Most of the world seems to be suffering from high humidity this summer, but thankfully there are loads of TikTok hacks that can help our hair and makeup routines survive it.
As someone with dry, frizzy hair, I’m constantly on the lookout for the hacks that actually work. And when it comes to my makeup routine, I love a dewy finish, but not a sweaty one. That’s why I tested out 11 hacks from TikTok to see if they work for hot, humid weather. Here’s how it went.
Makeup Hacks I Tested
1. All Matte Everything
The hack: Creator @bree_mcj starts by washing her face and patting it dry to remove excess oil, then uses only matte products; primer, foundation, pressed powder, setting spray, bronzer, blush and a little highlighter. She does her eyes and brows and finishes off with more powder and setting spray.
My trial: Using all matte products sounds like a guaranteed way of avoiding the humidity, so it’s not really a hack, but I found the routine interesting and wanted to try it out step by step. I quickly realized I don’t have much matte makeup in my collection! I ended up using the following products: E.l.f. Power Grip Primer, matte full coverage foundation (the only one I had, which isn’t available online), Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray, Saie Airset Radiant Loose Setting Powder and Benefit Hoola Bronzer. Even though I usually prefer a dewy look, this hack definitely works, as my makeup looked intact five hours later and after walking for nearly one hour.
2. Powder Setting
The hack: Creator @titilola.m showed a couple of hacks: first, set your primer with powder, then add your foundation, blush and bronzer. Use setting spray on your brush before blending it all in. Set your most oily areas twice and finally use two setting sprays.
My trial: Initially this anti-humidity routine worked well for me and my skin was looking flawless. I started with the Youthforia Pregame Daily Protective Primer, and set it with the Sisley Blur Expert Matte Finishing Powder. For my base, I used lightweight products; RMS Beauty ReEvolve Foundation, Nudestix Nudies All Over in Bondi Bae, Saie Dew Blush in Dreamy and sprayed the Youthforia Pregame Setting Spray on a brush to blend it in. I set the base with the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and added the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Pillow Talk Medium on the lips. I used two setting sprays, the Youthforia and the Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray. My makeup lasted really well through the evening and night, but upon closer inspection, it was looking a little patchy in certain areas. I have a feeling this is because of my dry skin, so if you have oily skin, give this a go! This hack worked, even though my makeup was a little patchy.
3. Setting Spray Layers
The hack: I found this hack on creator @kaushal’s page, who says “spray every layer” and goes on to add a drying setting spray like the Urban Decay All-Nighter for her makeup to last all day. She sprays every cream product before blending and sometimes does it for powder products as well. She said she used this hack for her wedding and it worked very well.
My trial: Setting spray, particularly the Urban Decay All-Nighter one, is a product that I’ve used for years as it really helps with makeup longevity. I did my makeup as normal and simply sprayed the setting spray in between every layer. I only used liquid or cream products for this. I’m shocked at how well this hack worked. Definitely a win and perfect for special occasions or for super hot days when your makeup needs to stay put. I wore it on a scorching hot day (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and it lasted for over six hours without budging. My only issue was that my face looked a little dry — I should have moisturized my skin better. Keep in mind this setting spray is a little drying, so this technique isn’t for daily use.
4. Blotting Paper As Makeup Prep And Touch-Up
The hack: Using blotting sheets to remove oil from the skin and eyelids as a makeup prep step, and also using them after you’ve done your makeup before adding your powder to touch up.
My trial: I love blotting sheets and I have used them for many years to remove oil from the skin without interfering with my makeup. They work well to matte-ify and prevent humidity from ruining your face, plus the makeup won’t look cakey if you use a blotting paper first and then apply your powder to touch up. I couldn’t get my hands on Fenty blotting papers, but used some rice blotting papers with added translucent powder by British brand The Hayo’u Method. These from Amazon are very similar.
I have never used them as a makeup prep step, so I was intrigued to see how they would work. I tried the blotting papers on half my face before applying eyeshadow to make my eyelids more matte. That helps both the shadow as well as the mascara. I also used it on my face before applying my base. As you can see, the half it’s on is more matte and looks smoother.
After a few hours of being outside, I can clearly see that the side where I used the blotting paper was looking less sweaty. This hack definitely works, but having the blotting papers on hand to touch up during the day is also an important step that can be used on its own to remove excess oil.
5. Lightweight Products
The hack: Creator @lovefromelinaa shares her top tips for anti-humidity makeup that lasts all day. First, she uses a primer that’s lightweight but leaves a tacky feeling so that the foundation “grips” on it. Instead of foundation, she uses a tinted moisturizer, and not too much, to avoid it getting cakey. She then uses a skin mist (rather than water) to wet her Beauty Blender, and spot conceals using a lightweight concealer. For her most oily areas, she uses leftover product from her blender, and uses a cream contour. To set her face, she applies the face mist and then a setting spray before setting with some powder (only where needed).
