How to make your makeup last longer

We’ve all been there – you work for what seems like hours on painting your face and perfecting your work, only for it to melt right off or start breaking down the minute you step out of the house. You try to salvage it with blotting papers and careful reapplying, but no matter how hard you try, by the end of the day, it all ends up looking like a bit of a mess. While the grungy, “undone” look would be perfectly fine for a rock show or wild clubbing night, it’s nowhere near appropriate in the workplace. Do you want to know how to make your makeup last longer? Then keep reading.

Start with skincare

You’re probably tired of hearing this, but the secret to great makeup is usually great skincare, first and foremost. To that end, you need to make sure you’re taking care of your complexion by addressing its needs, moisturising it properly and exfoliating to get rid of dead skin cells. If your skin is dry and flaky, any makeup applied over it will flake off as well. Similarly, if your skin produces excess sebum, makeup will break down much faster, so you need to take care of that, before anything else.

It’s prime time

There was a time in our collective lives when we had no idea primer existed. We’d just slap our makeup on and hope for the best. When primers first started hitting the market, dissenters said companies were just trying to invent new unnecessary steps for our makeup routines, but boy, were they wrong; primer makes all the difference. Before applying any makeup product, make sure to prime your eyes and your skin separately. If you’re so inclined, companies have also started coming out with lip primers and brow primers.

Layer your products

When talking about how to make your makeup last longer, one excellent tip that is not brought up nearly enough is product layering. What this means is that instead of just using one product for each purpose, you use multiple products on top of one another in order to extend their wear time and make sure your look has a smaller chance of fading away.

For example, before you apply your regular powder eyeshadow, use a cream eyeshadow in a similar colour, as a base. This will have the double effect of intensifying your colour, as well as giving your powders something to adhere to, thus helping them last longer.

The same goes for blush; before applying your powder blush like normal, use a cream blush first, and then layer the powder one in a similar colour on top of it. If you really want to make sure it stays put, there are also blush toppers, which are sheer, but usually provide a different effect, like shimmer.

Forget what you’ve learned about lip liner being used to actually line the outside of your lips – instead, use it to fill in your lips. It will act as a good base for your lipstick and it will ensure that if your lipstick fades, the liner stays. Go a step further and blot your lipstick with a tissue, then reapply, then blot again, and reapply one last time. Now, your lip colour is pretty much bullet proof.

Waterproof is budge-proof

Long-wearing formulas and waterproof makeup has become very popular in recent years. And while they are an absolute pain to remove at the end of the night, there’s a very good reason for that – it’s nearly indestructible, which means it won’t let you down in the middle of the day. Here are some of the most effective long-wearing products:

  • Mascara – Mascara is one of the most popular waterproof makeup products ever invented, and for good reason – how many times have you had mascara running down your face while you cried? Blackened tears are rarely attractive.
  • Liquid lipstick – A newer innovation is liquid lipstick, which took the makeup world by storm and quickly became an absolute staple. It’s hard not to love a lipstick that stays put while you eat. Set it and forget it.
  • Gel eyeliner – Various companies have made all sorts of claims about their liquid liner being long-wearing, but gel eyeliner is where it’s at for waterproof (and probably fireproof) cat eyes. Don’t worry about falling asleep in your makeup, it’ll still be perfect in the morning.
  • Brow gel – Having your lipstick rub off is one thing, but your eyebrows disappearing by mid-day is straight out of a horror movie. Acquire a long-wearing brow product and forget you’ve ever had this problem.

Opt for matte

While dewy makeup gives you that fresh, glowing, youthful look we all love, unfortunately, it also tends to break down faster, or otherwise slip and slide around. I think we can agree that is not an attractive look. Matte products are inherently more long-wearing, especially when we’re talking about something like foundation, or lipstick, for example. The lack of water or oils help them stick to the skin and maintain your look for hours.

Set with powder

Powder is the original lifesaver, the essential product every woman carried in her bag, and the first answer to the question of how to make your makeup last longer. For all our innovation, powder is still very much a staple and an important step in your makeup application, if you’re planning for prolonged wear. Powder your whole face, insisting on the T-zone, as well as your under-eye area; you wouldn’t want your concealer to crease or fade away.

Finish with a few spritzes of setting spray

The final step is to set everything with makeup sealant. Like hairspray for your face, setting spray used to be something makeup artists used for performances or brides, but it’s becoming more and more common for women to use it every day. You don’t need much – just 3 to 4 spritzes. Keep the bottle a good 20 cm away from your face and spritz it in an X shape on your face, to make sure you’ve covered everything and you nothing is left exposed to the elements. That seals it!