Summer Makeup Tips For People With Dry Skin

by Kelly Dougher

I have dry skin and while it's the worst thing ever in the winter, it also presents a unique set of challenges in the summer. I definitely feel for people who have to deal with oily skin when it's hot and humid out, but sometimes I wish I could trade with them. The thing is, I know how to deal with my dry skin in the winter, even if it's a little labor intensive: moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize some more before piling on hydrating makeup products with labels that feature words like "dewy," "luminous," and "glowing." Unfortunately that doesn't work so well in the summer. No matter how hot it is, I still have dry skin when I wake up in the morning so I moisturize and use my usual hydrating makeup products — otherwise my makeup will cling to dry patches and look awful. But then by the end of the day, or sometimes even before noon, the combination of humidity and sweat makes all that emollient makeup start to melt off my face. Not a good look.

I know I'm not the only one with this tricky dilemma. So if you too have dry skin and you're wondering how you can do your makeup in a way that's both hydrating and sweat-proof, I'm here for you. Here are the seven steps that I use to ensure that my makeup goes on my ultra-dry skin smoothly and stays there even through the hottest summer day.

Step 1: Moisturize Well Overnight

You can't expect your skin to be ready to receive makeup first thing in the morning, and if you hurriedly slap on a thick moisturizer while getting ready there's a good chance it won't have enough time to be absorbed and do its thing. I like to use a heavy overnight cream such as Lush Skin's Shangri La. It's a little pricey but so worth it because it has natural, luxurious ingredients that make my skin look and feel amazing. In the morning I wake up with glowing, hydrated skin that's much smoother and ready for makeup.

Skin's Shangri La, $50, Lush

Step 2: Use A Light Morning Moisturizer

Of course, I don't forego moisturizer completely in the morning. I just prefer to use a lighter one that absorbs quickly in the summer months. Your best bet in this situation is a gel serum or moisturizer; they're not as heavy as traditional moisturizer and they feel dry to the touch within a minute. I like First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum. I put this on after cleansing my face in the morning with micellar water, and I only have to wait a couple minutes for it to absorb. It gives my skin enough hydration without creating an overly-emollient base for my makeup to slide off of.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum, $36, Amazon

Step 3: Use A Hydrating Primer

Primer is extremely useful for helping your makeup go on smoothly and last all day, but a lot of them are created with normal or oily skin in mind. Luckily Smashbox makes a great hydrating primer that preps your skin for makeup without drying it out. It feels very similar to a gel moisturizer.

Smashbox Hydrating Primer, $39, Amazon

Step 4: Even Skintone With BB Cream

Personally, I try to step away from foundation in the summer months. When things get sweaty and humid, it's not fun to have that much heavy makeup shifting around on your face. Instead of worrying about making my skin look perfect, I use a sheer BB cream to even out my overall skin tone and then I add concealer as needed (we'll get to that step next). I use either Dr. Jart+ BB Cream or PCA Skin Sheer Tint, depending on how much coverage I want (the Dr. Jart is a little thicker and less sheer). Both of these are very hydrating and emollient, so that's great for dry skin. I don't even bother with highlighter most days because these give my skin a nice gleam. Of course that's not so great for the midday attack of the shiny T-zone. Don't worry though: I have a few tricks for dealing with that coming up.

Dr. Jart + Premium Beauty Balm, $39, Sephora; PCA Skin Sheer Tint, $49, Amazon

Step 5: Use Thick Waterproof Concealer

Since BB cream doesn't cover all my dark spots and blemishes, I like to add some concealer on days when I want extra coverage. In the winter I prefer to use a light, creamy concealer but that tends to slide right off in the summer. I recently discovered that IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer is perfect for the summer months because it does not budge at all. Just warm it up between your fingers a little bit to help it spread more smoothly over dry skin, and blend well.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer, $34, Amazon

Step 6: Finish With Powder

Powder can be so helpful for setting makeup and reducing shine, but if you have seriously dry skin, you know that powder can go very wrong. To avoid a caked-on look, I use a very light hand and concentrate the powder mostly on my T-zone (i.e. my forehead and nose). I really like IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Finishing Powder and Colorescience Sunforgettable® Loose Mineral Sunscreen Brush is awesome because it offers SPF 50 as well as imparting a healthy bronzed glow.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Airbrush Pressed Powder, $29, Sephora; Colorscience Sunforgettable Loose Mineral Sunscreen Brush, $57, Sephora

Step 7: Set With Spray

Finally, spritzing on some Urban Decay Setting Spray really helps to keep my makeup in place without making everything look dry. If you absolutely can't tolerate powder, then just skipping that step and using a setting spray alone will work fine.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, $31, Sephora

Here's the final look on me:

Tada! Glowing skin, but with everything still in its place. Best of all, this photo was taken at the end of the day. So go forth and glow (i.e. sweat) as much as you want this summer, as long as you follow these seven steps.

Images: Kelly Dougher