Say goodbye to those midday touch-ups with these pro tips from talented make-up artists

Ensuring our make-up stays put for more than a couple of hours in Hong Kong’s notoriously hot and humid summers can be a struggle, especially these days, when face masks have become a part of daily life. The good news is, there are ways to keep your makeup from smudging throughout the day.

We talked to a few leading Hong Kong make-up artists to get some professional tips on how to look your best while wearing a mask in the heat and humidity.

See also: The Best Facial Treatments In Hong Kong To Try This Season

1. Prep your skin

Using a water-based moisturiser after cleansing and toning will help even out your skin complexion and give your make-up a clean base to cling to.

“I prefer the Tatcha Water Cream, an oil-free moisturiser that doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy or sticky.” says celebrity make-up artist Kalam Chu. Wait a few minutes between skincare and make-up application to allow the moisturiser to absorb properly into skin and to avoid any residue left on the face. Clumpy make-up is never a good look.

Other water-based moisturisers that we love for sticky summer days are Charlotte’s Magic Cream by Charlotte Tilbury and Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion de Rose Nourishing Crème.  

2. Get primed

Often overlooked as the least important cosmetic step, a good primer can turn your skin into a canvas that creates a barrier to pore-clogging foundation.

“After moisturiser, apply a mattifying primer to minimise the appearance of the pores. It helps to fight against shine and excess oil so your makeup can last all day long.” says make-up artist Gabbie Lee, who has dolled up the likes of Rita Ora.

“Apply a water-resistant primer as it helps to prevent the makeup from melting when you sweat. My go-to primer is the Veil Mineral Primer from Hourglass, which has SPF15 so you don't need to worry about putting another layer of sunscreen on your face." says Kalam Chu. 

See also: 7 Asian Makeup Artists To Follow On Instagram

3. Less is more

To keep your makeup from melting in the heat, choose a lightweight foundation that has a long-wear formula.

“My best pick is Guerlain's L'Essentiel Natural Glow foundation, which feels ultra-light on the skin, lasts up to 16 hours and has SPF20. For summer, the best practice is to choose an all-in-one foundation so you don’t have to apply multiple layers of products and let the skin breathe.” says Karen Yiu, a make-up artist who also specialises in body painting.

Or if you want to skip foundation altogether, apply a heavy-duty concealer instead. “I advise my clients to use less foundation in summertime and use a concealer to touch up problem areas instead. Less make-up on the skin will help it breathe and feel less like a sticky mess in the Hong Kong humidity.” says Jaime Smith of Smudge Makeup Artistry. 

Other products worth trying are the Giorgio Armani My Armani To Go Iconic Cushion and IT Cosmetics' Bye Bye Undereye Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer. 

See also: 5 Long-Lasting Foundations To Survive Hong Kong's Humidity 

4. Go waterproof

To make sure your eye make-up stays smudge-free all day, opt for products with waterproof formulas.

“Waterproof mascara is a must-have for junk parties or a day on the beach,” says Kalam. Some of the best waterproof mascaras out there are Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Waterproof Mascara, Hourlglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara and Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Wet Waterproof Mascara, all of which come highly recommended to keep your lashes lush and curled all day.

See also: 10 Of The Best Mascaras For Beautiful Lashes

5. Lock the look

Getting your hands on a good setting spray will keep your make-up looking natural while also keeping it in place. “A trick that I learned from Dany Sanz (Creator and Artistic Director of Makeup For Ever) is to mix a drop of Makeup For Ever Aqua Seal into the Mist & Fix spray bottle to make it waterproof, which works like magic, especially in Hong Kong's summer heat,” says Megumi Sekine.

So what's the best way to apply setting spray? “Hold it about an arm's length away, mist directly onto the face in a T and an X motion for maximum coverage, then use a paper fan to speed up the drying process," says Gabbie, who recommends the cult favourite Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. 

See also: Expert Tips On How To Keep Your Beauty Products Clean And Sanitised

This article was originally published on 25 June, 2019 and was updated on 25 May, 2020.

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