Our tips to make your makeup last longer

Author: Danielle Cauchi   Date Posted: 26 July 2022 

Learn all the tricks and secrets from our beauty experts on how to make your makeup last longer in any weather.


There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours perfecting a makeup look only to have it slip, slide and fade away in the first hour. After watching your favourite beauty guru’s latest makeup tutorial on half speed, replaying snippets over and over to study their techniques and taking notes on the products they were using, you deserve the opportunity to show off your finished result all night long.

The good news is there are numerous ways you can extend the wear-time of your makeup and implementing these strategies may be as simple as tweaking your technique, spending a little extra time on your skincare throughout the week or switching up some of the products in your makeup bag.

We’re sharing every trick we have up our sleeve and equipping you with all the knowledge you need to get the most out of your makeup looks.


Applying makeup


How to make makeup last longer


Making your makeup last longer starts from your skin preparation. Skin preparation is arguably more responsible for your makeup wear-time than your actual makeup application. If your skin is dehydrated, it may soak up the foundation you apply causing it to fade quicker. Contrarily, excess oil will cause your makeup to slide right off as it will have nothing to adhere to.

Start by ensuring you have a smooth and balanced surface to work with by exfoliating your skin 2-3 times a week to remove any dead skin cells and replenishing hydration with a light layer of moisturiser.

It is also worthwhile to pay attention to your skincare needs when shopping for makeup products. If you have very oily skin, look for lightweight oil-free foundations or even just opt for a mattifying powder. If your skin is rather dry, seek out foundations with hydrating formulas or choose a tinted moisturiser or BB cream instead.

Beyond skincare, there are a few multi-beneficial products you can invest in that are specifically designed to help extend makeup wear-time.


What makes makeup last longer?


Three products that will change your makeup game forever are primer, powder and setting spray. These three products can definitely extend your makeup wear-time but they can also benefit your makeup application in multiple other ways.

Primer forms the layer between your skin and your makeup products, creating a base for your makeup products to adhere to. Primer comes in various formulations depending on your skincare needs and the formulation you choose will impact the way your makeup looks. Hydrating formulas will add luminosity and radiance to your look, making your skin appear as if it is glowing from within. Mattifying formulas will tone down the gleam which is helpful if you struggle with excess oil.  

Powder helps your makeup last longer by setting cream and liquid products in place. It is also useful for blotting away excess oil and toning down your makeup if you were too heavy-handed (seriously, a dusting of powder can save your makeup look if you accidentally applied too much blush. We live to tell the tale!).  

Then there’s setting spray, which is essentially hairspray for your makeup. Setting spray not only locks your makeup in place but it also helps all of the layers blend together for a seamless look.


Does primer make makeup last longer?


As the famous YouTube beauty guru NikkieTutorials says, “Not to prime is a crime!”.

Primer can absolutely make your makeup last longer as it provides a base for your makeup products to adhere to.

Not only do face primers exist, but cosmetic companies have brought out dedicated eye primers, lip primers and even lash primers so that you can get the best wear and application out of all of your products.

While it isn’t necessary to invest in every single primer on the market, it’s good to understand the unique benefits of these tailored primers to decide whether you need to add them to your makeup routine or not.

A dedicated eye primer is helpful as our eyelids tend to get quite oily. They can stop eyeshadows from fading, make eyeshadow pigments appear bolder and brighter and prevent the dreaded raccoon eye look.

If your lashes are your pride and joy, a lash primer can help reduce flaking and make your lashes appear fuller and longer.

If you want to get some extra wear-time from your lipstick, a lip primer will come in handy. But remember, lipstick is often the first product to fade away as the ingredients in our food and drink break it down quite quickly.


How to set makeup with powder


After you have applied your cream and liquid products, set it in place using a face powder that matches your skin tone or alternatively, a clear translucent powder.

Apply your powder by dabbing it onto the skin with a powder brush, paying extra attention to the T-Zone and chin as these areas tend to get the most oily.

If you want to use powder to take your makeup look to the next level, you can always try baking. Although we wouldn’t recommend baking on a daily basis, it can definitely come in handy for special occasions. Check out our ‘All about baking’ blog to learn about this technique.


What does setting spray do?

Setting spray seals your makeup products in place to increase its wear-time and prevent fading, smudging and transfer. It also refreshes your makeup by helping layers of product blend together and melting away any excess powder for a more natural look.

Setting sprays come in matte and dewy finishes depending on what look you’re going for and they work through a formulation that typically consists of water and alcohol. You can get alcohol-free setting sprays if you’d prefer, however they don’t generally perform as well as standard formulas.

Shake your setting spray to mix up all the ingredients so that they are released as a fine liquid mist. Hold the bottle 15-20cm away from your face and spritz the product across your face with your eyes closed in an X formation and T formation.


Tips to make your makeup last longer


Here are a few more rapid-fire tips to help you extend the lifespan of your makeup. We told you we were going to share every trick up our sleeve!

  • Make sure the products you are using aren’t expired. This is important for several reasons beyond wear-time, but fresh makeup will always apply easier than old makeup.
  • Refrain from applying makeup with your hands. We know this can be tempting when applying makeup on-the-go, but the oils from your hands and fingers can cause the makeup to break down. For the same reason, try to stay aware and touch your face as little as possible throughout the day.
  • If you really struggle to achieve long-lasting makeup, waterproof formulas should certainly help you out. They tend to be stronger and sweat-proof.
  • Rather than applying one thick layer of product, apply your makeup in thin layers. This gives each layer of product a chance to set before another layer is applied and you may find that you will end up using less product and it will appear more natural.
  • Because lipstick is typically the first product to fade, don’t skip out on lip liner! Lip liner should help with the lifespan of your lip colour by providing an extra layer for it to stick to.
  • Keep blotting papers on hand if your skin tends to get oily. Use blotting papers to tap away any excess oil rather than wiping it with a tissue and removing product in the process.


Now you have all the knowledge you need to take your makeup from a day in the office to a late dinner with friends without worrying too much about fading and smudging. You’re welcome!

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