How to keep your makeup on when you sweat?

by Paris B on · 26 comments

in Tips,You Asked?


I received an email recently from reader Melinda Rudy with the following enquiry:-

I’m not sure whether to ask you this, but this thing really bothered me. I have trouble applying make up since my face sweat a lot. I have oily + sensitive skin. And i sweat after walking for 5 minutes or expose to the sun for 1 minute. Could you please suggest a way/brand that is suitable with my current situation?

I did send Melinda a reply, but I thought it would make an interesting post too. The essence of the issue here is how to keep makeup on your skin when you know you will perspire or sweat.

Use a Makeup Primer or Makeup Base under foundation

To counteract oily skin and to keep foundation from sliding off when you sweat, try using a makeup primer or makeup base. The silicone in makeup primers will help hold your foundation in place. I have found from personal experience that powder foundations slide off less quickly than liquid foundations so you could try that over a base. If you can afford it, I loved the Guerlain Meteorites Pearles primer but a budget choice would be the Revlon Perfecting Primer.

Use a waterproof mascara and eyeliner

If you know you are going to sweat or cry or to have panda eyes in general, try a waterproof mascara or waterproof eyeliner. For waterproof mascara I like Diorshow Iconic or for a budget choice, try Maybelline. For eyeliner, I like the Guerlain Kohl pencil or I Nuovi Metallic liquid liner or for those on a budget, Silkygirl Funky Eye Lights rock!  A budge-proof gel eyeliner I have also tried is by Bloop de Paris – it seriously does not budge and its budget price too!

Use a Cheek Stain for waterproof blush

For oily skins or people who perspire easily, a cheek stain will be a better option than a powder or gel blush. The most popular cheek stain I know of is Benetint by Benefit Cosmetics. You can also use it as a lip stain. I have not tried it myself though.

Use longlasting cream eyeshadow

I find that cream eyeshadow like Benefit Cosmetic’s Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows last a long long time on me especially when a powder eyeshadow in a matching colour is layered over it. It truly does not budge until I take a makeup remover to it, which is awesome!

Use an eye sealant to make eye makeup waterproof

There are a number of brands out there with sealants to make eyeshadow waterproof and budge proof. The only one I have tried is Make Up For Ever’s Eye Seal. Truly, it seals your eyeshadow and eyeliner and stops everything in their tracks. A budget option is available in Beautilicious under their Quick Liquid Eyes Kit but I have not tried that one yet.

Don’t put on makeup if you know you are going to be in the sun.

If you know you are going to be out in the hot sun and horrors! sweating! It might be a good idea not to put on your makeup until you get to your destination. When you get to your destination, quickly wash your face to remove sweat and sebum and then apply your makeup.

However, if you are on holiday and will be walking in the hot sun, sweating, skip the makeup. Instead, pile on the sunblock and if you really cannot do without your makeup, try a tinted sunscreen instead, with coloured lip balm. That’s what I did everyday during my holiday – minimal makeup and lots of sunblock 😉

Do you have further tips to share to help keep makeup on? I’m all ears! 😀

Stay beautiful,

Paris B

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[ 26 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Janice March 24, 2009 at 9:18 am

Hi PB,

For the eye seal… check out this post about the Daiso Eyeliner Coat… I guess they do the same job…



ParisB March 24, 2009 at 9:38 am

Hi Janice

Thanks for the info. It looks like it does but I think I’ll stick to MUFE for now simply because I’m picky that way :)


melinda March 24, 2009 at 9:44 am

OMG….i just cant believe, my name is appeared on mywomenstuff! yeay~

I`m gonna print this article and laminate it and frame it…and put it in my blog and..blablabla…(im in euphoric moments) :)

thanks for the tips and suggestions! I really appreciate it~

Thanks PB for being such a sweetheart~

Btw, i still havent tried the makeup base yet…i procrastinate a lot…hehe


ParisB March 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Hi Melinda

Haha… thanks for being the inspiration :)


prettybeautiful March 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

yeah i too face the horror of eyeliner smudging all the time, i think i seriously need a eyeliner seal, daiso rm5 or MUFE rm80? hmmmmpph! and i do agree that minimal or no makeup is the best for outing under the sun. nothing can be scarier than foundation and blusher looking blotchy on face


ParisB March 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Hi prettybeautiful

I have had no experience with the Daiso eye seal so I cannot comment. Personally as I’ve had my Make Up For Ever one for ever (!) I’d stick to it plus I’m picky :)


akiki March 24, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I am actually suffering from the illness which caused me sweat a lot all over my body!imagine sweaty hands,legs,arms…. I even sweat without the sunlight!!scary huh? but I did not really face make up problems, may be I just did not notice about it?? I will share my thoughts in my blog soon….


