How to Wear Makeup for a Pool Party: Splash-Proof Tips

You may be wondering if wearing makeup to a pool party is even a good idea. Spoiler alert: it is! With the right products and techniques, you can create a stunning, pool-friendly look that will last throughout the day.

makeup for pool party

In this article, we’ll dive into the essential tips on making your makeup resistant to water, sun, and sweat, and the best looks to rock when you’re lounging by the pool. So, grab your sunscreen and your favorite makeup products, and let’s get started on creating some poolside magic!

Pool Party Makeup Preparation


First, let’s start with a clean and refreshed canvas, so to speak. Choose a gentle cleanser, such as Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, that works well for your skin type to remove all dirt, impurities, and oil.

Gently massage the cleanser into your skin using circular motions, making sure to thoroughly rinse after.

Remember not to rub your skin dry; instead, gently pat it with a clean towel to avoid irritation. A clean slate ensures your makeup adheres better and lasts longer.


Exfoliating is the next step in prepping your skin for a flawless, long-lasting makeup application. It helps get rid of dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and smoothens the skin’s surface.

Integrate a gentle exfoliator into your routine either once or twice a week, depending on your skin’s sensitivity.

Exfoliating can improve your makeup’s staying power by creating a smoother and more even base.


Lastly, don’t forget to moisturize. A well-hydrated skin creates the perfect foundation for any makeup look.

Apply a lightweight, water-based moisturizer that suits your skin type. If you have oily skin, opt for a gel-based formula that provides hydration without leaving a greasy residue.

On the other hand, cream-based moisturizers work wonders for dry skin, locking in moisture and preventing flakiness.

For optimal results, allow the moisturizer to settle into your skin for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

Priming for Perfection

Priming your skin before applying makeup ensures your makeup lasts longer, especially when you’re attending a pool party where water and humidity are factors. It provides a smooth canvas for your makeup and can help to keep it in place.

Choosing the Right Primer

There are different types of primers available in the market – some are suited for dry skin, some for oily skin, and others for combination skin.

For a pool party, it’s advisable to use a water-resistant primer, if possible. Water-resistant primers are specifically formulated to withstand moisture, making them a great choice for situations where you’ll be swimming or sweating.

Application Techniques

To apply primer:

  1. Cleanse and moisturize: Start with a clean, moisturized face. This ensures that your primer will go on smoothly. If you haven’t done it yet, now is the time.
  2. Small amounts: You only need a small amount of primer. A pea-sized amount should be enough for your entire face.
  3. Application: Apply the primer using your fingers or a makeup sponge. Start from the center of your face and blend it outwards.
  4. Wait: Allow the primer to set for a few minutes before moving on to your foundation. This gives it time to settle into your skin and create a smooth base for your makeup.

Makeup Application: Choosing the Right Products

Selecting the right products for your pool party makeup is essential. Given that you’ll be exposed to water and heat, your usual makeup products might not be up to the task. That’s where water-resistant and waterproof products come in.


Waterproof or water-resistant foundations, such as the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation, are designed to resist moisture and stay put on your skin for longer periods of time.

When selecting a waterproof foundation, choose a shade that matches your skin tone perfectly. These types of foundation tend to have high coverage, so a mismatched shade will be more noticeable.

When applying your foundation, use a makeup sponge or a foundation brush for the best results. Start from the center of your face and blend outwards, making sure to blend well at your jawline and hairline to avoid any visible lines.


If you need to conceal blemishes or under-eye circles, a waterproof concealer, such as Dermablend Cover Care Concealer, is a must.

These concealers have a thicker consistency and higher pigment concentration than regular concealers, making them more resistant to water.

To apply, use a small concealer brush or your fingertips and dab the product onto the areas you want to conceal. Then, blend the edges into your skin or foundation to create a seamless look.


When choosing blush or bronzer for a pool party, opt for cream formulas instead of powders. Cream blushes and bronzers are more resistant to water and tend to have a more natural finish, which is perfect for a poolside look.

To apply, dab the product onto the apples of your cheeks (for blush) or the hollows of your cheeks and the perimeter of your face (for bronzer). Then, blend well using a makeup sponge or your fingers.


Cream eyeshadows are the best choice for a pool party as they’re more likely to stay put when exposed to water. Opt for waterproof formulas if possible. Apply the eyeshadow using a flat synthetic brush or your fingers, and blend the edges using a fluffy brush.

Eyeliner and Mascara

Waterproof eyeliner and mascara are designed to withstand moisture. Apply your eyeliner as close to your lash line as possible and apply your mascara from the base of your lashes to the tips.

For mascara, avoid pumping the wand in and out of the tube as this can introduce air and cause the mascara to dry out.


If you fill in your brows, use a waterproof brow product. Whether you prefer a pencil, a pomade, or a gel, make sure it’s waterproof to ensure your brows stay perfect all day.

Use light strokes to fill in any sparse areas, and then comb through your brows with a spoolie to distribute the product and shape your brows.


For your lips, long-lasting lip stains or waterproof lipsticks are the best choices. They’re designed to stay on your lips for hours, even when exposed to water. Apply the lipstick directly from the tube or use a lip brush for more precision.

