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How to Make Makeup Last All Day

Three Methods:

Have you ever spent ages applying your makeup in the morning, and then come home later that day to see raccoon eyes and foundation marks or dried out skin and spots appearing again? Just a few simple changes in your makeup routine will help your beautiful look last much longer. Take care to prepare you skin properly before applying makeup, and use products that are designed to last. You can also take steps to protect your makeup once it’s on.


Prepping Your Face

  1. Wash your face.Washing away dirt, sebum and old makeup will help your fresh makeup stay in place a lot longer. If you put fresh makeup on a dirty face, it'll tend to slip off or flake away.
    • Wash your face in the morning, before putting on makeup.
    • Don't use harsh soap on your face. It can cause irritation and dryness, which will make your makeup come off sooner.
  2. Exfoliate a few times a week.Dead skin tends to accumulate on the face, especially with age, so it's important to exfoliate a few times a week to remove it. Putting makeup over dead skin will cause it to flake off during the day. Your makeup will look, feel and behave better on a smooth, exfoliated face.
    • You can use a facial brush to lightly brush the dead skin from your face. Rub it in circles, never pressing too hard.
    • A homemade sugar scrub also works well as a gentle exfoliant.
    • Don't forget your lips! They need to be exfoliated, too, in order for lipstick to stay in place.
  3. Moisturize.For oily skin, buy an oil-free or gel moisturizer, and for dry skin, buy a more nourishing one. Make sure to get a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 in it to protect you skin from the sun, or a separate SPF 30 if you live in a sunny place. If you are older, you can use a moisturizer with anti-wrinkle properties.
    • Don't use a rich, creamy moisturizer during the day. It could make your face too slick for your makeup.Instead, apply creams before bed and wear them overnight to get the moisturizing benefits without messing up your makeup.
  4. Prime your face.Using a good primer is the trick to having makeup that stays throughout the whole day. Some primers can get a little pricey, but you don't need to use very much for a good finish. Apply the primer over your entire face, especially over red areas or oily areas, and any blemishes that you want to cover.
  5. Use an eye primer.It makes your eyeshadow last longer and prevents creasing in the lid. Also, it makes colors seem more vibrant and less translucent. A liquid concealer can work for this also.
    • If you don't use a lot of eye makeup, an eye primer may not be necessary. However, it can really help if your eye makeup tends to smudge and end up below your eyes.
    • Eye primer can also help your eyeliner stay in place.

Method 1 Quiz

What product should you avoid if you want your makeup to stay fresh all day?

Choosing the Right Makeup

  1. Get a good matte foundation.If you don't want to use a liquid foundation, you should get a mineral powder instead of foundation.This gives lighter coverage than liquid, but it will also trap fewer bacteria in your skin and will allow your face to breathe.
    • Alternatively, try a cream foundation, powder foundation, cream-to-powder foundation, or tinted moisturizer. Mineral makeup may be good for some, but others may find it too drying or quick to wear off. Getting the color right can be difficult if you have yellow undertones.
  2. Use a translucent setting powder.This is simply a clear or very lightly tinted face powder that sets and gives a matte appearance to your face without the added coverage of a colored powder. There are a variety of setting powders available, from affordable drug store brands to more pricey, high-end products.
  3. Choose long-wear lip color.This type of lip color is formulated to stay on your lips all day long, even when you eat and drink. Make sure to moisturize your lips properly before applying, as long-wear formulas are very drying.
    • There are a variety of long-wear lip products on the market, depending on the type of look you’re going for. Lip stains and long-wear lipsticks will last a long time, as will any type of lipstick with a matte finish.
    • For even longer-lasting color, use a lipliner around your color. This helps the shape stay firm all day long.
  4. Use powdered eye shadow.Applying this type of shadow over primer will keep your color in place all day long. Cream shadows tend to slip off a lot more easily. Apply the powder to the primer using an eyeshadow brush, and let it set.
  5. Use water-resistant mascara.Water-resistant mascara works well to keep your eyes looking fresh all day. It won't budge if you happen to get wet or cry. Just make sure you don't sleep with it, as it will clump and make your lashes fall off.
    • Do not waste money on mascara primer. Mascara primer weighs down your eyelashes, making them look shorter.
    • Unless it’s really urgent that you keep your mascara in place all day—such as for a special occasion like a wedding or a poolside photo shoot—opt for “water-resistant” mascaras over “waterproof” formulations. Waterproof mascaras can be damaging, and are not good for everyday use.

Method 2 Quiz

What is the benefit of using mineral powder foundation?

