Want Your Makeup to Last All Day? 10 Things You Need to Do

In today’s beauty culture, applying makeup has become both an art form and a science. Your artistry shows through in the way you transform your face, then there’s the real science behind experimenting to understand which products best suit your skin type. To make your beauty lessons a bit easier, we’ve compiled surefire ways to extend your makeup’s lasting time. By mastering these steps, you can be sure your handiwork won’t ever go to waste.

1. Always hydrate your skin

girl applying moisturizing cream

Never skip the moisturizing step. | iStock.com/shironosov

Ensuring your look lasts throughout the day actually begins long before you apply any makeup products. Prior to getting glammed, it’s essential you maintain a hydrating, daily skin care routine. This means moisturizing with a light, SPF-rich moisturizer in the morning, as well as a thick, collagen-stimulating night cream before bed.

You should also eat a nutritious, balanced diet and drink plenty of water. With well-hydrated skin, you can be sure your makeup will absorb and hold onto your skin’s surface all day.

2. Regularly exfoliate 

woman with a coffee scrub on her face

Exfoliating on a regular basis keeps your skin smooth. | iStock.com/MishaBeliy

Exfoliating is arguably the single most important step to making your makeup last. Dry skin results in makeup that dries and cracks. To prevent any frustrating and embarrassing flaking, exfoliate your skin at least twice per week. Getting rid of your uppermost layer of dead, dry skin will allow your makeup to go on far more smoothly and remain unchipped for hours.

3. Prime your makeup

Try it Kit Primer Authority

The Try it Kit: Primer Authority is perfect for keeping your makeup in place. | Smashbox

When you’re in a hurry, it’s more convenient to jump straight into applying foundation. However, a key ingredient to long-lasting makeup is having the right base. Before applying any color, first spread a primer like Smashbox’s Photo Finish all over your face and neck. A good primer not only protects your skin by acting as a barrier between it and heavy, pore-clogging foundation, but it also turns your skin into the perfect canvas.

4. Choose waterproof products

woman using mascara in bathroom

Waterproof makeup is far more durable than regular products. | iStock.com/gpointstudio

You needn’t reserve your waterproof eye makeup for special occasions like weddings. Even on days that you aren’t going to be moved to tears, waterproof products are also sweat-proof, and are therefore an ideal option for getting your makeup to last longer. Whether it rains, you end up running errands, or find yourself laughing so hard that you cry, waterproof makeup can survive anything life throws your way.

5.  Clean your applicators 

Makeup Brushes

Your brushes need to be clean to do their job. | iStock.com/lokisurina

Believe it or not, the tools you use to apply your makeup might be the reason it isn’t lasting all day. While using your fingers helps pack the product down, you don’t want to transfer the oil from your fingertips onto your face. And if your brushes aren’t perfectly clean, that gunky buildup can transfer as well. To make sure your look is flawless from sunrise to sunset, make certain your tools are spick and span.

6. Let your foundation “bake”

crushed bronzing powder with makeup brush

Let your powder sit after applying. | iStock.com/pogrebkov

If you’ve ever watched a makeup tutorial or taken an interest in celebrity glam squads, you’ve probably heard about the latest baking step in beauty routines. “Baking,” Allure explains, entails applying translucent powder on top of your thickest layer of makeup, then letting it sit and soak into your skin for five to 10 minutes. This is helpful because it essentially allows the products to dry and mattify, so that you never risk caking.

7. Apply a setting powder

Face Powder and Puff

A setting powder will help prevent caking. | iStock.com/_Magnolija_

Setting powder is an absolute life-saver when it comes to extending the life of your everyday makeup. It helps brighten dark bronzers and blends even the most dramatic of contours. We love Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder and the Cover Fx Perfect Setting Powder. Trust us, these popular makeup staples will quickly become your secret weapons.

8. Spritz a finishing spray

Woman applying spray water treatment

If you don’t have finishing spray on hand, it’s time to stock up. | iStock.com/ipag

If you plan on wearing a very heavy makeup look, you may want to bust out the big guns. You can think of finishing spray as a maximum hold hair spray for your face. These products are the perfect way to keep your makeup in place during events with photo ops. Check out the Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spraywhich has more than 300,000 “loves”on Sephora’s site!

9. Use blotting paper throughout the day

Woman with oily skin

Blotting papers should be in your purse at all times. | iStock.com/phasinphoto

Oil is essentially kryptonite for long-lasting makeup. Whether you have combination skin, are naturally very oily, or are prone to touching your face throughout the day, it’s a smart idea to keep blotting papers handy. Dabbing these papers onto shiny areas will quickly absorb any oil and keep your hard work from from slipping and sliding on your skin.

10. Reapply matte powder foundation

Makeup products and accessories

Matte powder foundation is a staple. | iStock.com/pogrebkov

Matte powder foundation (pressed and loose) does an excellent job of absorbing oil, correcting discoloration, and generally making you look fabulous. If there’s one makeup product you should carry in your purse at all times, it’s this one. Simply reapply throughout the day if you notice your makeup is starting to fade or smudge.