How to make your eye make-up stay put in hot weather

Here’s how to stop your eye look going from realist at breakfast to impressionist by lunch

Irish make-up artist Laurence Keating (find him on Instagram @laurencekeating) knows eye make-up. Having worked with brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, MAC and Bobbi Brown for over a decade, he was precisely the right person for me to pose a reader question to this week. Every year around this time, my inbox starts filling with one question from the women of Ireland, and I share their frustration. It’s always some variation on “How are we supposed to keep make-up on our eyes in this weather?” Mascara travels more than the face wearing it in summer. Eyeshadow creases in sweaty weather and liner blurs as your make-up moves from realist at breakfast to impressionist by lunch.

Keating gets it. The major issues clients raise to him each sunny season are “creasing, smearing, flaking and movement”. The key to all warm weather make-up (not just eyes), Keating says, is building light layers. “On a hot day, I find people often think adding more equals longer lasting, which is just not the case. Light layers built up — it takes an extra three minutes max, I promise — will quite literally seal the deal.”

He advises sticking to formulations that dry down and stay put: “powders are best as they tend to absorb oils [which can cause creasing — a vicious cycle] and a skin tone-matching shade works so well to prep.” While you can opt for a traditional eye primer, you can also go for what Keating describes as a “self-setting cream shadow”. You want something that dries matt though, Keating warns. “Not all cream shadows are created equal — Charlotte Tilbury’s matt eyeshadow pots are fantastic.”

Personally, I find mascara to be the most capricious eye product in summer. Most have all the loyalty of that boy you went out with when you were 17. Keating says, “Sculpted by Aimee’s My Mascara is mind-blowingly brilliant and customisable for the look you want.” It’s the one I’ve been wearing in the most appallingly sticky London weather, and since it survived a 30-degree rush-hour Tube commute perfectly intact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it survived a nuclear holocaust.


If, as I do, you loathe the goopy imprint of sunglasses in the make-up on the bridge of your nose — it is a look-ruiner — Keating has the solution. “My advice? Prep, press, set; prep the area with primer, press your base in with a sponge or your fingers and lightly powder the area with a small brush, then finish with setting spray. Thin layers are best and you should carry a concealer to press in if things shift.” I’ve tried this trick in really hot weather and it significantly minimised my make-up moving in that area — a tiny bit still ended up on my glasses, but most stayed put on my face, so I’ll be doing it on hot days for the rest of the summer.


Gen See Liquid Mixed Media Metallic Liquid Eyeshadow in First Light (€22 at

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Eyes to Mesmerise in Nude Cashmere (€30 at

Estee Lauder Double Wear 24H Waterproof Gel Eye Pencil in Espresso (€23 at Brown Thomas)

Sculpted My Mascara (€19 at

Product of the Week

Trinny London Lip Glow in Lara (€19 at

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about beauty