ParisB March 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Hey Akiki

Oh dear! Is your illness treatable? I guess if you haven’t noticed your makeup melting you might have less of a problem on the face or its just not that oily or you are doing something right!


akiki March 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm

the illness is treatable, but can’t be fully healed.the operation can only “change” the part you do not want it sweats to other part of your body….


Nikki March 24, 2009 at 1:48 pm

I can’t seem to add more tips on top of my head as you covered everything PB ! great post! And so true about wearing less makeup if you know you’re going to be outdoors! :) Just apply concealer on areas that needed to be covered then pat on with a finishing powder :) Love your post PB! great day!


ParisB March 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Hi Nikki

Thank you! I fully agree about using just concealer and loose powder – sometimes, thats all a girl needs :)


Shay March 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Yup!!! I can’t agree more with that. Better to see all the flaws and a poor messed up attempt to cover. hehe…

So, during weekends when I know I’ll be running around a lot on errands, I just put on tinted sunscreen, concealer and loose powder.


Shay March 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Opps I meant better to see all the flaws THAN a poor messed up attempt to cover. hehe…

Sometimes I feel that I wanna look younger, prettier by wearing makeup, but end up looking older because of my attempt to hide my flaws.


ParisB March 25, 2009 at 9:31 am

Hi again Shay

The trick is to cover up lightly because the thicker your makeup the older one looks because it will crack.


ParisB March 25, 2009 at 9:30 am

Hi Shay

When I run errands I don’t even put on makeup! LOL… Yeah I’m brave that way 😛


Amanda March 24, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I’m thinking of getting the MUFE’s Eye Seal. My left eye is always watery and half of my eyeshadows will be gone within an hour or two. Very frustrating.

When I was home, all I had was mascara, concealer and lipgloss. I don’t like having a full makeup on when it’s hot and humid.


March 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Wow! I have oily skin and tend to sweat in between classes!! Rushing from one place to another… and I’m going to the beach soon and I can’t do without my BB creams!
Shall try the tinted sunscreen~~
Thx for the tips =?


ParisB March 25, 2009 at 9:31 am

Hi Yuki

I don’t know if BB creams are a good idea on the beach. You’d definitely want the sunblock though!


Fairuz March 25, 2009 at 3:02 am

this is a really good tip! I don’t put make up on that often coz I do tend to sweat a lot and I’m afraid my makeup will cair all over my face. So note to self: must get primer!

Thanks Paris 😉


ParisB March 25, 2009 at 9:32 am

Hi Fairuz

You’re most welcome and I hope it works for you!


jennifer March 25, 2009 at 6:59 am

since live in malaysia i also having same problems…..imagine lunch break walk to stall sweating, hot when eating sweating, walk back to office sweating sound like ” PIG” which digusting…..i dream one day malaysia weather change at least like genting also enough ( dun ask for more ) , my eye line all smudge , bobbi brown & kate , apparantely wana wear make eyes bigger but turn out being PANDA =.=”” , somtime angry bcus of hot n sweat it turn me like clown =.= “” , duno how to solve this problems =.=


ParisB March 25, 2009 at 9:33 am

Hello Jennifer

I’m quite happy with our weather here in Malaysia actually. Cold weather has its own set of problems too e.g dry skin. As for keeping your eyeliner on, try the Make Up For Ever eye seal. It seriously makes eyeshadow and eyeliner budge proof so no more panda eyes 😉


goldenmouse March 26, 2009 at 4:51 pm

i think the best waterproof mascara is majolica majorca, eyeliner and eyeshadow is tigi bedhead. Because after work, i used to go jogging with my collegue without removing make up and with all the sweat, i don’t experience panda eyes.hahahaha


March 30, 2009 at 10:48 am

I agree on the tinted sunscreen. I sweat a lot in M’sia; my sweat glands go on hyperactive mode everytime I step out of the house/office. Tinted sunscreen, light dusting of loose powder, cream blush, gloss …. kao tim! 😀


Patrice Robinson February 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

I have very dry skin in addition I perspire a lot but I need a good concealer to cover or tone out my uneven skin and also a great foundation. What do you reccommend?


nick July 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Use chilled rose water as toner. This will reduce sweating to the most and then use any BB cream as foundation. Great makeup for summers


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