PEOPLE are always asking me how to their makeup on their faces instead of having it slowly melt off, which happens all the time in our Malaysian weather.

It’s a pain all women in hot, humid countries face, and I’m here to tell you not to give up hope.

Having tried all kinds of products, tips and tricks over the years, I’ve become something of an expert at sweat-proof makeup. Here are some of my best tips:

1. Never skip that primer!

Some makeup pros say primer can be skipped when you have dry skin, but those pros clearly don’t live in Malaysia!

Here, everything is affected by heat and sweat, so priming your face before the makeup goes on is key to helping everything stay on until it’s actually time for it to come off.

Primer acts as a protective film on your skin, as well as a sticky base for your makeup to adhere to, so even when you sweat, the makeup doesn’t move. There are so many different kinds of primers out there, so look for something that suits your skin type, e.g. oil-free or mattifying for oily skin, and hydrating for dry skin.

2. Use a setting powder

I’ve noticed that only a few of my friends are savvy to the miracle that is setting powder, and I hope to change that!

Setting powder is generally a translucent powder, either pressed into a compact or loose in a jar, that you use to apply on top of your foundation and concealer to ‘set’ it in place.

I love using Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose powder. I pick it up with a fluffy face brush, then simply swirl it onto my face after I’ve applied my foundation and concealer. Try dusting a little extra underneath your eyes – this will help your under-eye concealer stay in place, and prevent your eyeliner from smudging.

3. Try powder instead of cream

Powders have oil and moisture-absorbing properties, so it would make sense to use them in place of creams. There are a number of quality foundation powders out there on the market, and I’m sure most of us already use powder blush and eyeshadow. Just be sure to use a primer, and with your powder you’ll be all set!

4. Use waterproof mascara and eyeliner

The number one question I get asked, is how to find an eyeliner that won’t smudge.

It’s all in the details. Find a mascara (yep, sometimes the smudges come from your mascara, not your eyeliner!) and an eyeliner that are waterproof. Make sure to “set” your work once it’s done, using either a translucent powder or an eyeshadow that’s the same colour as your eyeliner.

5. Less is more

Finally, nothing is worse than adding layer upon layer onto your face, because each layer breaks down at different times and in different conditions, causing what I like to call “The Meltdown”. Prevent this by only using light, even layers, and don’t use any more product than necessary, especially if you’re going for makeup that you want to last all day.

(Left-right) Benefit Porefessional Primer, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder, Sasatinnie Party Queen 4D Hot Lash Mascara and Etude House Play 101 Pencil.

(Left-right) Benefit Porefessional Primer, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder, Sasatinnie Party Queen 4D Hot Lash Mascara and Etude House Play 101 Pencil.

I hope these tips help! You’re all welcome to tweet or Instagram me at @emilyquak if you have any more questions. Till next time!

Emily Quak is a YouTuber, blogger and avowed beauty addict at

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