikki has a 2-in-1 product that she uses for reapplication. It helps her matify her skin *and* it safe, along with her makeup.
“I go through bottles and bottles of Coola setting spray. It’s my way of refreshing, mattifying, and reapplying my sunscreen,” Nikki says. This sunscreen is SPF 30, which means it has a high enough Sun Protection Factor to accurately protect your skin. (Anything less won’t do the trick).
You’re supposed to reapply sunscreen every 2-4 hours to protect your face. That’s about how long we usually go before checking our makeup, so it’s easy to do both at once. With a product that accomplishes that, reapplication can be quick and easy.
“During super hot months, I’ll take that and re-spray my entire face. It’s a great way to refresh, lock in your makeup. It’s been saving me,” she continues.
3. Know your goal.
Sunscreen is a must, no matter when or where you are. If you want to know more about why, check out this post. When you use it, know your goal, so your makeup can blend in well. That’s right—sometimes the products you use affect the outcome of your makeup, just like sunscreen can affect your skin.
“To me sunscreen is something I always have,” Nikki says. As a makeup artist, she has to be aware of how sunscreen can flash back in photos. So, if you’re planning on taking a lot of pictures when you go out, be mindful of different sunscreen formulas.
For example, certain sunscreens belong only on your face. Going further, some are for different purposes and concerns. You can find mattifying sunscreen, even mineral-based sunscreen in stores.
It can be difficult to know what sunscreen is going to be right for you. If you’re like me, you probably didn’t even know sunscreen had different formulas! Just another thing to think about, when buying products, right? Luckily, Nikki knows a thing or two about sunscreen types.
She mentions that it can be tough to balance sunscreen and makeup. If you have to take pictures, you don’t want that flashback. And if your sunscreen goes on super thick and goopy, you might have an issue.
“But you still have to protect your skin, right?” Nikki says. “So stay away from those sunscreens that have high zinc. I’ll stick to mineral sunscreens because they for sure don’t flash back,” she mentions.
4. Invest in SPF products.
“If you’re going to be out in the sun and without makeup, like for a beach day, thick ones are going to be great,” Nikki says about suncreens.
But as we mentioned earlier, it’s hard to balance good, quality sunscreen application with proper makeup application. One trick Nikki uses is layering other products that have SPF in her skincare and makeup routine.
These products are going to make sure your skin is properly moisturized. Unfortunately, if you use, let’s say, three products with SPF 10, they won’t add up to SPF 30. But if you’re going for moisturization, look for makeup products that have sun protection.
“Outside for long days and under makeup, I would use moisturizing sunscreen,” Nikki says. “Fenty has a great one. I like to layer my sunscreens. Sadly, it doesn’t double-protect your skin, but I like to wear a SPF foundation on top. It can’t hurt!”
5. A little goes a long way
Nikki’s golden rule is “A little goes a long way.” This is the most true when it comes to accessorizing around makeup. For instance, if you’re wearing sunglasses, think about adding less makeup to the ridges of your nose instead of more.
“The more layers of makeup you have there, the more noticeable that crease or mark would be,” she explains. “Use a thinner layer of foundation, primer, toner. That way, if you get that mark on your nose, it won’t be as noticeable, and it’ll have less chance of smearing around.”
But let’s say your makeup does smear over time. Hey, it’s bound to happen. What you can do to touch up smearing around sunglasses or other facial accessories is keep a beauty blender with a little makeup residue on it handy in a tissue.
Nikki swears by using this trick for her celebrity clients.
“Let’s say you’re hot, sweating, your sunglasses have been on. Buff in the product around the area on your face. Rework it back in with that primed beauty blender. By working it in and using a stippling motion, you’ll be able to move that foundation back where it was,” she says. After a thin layer of setting powder on top, your facial makeup will be good as new.
When it comes to sunscreen and makeup, not every answer is obvious. Sometimes, you need an expert opinion. And if you’re ready to find a makeup artist or esthetician in your area for a personalized approach, feel free to start your search on Booksy.