When most people I've encountered in my life think of Minnesota (where I was born and grew up), they typically bring up at least one of the following almost immediately: the Mall of America, the many, many lakes, the accent (if someone asks me to say "bag" one more time, I swear to God), the Vikings and how fantastically consistent they are at losing, or the subzero winter temperatures that will quite literally freeze your eyelashes should you choose to go outside (just don't). Of course, the latter is quite true and I never recommend someone visit my home state in the wintertime if they're squeamish about the cold or snow, but what most people don't realize is how entirely lovely, albeit humid, the state is once summer rolls around.
Growing up, I never really thought twice about the humidity (which sits at an average of 70.4% and ranks 25th highest in the nation), but it's something I've become keenly aware of after moving to the lovely land of Los Angeles (a state that ranks 43rd in humidity, with a significantly lower average at 61%).
Of course, you're probably wondering what the heck all of this has to do with literally anything, but don't worry, hang tight. After becoming super comfy with my new comparably non-humid environment, you can imagine how shocking my recent July 4th-timed trip to Austin, Texas was. Not only were the temperatures in the mid-90s the temperatures also had the humidity levels to match. If you've never been or need a comparison, you basically feel like you're being slapped by a steam-enhanced sauna anytime you step outside.
As one might imagine, the stash of beauty products I packed—all of which are far more accustomed to the drier heat of California and Arizona (where my parents live most of the year)—fell pretty darn flat, both literally and figuratively. Which got me thinking, what products would have the gusto to stand up to the hottest and most humid climates without immediately inducing fuzzy hair, Slip 'N Slide shine, and other telltale visible signs of a muggy climate? To get some expert-vetted recs, I reached out to some of the best hairstylists and makeup artists in the business who regularly prep themselves and/or their clients in any and every type of locale and weather forecast. Curious to see their arsenal of humidity-proof standbys? Keep scrolling!
The Top Hair Products for Humidity
Creamy Shampoos and Conditioners
"I love starting from the root of the problem by using a good shampoo and conditioner," says celebrity hairstylist Kristen Shaw. (Her clients include Jodie Comer, Shailene Woodley, Emma Watson, and Liam Hemsworth.)
A Shine-Inducing Hair Gel
"What do Patrick Bateman from American Psycho and Kim Kardashian have in common? They both appreciate the understated, yet refined wet look," says celebrity hairstylist Timothy Aylward, who credits models like Camilla Morrone and Shanina Shaik as clients. "This simple styling trick instantly adds an easy-to-achieve cool factor and is perfect for both curly, and straight hair in humid weather. To create the look yourself, I recommend Let's Jam! Condition & Shine Gel ($4).”Pro tip: "Start with a quarter-size amount of gel and comb it through the hair with your fingers starting on the ends and working your way up. It gives the perfect amount of piecey-ness and a light touchable hold that wears nicely as your hair reacts to the natural moisture in the air."
An Anti-Humidity Spray
"For those who can't imagine a world in which you would leave the house without heat styling, your best bet is to use a finishing spray that will seal your strands and keep moisture behind the velvet rope," notes Aylward. "My favorite product to dodge dank locks is R+Co's Moon Landing Anti-Humidity Spray ($18)."
Pro tip: "To use, style your hair as usual and generously apply the pray from your roots to your ends. Be sure to brush it through your hair and reapply as needed. It sits weightlessly and smells amazing."
A Faux Ponytail
"If you're going out and need a style that can carry its weight through cocktails, there's nothing simpler, sexier, and sturdier than a ponytail extension piece, like the ones from Bellami Hair," says Aylward.
Pro tip: "Simply secure your ponytail in place as you normally would, using a small amount of strong hold gel around the outside, clip in your pony, and that's it! You're guaranteed a style that will stay bouncy and full no matter what the weather throws at you."
A Luxurious Deep Conditioner
"Always use a good quality conditioner like Bouclème's Intensive Moisture Treatment ($36)," says celebrity hairstylist Ben Talbott who works with A-listers like Laura Dern, Joey King, Laura Harrier, Millie Bobby Brown, and Nathalie Emmanuel.
Pro tip: "If you have curly or coiled hair, leave the treatment in, and apply Moroccanoil's Curl Defining Cream ($34) and/or Moroccanoil Treatment ($44) over the top to seal in the moisture."
Layerable Leave-In Hair Treatments
"In addition to the Moroccanoil Treatment, I also like Davines' This is a Relaxing Moisturizing Fluid ($27)," Talbott adds. "Both of these products smell amazing and will leave your tresses shiny, smooth, and frizz-free despite humidity."
Pro tip: "Try layering products for maximum effect, mixing, and matching until you find your perfect cocktail—it's never a one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to managing humidity-induced frizz."
