Summer Makeup: Matte or Dewy?

With summer right on the horizon, a lot of makeup-wearers are wondering what the right path is for these hotter days, and the big question people are faced with: matte or dewy?

If it’s for every day, the most advisable answer is: neither. An overload of products is never the right answer under the duress of such high temperatures. Matte often requires a lot of pore-clogging product, and adding too much to a dewy look can leave your face looking like it’s melting off after hours in the baking sun. And nobody wants break-outs, blotchy skin, or to look like they’re melting! So when it comes to the summer temps, less is most definitely more.

The summer ideal is usually a tinted moisturizer. It’s light on the skin, usually full of friendly SPF protection, and sometimes offers a bit of bronze or shimmer (which can contribute to a more dewy look without requiring you to overload on product).

Generally you want to avoid using powder over the summer, so if you absolutely must have a more matte look this season, opt for a mattifying liquid foundation. A good one is Becca’s Matte Skin Shine Proof Foundation. Follow up with a setting spray, which will help prevent the foundation from sliding down your skin in lieu of the heat. You might also note that if you plan on taking lots of photos this summer, a matte finish is the far better option, as too much dewy tends to look funny on camera (especially one with flash).

Now if you prefer a more dewy look for the summer, opt for bronzers and illuminators, which often contain light-reflecting particles that give a natural “glow” when mixed with the right products. I recommend mixing a liquid bronzer or illuminator in with a tinted moisturizer in your shade. Follow this with a setting spray, as with the mattifying foundation.

Whatever look you prefer for the summer season, always remember to go minimal with products and coverage! Your skin will thank you for it 😉


  1. callmejagi says:

    I love dewy skin but I must admit that for summer it may look too oily so I prefer a satin finish with proper highlighting. Great post! Enjoyed the read ^.^

    • Thanks! We like the satin finish as well. A current favorite is the Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation by Becca Cosmetics! It gives your skin that perfect little spark 😉

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