I remember a time many years ago, when I was a very fresh, green, young makeup artist, and I was looking after a lovely actress who was going through menopause.
She had been a tv celebrity in Australia in the 1980s which was cool. But poor thing, she was dripping like a broken tap.
Needless to say, we kept the Kleenex corporation from going broke that day.
But in the time since, many products have been developed to help combat sweatiness. Which, let’s not deny it – is a big deal for us makeup artists.
Maybe you are filming in the steamier parts of the world; the jungle, the beach, or even on a set with hot lights. Perhaps you just happen to be looking after one of those performers that happen to be a heavy sweater (not like a Christmas sweater, though) or even someone that suffers from hyper-hydrosis (google, help us here please!) take note. There are many tried and true products AND methods of helping to keep that sweat at bay. So here is my latest gathering of tips for sweat-free makeup.
At least while the cameras are rolling.
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Products for A Sweat-Free Makeup
Mehron Skin Prep Pro
This go-to product is massive with wedding makeup artists doing summer brides, beach brides, rainforest brides, and tropical brides of all sorts.
In fact, I wish I had it on my wedding day – the power in our local town in Costa Rica was turned off (just on our actual wedding day!) so they could work on local power lines! It was undoubtedly a humid morning without air-conditioning, but I pushed through the entire getting-ready process with a sweaty smile on my face! And there was not a Bridezilla in sight. I just wish I had a bottle of this fab potion on hand with me on my big day!
This is a fantastic skin prep toner and minimizer of all-things oily and sweaty!
Be sure to follow the instructions for optimum performance.
Find Mehron Skin Prep Pro here.
Mehron Barrier Spray
For those extra sweaty customers, you can double dose them with Mehron love. If you use Skin Prep Pro before your makeup application and then seal with Mehron Barrier Spray, you are guaranteed sweat-free success!
Check out Mehron Barrier Spray here.
Neat Feat 3B Face Saver Anti-Perspirant Gel
This lightweight gel from Neat Feet lives up to its face-saving name. It delivers a shine-reducing and sweat-controlling promise and leaves no residue or stickiness in it’s path.
Neat Feet also recommend that by applying it before your makeup or sunscreen, you can not only help your makeup stay in place perfectly for longer but your sunscreen too.
Find Neat Feet 3B Face Saver Gel here.
Not only does this wonder product from Carpe take care of the heavy sweaters around, but it can also work as an anti-shine or shine reducer and is just an all-around must-have in your makeup kits, no matter your specified line of makeup work.
Find Carpe Face Sweat Absorbing Lotion here.
Be Koool Cooling Patches
These cool cats look like they will become part of my set-kit full-time. And although they are designed to help relieve migraine, popping one between the should blades or on your client/performers’ wrists or armpits is going to bring instant cooling and hopefully slow down that sweating.
Find Be Koool Soft Gel Patches here.
Carpe Hand Lotion
If you happen to be one of those rare gems who experience palmar hyperhidrosis, then literally – get your hands on this!
Carpe works by gently minimizing the amount of sweat that comes out of our pores. The brand is quite a gold mine that has been fairly untapped to lil’ old me prior to researching this article. So I’m definitely a believer at this point.
Find Carpe Anti Perspirant Hand Lotion here.
Gamer Grip Hand Anti Perspirant
Yep, you read that title correctly. This product has been devised with the gamer crowd in mind. But I felt compelled to mention it here on our page all about sweatiness, in case sweaty palms is an issue that you are forced to contend with.
So, in a similar fashion to Carpe Hand Lotion, Gamer Grip dries your palms INSTANTLY once applied. It’s also described as a game-changer (ooh they love their puns too!) while gaming, playing tennis or basketball, pole-dancing, and more. So how could I not mention this beauty?
Find Gamer Grip here.
No Sweat Scalp Antiperspirant
This is brilliant! I happened across No Sweat whilst researching for this post, and I’ve been busting include it ever since.
Wigmakers, and hairstylists alike, take note! Here is a product very specifically designed for scalp use to help your wigs, toupees and hairpieces adheres better to (sweat-free) scalps.
Dare I say this might also be a game-changer if you’re applying makeup to bald people, or even bald pates. Which I do a lot!
Anyway, I am truly excited about this one. Hope you are too.
Find No Sweat Scalp Antiperspirant here.
How Do Sweat Stopping (or Minimizing) products Work?
Witch hazel is synonymous with minimizing sweat. If you’ve never known exactly why, then read on, my good friend.
It works due to an ingredient called tannic acid, which helps to reduce oil in your skin and to close the pores of your skin. You’ve heard of tannins in wine, right? Well, tannic acid is essentially the same ingredient.
Tannic acid is a polyphenol that is found in the witch hazel plant and is a known anti-inflammatory and all-around good guy when it comes to your skin.
And you may have thought about how tight your skin feels when you apply products like these mentioned – well, just know that this is entirely normal, in fact, it just ensures that the witch hazel is working its magic, as the pores are shrunk, and therefore results in your skin feeling, well, tightish.
This ingredient is also predominantly present in a lot of these sweat-stopping products. It is basically an aluminum salt that also works to minimize or prevent sweat by forming a physical barrier on the skin.
How To Keep Yourself and Your Clients From Sweating Their Makeup Off!
Some of these points may come more easily than others, but I only felt it necessary to make a short (but mighty!) list of gentle suggestions of what your performer or client can keep firmly planted in the back of their mind before their big day or big scene!
