How to Fix ANY Summer Beauty Mess

Kelly Dougher
summer beauty messes

Photo: IMaxTree

Summer can wreak havoc on even the most polished beauty look. Whether you spent the day enduring a sweaty commute or just got out of the pool, it can be tempting to hop in the shower and redo your entire look from scratch before going out for the evening. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t shower off the day’s sweat and grime—but if you’re in a rush to be somewhere, take heart in knowing that working with the effects of summer weather can actually result in a chic, flattering beauty look. We’re going to show you how to lean in to the slightly smudged, glistening summer beauty look. It’s hot (literally and figuratively).

1. Work with frizzy hair.

There’s an issue that everyone has to contend with in the summer: humidity-induced frizz. Good news: Frizzy hair can actually be incredibly incredibly sexy, but the trick is controlling it. The first step is to put a luxurious conditioner in your hair before you leave the house on those humid days; it will help keep your hair soft and tangle-free. We like L’Oreal Oleo Therapy Deep Recovery Mask ($9). If you have time, use a curling iron to add tight curls from roots to ends and then gently brush through them, teasing a little bit near the ends for extra frizziness. You’ll have Dolly Parton-worthy big hair, which makes everyone feel fun and glamorous. And if you don’t have time to run to the curling iron, just keep some sea salt spray like John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves ($10) in your bag. Spray it on liberally to damp hair and scrunch enthusiastically to turn frizzy waves into beachy waves. Voila, perfectly undone, stylish locks are yours.

2. Sweaty skin = dewy skin.

There’s a difference between greasy and glowing, but here’s the good news: you can use the former to achieve the latter. First, you want to control shine, or else it will overtake your T-zone before you know it. Use a good mattifying primer before applying makeup, like First Aid Beauty Mattifying Gel ($30). This keeps skin from getting too oily and shiny even if you layer a dewy-finish BB cream on top. Then you want to pick up one or two packs of blotting papers to help reign in shininess; we love Palladio Rice Paper Tissues ($4) because they deposit translucent powder while soaking up oil. Lisa Eldridge herself told us this tip: blot your T-zone only, and leave your cheekbones glistening for a natural looking glow. You can even make your dewy skin look intentional by spritzing on a refreshing face mist; it will help you to reset your makeup, cool down, and have a pretty (not sweaty) gleam.

3. Make smudged eye makeup sexy.

Even if you only wear waterproof mascara and eyeliner, summer has a way of rendering your efforts useless. From sweating to swimming, there’s a good chance you’re going to look in a mirror at some point this summer and see your eye makeup running for its life down your face. Instead of desperately trying to wipe it all off with paper towels in a public bathroom, work with it. Use a bit of water to clean up the really messy areas, and then using a q-tip or tissue gently smudge the remaining liner or mascara along your upper and lower lash lines. You can even smudge some onto your eyelids or extend it from the outer corners of your eyes for a smokey cat-eye. You’ll look effortlessly cool instead of like a hot mess. And if that fails? Throw on sunglasses and call it a day.

4. Glossy lips are summer lips. 

Summer isn’t the best time for extremely precise lipstick. You’re sweating, you’re eating messy food like ice cream and BBQ, and hopefully making out with your summer crush. So put down the lip liner and the dark, matte lipstick and opt for an easier alternative. We love the idea of having a faded flush of pink or coral on the lips for summer; it looks like you just ate a popsicle. You can achieve this either by using a sheer lipstick for an all-over wash of color—we like Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick ($10) both for the cheeky name and the sheer, glossy formula that comes in three summer-ready colors. You could also use any normal lipstick you happen to have on hand, simply by dabbing some onto the middle of your lips and then softly blending it out with a finger or brush. Add a touch of gloss overtop and be on your way.

5. Pick a light fragrance.

When you’re sweating profusely and only have a minute to freshen up before going out, it can be tempting to pick the heaviest perfume you own to cover up any body odors. Resist this temptation. Musky, cloying fragrances will only make the situation worse and give everyone around you a headache in the summer heat. Instead, reach for a fragrance that has fresh, light, clean notes. Anything with sparkling citrus notes or floral notes like lilac is ideal. We particularly love CLEAN Air Eau de Parfum ($69) for summer: it smells like fresh laundry hanging out to dry on a mountaintop. Keep the rollerball in your purse so you can easily freshen up your scent while you’re out and about this summer, and get ready to smell great.

More from Daily Makeover: How to Get Beachy Waves, for Every Hair Type.