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Why Isn't My Makeup Long-Lasting? 6 Steps to Make It Stay on All Day

Updated on May 3, 2017
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I am a freelance writer with a passion for makeup, particularly with finding the best products for oily skin.

When applying makeup, it helps to think of your face as a canvas. When you prep for makeup application, you want to start with a fresh, flawless face. Since most people aren’t naturally flawless, you must apply a base layer of products before using foundation. When you follow these 6 steps you will see glowing, long-lasting results.

6 Rules to Help Makeup Last Long

1. Allow Your Products to Dry for 5 Minutes Before Proceeding With Your Makeup

This means that if you use toner, moisturizer, or anti-acne treatments, you should allow them to absorb into your skin for five full minutes before moving on to the next step. If products are not allowed to fully dry, they can mix with foundation and cause it to dissolve faster.

2. Always Use Primer

You want to start with a smooth, even-colored surface. Everyone can benefit from applying face primer, as it will smooth out pores and fine lines, while extending the longevity of your makeup.

  • For combination skin, try Physician’s Formula Color Correcting Primer.
  • For dry skin, use a hydrating product, like Laura Mercier’s Radiance.
  • For oily skin, do not use a liquid silicone primer, as it can clog pores. Instead, use an oil-absorbent powder primer, like Mattify ULTRA Powder for Oily Skin.
  • Don’t forget about your eye lids! When lids get oily, your shadow will crease and smudge very easily. Either apply the same primer you used for your face, or use an eye makeup primer, like Too Faced's Shadow Insurance.

Cover Flaws with Concealer
Cover Flaws with Concealer

3. Even Out the Color of Your “Canvas” and Hide Flaws

If you have any discoloration (under-eye circles, acne, freckles, or scarring), apply concealer that is one shade lighter than your skin tone and blend well. After blending, dot and pat (do not rub) onto any outstanding imperfections. If you have a lot of imperfections to hide, you may also want to use a color-correcting powder to neutralize redness, such as Physician’s Formula Mineral Correcting Powder.

Apply Makeup in Sections
Apply Makeup in Sections

4. Apply Foundation to Your Face in Sections

Select a long-lasting foundation and mentally divide your face into four sections as you apply your foundation with your finger tips, sponge, silicone pad, or brush.

Some quality, long-lasting foundations are Kat Von D Lock-It, Estee Lauder Double Wear, Dinair Airbrush Liquid, Yves Saint Laurent Transfer Resist, Clarins Everlasting, and Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Makeup.

Long-lasting foundations typically dry fast, so blend quickly using downward motions until the entire face is covered.

Next, apply supplemental makeup, such as bronzer and blush. Cream blush that is topped with a complimentary shade of powder blush normally lasts for 10-12 hours.

Apply Matte Oil-Absorbing Face Powder
Apply Matte Oil-Absorbing Face Powder

5. Apply a Transparent Matte Face Powder to Set Makeup

This step is a must if you want long-lasting makeup! Because skin oils are responsible for destroying makeup, application of a matte and oil-absorbent powder will drastically slow down the rate of disintegration.

One of the best setting powders on the market is Mattify ULTRA Powder for Oily Skin. It's an all-natural powder that's completely transparent, and it sets makeup for hours before a second application is needed.

After all of your makeup is in place, use a powder puff to pat the ULTRA Powder onto your entire face. It’s important to press the powder onto your skin in sections, rather than rub or dust it. This will thoroughly set the foundation, without causing streakiness. After you’ve patted the powder onto your skin, you can lightly go over your entire face with a fluffy brush to remove any excess.

The ULTRA Powder can even help your lipstick last longer! Simply blot the first coat of lipstick with a tissue, dust some powder over your lips, and then apply another coat of lipstick. This will help the lipstick last twice as long, and it will be more resistant to transfer.

Tip for Dry Skin

Although those with dry skin don’t typically suffer from “disappearing makeup syndrome," they should apply a matte face powder that also contains moisturizing ingredients, like Stila’s Hydrating Powder. This will provide a flawless and long-lasting finish, without drying the skin.

Apply Makeup Setting Spray
Apply Makeup Setting Spray

6. Use a Makeup Setting Spray

Once every last detail of your makeup has been applied, close your eyes, and mist your entire face with a setting spray. This will seal everything into place and prevent smudging, while still allowing your skin to breathe. Makeup without the setting spray will last about four hours, but setting makeup with this product will help it last for six to eight hours.

One of the best brands to try is Model in a Bottle Original setting spray. If you have oily skin, you can even re-apply the Mattify ULTRA Powder over the setting spray throughout the day to help absorb excess oil as it accumulates.

Does Your Makeup Disappear Quickly?

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    • profile image

      josiesanches 2 months ago

      The only thing I'm missing is the face powder! But it should still be working!

    • BuyMeBeauty profile image

      BuyMeBeauty 22 months ago

      Primer is so important, especially with eye shadow. My eye shadow used to always fade within the hour, but applying it on top of a primer makes it last forever. Great post!

    • Katya Drake profile image

      Katya Drake 2 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great tips in this hub! I do not have this problem but my best friend does. I will definitely send her here to read this!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Such great tips, I have to try them. when I worked outside the home I had a very busy job and rarely got a break, by the time I left the place my make up would seem to have vanished.

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