Keeping It in Place

  1. Take your time applying your makeup.Slapping it on in the morning and rushing out the door won't give your makeup time to set. After each layer you apply, wait 5 minutes before applying the next one. This will go a long way toward helping your makeup stay in place all day long.
  2. Avoid touching your face during the day.Every time you touch your face, you're removing a little bit of makeup and increasing the chances it'll get smudged. Avoiding touching your face with your fingers as much as possible.
  3. Go lighter during the summer.When it's hot outside, wearing a ton of makeup is never a good idea. As you perspire, your makeup will naturally come off a lot more easily. The best thing to do is wear waterproof eye makeup and go easy on the foundation, rather than fighting to keep it in place all day long.
  4. Wear your hair up more often.Having your hair brush against your face all day long is a sure way to take off your makeup a little faster. When it's essential for your makeup to stay set all day, go for an updo style that day.

Method 3 Quiz

What should you do between applying each layer of makeup?

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can I use hairspray so that my makeup will last longer?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Hairspray is full of harsh chemicals that can harm your skin and can harm eyes and cause respiratory problems, so do not use it on your face. Do not you it on your face. Also, hairspray can cause makeup to clump and peel during the day.
  • Question
    How do I prevent my face from becoming oily?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can use matte products or products that are specifically for acne-prone skin. Also, you could use a primer specifically for oily skin. Avoid touching your face, as well, as the oils on your skin may spread to your face and possibly even remove your makeup. If you don't mind looking "cakey", carry around some powder to mattify your face throughout the day. If you prefer to look more natural, carry around oil blotting sheets. If you don't have any, you could also use the thin sheets in bathrooms that go over the toilets, just be sure to grab the furthest one back. Tissues or toilet paper could also be used, just be careful to dab, not rub!
  • Question
    What is setting spray?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It is a cosmetic product designed to preserve applied makeup for long periods of time.
  • Question
    Is loose powder the same thing as translucent powder?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Not necessarily. Loose powder is a type of powder. For example foundation, blush, and eyeshadow can all come as loose powder or as pressed powder. Translucent powder is typically a setting powder; it is colorless. It will usually come loose, but it can also come in pressed form.
  • Question
    My makeup keeps slipping off above my lips after I use setting spray. How do I prevent this from happening?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Look upwards while the setting spray dries so it will stay in the same place.
  • Question
    How do I make my eyeliner last longer?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Find some eyeshadow that matches the color of your eyeliner, then carefully pat it on over your eyeliner. The eyeshadow will act as a sort of setting powder.
  • Question
    If I use setting spray on my face, will it ruin my water proof mascara because I use an eyelash curler?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, setting spray will just make your makeup stay in place.
  • Question
    Can I please have the best makeup products that are affordable?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    NYX makes outstanding makeup that is at very affordable prices. You can purchase NYX makeup at Target.
  • Question
    How can I prevent my foundation from bringing out little bumps on my face?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Use primer beforehand or mix primer with the foundation.
  • Question
    Why does my makeup keep coming off, even through I use primer?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Try applying some setting powder or setting spray after you do your makeup. Both will help it last longer. You can also try using makeup intended for longer wear, such as 24-hour foundation and waterproof mascara.
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  • Don't pick off your mascara! Doing so can cause eyelashes to break and fall out. Use a cleanser or make-up wipes instead.
  • If you are wearing eyeliner, you can dab some transparent brown eyeshadow on it after you put it on to set the eyeliner in place. You can do this with any shadow/pencil liner.
  • Use a lip primer before applying lipstick to prevent smudging and improve finish.
  • Put a face moisturizer on your face and then apply powder foundation with a blusher brush and it will last you all day.
  • Get a spray bottle and fill it with water. Spray the water on your eyeshadow brush and use eyeshadow as normal. This will make eyeshadow brighter and last longer. Don't spray too much water, or it will ruin you eyeshadow.
  • If you don't like a foundation brush, use a sponge. This is a cheaper way to apply your foundation or tinted moisturizer. Wet the sponge first, so it does not soak up too much of your makeup. Apply in downward motions for best results. Make sure you cover all pores for an airbrushed look.
  • As an alternative to expensive eye primers, use a clear, flavorless lip balm/Chapstick and swipe it on the lid. It works just as well.
  • Use a foundation brush to apply your moisturizer, followed by your foundation with the same brush. This will prevent “tide marks,” which are big, streaky-looking marks around the edges of your face and jawbone. Remember to apply it consistently and cover areas you dislike the most. Also, because of the moisture, your foundation will not be sucked up by your face, leaving it visible for longer.
  • Don't apply eyeshadow to plain, dry lids. The eyeshadow will flake right off. If you don't have eyeshadow primer, you can just use a skin colored cream shadow. Apply it all over your lids before you apply your eyeshadow to improve staying power. It makes your eyeshadow look a lot better!


  • Be careful if you use a makeup holding spray, as these tend to sting sensitive areas of your face, such as under your nose. Hold the bottle about 12 inches (30.5 cm) from your face and then spray, and use a well-trusted brand.

Things You'll Need

  • Primer
  • Moisturizer
  • Cleanser
  • Make-up wipes
  • Mascara
  • Liquid/felt-tip eyeliner
  • Make up holding spray (optional)
  • Translucent Setting Powder

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