Let’s face it, we all want our make up to still look perfect after 10h at work. However, that’s pretty much impossible, unless you’re using really industrial-strength film/TV/stage make up (which would be a terrible idea and your complexion would hate you for it). But there are a few little tricks and products that will help your make up stay on all day, and looking pretty good at that. Maybe not amazing, maybe not perfect (especially if you don’t touch up at all), but nice enough to not scare people off.
Just keep in mind I’m talking about the slightly cooler months of the year. If it’s 35 degrees outside, then it’s to be expected that your make up might not look great in the evening, especially if your complexion is more on the oily side.
Good quality foundation
Even if you’re on a budget, skimp on everything but the foundation. It’s called a foundation for a reason – it’s the very basis of your make up, and nothing screams ‘bad make up’ like wrong colour, cakey and/or patchy foundation. Finding the right foundation takes time, I know. It took me more than 3 years to find a perfect one, and I’ve tried a lot of them, both drugstore and high end. I’ve settled on Clarins Everlasting Foundation, recommended to me by a lovely girl in Douglas as something she used herself. It’s been with me for a year now, and I don’t even want to try anything new. It is a very personal choice, and it takes a lot of patience. Try to get as many samples as possible, so you can see how the foundation behaves throughout the day. Honestly, nothing can beat a well-matched, high quality, long-lasting foundation.
The number of times I hear people say “My foundation comes off during the day!” and when I ask them if they powdered it, they say no, why would they? Well, it’s kinda like coming out into the rain without an umbrella or a raincoat and expecting not to get wet. Foundation just isn’t going to last all day if you don’t seal it with even the tiniest amount of powder. My personal favourite is Rimmel Stay Matte, about which I wrote more in the post on my favourite budget beauty bits, but you can use a more illuminating one if your skin is more on the dry side.
Don’t forget the blusher
Blusher is my personal favourite – peachy in the summer, pink in the colder months. You’re more likely to see me without mascara than without blusher. I just can’t go without it and I believe that there is no better way to make your face look more fresh, healthy and vibrant. A good cream (applied on top of foundation before powder) or powder blusher (applied on top of powder) can really do wonders to your face and is likely to stay there all day, as it doesn’t come in direct contact with sebum. You can actually even use a lipstick. But one thing a bit of blusher does at the end of the day is give you that fresh, young skin look, even if the rest of your make up isn’t really up to scratch.
Ditch lip gloss for lipstick
I love lipgloss. Or I did until I moved to London. Every single time I use lip gloss it’s super windy and I end up with hair stuck to my lips, and lip gloss on my cheek (transferred there by my hair). A bloody nightmare, I tell you. But that’s not the only reason why I’m telling you to forget lipgloss if you want your make up to last. Lip gloss will disappear off you lips much quicker than lipstick. So if you don’t really have time or inclination to constantly run to the bathroom to touch up your lips, I strongly recommend going for a lipstick, and one on the matte side as well. My personal favourite is a 3INA one (also more about it here), as it lasts for absolute ever. But if you want some really hardcore lasting power, I’ve yet to try out something that would outlast Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet. Just beware – they stain. So be very careful when applying. Like, I mean it, I apply it with a pointed eye liner brush. But for the lasting power – it’s worth it.
Eye shadow base is your friend
Even the best eye shadows are unlikely to last all day if you don’t help them out a bit, especially if you have hooded eye lids or ones that get greasy over the course of the day. If your problems are minor, simply putting a bit of concealer on your lid and then either powdering over or putting a base shadow should be enough to last you all day. If not, you might need more help – an eye shadow base. It not only make the shadows last much, much longer, but also make the colours more vivid. Win win in my book. I’m currently using a (massive sample of) Urban Decay Primer Potion and I have to say it’s fantastic, but there are cheap ones that are just as good, e.g. from the German brand Artdeco.
Don’t do your lower lashes
It might be just me, but if I’m in front of the screen all day I will rub my eyes at one point or another, or my eyes will water a bit for whatever reason. If you have similar issues with your eyes, it’s probably a good idea to leave the lower lashes out, preventing your mascara from running down your cheeks or crumbling.
When you really need staying power, setting spray is your friend
I wouldn’t recommend doing it on the daily bases because it’s really hard to remove make up that’s been set with a heavy duty spray. But if you really need your make up to last e.g. because you have an important dinner after work, or an all-day-all-night wedding, setting spray will save your make up. There are loads of them on the market, so you might want to do a little research on what’s available in your price range and area where you live. The two I’ve used on myself and that I can recommend are Urban Decay All Nighter (this is more ‘lightweight’, good for making your make up last till the evening) and Kryolan Fixing Spray (which is a make up artist one, that will make your make up almost bullet proof).
I hope those little tips help you make your make up last at least a little bit longer, so that when you look in the mirror at the end of the day you think “OMG, I kinda am really sexy”, rather than “what the hell happened to my face”.
Here’s my example of a simple, everyday make up that lasted all day.
Clarins Everlasting Foundation – 103 Ivory
Rimmel Stay Matte powder – 001 Transparent
Collection Lasting Perfection concealer – 1 Fair
The Balm Hot Mama blusher
Sephora Bronzing Powder – 1 light
Benefit Gimme Brow – Medium/Deep
Lovely Curling Pump Up Mascara
3INA Lipstick – 122