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A good foundation can instantly make a blemished face appear flawless. When your face looks flawless you may feel more confident, but if you go swimming, your makeup can run; water can wash away your foundation and expose the flaws you're hiding. Instead of avoiding the water, incorporate some simple tricks and the correct products to enhance the staying power of your foundation.

Squeeze a pea-size amount of makeup primer on your fingertips and apply it to your entire face. Primer contains wax, silicone and polymers that smooth your facial skin and create an invisible base for your makeup to adhere to. It helps lengthen the life of your foundation and keeps it from creasing. Give the primer at least one minute so it can fully dry on your face.

Dot an oil-free, waterproof foundation on your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin, using a tint similar to your skin tone. Use your fingertips, or a foundation brush or sponge, to distribute the foundation over your face. Avoid formulas that contain oil, because these may create a slippery surface and smear easily.

Rub some petroleum jelly between your hands. Lightly pat your face with your hands, so you get a thin layer of petroleum jelly over your foundation. Avoid rubbing the petroleum jelly on your face, because this may smear and wipe off your foundation. The petroleum jelly forms an invisible water-resistant barrier that protects your foundation.

Swim with your head above water as much as possible to help protect your foundation.


Before applying any makeup, apply a sheer, oil-free, waterproof sunscreen to your face to protect it from the harmful rays of the sun. Use a sunscreen made for facial skin on your face, because sunscreens made for your body can be too oily for your face, and make it greasy. Wait three minutes so the sunscreen can settle on your skin before applying any other products.