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12 Life-Changing Hacks to Make Your Makeup Last Longer
We’ve all had that moment where we look in the mirror to see that the makeup we applied earlier has now smudged, run, or disappeared altogether.
Whether you sweat your makeup off, cry it away, or it up and vanishes, it can be annoying to have to perform midday touchups.
The truth is, you shouldn’t even have to!
How to make makeup last and stay put for good.
While I'm juggling a busy schedule of working and being a mom of two little cuties, I need my makeup to last all day. Plus, after the birth of my second child, I struggled with melasma that left dark areas around my eyes, so the last thing I need is smudgy eye makeup!
Who wouldn’t love makeup you can apply in the morning and trust that it will loyally stay with you throughout the day? It would be nice to not have to do mirror checks to ensure your concealer didn’t peace out by lunchtime.
That’s why I’ve assembled a list of my top tips on how to make your makeup last longer so you’ll never have another "Have I been walking around like this all day?!" moment.
Why Your Makeup Comes Off and Smudges
Let’s address why this makeup disappearing act is happening in the first place. There are a number of factors that contribute to our makeup fading or smudging.
- Breaking a Sweat - If you’ve ever gone to a summer wedding, you know the challenge of trying to look daisy fresh while beating the heat. Double points if you live in a place where you rock makeup during humid summers! Sweat mixes with makeup and melts it away, and blotting doesn’t really help the situation.
- Oily Skin - Our skin’s natural oils can create shine and creases in makeup. This is especially true on our eyelids. Make sure you’re properly caring for oily skin even before makeup goes on (more about that in a bit).
- Using the Wrong Makeup - You could be using the wrong makeup for your skin type or your skin’s needs. There are formulas that offer mattifying, moisturizing, waterproof, or anti-aging benefits. Also, sorry to say, but sometimes lesser quality makeup doesn’t have the staying power of better quality brands. If you want to stick with drugstore names, try to avoid some of the cheaper labels if you’re looking for lastability.
- Touching Your Face (Stop it) - This is a biggie! Constantly touching your skin can smear or lift makeup off your face, not to mention cause potential breakouts. And we all know what rubbing your eyes can do to makeup (hello, raccoon eyes).
How to Make Makeup Last
1. Begin with Prepped Skin
Let’s start at the beginning. The best way to give makeup some staying power is to implement good skincare so that you’re starting with the ideal canvas.
Begin by using a cleanser formulated for your skin type to remove dirt and excess oil.
Use a gentle exfoliator twice a week to buff away dead skin and create a smooth surface which will make makeup go on more evenly and last longer.
Once you’ve cleansed and blotted your face dry, follow up with an oil-free moisturizer containing an SPF with a minimum of 30.
Yes, even if your makeup contains SPF!
It’s best to start with a good protective base before moving on to makeup.
Finally, wait a few minutes to allow moisturizer to absorb into skin before applying makeup.
Here are a few of my faves to get your skin ready to rock!
I created the Alana Mitchell Foaming Pumpkin Cleanser so all skin types can use it and enjoy its benefits! It includes ingredients to nourish skin, refine pores, and fight the signs of aging for clean, healthy skin!
For gentle exfoliation, use this luxurious Dermalogica MultiVitamin Thermafoliant. Not only does it lightly buff away dead skin, but it's infused with antioxidants and nutrients. Plus, it actually warms up while you scrub!
You can’t go wrong with this Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturizer SPF 32. It offers broad-spectrum protection while moisturizing skin. It’s also an oil-free formula and absorbs excess oils, making it perfect to layer under makeup!
2. All Primed and Proper
As an option, you can also apply a primer before your makeup.
As Cosmopolitan beauty editor, Bridget March, explains, “Primer 'seals in' your moisturizer and provides a smooth, even surface for makeup. Not only this, it keeps your makeup from being absorbed, giving it greater staying power.”
This Image Skincare I Prime Flawless Blur Gel is one of my personal favorites. It blurs imperfections and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also plumps and smooths skin while antioxidants fight signs of aging, so you have flawless, youthful skin even before you apply your makeup!
Pro tip: If you want to skip foundation, you can try just using a primer and a light layer of power to even out skin for glowing, lightweight coverage!
3. Build a Good Foundation
Look for an oil-free foundation to reduce the chances that it will slide off your face.
You can also try foundations and concealers that are long-wear formulas created to last throughout the day.
If you have oily skin, look for a mattifying formula to soak up excess oils.
Pro tip: When applying makeup, build thin layers of coverage rather than a single thick one. Not only will this help your makeup last longer, it will look more natural and reduce makeup creasing or caking.
Use a contoured blending sponge to apply light layers of foundation. If necessary, follow up with a concealer to cover up blemishes, dark spots, or eye circles.
Or, try this amazing new airbrush makeup system from Mineral Air! I used it and fell in love with it. It’s super easy to use, and it provides incredible lightweight coverage that’s completely buildable. Plus, it’s four products in one (primer, concealer, makeup and hydrating serum), so it cuts your get ready time way down. You can literally do your makeup in seconds. And, one application is formulated to last 10 hours!
4. Blush, Not Bashful
For a rosy glow that won’t fade, go for a cream or liquid cheek stain rather than a powder which fades more quickly.
Cheek stains and cream blushes have a richer pigment which means they’ll last longer. Bonus if you get one that doubles as a lip stain!
