In the summer, we're less than an hour away from achieving the coveted glazed doughnut appearance. Only, not by virtue of the hydrating skincare on our dresser. Sweat is an uncomfortable (yet necessary) byproduct of sunny days and humid nights, but for those who love a flawless make-up base and round-the-clock rosy cheeks, it can spell frustration and stained clothes.
Luckily, there exists makeup that will neither smudge nor melt, even in the highs of a noon sun. For the best sweatproof products, we're looking to Korean make-up for inspiration. Home to K-pop artists who perform for hours with a full glam face, South Korea surely knows a thing or two about beating perspiration.
We've rounded up the best water- and budge-proof K-beauty items, starting from primer to blush, for all your summer looks. You could go ahead and try out some of Korea's skincare trends for the season, too. All of our recommendations are highly rated products on well-known Korean beauty review apps, so you're in good hands.
1. Best Primer: Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Primer (25ml)
A face primer is your first step towards ensuring your make-up base actually stays. Innisfree's No-Sebum Blur Primer ranks high on reviews, for soaking up excess sebum and moisture from the skin as the day goes on. Clean ingredients sourced from Jeju Island, like green persimmon extracts and green complex, tighten enlarged pores. Reviewers with oily, acne-prone skin leave five stars, impressed by the instant blurring effect and long-lasting power it gives their makeup. What you need this summer is a primer that doesn't weigh your skin down.
2. Best Cushion Foundation: Clio Kill Cover Fixer Cushion, SPF50+, Pa+++
Clio's Kill Cover cushion foundation may be too drying for the winter, say reviews, but it's perfect for your summer collection. Designed to be smudge-proof, the foundation doesn't transfer to your mask, clothes or any damp surface. Mixed with an oil-cutting powder, users can expect sebum control, as well. The secret to its long-lasting power is the resin and silicone polymers that act like barriers for your makeup. Our favourite part about the Kill Cover cushion is its sun protection factor (SPF) of 50+, so reapplying sunscreen is as easy as patting the face with a foundation puff. Reviewers attest to its skin-like medium coverage, ideal for warmer weather. Your order comes with a refill, too!
3. Best Powder Blush: Rom&nd Better Than Cheek, Pear Chip
Liquid or cream blushes might just melt off a sweaty face, which is why powder formulas tend to cling onto the foundation for longer. Meet Rom&nd's Better Than Cheek blush that's made of sweat- and sebum-absorbing powder. This range is inspired by pastel shades of dried fruits, each colour creating a blurry, airbrushed effect on the cheeks. Our pick is a warm shade in Pear Chip that reviewers find great as a colour corrector for green discolouration of the skin. They also note how finely milled, and hence, not cakey, the powdered blush is.
4. Best Eye Pencil: Espoir Bronze Painting Waterproof Eye Pencil, Stay Dark
Draw on your bold summer looks, with Espoir's waterproof eye pencil. It has a soft gel-like texture for quick application and lends the eyes a shimmery effect, thanks to the bronze pearl tones. Espoir promises no smudging for all-day-long wear. Reviewers return home to impeccable eyeliner even after seven hours of being outdoors. Our pick is a metallic brown, but you can choose from the other two lighter shades for more dimension. The pencil comes with its own sharpener.
5. Best Mascara: Etude Lash Perm Curl Fix Mascara, Black
This viral K-beauty mascara will keep your lashes curled for up to 24 hours. Etude offers its sweat-proof curling technology to combat the summer months. Get dramatically long and curled eyelashes thanks to the flat triangular brush that reaches even the corner-most hairs for definition. By design, it picks up little product with every coat, so you can avoid a cakey look. The Curl Fix mascara works so well that reviewers say you will need a strong make-up remover to get it off.
6. Best Lip Tint: Etude Fixing Tint, 4g (Lip Kit #5,#7,#9)
Etude House should be your go-to, once again, for water-based tints that never budge, come rain or shine. The Fixing Tints' hydro matte texture looks soft and airy on the lips, helping you achieve the iconic K-beauty blurred lip trend. Let the tint sit on the pout for 60 seconds, and that's all you need to activate its transfer-proof formula. Our selection gives you three fun summer colours in one kit, all travel-sized to fit in your pouch. Reviewers compare the tint to a velvet matte lipstick and love that the lightweight texture stays on for hours with a 'my lips but better' effect.
7. Best Setting Powder: toocoolforschool Artclass By Rodin Finish Setting Powder
Once you're done, don't forget to dab the face with a setting powder to keep your makeup looking fresh throughout the day. A popular must-have this summer is the toocoolforschool vegan setting powder. It absorbs sweat and sebum on the skin quickly and creates a smooth pore-blurring effect, using alpine willow herb and Abyssinian kale seed oil. The setting powder also doubles as a primer on-the-go, for when you want to blot out shiny areas without disturbing the make-up underneath.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.