Keeping your make-up looking dewy and fresh when you’re in a hot climate can be such a challenge! As soon you leave the air-conditioned comfort of your room, it doesn’t take long before things start sliding south and the inevitable shine appears. Here’s the best summer makeup staying power in hot, sticky weather. I’ve found a foundation that stays matte in intense humidity, concealer that hides the late nights and bad sleep on uncomfortable hostel beds, and a mascara that stays put no matter what. Plus the best highlighters for a summer glow and an eye palette that is perfect for bronzed skin.
Here are my absolute favourite make up items to bring with you on your next holiday.
The Best Sweat-Proof Foundation
This long wear foundation provides full coverage and a matte finish without feeling too heavy or cakey.
I wear either shade 24 or 32 depending on how tanned I am so I recommend buying two colours if you’re going away. A darker shade might look too dark before you go, but even if it is you can mix it with the lighter one if you need to.
For daytime, or when I need less coverage, I use L’oreal Infallible 24H Stay Fresh Foundation in shade 140 Golden Beige.
This is a lot creamier and provides less coverage so you don’t look like you’re wearing much make up. It doesn’t have the staying power of the Total Cover Foundation though!
You can buy L’oreal in most big cities in Asia, and I was surprised by how often I came across tubes of this in my colours. Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are the places to stock up.
The Best Brightening Concealer
This Maybelline concealer is the best thing for making you look more awake and fresh after hours of travelling, a bad nights sleep or a late night at a beach party.
It has a sponge applicator attached which makes it easy to apply, and if you like to wear more product you can tear off the little sponge and apply the concealer with a beauty blender.
I wear the lightest shade (01 Light) around my eyes and a darker shade (Honey) on the rest of my face. It’s possible to buy this in some pharmacies in SE Asia, but not easy. I recommend stocking up before you leave.
The Best Highlighter for a Summer Glow
Becca Champagne Pop is a cult favourite highlighter that’s famous for looking good on every skin tone, and is amazing for summer skin. I use this on my cheekbones, down the centre of my nose and just under my eyebrows, then brush a little on my chest and shoulders in the evening. Even if you’re not wearing make up, brush a little bit of this on your cheekbones and collarbone in the evenings.
The Becca compact is more widely available in Asia as you can buy it in Sephora. If you can’t track it down, Hourglass does a great highlight palette. The palette contains three velvety metallic highlights that are really easy to blend and give you a stunning glow.
The Best Eyeshadows To Make Your Tan Pop
When it comes to travel, make up palettes are the best things to bring with you. You have a lots of choice for colour as your skin tone changes, but you only have one item to keep track of.
I’ve been a fan of Urban Decay eye palettes since the original Naked palette came out, and I’ve bought every single one since. I love the range of colours in their palettes, how blendable the shadows are, the quality of the brushes and also the fact that not one of my palettes has ever smashed. This is really important for travelling, because things get broken so easily! The palette isn’t cheap, but it will last a really long time and the range of colours is always fantastic.
The new Heat palette contains amber-hued and neutral tones that look great with bronzed skin – and if you have green eyes then these tones really make them pop! My favourite shades to wear during the day are Chaser and Sauced, with a pop of Dirty Talk under my eye. For people with a darker complexion Cayenne and Ember are smokey shades that would look amazing with a tan.
If you’re looking for a smaller palette I recently started using the Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Dolce Vita’ eyeshadow quad and I love the copper and brown tones in these shadows. There’s a champagne base colour, a shimmering copper, a darker shade to contour your eye, and a shimmering bronze (which is actually really bad for dropping all over your face so I don’t use it). The compact is very small and light, and the shadows have stayed intact apart from the champagne colour which has broken a little.
The Best Heat-Resistant Mascara
I’ve been through around 10 mascaras since I first left, trying to find one that didn’t smudge or run in the heat. Waterproof mascara wasn’t an option as this is so hard to remove and would mean packing extra eye make up remover and pads. Also in the pool or sea I’ve found that it does actually run, and then you can’t get the black marks off your face easily.
This Rimmel mascara is great for thickening and lengthening your lashes, and it lasts really well in the heat. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re going away on holiday, or have fair or short eyelashes and are looking to try something new.
The Best Budget Eyebrow Pencil and Eyeliner
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in shade ‘Hazel’ £3.29 / €4.79 & Glam’eyes Professional Liquid Liner in Black £5.29 / €7.29
These two items have been staples in my make up bag for years, and while I’ve tried others since I’ve been travelling I haven’t found ones that suit me better. I’d recommend them whether you’re travelling or not – they’re not specifically designed for hot weather, I just really like them and they have great staying power.
The eyeliner brush is extremely thin so it’s really easy to do a winged line with it, and it lasts quite well throughout the day – there are waterproof versions too but again I find waterproof makeup too much of a hassle when I’m away.
Skincare Tips for Humid Weather
If you do wear make up while you’re on holiday then be sure to bring a great cleansing wash with you. Don’t just use cleansing wipes because they’re convenient, as they won’t remove all of the make up and they aren’t great for your skin. Make sure you wash everything off each night, and try to wear make up as little as possible as it can clog up your pores and lead to blackheads and breakouts.
Charcoal masks and treatments are excellent for cleaning out your pores, so bring one or two of them with you. And remember to bring a moisturiser with SPF in it so that you can protect your face – my favourite is Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily Defense SPF 50 which protects without clogging your pores.
Those are my favourite beauty bits in my backpack, and will make sure you keep looking photo ready on your trip. Even if you’re backpacking and you spend most of your time with no make up and your hair in a topknot, you still need some nights when you put your make up on and feel more like yourself!
Thanks for reading!