wearing makeup in the hot, sweat-inducing months of summer isn’t an easy feat. If you pick the wrong product formulas, it can end in disaster, and even the formulas touting 10-, 12-, or 24-hour wear still beg for a careful tread. (Sorry, but many formulas are overly ambitious with their claims.)
who currently lives in L.A. and who grew up in Minnesota (where winters are cold and bone-dry while summers are hot and disgustingly humid), I feel pretty well-versed when it comes to finding the best sweat- and weather-proof makeup formulas. I also love to be outside, love to work out, and have an unfortunate habit of sweating buckets when I’m nervous. I should also mention that as a beauty editor, I’m sent about a bazillion products per week stating they’ll stay on my face through all of the above. (Lies, so many lies!)
To clear the air and because summer has officially arrived with hot-and-heavy momentum, I’m sharing 13 sweatproof
foundation formulas that have yet to let me down in terms of their finish and staying power. And because I know everyone has different budgets and formula preferences when it comes to foundation, I’ve handpicked the best formula in a multitude of categories to keep your summer foundation shopping as efficient and sweat-free as possible. (See what I did there?) Keep scrolling!
This foundation is an icon. I already had it in my kit, and I’m not sure why (literally every makeup artist uses it), but I never reached for it. However, after battling some insane breakouts, my go-to facialist at Vanessa Hernandez Skincare said this is one of the best foundations you can wear. Not only does it make your face look flawless, but it’s also long-wearing and won’t clog your pores like some heavier-duty foundation formulas.
This OG foundation from Estée Lauder isn’t new or flashy, but there’s a reason it consistently wins awards and remains in makeup artists’ kits: It can’t be beaten. I personally swear by its 24-hour-long wear (um, it got me through many a night out while studying abroad during college), and celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney told me last year she especially loves it for her oil-prone clientele.
This luminous, medium-coverage foundation isn’t necessarily touted as long-wearing (most mineral formulas aren’t), but I’ve had surprising luck with it staying on my face through sweaty high-speed walks in L.A., workouts, and deadline-induced stress sweat. I love this foundation because it doesn’t look or feel like you’re wearing anything on your face, and the colors are so, so good. I’m obsessed.
This foundation from Kosås is one-of-a-kind. Since it applies smoothly and absorbs into your skin almost instantaneously, there’s really no way for your application to get messed up down the line—even if you’re pushing through a hike or challenging workout. It boasts three different types of mineral pigments, delivered to the skin via six active botanical oils which help even your skin tone, improve luminosity, lessen the look of pores, and everything else you want from a foundation. As far as natural foundations go, this is the best formula I’ve found to ensure my skin looks like my skin (not a beige-hued puddle) at the end of a long summer day or night.
One of the great things about stick foundation formulas is their malleable, concealer-like coverage. They offer a more customized approach—allowing you to target and buff out the areas where you want or need more camouflage. Oh, and they’re also lifesavers if you’re constantly on the go. Alas, sometimes they’re too malleable and can have the tendency to keep moving across your face throughout the day. Not good. This long-lasting formula from Lancôme, however, is the exception. It has an impressive 4.5-star rating on Sephora’s website and is commended for bulletproof wear in addition to its high-coverage and lightweight texture. It’s also infused with SPF and oil-free for those who are more blemish-prone.
No matter how many foundation formulas I try (and that’s a lot, 21 Savage–style), I just can’t quit this long-wearing, sweatproof foundation from Laura Mercier. There aren’t too many foundation formulas out there that look exactly the same when I apply them at 7 a.m. and later at 9:30 p.m. when I get home from work and a workout, but this one does just that. The finish is matte, but not too matte, and I also appreciate that it’s transfer-resistant and oil-free. It gives you porcelain-finish skin.
Both BB and CC creams are worn and loved for their lighter, multitasking perks. That said, long, sweatproof wear historically isn’t a key talking point of the category. But this 12-hour pick from Tarte is here to change your mind. Sephora shoppers love it (it currently has a 4.5 rating and 3000 reviews), and it’s touted for its medium coverage that makes your skin glow, its five-in-one formula, and the fact that it’s vegan.
This sweatproof foundation from Nyx is one of the best for anyone who’s in need of a hardworking foundation formula but doesn’t want to pay a fortune. This foundation does exactly what its name suggests, boasting 24-hour wear, tons of shade options (45!), and creamy, matte coverage designed to effortlessly navigate sweat, heat, humidity, and water.
Spray foundations were all the rage a few years back, but they’ve since fallen a bit out of vogue. That said, they still have their benefits, and the handful of formulas that have weathered the storm are great for delivering a long-lasting, airbrushed finish. This classic formula from Sephora Collection is the best one I’ve personally tried, and I love how easy it is to layer and customize depending on your ultimate goal. It also scores extra credit for being oil-free and staving off shine for a full 10 hours.
This cult-loved (albeit very spendy) foundation from Koh Gen Do is a celebrity staple and an industry trade secret for resilient and flawless wear. (It’s been used on Hollywood film sets since its inception.) Not only does it enhance the look of your natural skin with zero crease or cake factor, but it also keeps skin supple and stocked with hydration.
If a celebrity makeup artist uses a specific foundation on her A-list clientele, you know by default it has to have sweatproof stamina. (Events, red carpets, and award shows are no joke.) So when Mary Phillips recommended this cushion compact for creating the most believable and durable glows, our ears perked. This formula from La Mer has more shade options than most cushion formulas on the market, and it also has added skin-blessing ingredients like sea kelp and the brand’s signature Miracle Broth.
BareMinerals has been the queen bee of powder foundations for as long as we can remember, and it keeps upping the ante as far as its formulations are concerned. The latest? A 12-hour, sweatproof pressed powder foundation that comes in over 30 shades. The finish is matte thanks to the oil-sopping star ingredient, silica, and its ingredient roster is also spiked with a host of beneficial vitamins and minerals for optimal smoothness and glow—despite even the sweatiest of summer horizons.
First things first: Please, let us repeat, PLEASE don’t use an SPF-spiked foundation (or moisturizer for that matter) as your one and only means of sun protection. Studies have shown that while helpful (they definitely don’t hurt), they absolutely can’t replace the efficacy of a true sunscreen. Capisce? That said, if you’re looking for all the extra protection you can get this summer, this iteration from It Cosmetics is undoubtedly the best. Inspired by the brand’s original best seller (which also has SPF), this formula is better suited for the summer months when things get extra sticky and heated. It’s oil-free, matte, infused with SPF 40, and plays nice for up to 12 hours. (Although, we’ve had luck even past that!)
Next up, These Drugstore-Priced Primers Are Basically the Blur Tool In a Tube.