5. Set It and Forget It
Once you’ve applied your makeup masterpiece, seal it with a light layer of setting powder or setting spray.
For a little more coverage, you can use a pigmented loose or packed powder.
Or, try a translucent setting powder to add some matte (without being flat), and keep everything in place for a flawless finish.
This Glo Minerals Luxe Setting Powder is truly excellent. It nourishes skin while blurring fine lines and imperfections for a luminous and flawless finish. And it provides SPF 15 for a little added protection!
6. Eye Primer
Did you know there are also primers specifically for eyes? And they’re excellent when it comes to helping your eye makeup last.
- Give you a smooth surface for applying makeup and concealer
- Act as a barrier to keep excess oil from fading or creasing your makeup (especially important for eyelids which tend to get more oily)
- Make the pigments in your makeup pop so they look just as rich on your skin as they do in the palette
7. All Day Eyebrows
You don’t want to spend time meticulously filling in and perfectly shaping your eyebrows only to have them disappear at the first sign of sweat.
Start with a waterproof eyebrow pencil to fill in sparse spots.
You can also use a powder followed up by a tinted wax.
Next, set your arches with a coat of clear waterproof eyebrow sealer.
Finally, make sure to include your brows when you do a final sweep of setting powder.
8. Stay Put Shadow and Liner
If you’ve started with eye primer, you’re already ahead of the game in the battle of the smudge for eye makeup. It will also guard against eyeshadow creasing.
I recommend a long-lasting eyeshadow.
If you’re using a cream shadow, make sure it dries before moving on to eyeliner.
When it comes to eyeliner, a waterproof gel or liquid formula is your best friend.
If you prefer a pencil or want a softer look, choose a waterproof one and set it with a similar-colored shadow or powder.
Follow up the whole eye makeup shebang with a light dusting of a translucent setting powder.
9. Lashes That Last
Mascara can have a mind of its own throughout the day. It ends up on our eyelids, smudged under our eyes, or running into the corners.
Stop that madness by choosing a waterproof mascara formula!
What if your favorite mascara isn’t waterproof?
Good news - there are topcoats available that will make any mascara waterproof so you can have flawless eyes while remaining brand loyal.
Speaking of loyalty, this Blinc Mascara is one of my favorites! When you apply it to lashes, it uses its patented “tube” technology to create little tubes around each lash rather than just coating them. This means it won’t run, smudge, or flake even if you cry, sweat, or rub your eyes! When you want to wash it off, the tubes slide right off your lashes so there’s no need for harsh makeup removers. This mascara gives your lashes length and volume as well as outstanding all day wear!
Much like your face, starting with exfoliated lips will help lipstick go on smoother and prevent cracking or flaking.
You can buy a lip exfoliator or make your own exfoliant by making a paste of baking soda and water or mixing some sugar and coconut oil.
Using a soft toothbrush (not your regular toothbrush, keep this one separate), a wet washcloth, or your finger, apply exfoliant and gently scrub lips in a circular motion. Don’t overdo it! Rinse with lukewarm water and follow up with a moisturizing lip balm.
11. Keep Your Pout Perfect
Start by applying a thin layer of foundation or concealer to lips. This will not only act as a primer for lip color, it will also make it more vivid.
Look for a long-lasting lip color. Almost every brand has a long-wear version, so you’re sure to find your favorite shade.
Shoot for a lipstick that’s not too matte, since they can dry out lips.
Lip liners can really up your long-wear game by keeping lipstick from migrating outward onto the skin.
Make friends with reverse lining. This step includes using a concealer or nude liner to trace the outside edge of the lips which creates a barrier and prevents color bleeding.
Finally, to really lock things in place, set your lip color with powder. Separate the layers of a tissue so it’s a single ply. Place over lips and, using a soft brush, press a translucent setting powder on top of the tissue which will allow a light dusting through to your lip color.
12. Finish It Up
The last way on how to make makeup last all day is to lock everything in place with a makeup setting spray once you have completed applying your makeup. Just mist a couple spritzes, allow to dry (no touching), and you’re all set!
There are even different formulas for various finishes (matte or dewy) and a variety of skin types so you’ll be flawless the whole day through!
Model in a Bottle Original Formula has been featured on a variety of TV shows including Oprah and Extra for its amazing ability to lock your look in place. It resists smudging, tears, humidity, and water and renders touchups useless. You’re left with a matte, smooth (not sticky) finish that absorbs oil and controls shine throughout the day.
This genius Coola Face SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray not only sets your makeup for a flawless finish, it gives you a final layer of broad-spectrum SPF protection! It’s also formulated with ingredients to soothe and hydrate skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It will leave you set and ready to go!
It can be super frustrating to spend time applying a full face of makeup only to have it melt off or disappear throughout the day. Hopefully you learned some tips and tricks on how to make your makeup last all day!
No matter what happens to your makeup, your natural beauty is something that always lasts. Make sure to keep up your skincare routine so you’ll be radiant whether your makeup decides to stay or go!
What are some of your favorite beauty hacks for keeping makeup in place? Share them with us in the comments section!
This was very helpful
I’m so glad you liked it! :)
It’s been a long time I actually pulled out a piece of paper to take notes on a blog post. Thanks for this. You’ve earned yourself a new reader!