The Best Summer Makeup Looks From a Pro

Gabrielle Karol

Based on everyone’s booked-to-the-max calendars and tired Monday faces, it’s wedding season.

If you’re getting married, you know how important it is to stick to a budget. But watching your wallet is just as important if you’re a guest at a wedding (or ten). From travel costs to dresses to gifts, celebrating other people’s happy days can come at a steep cost.

Which is why you shouldn’t have to spend any extra money to look your best at each summer wedding you’ve R.S.V.P.’d to.

For makeup that’s heat-proof, sweat-proof and Electric Slide-proof, we went to the expert: Raychel Wade, a Manhattan-based celebrity makeup artist and creator of Cheek to Chic.

Find out her best tips for getting and staying beautiful in the heat. Then, watch our videos to learn how to recreate the looks yourself.

Makeup That Won’t Budge

Tips for Daytime Makeup

1. Stick with matte shadows.
“We’re always drawn to the shimmer and the glitter and everything that’s shiny and fun, but don’t overlook matte eye shadows,” says Wade. “Matte shadows are simple, clean and gorgeous, while in the summer sun, shimmer can look a little inappropriate.”

2. If you can, skip foundation in favor of spot-treating with concealer.
Instead of a full face of foundation, use a liquid concealer only where necessary. Don’t forget the areas on either side of the bridge of your nose, which can have green undertones. “Blend until you’re bored,” says Wade. (Translation? Keep doing it until you can’t blend anymore.)

3. Don’t forget your eyebrows.
Brush your eyebrows using a brow brush or a clean mascara wand, which you can buy at a drugstore, advises Wade. Then, gently fill in brows using brow powder (not liner), which will give your brows a more polished look. Don’t have brow powder? Substitute a matte eye shadow that matches your brow color.

4. Curl eyelashes to open eyes.
An eyelash curler is the best way to open eyes. Curl lashes right before applying mascara: Squeeze and release the curler 3-4 times to get a long-lasting curl.

5. Use multiple shades of blush.
For a natural-looking flush, first dust a skin-toned blush on your cheekbones. In terms of shape, think of gently brushing on cat whiskers. Then, apply a little bit of bright pink to the apples of your cheeks. “Choose a color so bright it scares you,” Wade advises.

Learn how to create a flattering, subtle look perfect for daytime weddings (and other daytime functions) in our video below.

Tips for Nighttime Wedding Makeup

1. Do a smoky eye with brown shadows.
Brown shadows will look deep and sexy, and are less harsh than a blacker smoky eye. If your skin is naturally dark, choose very deep browns. 

2. Blending is key!
When applying a smoky eye, it’s easy to get scared halfway through, says Wade. “In the middle of the process, it can start to look like you’re giving yourself a black eye with makeup,” says Wade. Don’t be scared! “Keep blending, blending, blending, and it will come together.”

3. Mix textures.
For makeup that will last all night long, use a variety of textures. A liquid foundation or concealer underneath powder bronzer and blush will last longer than just liquid and cream-based elements.

4. Don’t be afraid of false eyelashes!
False eyelashes are a great way to complete a smoky look, and are much easier to put on than you would think. Choose a band of lashes that looks just slightly longer than normal lashes, for a natural look. One important tip? Let them dry for a full five minutes, and make sure there’s glue on the very ends of the band of lashes, which can otherwise come undone, says Wade.

Want to find out how to do an easy smoky eye in 11 steps? Check out the video below:

To recreate Wade’s looks featured in our videos, here are the suggested supplies:

For the Daytime Look

  • Light, medium and dark brown matte shadows
  • Black gel eyeliner (generally applied with a small brush) or black eyeliner pencil
  • Liquid or cream concealer
  • Brow shadow (matte shadow that matches your brow color can be used in a pinch)
  • Tan or neutral powder
  • Bubblegum pink blush
  • Black mascara
  • Rose lipstick or lip gloss
  • Eyelash curler
  • Foundation brush
  • Brow brush or clean mascara wand
  • Eye shadow brushes: one for application (can substitute a Q-tip if need be), one for blending and a flat-angled brush for lining eyes
  • Blush brush

For the Nighttime Look

  • Liquid foundation
  • Liquid or cream concealer if necessary
  • Black kohl pencil (an easily smudged liner that can also come in waterproof formulas), black gel liner or black eyeliner pencil
  • Deep brown and medium brown shadow
  • Black mascara
  • False eyelashes and glue
  • A brush with a rounded tip for smudging liner
  • Bronzer
  • Nude lipstick or gloss
  • Eye shadow brushes: one for application, one for smudging liner and one for blending
  • Guest

    She forgot the most important element to ensure long lasting, smudgeproof makeup — PRIMER!!!! 

  • Grrrlx

    All these steps and brushes are ridiculous – please – an “easy” smoky eye in ELEVEN steps?!?! Definitely never going this crazy with my makeup!

    • Spmcavoy

       Actually, a good, small set of makeup brushes can take you really far and can last a long time if you take good care of them. You can apply and blend with the same brush if you clean it in between. And most of these steps are for the entire look, not just for the eye.

      Being able to give yourself a full face of make-up can come in handy, especially on special occasions like formal events. It can save a lot of money over time. Its about investing time and a few dollars to last a lifetime of looks.

      • Grrrlx

        I have a great set of brushes, and I can get a great smoky eye in THREE steps. ELEVEN is ridiculous, and as usual, the headline is misleading if they are stating ELEVEN steps is an entire face of make up, not just the smoky eye. I can get a great ENTIRE face of makeup, including the smoky eye in SEVEN steps! Sheesh! It’s just the industry trying to get us to waste our money, despite what Spmcavoy claims. 

  • Alisha

    It would be nice to see examples of which brands of shadow and blush, etc. to use.  I hate reading all the tips and then not knowing what makeup will actually work for the different looks.  My favorite makeup books have examples of both inexpensive and expensive versions of the makeup the makeup artist uses. It would have been nice to include those.