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How to Make Your Makeup Last Longer

If there's one thing that I care about when it comes to my makeup, I want it to do at least one thing: be long-lasting. I mean, I'd also prefer it to be pigmented and blendable and all of that goodness, but I'm in it for the long haul. If my makeup can't make it past hour four, it's just not for me. I'm a full-coverage, all-day-wear kind of gal. I don't want it to budge and for the most part, it doesn't. It's taken me quite a while to figure out what works best in terms of keeping my makeup intact as long as possible, but really, anybody can do it. You just have to know what to do before and after you put your makeup on to ensure its longevity.

Don't touch your face

This is one that I struggle with and don't even realize that I do half of the time. I usually have to make a conscious effort not to do this, especially around this time of year when everything starts to get a bit humid and make my skin feel a bit itchy. You don't want to get any dirt and grime from your fingers–especially if you live in a big city and take public transporation and just touch things that aren't necessarily disinfected–onto your face. But also, the more you touch your face, the more you disturb your makeup, which is not something you want if you're trying to get your makeup to last all day. If you need to, use blotting papers if you have an itch and try to keep your hands clean if possible. 

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Use the right products for your skin type

Do you have dry skin? Don't use a matte formula! Do you have oily skin? Maybe don't use something that's so dewy. Yes, you can fix a dewy finish with a setting powder, but then you're messing with the integrity of the foundation and it's not going to work the way you want it to. If you're not using the right products for your skin type, how can you expect it to look great all day? Especially because certain finishes on products are typical in specific finishes. For example, a lot of matte foundations are going to be more full coverage whereas dewier foundations might be a light to medium coverage. 

Use oil-free products

Keep your makeup from sliding around your face with oil-free products. Just make sure you put a base on underneath (more on that later!) if your skin is on the drier side. You can find moisture elsewhere and honestly, moisturizer is your best friend when it comes to skincare anyways.

Use a matte primer

Is your skin especially oily? Use a matte primer! There are plenty of face primers out in the world that can help keep your excess oils at bay so you're not working with a slick base underneath your foundation all day. This can go for your eyelids as well. I've heard that the NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base is a really great option if you have oily eyelids, but you could also use something along the lines of MAC's Painterly Paint Pot, which is a thick creamy base for your eyeshadows.

You don't have a solid base

Prep. Your. Skin. Even if you just cleanse and moisturize, you're in a good spot. If you need to exfoliate and put on some eyecream or serums, you go for it. Moisturized skin is happy skin! You don't have to have dry skin to use a moisturizer. All skin types can benefit from one, you just have to find the right type for your skin type, as mentioned above! Personally, I've always loved using Belif's The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb, but I've also enjoyed using my Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer in the past, along with Aveeno Clear Complexion Moisturizer.

Strategic layers

Now, I'm not saying to pack on layer after layer after layer. That's just too much makeup on your face. Put what you need where you need it. I'm not going to cover my entire face in foundation and then cover it again in concealer. I'll use foundation as my base and then will pinpoint conceal wherever I'm having trouble that day. Just be sure to blend your concealer seamlessly into your foundation to avoid too many different textures and shade discrepancies (it's hard to get an exact match across the board).

Use setting powder

I'm amazed by the number of people who don't use setting powder in any capacity, but especially when it comes to wanting longevity in their makeup looks. If you really couldn't give a damn about longevity and really rock that glowy look, more power too you. But if you want to make your makeup last longer, I'd advise against skipping this step. You don't have to pack powder on, that will just make things cakier and gross. Apply light layers to the areas of your face (after foundation and concealer and what not) where you get the most oily or where you want your makeup to last longer.

I always set my forehead, nose, chin, and the tops of my cheeks. I also set the hollows of my cheeks, not because I get oily there, but mostly because I don't want to be applying my contour straight onto my foundation as it doesn't blend as nicely that way. If you don't want to lose your glow, you can use what I use, which is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (or any of their ambient lighting powders, just check out the colors and descriptions online). If you want to keep everything super matte, a drugstore option for you is the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder.


  1. As someone who has pretty oily skin to begin with, I have tried so many things to keep my makeup looking fresh all day! I have always sworn by setting powder, and the It Cosmetics pressed one is my absolute favorite! I also think long-lasting makeup starts with your skincare. I recently stepped up my skincare with some newer products and my makeup has gone on like a dream ever since!

    Kendal / Life With Kendal


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