How to Waterproof Makeup That’s Not Actually Waterproof
Yep, you can DIY that.
The rainy spring season is upon us, and if you're accidentally stuck outside without an umbrella (I mean, who hasn't been there?), you better believe your full face of makeup is probably going to take a hit, too. That is, unless you take a few extra steps in your makeup routine to prevent the dreaded smearing and smudging that happens with a drenched face.
Here, two makeup artists offer tips on how to waterproof your makeup—even when you're not actually wearing waterproof products.
Start with a primer
Setting your base with a strong primer will set you up for staying success throughout the day. A primer will not only help your makeup go on smoother, but it will also help your products last longer, as it acts as a protective layer to prevent foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, and highlighter from absorbing into the skin too much.
“Primer is so personal for whatever skin type I am addressing,” says makeup artist Paige Pelfrey. “Makeup Forever makes a huge range of primers that are incredible and can be completely customizable to your needs—whether you’re in need of color correcting redness or filling in pores, they have one for all skin types.”
When Pelfrey is working on a client with no major skin concerns—just looking for a glowy boost—her go-to is the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44; sephora.com). “It’s incredible on its own, mixed into foundation, or even as a highlight,” explains Pelfrey.
Some other favorites from makeup artist and skincare expert Molly Thompson-Tubridy include picks from Urban Decay and NYX. “Urban Decay All Nighter Ultra Glow Face Primer ($36; sephora.com) is my go-to for when I want a long-lasting look, especially when I know I’ll be facing the elements of weather/heat,” she says. “It works with all skin types and a little goes a long way—the gel consistency and hyaluronic acid helps cool and hydrate the face.”
Thompson-Tubridy’s other favorite primer she loves to use on her clients is NYX High Glass Face Primer ($9; ulta.com) because it’s less expensive than the Urban Decay option and creates a long-lasting effect. “However, it’s more for dewy ‘glass skin' looks, so I opt to wear it on a day where I want a natural glow.”
Use a makeup sponge
Use a longwear sealant
According to Pelfrey, using a longwear sealant is the most effective way to transform non-waterproof products into waterproof ones. “A few brands make these products in the form of a dropper and you can add it to gel liners, or on a shadow brush before dipping into an eyeshadow,” says Pelfrey. “I would recommend Makeup Forever Aqua Seal ($21; sephora.com)—it’s a sealant that can be used in many ways and with many products, and it makes pigments more intense while also giving them longevity.”
Thompson-Tubridy is also a big fan of Makeup Forever Aqua Seal, but her favorite liquid converter is Inglot Duraline ($17; amazon.com). “All you need to do is add a drop or two to the product and apply immediately,” says Thomspon-Tubridy. “I love using this product and mixing it with a colored powder so I can create my own colored liners—once you’ve applied the product, it instantly becomes waterproof and lasts for hours.”
Set with a powder
For added protection, Thompson-Tubridy recommends opting for a translucent powder over a tinted power or powder foundation, as it will help you look like you have less product on your face. “If you want a long-lasting look, I recommend getting loose powders and applying a thin layer on your face with the straight end of a beauty brush, leave it on for a few minutes, then gently wipe off with a larger brush," she says. "This baking technique is my all-time favorite for helping achieve the full waterproof effect.”
Use a setting spray
The final step in your look should be a setting spray, and both Thomspon-Tubridy and Pelfrey are big fans of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray ($33; sephora.com). “It literally does exactly what it says and makes your look last all night,” says Thompson-Tubridy. “I often get it in the large bottle and the travel size—it’s a kit essential for me when I’m doing shoots/client looks and they want to have the look on for hours afterward.”
Another one of Pelfrey’s honorable mentions? Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($48; sephora.com), as it helps to add hydration to the skin and refresh lived-in makeup.