How to Choose the Perfect Foundation for Summer

The right base makeup will leave you looking flawless and stay put, even under sweat, sunshine and the occasional rain shower.

While conventional wisdom says that summer is the time to switch out your full-coverage foundation for an airier tinted moisturizer, let’s be honest: Pimples and scars don’t go on vacay, and oily skin types are too slick for that. Thankfully, the latest long-wear foundations are lightweight yet totally buildable, meaning you can create a flawless base without having to worry about any caking, shine or transferring throughout the day. But how you prep your skin before applying makeup is just as important in the fight against greasiness. Here, Jodi Urichuk, L’Oréal Paris Canadian Makeup Artist and Expert, shares her top makeup tips on how to apply foundation in the summer with zero chance of slip ’n’ slide.

First, you have to choose your summer foundation. Oily skin types tend to reach for a matte foundation in balmier months, when even the driest among us have been known to produce a bead of face sweat or two. But the reality is that matte foundations can move around if they aren’t waterproof, which is why the best foundations for oily, combination and even normal skin are long-wearing ones; they suck up any slickness that can cause makeup to melt. L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation contains three types of oil absorbers that keep working for up to 24 hours. Plus, the ultra-thin, medium-coverage formula gives you a second-skin effect that can be layered up where needed to disguise any imperfections. Best of both worlds!

Now that you’ve found your perfect foundation, it’s time to choose the right shade. Even if you wear sunscreen religiously throughout the year, you’re likely to be a little “tanned” in summer. Typically, you’ll notice when that change starts to happen: All of a sudden, your makeup begins to look not quite right. When you apply your foundation to part of your face, it should ideally disappear without your having to cover your entire face to make it look even. That’s why it’s a good idea to always have two shades of foundation in your makeup kit that are just one shade apart (in keeping with the same undertone). The paler of the two is for winter; the warmer is for summer. You can blend the two together to help ease the transition in spring and fall.

Next, it’s time to prep. “Before you begin to apply foundation, skin should be exfoliated and hydrated,” says Urichuk. Slough away dead skin cells using a warm washcloth and an exfoliating cleanser that contains beads or fruit acids. Rather than relying on oils and other ingredients for moisture, lighter hyaluronic acid-based serums are perfect to help smooth and plump skin without residue. The star ingredient attracts moisture and locks it beneath the surface, holding 1,000 times its weight in water. (Try L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power LZR 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum—the most powerful, pure 1.5 % hyaluronic acid on the mass market).

Do not skip this step! “Using a matte primer smooths and blurs imperfections while keeping oil at bay,” says Urichuk. The makeup pro uses L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Lock [photo of product has “Matte-Lock” with a hyphen] Primer, applying it strategically under eye makeup on lids and in the T-zone, where makeup tends to glide around most. It’s okay to leave the rest of your skin primer-free, though, so it and your foundation can breathe.

Urichuk likes to blot skin with a tissue or blotting papers before applying foundation, in case any sweat has started to form before skin has even seen a makeup brush. “For a clean, fresh take, I apply the matte foundation with a smaller, fluffy brush starting from the centre of the face and fanning out from the T-zone,” she says. If you don’t need as much coverage on your cheeks or near the edges of your face, don’t feel pressured to cover it all up, like a mask. As long as you’re using the right shade and finish to achieve an invisible effect, the more of your natural skin that shines through, the better.

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