A couple of things to keep in mind. First, this is not an exact science. And second, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment before the actual event!

Setting Your Makeup: The Final Step

After you’ve applied your waterproof makeup for the pool party, now comes the crucial part—setting your makeup to ensure it lasts through all the fun and splashing.

Using a Setting Spray

To lock in your makeup, one vital product to use is a setting spray. A good setting spray helps to seal your makeup, keeping everything in place even when exposed to water.

I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but make sure you opt for a waterproof setting spray to maximize its effect. Here’s how to make the most of your setting spray:

  1. Shake the bottle: Before applying, shake your setting spray bottle well to make sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  2. Hold the bottle at a safe distance: Keep the spray bottle around 6 to 8 inches away from your face to avoid a direct hit that might ruin your makeup or cause it to feel too wet.
    Spray in a T and X pattern: Mist your setting spray across your face in a T shape (forehead to chin and across the cheeks) and then an X pattern (diagonally across your face). This ensures that every area gets covered evenly.
  3. Allow it to dry: Give the setting spray a few moments to dry completely. Resist the temptation to fan your face, as it might disturb your makeup. Instead, gently close your eyes and wait for it to set naturally.

Using Setting Powder

For an extra layer of protection, consider applying a translucent powder before the setting spray. This will help absorb any excess moisture and further lock your makeup in place.

To do this, use a fluffy brush and lightly dust translucent powder over your entire face, focusing on areas that tend to get oily.

Additionally, avoid rubbing your face with a towel while at the pool party. Gently pat your skin with a towel or use blotting papers to absorb any excess moisture.

Being careful with how you handle your face will help keep your makeup intact and picture-perfect throughout the event.

Now, with your makeup all set, you’re ready to enjoy your pool party, looking fabulous and confident, regardless of any splashes headed your way.

Extra Tips for Pool Party Makeup Success

The ‘Less is More’ Principle

When it comes to pool party makeup, the key principle to remember is “less is more.” Opt for lighter products like a tinted moisturizer or BB cream instead of a heavy foundation.

Avoid caking on layers of makeup that might not withstand heat, water, and sweat. Simply enhance your natural features with a touch of waterproof mascara, a bit of cream blush, and some tinted lip balm for a more natural look.

Sunscreen: Don’t Forget Protection

While wearing makeup to a pool party may add some glamor, protecting your skin from the sun should be your priority.

Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and apply it evenly all over your exposed skin, including your face.

To avoid diluting or smudging your makeup, opt for a sunscreen that’s either gel or oil-free in formulation.

Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially after dipping in the water, to ensure you have continuous sun protection.

Preparing for Touch-ups

Since you’ll likely encounter water and heat at a pool party, be prepared for makeup touch-ups. Bring a small, waterproof pouch in your beach bag that contains essentials such as:

  • Blotting papers: To control shine and excess oil
  • Waterproof mascara: For freshening up your lashes
  • Tinted lip balm or gloss: To keep your lips hydrated and colorful
  • A small mirror: To check and adjust your makeup as needed

The Difference Between Waterproof and Rub-proof

While waterproof makeup is designed to withstand exposure to water, it’s important to understand that it’s not necessarily rub-proof or smudge-proof. This distinction is crucial when attending a pool party or any event where you may come into contact with water.

The Limits of Waterproof Makeup

Waterproof makeup is formulated to resist the effects of moisture. This means it can stand up to tears, sweat, rain, and even a dip in the pool.

It achieves this through the use of special ingredients that repel water or create a film that water cannot penetrate.

However, waterproof does not mean that the makeup is impervious to all disturbances. Rubbing or touching your face can cause waterproof makeup to smudge or come off. This is particularly the case when the makeup is wet.

For example, if you’ve just come out of the pool and your face is wet, rubbing your eyes or face could cause your makeup to smudge, despite it being waterproof.

The same applies when you’re drying your face. It’s best to gently pat your face dry, rather than rub, to avoid disturbing your makeup.

Post-Pool Party Skin Care

After a day of wearing makeup, especially waterproof makeup, and being in the sun and water, it’s essential to properly care for your skin afterward.

Removing Waterproof Makeup

Waterproof makeup is tougher to remove than regular makeup due to its resilient formulation.

Start by using a makeup remover specifically designed to remove waterproof makeup. These usually have an oil-based formula that can break down waterproof substances.

Apply the remover to a cotton pad and gently wipe over your face, being extra gentle around the eye area.


After removing your makeup, cleanse your skin with a gentle facial cleanser to remove any leftover makeup and dirt. This will help to prevent breakouts and keep your skin healthy.


After cleansing, apply a hydrating moisturizer to your skin. Exposure to the sun and chlorine in the pool can dry out your skin, so it’s important to replenish its moisture.

Soothe Your Skin

If you’ve been in the sun, consider using a product with aloe vera or another soothing ingredient to calm any potential sunburn or inflammation.

Understanding the difference between waterproof and rub-proof makeup, as well as knowing how to properly care for your skin post-pool party, can help you keep your skin healthy and ensure you’re ready for the next event.