Hot and humid makeup solutions

I am not a heavy makeup kind of girl, particularly after having four kids. This comes in handy living in Hong Kong, where it’s hot and humid practically every day of the year, causing makeup to slide off your face. 

But some days call for a bit of glamo-fying, don’t they? I sat with Jaime Smith, one of Hong Kong’s most coveted beauty queens from Smudge Makeup Artistry to learn her secrets. Jaime can make any woman stunningly gorgeous with the simple sweep of a brush. I was hoping she could use her magic to help me come up with hot and humid makeup solutions. Here are the tips I gathered:

Problem #1: Foundation that runs off your face

Nealy: I hate when I walk outside and my “face” starts to fall off. What can you use as an alternative to foundation on hot and wet days?

Jaime: Hong Kong humidity is like nothing else. It’s virtually impossible to pop your foundation on every morning and have it last all day. Even miracle makeup promising long lasting effect needs some help staying put and looking fresh. Try a foundation primer. This will not only help the makeup last longer, it will also prep the skin so the makeup goes on smoother and with a more flawless finish.

Like foundations, primers come in all shapes and sizes. Choose one that will give you the skin benefits you are looking for based on your skin type: matte-fying, moisturizing, color-correcting, pore minimizing, for example. My favorite of all primers is Mineral Primer Oil-free by Veil, available on Net-A-Porter (USD 52).  

Alternatively, use a light BB cream: My picks are Kanebo Media Makeup BB Cream Foundation (SPF 30+) available on eBay (USD 13.95), or Luminescence CC Cream by Giorgio Armani, available from Nordstroms (USD 52). It’s a higher price point, but it brightens the skin with a hint of glow like no other.

Here’s another tip: don’t rush! No one has tons of time for makeup, but waiting at least 10 minutes after putting your moisturizer on before applying your foundation will allow the skin to absorb the oils in the moisturizer and guard against less slippage later on. It’s worth the wait.

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Problem #2: Racoon eyes and running mascara

Nealy: I find my eye makeup and mascara smudges throughout a hot day as I sweat. How do I keep it long lasting?

Jaime: Just like your foundation can benefit from a primer, so can your eyes. Try an eyeshadow primer. It’s specifically formulated for eye lids, which are often very oily, and really help shadows stick. My favorite one is Eyeshadow Primer Potion by Urban Decay, available from Sephora (USD 20).

If it’s your eyeliner in particular you’re worried about, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, also available from Sephora (USD 19) is a fantastic solution: soft enough for a great multi-look liner, but also has serious staying power for a sweaty day. 

For lashes, invest in Lancôme’s CILS Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base, available from Sephora (USD 25). It not only plumps the lashes up amazingly, it makes the mascara last forever! Using this mascara primer you can even mascara apply to bottom lashes — where the mascara tends to melt and cause raccoon eyes the quickest — safely and without worrying about your eyes for the rest of the day. 


Problem #3: Taking it all off without residue

Nealy: After I’ve put all that makeup on and kept it on — how do I get it off without leaving residue so my skin stays healthy?

Jaime: Try a cleansing oil like Laura Mercier’s Flawless Skin Purifying Cleansing Oil, available from Sephora (USD 40). Use the oil to remove residual face product, then cleanse with a gel cleanser to really get your face clean. 

For the eyes, my favorite go-to makeup removers are Almay’s Makeup Remover Sticks, available from Fish Pond (HKD 113). There is a little bit of solution inside each cotton bud that you can snap and use for a single use when you need a little clean up under or around the eyes. Another favorite is Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover, available from Sephora (USD 28). 

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More Hot and Humid Weather Makeup Tips

  • Pack a survival kit when heading out in this heat. Keep blotting tissues, pressed powder, cream blush in a stick or pot (which will go on smoothly on damp skin if need be and also can be re-applied with your fingers on-the-go). And of course a little bit of lip shine for a good summer glow.
  • Keep your lips light. Focus on stunning eyes and flawless skin and keep lips moisturized with a simple solar like Benefit’s Lollibalm.
  • Use setting powder sparingly to help your makeup stay put. Blot with Beauty Blender’s new Blotterazzi hot pink blotting sponge — on shelves at Joyce Beauty this month.



Are you in need of makeup tips and tricks for hot and humid days in Hong Kong? Win MAYYA Movement’s beauty makeover with Smudge Make-up Artistry​!

  1. Share your favorite hot and humid makeup tip or product on your Instagram feed.
  2. Follow @nealy_mayyamovement.
  3. Tag her in your post and use the hashtag: #mayyamovement.
  4. Our team’s favorite tip will win a one hour pro makeup session with Smudge Make-up Artistry.
  5. Winner will be chosen Friday September 25t!

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