Ensuring your makeup lasts all day is nothing short of a magic trick. There’s nothing worse than seeing flecks of mascara down your face at lunchtime or someone pointing out that you’ve suddenly got lipstick on your teeth.
Central heating, aircon and sweat (to name but a few variables) can wreak havoc on our face. After all, what’s the point in spending an extra 15 minutes perfecting that eyeshadow blend if it’s smudged and patchy by the end of the day?
The good news is that there are several things you can do to ensure your makeup looks just as good in the PM as the AM. From melting foundation to dry, cracked lipstick, there’s a hack to prevent even the most annoying makeup woes.
So if like us, you’re tired of seeing your mascara halfway down your face and eyeliner you painstakingly applied just, well, disappear, this one’s for you.
We’ve tried and tested a range of products and techniques all in the name of makeup retention and we’re here to share the results. Here are the best products and top tips we recommend to make your makeup last all day:
1. Cleanse, tone and moisturise
One of the best ways to ensure your makeup lasts all day is to properly prep your skin. The holy trinity of skincare – cleanse, tone and moisturise – is a great start.
Whether you opt for a hot cloth cleanse, hydrating beauty blam or Foreo sonic cleansing tool, ensure your face feels clean, mosturised and ready to go.
You’re much better off using a mattifying primer than a mattifying day cream, but more on that in a minute. Choose a gentle toner and moisturiser that works for your skin type and don’t forget to apply a daily SPF afterward.
If you’re targeting ageing skin concerns, Elemis’ Pro Collagen Marine Cream with SPF 30 helps to firm and hydrate skin while REN’s Ultra Moisture Day Cream targets dry skin with a super hydrating and natural formula.
For sensitive or acne-prone skin, try Cerave’s range of gentle moisturisers. Each lightweight formula nourishes and soothes, creating a great base for makeup.
2. Follow with primer
Once your skin is fresh and ready to go, continue the prep and follow with primer. Primer will be your best friend when it comes to makeup lasting all day. Not only is it a great base for foundation, allowing products to slip on smoothly, but it can also help to reduce the appearance of pores and even fine lines.
Our must-have product is Hourglass’ No. 28 Primer Serum. The lightweight serum glides onto the skin perfectly and leaves your complexion with a dewy glow. Once foundation is applied, prepare for it to stay on for hours. And we mean HOURS.
To combat visible pores, Benefit’s Porefessional Primer is most effective around the T-zone to hide larger pores and fine lines. Think of it as a gentle polyfilla for your face!
And don’t forget the all-important eyeshadow primer too! We love Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer which makes eyeshadow stay put all day and intensifies the colours on your eyelids. The formula is super concentrated meaning a little goes a long way!
3. Use translucent powder
Once you’ve gone in with your chosen primer, foundation, concealer and any other skin prep you normally use set your makeup with a translucent powder.
Sheer, mattifying powders will fix your face in place and keep unwanted shine under control, though too much setting powder can create a cakey, ageing effect. Use translucent powder sparingly, concentrating on the T-zone area where the face is naturally more oily.
Laura Mercier’s cult Transluscent Setting Powder adds a luminous finish to your makeup while keeping it in place for up to 12 hours.
4. Choose a brow gel
Brow gels have surged in popularity over the last few years and it’s easy to see why. Creating natural definition without leaving a sticky residue behind, brow gels ensure eyebrows remain on-fleek all day.
Glossier’s Bow Brow, available in several colours, gives eyebrows a fluffy texture and has serious staying power. The small wand means you can add as much or as little colour without brows looking “overdone”.
On the cheaper end of the scale, Elf’s Wow Brow Gel is perfect for those wanting to achieve a bolder, fuller look with maximum impact.
If you’re loyal to an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in any gaps, ensure you set it with some clear brow gel or mascara. Our go-to is from Natural Collection at Boots. A quick flick of the brush will make sure your eyebrows stay put all day and night. Bravo.
5. Switch to waterproof mascara
For super active days, invest in some waterproof mascara.
Not only with these waterproof mascaras withstand even the toughest gym workouts but they’ll also ensure your makeup looks fresh all day.
The classic Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara is an affordable makeup bag must-have for its lengthening brush and non-sticky formula. Try its waterproof sister on those days when you when some serious staying power.
6. Finish with a setting spray
Once you’ve safeguarded your makeup with the steps above, go in with a setting spray to finish.
Our favourites include the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, a lightweight formula that does exactly what it says on the tin and NYX’s Dewy Finish Setting Spray which gives skin a natural glow while ensuring your makeup doesn’t budge.
For a quick refresh throughout the day, spritz your face with Pixi’s Glow Mist, a hydrating spray that leaves skin feeling dewy and refreshed!
7. Don’t touch your face
This might sound obvious but the amount of time we touch our face throughout the day is far greater than we think. Not only can we spread bacteria from surfaces to our face from objects (now seems like the perfect time for a quick keyboard wipe) but we can also accidentally remove makeup with a quick wipe or scratch.
According to skincare experts Apostrophe the best ways to stop touching your face are:
- Keep your hands occupied
- Remind yourself – a post-it note on your desk mirror should do the trick
- Practise mindfulness
- Cover your hands (may sound extreme but your blusher with thank you for it)