Chasing Your Performer
Yes, if none of the above info or products tickle your fancy, then you can always rely on good on constant blotting, mopping and drying of your actor or client. And sometimes it’s the only option that you have!
Pro-tip – I like to prepare in advance if I can, but cutting up paper towels, or getting the ones that tear off into narrower strips like these ones that you can fold in two. These then become something of a more heavy-duty, two-ply blotting weapon that you can pre-stock a Ziploc bag with and have on the ready for your sweatiest of human beings to be camera ready, without a drop of sweat in sight!
These are also great because your actor or client can carry it around themselves and also have control over when exactly they need to use the fan.
The only drawback is that this can often result in you losing your precious, most beloved hand fan. SO be sure to label it in massive letters and tell as many people as you can that your precious fan needs to come back to you at the day’s end.
You’ll find that most on-set costume standby technicians are very aware of their actor’s comfort levels. Especially if you are in a hot or demanding environment.
But sometimes, they may not be thinking about how these factors can affect your job. So a little reminder may be in order. And everyone will be happier then.
One of the simplest, but most effective methods of keeping the sun off our precious performers is the humble umbrella. And best news is that generally speaking, at least on more than your student film project, this will be someone else’s job, not yours!
The other reason I sigh in relief at the sight of an umbrella being brought out on a sunny exterior shoot day is that it helps to keep our work (on our actors faces) intact and all sweat factors aside, protects your actors from the sun and elements as well as minimizing sweat.
So it’s two thumbs up from me when it comes to an umbrella.
Cooling Tents or Rooms
Another wonderful tool that comes in handy particularly when you work on heavy prosthetic makeup shows, or period productions with heavy wigs, costumes, and makeup.
A cooling tent is essentially a small tent that is fitted with portable air-conditioning unit that your actor can step into between setups to literally cool off.
These are absolutely brilliant for all concerned on movie and television sets, and they also serve well as an area you can touch up your makeup between shots whilst your performer keeps their core temperature down.
Productions will sometimes have these if you are unfortunate enough to work on a soundstage that is not air-conditioned or you film outside or in the desert or somewhere else where the temperature is in the triple digits.
Another method to keep sweat off the agenda, is the cooling suit.
Originally devised for racing car drivers to wear whilst racing, these are form-fitting suits that feature thin hosing that coils around the torso. this hosing comes out the back of the suit and hooks up to a small portable water cooler that is filled with ice or frozen cold packs. And at the person wearing the suit’s own control, they can flip a switch and have the cool material immediately circulate through the suit and keep their temperature cool and comfortable.
The last project I worked on that we used these for was invaluable as we had some players in full old age makeups and the suits 100% prevented the performers from sweating and kept their makeup and hair intact for the long shoot days.
Some More Factors to Keep in Mind to Minimize Sweat
No exercise prior to getting their makeup done
As we all know, exercise makes you sweat! And sometimes our beloved performers like to work out – before work, during work, at lunch, or in between camera set ups.
Any or all of these times will NOT work when it comes to keeping your makeup looking its best. If you tackle any of these with your person, a gentle education and perhaps re-scheduling of peak workout times will help you keep the sweat and workouts to a time away from the movie set!
Keep the temperature controlled and comfortable
We touched on this above and it goes without saying. But yes, high temperatures are going to bring the added factor of sweat maintenance to your work day. So if you do find yourself in an extremely hot environment, sometimes the best you can do is be prepared – see the above products to arm yourself as amply as possible with all the products, fans, paper towels and tissues you can to blot and mop your performers to their dry selves as you can.
Try to keep stress levels down
Yep, stress can indeed cause folks to sweat. This and so many other reasons lead me to view our sacred makeup trailer as a relaxed place that should always feel comfortable, cool (let’s not deny it) and stress-free for EVERYONE!
As I mentioned, menopause, pregnancy, and hormonal changes can cause excessive sweating. Obviously, there’s not much you can do as a makeup artist to prevent these. But you can utilize the products mentioned above to help minimize the consequences.
Avoid the Heat
Okay, okay, I know we’ve discussed heat once or twice already. But reason, this is a different type.
At all costs, your client or actor should avoid eating spicy foods prior to makeup. It’s something we might not necessarily consider until it’s too late. But of course, it can cause the flood gates of the pores to open up!!
What You Wear Can Make You Hot!
Whilst doing your makeup, your performer should wear comfortable, loose clothing. This will help your application be clean and effortless and set you up for a great day.
Another factor that you don’t really think about until you do.
But please, do try to avoid those heavy, synthetic makeup and haircutting capes!
I have literally seen an actor sweat before my very eyes recently. Sweating was just in his DNA. And in hindsight, he did have a heavy, synthetic makeup cape on.
I’m sure that lightening that load may have helped, even a little.
I have also worked with a performer who tried to combat this by having botox injections into their hairline…..I’m still in two minds as to whether I personally thought this was effective, but hey, if it helps, go for it!
I think there’s enough here to keep you out of trouble. And until next summer, I hope this aids in keeping your finest clients and their makeup sweat-free!
If you loved this, please do me a favor and let me know in the comments below. And even better, share this with a few makeup friends that you know might find the odd point useful!
.I think there
Featured Image by Haley Lawrence
Healthline – why do I sweat so much?
Great list of information! I’m glad you mentioned Carpe! I have a new bottle I just recently ordered but haven’t tried it yet!
Oh, fantastic! Yeah, sweat-minimizing products have come a long way in recent times. Let me know how you go with Carpe – they have so many great products – I wanted to mention them all here 🙂