"I love OI All in One Milk ($36), a spray leave in treatment from Davines," Shaw tells us. "It's perfect to spray on your hair after the shower to easily lock in moisture and help combat frizz."
A Hydrating Curl Gloss
"I also love the Oribe's Curl Gloss ($42)," Shaw adds. "It's so good post-shower if you're prone to more frizz."
A Microfiber Hair Towel
"Once you get out of the shower, scrunch your hair with a microfiber hair towel, add your product in, and then wrap your hair up in the towel," Shaw instructs. "Let it sit for a while, and when you take it out, your hair has partially dried and the product has been locked in!"
The Top Skincare & Makeup Products for Humidity
"For skincare, I use a gel cleanser for a deep clean like Luzern Laboratories L'Essentials Pure Cleansing Gelee ($80) along with its L'Essentials Hydrating Essence Pre-Serum Treatment ($100)," says makeup artist Mia Jones whose celeb clients include Amal Clooney, Mariah Carey, Gigi Hadid, EVE, Cindy Crawford, and Rosario Dawson. "These products contain aloe, willow bark extract, and hyaluronic acid (to name a few), which provide astringent/soothing benefits to the skin. It's essential to ensure the skin pH is balanced in humid climates."
"If you've stepped outside on an especially hot day or have ever been on a tropical vacay, you know humidity and makeup don't always play nicely together," admits celebrity makeup artist Jen Tioseco who regularly works with the likes of Olivia Culpo, Shay Mitchell, Stephanie Shepherd, and Madelaine Petsch. "To help keep your makeup intact, start at the base—using a clarifying cleanser to remove excess oil and a lightweight moisturizer is key to keeping your foundation from sliding. I love IS Clinical's Cleansing Complex ($44) and Moisturizing Complex ($89) since they are friendly for all skin types."
"NYC has been extra steamy this summer, and my hero products for combatting the weather have been primers and oil-free foundation, says celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon who regularly works with Gwyneth Paltrow, Anna Kendrick, and Camila Mendes."Laura Mercier's primers have gotten me through more red carpets than I can count! This blurring formula ensures a flawless, natural-looking finish, and it grips onto makeup in the muggiest of weather."
"Using a primer is like extra insurance that your makeup will stay put," says Tioseco. "Milk Makeup's Hydro Grip Primer ($32) is my go-to."
A+ Oil-Free or Lightweight Foundations
"I love that I can get medium to full coverage without the weight when I use this foundation," says Aharon. "The feeling of makeup in hot weather can be awful, and this foundation has more of skincare feel than a foundation feel."
Pro tip: "Work with your sun-kissed summer skin to use less makeup—sometimes that can mean just using concealer and no foundation at all!"
"For a radiant, healthy finish that looks natural but still stays put all day, this is a summer kit staple," continues Aharon. "It's like butter on the skin!"
"I am currently traveling in Austria where it has been humid with extreme heat, and I love Armani Beauty's Neo Nude Foundation ($40)," shares Jones. "It feels weightless whilst providing flawless coverage that doesn't move and adapts with the heat. I can go from exploring during the day to having a family dinner at night without reapplying."
"Keep your foundation light, anything too heavy is going to lift throughout the day," Tioseco warns. "This face and body foundation from MAC Cosmetics is water-based and buildable, so it'll stay put."
Easy-to-Blend Cream Blush
"Opt for cream blushes over powders as they're easy to re-blend with your finger if they start to move," advises Tioseco. "Tower 28's BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush ($20) add the perfect amount of flush to the cheeks."
"Prior to touching up with powder, I like to blot my skin with Tatcha's Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers
($12) which contain abaca leaf and gold flakes helping my makeup stay in place while it absorbs sweat and oil," Jones tells us.
Pro tip: "Blot your skin prior to touching up with other makeup products to avoid transferring face oils back into your other formulas which can increase bacteria."
A Powder Foundation (If You're Oily)
"If you have oily skin, opt for a powder foundation in the summer instead of a liquid," shares Aharon. "I like to load on my skincare and SPF and then dust a high-quality power foundation over my complexion with a big fluffy brush; it looks more natural than applying it with a sponge which can sometimes pack on too much product. BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation SPF 15 ($32) is a long-time favorite!"
Natural-Looking Setting Powders
I highly recommended Charlotte Tilbury's Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder ($45) with rose wax which works in every climate," says Jones. "It's one of the best powders I have ever used, and it's become a staple in my kit."
"That said, my go-to powder for touch-ups, especially in a humid climate where I don't want to feel makeup on my skin, is the Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 35 PA+++ ($30) brush," Jones adds. "I share it with my boyfriend who has fair skin (I am golden olive), and it protects while reducing shine. I'm obsessed."
Next: Foundation for Oily SkinIOs Tricky—I Asked Makeup Artists for All Their Secrets
Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.