4 Ways To Keep Your Makeup Fresh During Festival Season

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Summer is coming, which means vacations, bae-cations, and festivals. This year, I will attend my eighth ESSENCE Festival. Honestly, where has the time gone?


My first adult trip to New Orleans was pretty hilarious for two reasons: I didn't pack flats (I ruined my stilettos) and my makeup melted off every single day. Even being an Atlanta native did not prepare me for the New Orleans' humidity. Walk outside at 8 am. Humid. Walk outside at 8 pm. Still humid.

Lucky for me, by year four, I got my shoe game and makeup routine just right for hitting the New Orleans streets. If this is your first year attending a festival, I hope these tips help you pack your beauty essentials, and if you're a vet like me, you're well aware of what expect. Either way, here are four ways to keep your melanin poppin' without the shine all festival season long.

1. Skip Heavy Moisturizer

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When Beyoncé hit the stage for Coachella and flawlessly powered through her two-hour set, we all had the same question, "How in the world does one keep their makeup in place when the temperature rises or when you're getting your life on stage?" Beyoncé's makeup artist Sir John dropped this gem, "When it's hot, an emollient moisturizer is going to lift off your foundation." Seems like a pretty straight-forward tip, but your base is essential to the staying power of your makeup.

Emollient moisturizers are known to protect the skin's barrier with ingredients like glycerin, which is a great benefit for your nighttime routine but makes you look like an oil slick during the day, especially during warmer months. Opt for a The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (Amazon, $13) or primer to prep the skin before applying your makeup. The key here is making sure you find a lightweight option that not only moisturizes but that will keep your favorite beauty products in place.

2. Keep It Light

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I know that keeping your makeup application light can be easier said than done, especially for those of us with hyperpigmentation, dark circles, or anything else that makes us feel insecure. I can relate to all three. I am a tinted moisturizer lover, but even that can make you look shiny in hot humid temps, no matter how well you set it.

So, I apply a light layer of matte foundation with my fingers (Fenty Beauty is my current fave), and then apply MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer (Amazon, $30) to the spots I want to cover — again with my fingers. I find that I have more control over where I'm placing my makeup and how much I am putting on, which gives me a lighter application.

3. Blot Before Touching Up Powder

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This may be common knowledge, but the key to retouching makeup without it looking cakey and shiny after a touch-up is blotting the oil off of the skin first. My go-to blotting paper is Starbucks napkins. I know this might sound a little extra, but their napkins have a 4.8 rating on Makeupalley. Since I'm not in the coffee chains' store much these days, I use blotting papers.

There are blotting paper that is on the low and high end, and I find that all blotting papers aren't created equal. My go-to's are TATCHA Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers (Amazon, $12) because they're made with great ingredients like 100 percent natural abaca leaf and gold flakes, and every purchase supports girls' education around the world. I also love Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Facial Blotting Sheets (Amazon, $5) —they're cheap and get the job done.

4. Set Your Masterpiece

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I have historically always skipped setting spray in my makeup routine, but after trying setting spray a few weeks ago, I now understand it is the real MVP. Not only does it help your makeup last longer, but the right spray can hydrate skin. While options like Urban Decay's Chill Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray (Amazon, $32) has time-release Temperature Control Technology to cool the surface of your makeup. Yes, please!

Whether you're heading to ESSENCE Fest, hanging out at a cookout, or lounging by the pool — these tips and tricks should help you look fresh and dewy all day long.

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