I was never shy about going all out with my makeup everyday for university. I’m not talking about smokey eyes, though I did wear the occasional bold (red) lip. Regardless of how long I’d stay in school, whether I’d just attend my classes then go home or if I had any after-class activities in the evening, I always made sure that my makeup was going to last. Of course there were lazy days when I had just one class and I couldn’t care less what I looked like. However, most days, I really brought my A-Game to school (though I did dress down since I didn’t want to look too glammed up).
You obviously don’t have to put on a full face everyday. It can get a bit tedious having to get up early in the morning just to put on makeup, though that is something I genuinely enjoy doing (the putting makeup on part, not the getting up early). Luckily, I was skilled enough to do all my makeup in the car on my way to school, so I didn’t always have to wake up too early. Anyway, the reason I always made an effort to put on a full face was because I realized that I had quite a collection of makeup. If I kept thinking that I should only put makeup on when there’s a special occasion, I’m never going to get through any of my makeup – and I had so much of it! So, I decided to make the most out of my collection and start wearing makeup everyday.
Going to the main objective of this post, I wanted to share with you how I was able to make my makeup last all day. Now that I’ve entered the adult world after graduating from university, I felt like I should pay tribute to my student life by passing on my knowledge. These tips can be applied to any makeup look, especially if you want to make sure your makeup endures during those long days, whether at school or at work.
Here’s how I did it:
1. Always start fresh
With any canvas, you always want to start fresh. First thing in the morning, I’d shower and wash my face with a good cleanser to get rid of any excess oils from the previous night’s skincare. Then, I would apply a de-puffing eyecream under my eyes, and finish it off with a good SPF all over the face, neck, and chest. The one that I used consistently throughout the year was the Clinique Super City Block (SPF 40). It never interfered with my makeup, and it protected my skin especially during the summer when I had to go to school in the sweltering heat. It also has a yellow tone to it so it doesn’t give off that weird white cast that sunblocks usually have.
I never bothered with a full skincare regime in the morning. It might be due to laziness, but it was also because the simpler I kept my routine, the faster I would get out the door. I also figured that the more layers of moisture I slathered onto my skin, the more likely my makeup would slip and slide off my face. I kept it to the bare minimum in the morning and left the more extensive routine at night. This was suitable to my skin’s needs, and I suggest going by what you feel is best for yours.
As cliché as it is, “Not to prime is a crime” always stood true for me. I always, always, ALWAYS primed my skin. I had a bunch of different primers that I used on rotation. Each one was used for either a short, medium, or long day – The Body Shop Instablur, the GOSH Velvet Touch Foundation Primer and the Benefit Porefessional respectively. I also used primers for my eyeshadow and my eyelashes so I could ensure that my eyes looked like they did when I first put my makeup on. I was always so paranoid that my face would just melt off if I didn’t prime my skin beforehand. There were times when I had just one class and I figured I could risk not using a primer, and I survived. However, risking it on longer days was definitely not ideal especially for a person with oily skin such as myself. I found that priming just made everything look/apply so much better and last way longer.
3. Work in (thin) Layers
I know how tempting it can be to just slap things onto the face and get things over with, but I’ve found that working in thin layers has been one of the most helpful techniques I’ve incorporated into my makeup routine. Instead of caking on a ton of foundation to get maximum coverage, I say start slow and build up the coverage to your liking. The same goes for other aspects of your makeup look. If you have a blush you want to last longer, apply a small amount first, blend the edges into the skin, reapply, then repeat the process. With eyeshadow, I noticed that sandwiching the product works best – I usually apply at least 3 layers of eyeshadow to get the best results in terms of pigmentation and longevity. It is a bit tedious to just sit there and continuously reapply products, but trust me. If you want your makeup to deliver, you have to be mindful of your application to get the best results.
4. Go Waterproof
With any makeup look, I usually prefer products that I know can withstand armageddon. (Okay, maybe not armageddon…) I like to check the label before purchasing a product – if it says waterproof or long lasting, I know it’s definitely up my street. Naturally, there are some products out there that will claim that they’re waterproof or long lasting, but in fact they actually aren’t, so I say test out the products before purchasing. Some makeup items aren’t marketed as such, but some of them are actually reliable in cases where you need your makeup to last. I say try to observe which items in your collection don’t fade as easily throughout the day, then make sure you use that.
Makeup products that I prefer to be waterproof or long lasting are mascara, brow products, concealer, blush, and lipstick.
5. Setting Spray
If there’s one thing you should take away from this post, I would suggest that you invest in a good setting spray. People have been raving about the power of setting sprays, and that’s because it really does work. Think of it like nail polish: you put on a base coat, then the color you want, and finish it off with a nice top coat to make your polish last a whole lot longer. A similar idea goes into setting sprays. I mean, if you’ve already done all the hard work and put on a full face of makeup, you might as well make it stay all day, right?
My holy grail setting spray is definitely the one from Skindinavia. I much prefer it to Urban Decay, and I’m currently testing out the Ben Nye version (though I still like Skindinavia the best). With the Skindinavia and Urban Decay setting sprays, I like to spritz my face every so often. For example, once I’ve finished my base makeup, I spray. After I’ve finished my eyes or cheeks, I spray. Once I’ve finished doing my makeup, I spray. I know it can be a bit excessive, but that’s how I like to do it and it works wonders.
In terms of application, I don’t bother with the whole T + X motion of spraying because I just never get it right. I prefer to spray it in a way where I actually hit the spots on my face that I want to lock in. I’ve also seen other people dampen their makeup sponges using setting sprays then apply the product directly onto the skin. It seems to work for them, so I suppose you could figure out which technique you like best.
I’ll keep you updated in a future post with some kind of setting spray smackdown of sorts.
6. Bring Touch Ups
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just doesn’t last. But let’s stop talking about relationships and talk about makeup. (ba-dum-tss) Okay, kidding aside, you just can’t avoid makeup disappearing or your face getting oilier throughout the day. It happens to everyone, so I like to make sure I pack the items I know are going to need touching up. I always like to bring blotting sheets, a good touch up powder, and the lipstick I’m wearing that day. If you feel like you need to bring other things, feel free to do so. Just remember to pack the essentials so that you’re not lugging around so much stuff all day long.
Note: Before applying powder where I get oily, I like to blot my face first. I find that the more I apply powder to get rid of the shine, the more cakey my makeup looks. If I blot my face and I feel like I still look oily, that’s when I apply the powder. Most of the time, I don’t even bother with the powder anymore, but I bring it just in case.
How do you make your makeup last? What products do you like to use for long days?
(Keep an eye out for a blog post on long lasting makeup you can wear to school or work!)