My trial: I really liked that this creator isn’t using a lot of matte products, as it’s usually expected for anti-humidity makeup. The routine is similar to one I follow on a daily basis, with some extra steps. I started with the Caliray So Blown Blurring Primer, which is hydrating, then Rare Beauty Positive Light Tinted Moisturizer blended in with a Beauty Blender (sprayed with rose water) and the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer to spot conceal. For bronzer I used the Refy Cream Bronzer, then the rose water, Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray and the Laura Mercier powder. Using a lot less product than I would normally use makes my base very smooth and glowy, but not overly so. This routine includes some great hacks I’ll keep using through the summer, as they last really well through the day despite the heat and humidity. I’m surprised how well this worked!
6. Japanese Sunscreen Serum Hack
The hack: Using a lightweight serum-like sunscreen from a Japanese or Korean brand will ensure your face won’t melt off in the heat and humidity.
My trial: I found out about this hack before TikTok in 2019, when I went to Singapore and searched for a lightweight serum-texture SPF. I ended up trying the famous Bioré UV Watery Essence SPF 50+, which 100% lives up to the hype. The serum-gel texture absorbs into the skin fully and it won’t make you sweat as soon as you step out in the humidity. It doesn’t leave any white cast, as it’s a chemical formula. It’s also meant to be sweat- and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Bonus: it’s under $10. There are countless amazing sunscreens from Korea and Japan that have similar textures and finish.
Hair Hacks I Tested
1. Colour Wow Dream Coat Hack
The hack: For the ultimate anti-humidity protection, many people use Colour Wow Dream Coat before blow-drying their hair. Then they even pour water on their hair and it slides right off. This is a heat-activated product, but the brand also has a curly hair version that can be used for air-drying your curly hair. Plus, there’s a brand new version of this famous product: Dream Coat Extra Strength.
My trial: I wanted to steer away from specific product reviews and focus on general anti-humidity techniques, but the Colour Wow Dream Coat came up again and again so I had to include it.
I first found out about this product a few years ago and tried it a few times, before realizing I was using it wrong, as I wasn’t using enough product to fully coat the hair. When I nailed the technique, the results were amazing. I have seen comments on TikTok that some people were disappointed in the results, but as with every product, not everything works for everyone. I start with clean, wet (but not drenched) hair and split the hair into sections, applying it liberally from root to tip. This product is heat-activated, so you need to use a blow dryer. I roughly dry my hair with a round brush and go over some sections on the top for extra smoothness. Considering it was a rainy day and I had to go to a wedding, this product helped my hair last a lot better than anything else. A word of warning, though — if you have fine hair, start with less product to avoid it weighing your hair down. The brand says that the effect of the product lasts for three hair washes.
2. Dry Shampoo And Serum
The hack: Hairstylist Matt Newman (@mattloveshair) applies a powder dry shampoo all over the hair and adds a lightweight serum and then lightly brushes through the hair.
My trial: I first used a powder dry shampoo by the brand Neighbourhood Botanicals that absorbs oil and scents. Surprisingly, this didn’t feel heavy when applied all over the hair (instead of the scalp). The serum Newman used looks like the Paul Mitchell one, which I couldn’t find in-store. Instead, I used a thick serum that’s silicone-based. I know silicones are often demonized, but they work well to create a smooth “shield” on the hair, so when it comes to humidity, they should work quite well. I liked the finish of this combo and, even though my hair wasn’t super smooth, it lasted quite well through the day. To note, I think this would work even better if your hair is smooth to begin with, so this combo will seal it.
3. Texturizing Spray Hack
The hack: Newman says to apply texturizing spray on your brush and brush through your waves, which will give it more grit and hold during the day and reduce the frizz along the way.
My trial: This hack worked quite well on my frizzy hair, even though my blowout wasn’t super smooth to begin with. Later on during the day, I compared the two sides and it was obvious that the side with the texturizing spray was still smoother and the waves were looking a lot better than the other side. I used Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and the Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush.
4. The Thick Oil Hack
The hack: Creator @manesbymell explains in a video that if your hair (and curls) go puffy after stepping outside, you didn’t finish your routine. She goes on to show that after applying all your gels and leave-in treatments, you should always finish it off with a thick oil (made with silicones), but never raw oils. This hack is suitable for all hair types, particularly curly ones.
My trial: As someone with wavy hair, I do sometimes follow a wavy hair routine where I use a leave-in treatment and then a balm while combing through every individual wave. I then finish off with a gel before using a diffuser. I do finish off this routine with an oil, but never thought that the oil would protect the hair from humidity … so followed Mell’s steps to see. I used L’Oreal Metal Detox Hair Oil to remove the crunch of the gel and seal it all in. The end result looks good, though it’s not a total anti-frizz hack. In terms of humidity, a few hours later, I can confirm this generally worked ― but I needed to reapply the oil whenever my hair felt frizzy.
5. Blotting Papers Hack
The hack: Beauty creator @Mireyarios used an interesting rice blotting paper created for hair and infused it with a light powder that instantly removes grease and frizz from the hair.
My trial: As I don’t have the specific blotting papers, I used something that’s very similar to remove the frizz on the top of my head. While it did minimize the frizz a little bit, I can’t say this hack was successful. I think this is a great hack as a portable dry shampoo if you’re out and about, but in terms of anti-humidity, it’s a miss.
Will you be trying out any of these TikTok hacks this summer? Let us know in the comments!