9 Tips For Finding The Perfect Summer Foundation

Janell M. Hickman


On hot, humid, and sticky days, the last thing on your mind is slathering on skin-smothering foundation. It’s equally as daunting is finding the right formula—especially if you’re new to the makeup game. But no need to sweat (no pun intended, we promise!) because we caught up with a trio of talented makeup experts to fill us in. Now, looking great at any temperature will be a summer breeze.

Lean Towards a Liquid
“A liquid foundation is the easiest form of a complexion product to apply—especially if you are just starting to wear foundation,” shares Urban Decay Product Development Director, Amy Zunzunegui. “Liquids can easily be applied with your fingers, a sponge, a brush, etc. [The beauty of liquid formulas] is that they can be applied sheerer or heavier depending on how much coverage you want.”

You’ll Have to Test a Few
“There is no reason to pile on foundation. If you feel like you have cake frosting on your face, chances are, you have way too much makeup on,” shares Alexys Fleming of MadeYewLook and former NYX FACE Awards finalist. “Remember, your skin is your largest organ and you need to take care of it! For example, a concealer can be dotted on areas you want to cover up (any spots that bother you), while a foundation can simply even out your skin tone with a little amount.”

BB and CC Creams Are in Their Own Category
“CC creams can carry benefits that a typical foundation may not, such as color-correcting pigments, SPF, and built-in primer,” explains makeup artist Nicky Posley who’s clients include Brandy Norwood. “In theory, a BB cream is the most sheer in terms of coverage and is closer to a primer,” adds Zunzunegui.

But Don’t Forget About Other Versions
“Creams, liquids, and mousse are great for ‘normal/combination’ skin, meaning if you are having a little oil and a little dryness, you’ll love these!” explains Fleming. “For skin that is oily, powders will be your new best friend, literally. Drier skin types will do well with mousse and creams, but you may feel like powders will make you feel a little dry. However, you can always touch up any shiny spots with powders to take that shine away. Most importantly, as a beginner, remember you don’t need to put a ton on—a little goes a long way!”

MORE: Makeup With Built-in Skin Care

Different Application Methods Yield Different Results
“A different applicator can give you a different finish or level of coverage even when using the same product,” says Zunzunegui. “I love applying foundation with my fingers to really get into all of the fine lines, but then buffing it out with Urban Decay’s Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush to give my skin a blown-out effect.”

Create Your Own Version
“You can create a lightweight foundation blend at home by mixing together your favorite moisturizer and your favorite foundation,” explains Fleming. “If you want a lighter coverage, mix more moisturizer than foundation. For more coverage, mix more foundation than moisturizer. By doing this, you will also be getting your skin care benefits of your moisturizer while covering any spots that bother you!”

You Can Still Cover Up Acne
“I recommend using something more sheer as an all-over solution, then targeting problem areas with concealer,” says Posley. “It pays to try different formulas if possible to really customize your own personal routine—there so many options available to try.” Fleming adds “Acne is a very sensitive thing. Sometimes acne loves to flare, other times it goes away and seems like it will never come back. Wearing a lightweight foundation will not kill you—or your skin. If you are working with proper skin care, mixing your moisturizer and your foundation together can have a great benefit to your skin.”

Make Yourself Melt-Proof
“A great way to keep your foundation in place (along with all of your other makeup) is to apply Urban Decay’s Makeup Setting Sprays for 16-hour wear!” says Zunzunegui. “Another tip is to actually spray the setting sprays directly into the product in the palm of your hand and mix before applying to your face. Then, apply another round of spray when you are all done with your makeup.”

MORE: The Best Way to Apply Foundation For Your Skin

Plus, Prepare for Steamy Days
“It is beneficial on these days to carry with you a small amount of touch-up foundation with you, as well as blotting sheets and powder,” adds Fleming. “Never rub your foundation throughout the day, always blot! Rubbing will start to smudge it and remove it. Powder will instantly dull any shine that you have accumulated throughout the day, so it definitely comes in handy during the hot and humid days.”