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Why Doesn't My Makeup Last all Day? 6 Steps to Long Lasting Makeup

Updated on December 21, 2015

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. See glowing, long-lasting results when you follow these 6 steps!

Allow Products to Dry
Allow Products to Dry

Rule #1: Allow your products to dry for 5 minutes before proceeding with your makeup.

This means if you use toner, moisturizer or anti-acne treatments, allow them to absorb into your skin for 5 full minutes before moving on to the next step. If products are not allowed to fully dry, they can mix with foundation & cause it to dissolve faster.

Apply Face Primer
Apply Face Primer

Rule #2: Always Use Primer

You want a nice smooth, even-colored surface to start with. Everyone can benefit from applying face primer, as it will smooth out pores & 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 primer like Laura Mercier’s Radiance. For oily skin, DO NOT use a liquid silicone primer, as they 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, they cause creased shadow that smudges easily. Either apply the same primer you used for your face, or use an eye makeup primer like Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

Cover Flaws with Concealer
Cover Flaws with Concealer

Rule #3: Even out the color of your “canvas” & hide flaws

If you have any discoloration (under eye circles, acne, freckles, scarring) apply concealer that is 1 shade lighter than your skin tone & blend well. After blending, dot & 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 such as Physician’s Formula Mineral Correcting Powder, to neutralize redness.

Apply Makeup in Sections
Apply Makeup in Sections

Apply foundation to your face in sections

Select a long-lasting foundation and mentally divide your face into 4 sections and apply with finger tips, sponge, or foundation brush. Some quality long lasting foundations are Kat Von D Lock-It, Estee Lauder Double Wear, Dinair Airbrush Liquid, Yves Saint Laurent Transfer Resist, and Clarins Everlasting. Long lasting foundations typically dry quickly, so blend quickly using downward motions, until the entire face is covered. Apply any supplemental makeup such as bronzer & blush. Cream blush, topped with a complimentary shade of powder blush normally lasts throughout the day.

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

Rule #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 & 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 by Mattify Cosmetics. It's an all natural powder that's completely transparent & 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. 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, & then apply another coat of lipstick. The lipstick will last twice as long and will be more resistant to transfer.

*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 & long lasting finish, without drying the skin.

Apply Makeup Setting Spray
Apply Makeup Setting Spray

Rule # 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 makeup setting spray. This will seal the makeup into place & prevent smudging, while still allowing your skin to breathe. Makeup without the setting spray will last about 4 hours, but makeup with the setting spray can last from 6-8 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.

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    • 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.

    • 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!

    • BuyMeBeauty profile image

      BuyMeBeauty 20 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!

    • profile image

      josiesanches 12 days ago

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

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