Heat-Proof Makeup Tips: Don't melt in the Sacramento sun

By Amy Thoma

Amy Thoma
Amy Thoma

It’s that time of year again… Sacramento’s 100-degree days have a way of melting off my makeup by 10:00am. Thankfully after years of experimentation, there are products that will keep everything in place!

The short, high-maintenance answer is: PRIMER. It’s your best friend.


Remember this order: moisturize, primer, foundation.

In order to keep your foundation or tinted moisturizer in place for the long term, you must prime your skin. When you apply product directly to the skin your pores will either absorb all the pigment or it will bead up and roll right off.

After getting out of the shower apply a light moisturizer. I like Glossier’s priming moisturizer. It’s extremely light and contains hyaluronic acid which plumps your skin up a bit.


After your moisturizer is on, apply a primer. I used to think this was unnecessary, but trust me. It’s magic. Laura Mercier’s primer is a good basic.

If you want a Gisele-like glow, try newly-launched British brand Charlotte Tilbury’s wonderglow. It’s a little on the expensive side, but a little goes a long way and it lights up the skin without looking glittery or cheesy. I’m always trying to look like J. Lo and this is the closest I’ve ever gotten.

Finally, apply your tinted moisturizer or foundation and set it with a bit of translucent powder. Make sure it contains sunscreen.

I know this all sounds like a lot of product and time, but once you get it down it only takes 1-2 minutes.


I’ve found the eye primer jackpot. I hate, hate, hate creased eye shadow. Again, primer is your best friend to keep eye makeup in place. Here’s the secret sauce.

primerApply Urban Decay’s eye shadow primer lightly on the lid. Then, apply a layer of Mac’s paint eye shadow.  If I follow these two steps, not only does my eye shadow last all day, but I can take an 85 minute hot yoga class and my eye shadow stays completely in place.

As a bonus, priming the eye allows the color to show up more true to its intended pigment.

If you want eye liner that won’t budge until you choose to wash it off, try Bobbi Brown’s long wear gel eyeliner. That stuff is like a miracle and comes in a variety of really pretty colors. Just be sure to use a light hand and screw the cap on nice and tight!

Other Tips!

I find I wear far less makeup during the summer than winter. Makeup isn’t about changing your face or covering up your perceived imperfections, but just about highlighting what you have.

On super hot days just slap on some tinted moisturizer (with primer! Have I taught you nothing?!), some bronzer and a little eyeliner and run out the door.

There’s no substitute for a natural glow and a little bit of a tan (but not too much! Wear sunscreen!).

Good luck out there! Stay cool.

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