Should You Be Rotating Your Makeup with the Seasons?

The weather is finally acting like it knows that Spring is here. That means that many of us are spending more time outside. And that’s contrasted to cooler weather months where we’re stuck inside because of frigid temps. Less sun exposure means no summer tan — no matter your base skin tone. And while winter is dominated by rich jewel tones for color cosmetics, it can also mean that many people rely on a lighter shade for complexion makeup like foundation and concealer. But as the seasons change, many people wonder if they should be switching their makeup too. 

Do You Need to Rotate Your Makeup?

In theory, the short answer is no. Technically, there’s no reason that you have to rotate your makeup as the seasons change. If you like to wear the same shade of blush all the time, there’s nothing wrong with that. Likewise, if you love a rich aubergine hue for eyeshadow or liner, there’s no hard makeup rule that says you can’t stick to that no matter what the calendar says.

When to Do the Makeup Swap 

Regardless of what social media would have you believe, there aren’t as many rules surrounding makeup as you think. And when they do exist, it has more to do with color theory and less to do with gimmicky makeup tricks that drive views on TikTok. But, there are a few times when switching up your makeup might make more sense. 

Factoring in Your Tan

It doesn’t matter whether you’re fair or have a deep skin tone. Everyone experiences some form of shade shifting if you spend extended periods in the sun. And this can be an issue for your complexion makeup. This means that a foundation color that might look amazing in the late Fall through early Spring might begin to create floating head syndrome by late Spring through early Fall. 

In this case, it makes sense to pick a different foundation or concealer. Typically, we’re only talking about shifting one or two shades deeper than your winter color. A bonus is that when winter returns, your summer color could even be used for a very subtle contour if you like. 

And don’t forget that this can also apply to other makeup like blush or lip colors. While you might want a bolder blush in the winter to counteract paler skin and bring more color, you might need to shift your blush a shade or two to better complement your summer color. 

Adjusting Formulas for Skin Concerns

Depending on your skin type, it’s not uncommon for some people to need heavier or creamier products in the winter to combat dryness and then switch to lighter liquid formulas in the summer. If this sounds familiar, you absolutely should be switching up your makeup picks with the seasons. 

Trying to use a heavier textured foundation in the summer could unnecessarily clog your pores or just leave you looking like you’re wearing more makeup than necessary. Similarly, trying to rock a thinner formula in the winter could leave you with flakes. Don’t forget that this can also apply to primers, moisturizers, and setting or refreshing sprays. 

When to Make the Switch

Ultimately, when to swap out makeup for alternate picks is going to be a personal choice. In most cases, you’ll know when the time has come. For example, you’ll apply foundation and realize that it looks too pale one day. Or, you’ll realize that a foundation formula that left you feeling hydrated in the winter now feels excessive thanks to how your skin responds to warmer, more humid weather. 

But Don’t Forget That Makeup Expires

Just remember that if you’re temporarily retiring makeup products for the season, you should always remember to review your makeup collection with each rotation. Remove any items that weren’t touched during their last “in” season to avoid using expired products. As a reminder for makeup expiration timelines: 

  • Liquid Foundation & Concealer: 6 to 12 months
  • Powders: 24 months
  • Liquid Highlighters: 6 to 12 months
  • Cream Blushes: 12 to 18 months
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