This week in New York City, temps have been nearing 100°F with the type of humidity that makes you feel like you're in a sauna. The second you even think to step outside you're already sweating. While this weather is the perfect time to go makeup-free, we all have times when we want to wear a little something to even out our complexions. But in this heat, heavy foundation is simply out of the question.
Instead, we're wearing lightweight, breathable products that make us feel pulled together without overdoing it (and that won't melt off of our faces, even in the hottest heat). Below, shop the heat wave-friendly foundation alternatives that our editors are wearing to get through this hellscape in style.
Zoë Weiner, senior beauty editor
“On super-hot days when I want to go full glam, I use this Maybelline tinted oil,” says Weiner, noting that she preps her skin using Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 ($36) mixed with a few drops of Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Bronzing Drops with Peptides ($36). “I have to admit that when I first tried it, I assumed that it would be the last thing I wanted to put on my face during a heat wave, because who would want to drench their skin in oil when it’s 95°F outside?! Not me. But though it looks greasy when it first comes out of the dropper, it applies evenly and easily (I like to use my fingertips then finish things off with a Beautyblender), and leaves behind a velvety finish that sticks around all day—even when temps are topping out around a zillion.”
Jessie Van Amburg, editor
“I have oily, acne-prone skin that’s also sensitive AF, so traditional foundations in the summer make me break out or just melt right off,” says Van Amburg. “And when it’s humid out, I hate feeling like stuff is on my skin. This Ilia Skin Tint is my holy grail. It’s a tinted SPF, moisturizer, and highlighter in one. The coverage is light to medium, depending on how much you put on, but it never feels heavy—it always just looks like my skin at its best. The only downside is that it’s very dewy, so on a hot day, you just have to commit to looking like a beautiful glazed donut. (Not the worst problem, TBH, but if you like more matte formulas, look elsewhere.)”
Kara Jillian Brown, beauty writer
Lightweight with great coverage, this SPF 30 skin tint makes my skin look so good and doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a thing. It’s not watery, so it stays on and blends in beautifully. I squeeze a bit of this into my hand, then plop little drops of it onto my face with my finger before blending it out with a Beautyblender I find that this gives me a much easier and smoother application than just trying to blend with my fingers alone. It also happens to be the first-ever complexion makeup product to earn the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance, which means it’s safe to use on even the most sensitive skin types.
Samantha Leal, deputy editor
“I tend to go for light foundation, but especially when it’s hot out,” says Leal. “I have combination skin (oily in some places, dry in others)—and I’m in love with the Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation. As the name suggests it’s super light on its own, but on truly Hades-esque days, I’ll mix some with a serum for an even lighter feel and coverage.”
Erica Sloan, lifestyle editor
“To me, it’s a no-brainer to wear a tinted moisturizer with SPF in the summer—it gives me protection while also evening out my skin tone,” says Sloan. “But I’ve never found one as lightweight and non-tacky as this Saie slip tint, especially with mineral-based sunscreen (which my combination skin prefers). Like the name says, it just slips right on, and it blends just as easily. Its hydrating hyaluronic acid base makes it a skin soother, too—and seems to keep it from pilling on the surface of my skin, even when I’m dripping sweat (AKA every day this summer).”
Gina Vaynshteyn, senior commerce editor
“I’ve been really into Weekend Skin ever since it launched, because it’s way too lava-like outside to wear my go-to foundation,” says Vaynshteyn. “This formula is so dreamy, I’ve been wearing it every day. It contains a time-release vitamin C that brightens, and a light tint that gives me more of a glow (versus any color, per se—it’s designed to work for all skin tones) and also color-corrects any redness and blotchiness. Since it’s SPF 50, I can skip my sunscreen application (although if I’m going to be outside, I either apply more, or take my regular sunscreen with).”
Watch Zoë use Glow Screen along with other SPF makeup products:
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