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Now that we’re entering the summer season, I thought it would be useful to do an entry about warm weather foundations. Last late summer through the end of fall, I was living on the road doing extensive traveling throughout the hot, humid areas of the American South. Keep in mind, as a Northern California resident, I’m no stranger to hot weather. At Cafe Makeup, we weather our share of over-100 degree days. However, there’s a lot of truth to that expression “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” I remember the blast of warm, humid heat that rendered my favorite foundations powerless to withstand the afternoons. Not kidding–I have a whole new level of respect for those who wear makeup in humid climates.  It’s a whole new level of challenge.

Foundations that include Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua just didn’t stand a chance. Meltdown! My Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid foundation did pretty well, so did Chanel Perfection Lumiere.  Ultimately, I found that my other top choices are (pictured above), Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation SPF 42+++ (my favorite), MAC Pro Longwear (the widest variety of skin tone choices), and Estee Lauder Double Wear Light (if you want a touch more coverage).

Here are some details of my search. Typically, I used a 5-7 day sample to test these out. Of course, foundation is “your mileage may vary” so please take these experiences with a grain of salt. These are my opinions:

  • MAC Studio Sculpt:  Unfortunately, not a good foundation for me. There’s some magical potion in here that adds serious all-over glow.  The coverage is medium. At first try, I wanted to love this one. Although it has a gel texture, this foundation felt a bit heavy on my skin, which tended to get oily in the heat and humidity.  This might be a very good bet for dry skin.
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup:  This had great longevity in hot, humid weather.  If I had not tried the “light” version–Estee Lauder Double Wear Light– I might have stopped with this. This version gave me more coverage than I needed, which can look a little aging with my skin texture. I still have my sample in my makeup bag, it works well as a face concealer for problem areas.

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  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Light (Intensity 1.0): This has pretty serious coverage, going from medium to full. Excellent stability and wear even in the most humid heat.  It didn’t seem to transfer. It felt pretty comfortable. This did pass the “hot, humid” weather test, and really stayed put until I took it off.  No breakouts with proper removal at the end of the day.  I didn’t love the texture compared to some of the other lines I own, but it was great for functioning well for all-day wear in challenging weather. Nice pack-able container.

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  • MAC Pro Longwear (NC15):   This is the one MAC foundation that really performed well for me. As the “Pro Longwear” name promises, this gave me all day, stable wear. It just did not quit, and felt pretty comfortable throughout the day. Unlike the Estee Lauder and Shiseido lines, this is available in a very wide variety of shades. I found this was medium coverage with normal application, and is buildable for problem areas.  No breakouts with proper removal. I do recommend this one for hot, humid weather. Not a super travel-friendly container (it’s glass).

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  • Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation SPF 42+++ in SP20: When I found this Shiseido, I stopped looking. This is incredibly stable, has great sunscreen protection, and gave me no breakouts.  Of all of the ones that I tried, this one had the most natural texture.  Coverage is medium and is buildable. I still use this foundation quite a bit, even though I no longer live in a humid climate. Very travel friendly plastic, small container.


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More swatches:

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Please keep in mind that I’ve stopped my travels to humid climates, so I have not had a chance to test some of the new foundations and BB creams personally under those conditions. I hope you found the results of this little experiment helpful. My hope is that readers and other bloggers will provide their thoughts as well (whether here or on their own blogs). so that we can share information about what works in different conditions.

Do you have experience with good foundation wear in warm weather? Tell us your secrets…..

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