How to Make your Makeup Last

There’s nothing more frustrating than when you get up early, apply your perfect foundation/cat eye/statement lip only for it to have disappeared by 11am look in the mirror. First of all – where does makeup go? Answer: we don’t know, we wish we did. Second question: how to stop it migrating? This we can answer, simply follow these steps for makeup that lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts.


Start with a great skincare regime; not only will your skin look better but you will also see your base lasting longer. Thoroughly cleanse skin every morning to prepare for the day ahead, and spend two minutes stimulating blood flow by massaging in your cleanser, try a balm-to-milk formula like Oskia Renaissance Cleanser or an oil like Votary Super Seed Cleansing Oil. Next exfoliate either with an acid or a manual scrub – smooth skin is key to longer lasting makeup as it ensures an even application and prevents patchiness.

We like Darphin Age Defying Dermabrasion with pearl particles to help smooth skin. When skin is dehydrated it tries to hydrate itself by soaking up moisture in makeup throughout the day. Avoid this by ensuring skin is well moisturised; try the nourishing Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator SPF 8, or go for a vitamin-rich facial oil like Dr Jackson’s 03 Everyday Oil.


Primer helps your makeup to grip onto the surface of your skin but ensure you choose one that is formulated for your skin type to reap extra benefits. If your skin leans to oily and makeup seems to slide off throughout the day, we recommend patting on Becca Ever-Matte Priming Perfector which works as a liquid blotting paper to soak up oil and can even be applied over makeup throughout the day to counteract oiliness. For dry or dull skin Hourglass No. 28 Serum Primer works to boost hydration and glow with its blend of lipid-rich plant oils and vitamins.

Choose Longwear Formulas

With so many complexion products available it’s important to identify your needs before you choose a formula. If long-lasting is your no.1 issue, then try Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, the natural-looking, lightweight blend hides imperfections, while fade and sweat-resistant technology means it looks fresh all day. For oily or combination skin types, we like the smoothing, lasting power of the oil-free Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation. If you want to be able to build throughout the day then try By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush which comes with a built-in brush for effortless application on-the-go.

It’s not just foundation that can slide off by lunch, if you want an all-day lip colour then try using a lip liner to sandwich in the shade. Frame lips with liner and shade in the Cupid’s bow and corners to give lipstick grip and structure. Now layer on the colour – try a long-lasting formula like Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment which dries to a matte finish and doesn’t budge.

For lasting eye makeup dip your eyeshadow brush in a makeup setting spray like Algenist Splash Hydrating Setting Mist before applying on eyelids, and always use a primer on the lid and just below the eye to anchor colour and prevent smudging. We like the ultra-lightweight By Terry Eye Base Prime To Fix, or try a tiny bit of your regular primer in the area.


Use a Beautyblender to apply several lighter layers of your complexion product, rather than a single heavier application. As well as preventing makeup from looking cakey and unnatural, this technique also ensures a longer lasting finish as the fine layers bind together. It works for eye makeup and lipstick too.

Use Powder

Applying powder to set makeup is one of the oldest tricks in the makeup book, and for good reason, it really helps makeup to stay put. Translucent formulas like Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder can be used all over your makeup, even blusher, simply use a big face brush and sweep outwards as the last step in your look.

Mist with a Setting Spray

The latest setting sprays work hard to set makeup for up to 24 hours, while also infusing skin with essential vitamins and more. To lock down makeup without shine, we recommend Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray, if you’re looking for extra glow and a skincare boost, try Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Perfect Skin Set & Refresh Mist which infuses skin with vitamin C. We also love Oskia CityLife Facial Mist which is packed with antioxidants to help protect skin from ageing pollutants.