How to Make your Makeup Last Longer

Veronica Yoo
14 August, 2020

You’ve just finished applying your last layer of lipstick to finish your look and can’t help but check yourself out in the mirror; eyebrows on fleek, eyeliner on point and blush looking fresh. You go ahead with your day, go to work, meet friends and even go on for a walk in the park. You get home and look at yourself in horror thinking Was this how I looked like all day?

Sound familiar? We’ve all had days where we left the house looking flawless and came back looking like we just fought off a zombie apocalypse. Wearing makeup can be an especially daunting task during the summer when half of your makeup is going to be sweated away, melted away or swiped away. To not let your efforts go to waste, here are some tips and tricks to maintain a fresh look even on the most humid and hottest of days.

Prepping the Skin

Even before you start applying makeup, there’s a lot of work to be done to get your skin in its best shape for long lasting makeup. Use a facial exfoliator on your skin once or twice a week depending on its sensitivity to get rid of any excess debris. This will prevent your makeup from flaking. Don’t forget to give your lips some TLC too. Use a sugar lip scrub or even a wet towel or toothbrush will do the trick!

When it comes to skincare, you want to avoid layering a ton of products as this is most likely going to make your makeup slide off of your face. A good rule is to stick with the essentials: toner, moisturizer and sunscreen. Use a light water-based toner to balance the natural pH of your skin then seal the hydration with a moisturizer. No skincare routine is complete without sunscreen so make sure to apply thin layers of it!


If you aren’t familiar with what a primer is, think of it as a base coat for your face. They are often overlooked at but once you find one that works for your skin type, you’ll notice you can’t do you makeup without it! Primers are used to fill in pores and fine lines, helping you achieve a smoother surface when applying foundation or base makeup. Many primers are formulated with silicone that also helps smooth and blur your skin.

Primers are not just for the face, but they also have different formula’s for eyes. While it is not always necessary consider it as an extra step to make your eyeshadows last all night. They avoid creasing of the eye as well as making your shadows last longer by absorbing the oil on your eyelids. They’re most optimal for when you want to use glittery shadows onto your eyes as they prevent fall outs and help the glitters to stick onto your eyes.


An oil-free formula is what you should be on the lookout for when looking for a long-lasting wear. A good place to start when looking for the perfect foundation are the ones under long-wear- they’re called long wear for a reason! Long wear foundations boast high coverage while also being smudge proof and even sweat proof.

Oil-free foundations will usually have a matte powder finish to prevent any oil sheens. A good foundation won’t strip you off of your natural facial oils, but they should still retain the moisture between the layer of your skin and the foundation.

Less is More

When it comes to the eyes, cheeks and lips, less is more. If you use different shadows on top of each other, you’ll find that the makeup can feel heavy on your skin. To let your skin breathe, its best to opt for a simple look by adding small layers using a single eyeshadow to create definition and drama.

While dewy looks are a trend, it’s recommended to stick with powder formulas rather than wet formulas such as cream or gels. Unlike powder, it is easier for liquid formulas to slip and slide across your face. So instead of cream blush try a compact powder blush or even a cheek stain for a natural rosy glow. 

Go Waterproof

If there is a waterproof option, choose them! Waterproof formulas are all over the place, even in the products you’d least expect. Waterproof eyeliners and mascaras has been around for a while so you can guarantee these products will last on a hot sweaty day. Don’t be confused with water resistant and waterproof though as the compounds in waterproof products are often thicker in consistency and has more weight than products labelled water resistant.  

If you’re looking for something new in the market, brands have been playing around with new waterproof products for some time now. So why not try a lip stain or even a brow tint to make your makeup stay all day – or two!

Setting Spray

You may be thinking, ‘I’ve already set my makeup with powder, is there really a need to set it up with setting spray again?’ The answer to that is yes and no. While it isn’t a necessity, it can help lock your makeup in place. Think of it like hairspray, after curling and styling your hair, you lock the curls by using hairspray.

If you’re still having doubts whether you should purchase a setting spray, hopefully its multi-functionality can help convince you. Spray setting spray on the surface of an eyeshadow brush before picking up glitters and pigments. The setting spray will help the color payoff to be more vibrant and full while also preventing glitter fall out during application.

Most importantly.. Don’t touch your face!

The most important trick to having makeup that lasts all day is to not touch it. We often unconsciously touch our face; when we’re bored, when we’re thinking, etc. but you’ll find that a lot of the makeup will transfer on to your hands. While you might be tempted to wipe the shin on your forehead or around your nose, avoid doing so by instead touching up with finishing powder or a blotting paper to avoid makeup looking cake-y.

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