How to Make Makeup Last All Day

Three Methods:Prepping Your FaceChoosing the Right MakeupKeeping it In Place

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? WikiHow can help you get on your way to having perfect, flawless looking skin that lasts the whole day! Just a few simple changes in your makeup routine will help your beautiful look last much longer.

Method 1
Prepping Your Face

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    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.
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    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.
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    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 45 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.[1]
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    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 throughout your face, especially over red areas or oily areas, and any blemishes that you want to cover.
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    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 2
Choosing the Right Makeup

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    Get a good matte foundation.[2] If you don't want to use a liquid foundation, you should get a mineral powder instead of foundation. This gives lighter coverage then liquid, but it will also trap fewer bacteria in your skin and will allow your face to breathe.
    • Alternatively, try a cream foundation or powder foundation or cream to powder foundation or tinted moisturizer. Mineral makeup may be good for some, but for others it can be a drag. Getting the color right can be difficult if you have yellow undertones.
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    Use a translucent setting powder. It's 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. A drugstore brand will work just as well as one from a high-end brand.
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    Choose long-wear lip color. This type of lipstick 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 is very drying.
    • For even longer-lasting color, use a lipliner around your color. This helps the shape stay firm all day long.
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    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.[3]
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    Use waterproof mascara.[4] Waterproof or smudge proof mascara work well to keep your eyes looking fresh all day. Waterproof mascara 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.

Method 3
Keeping it In Place

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    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 five minutes before applying the next one. This will go a long way toward helping your makeup stay in place all day long.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.


  • Get a spray bottle and fill it with water spray. 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 moisturiser. 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.
  • Use a foundation brush to apply your moisturiser, followed by your foundation with the same brush, this way it will stop 'tide marks'; 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 the eyeshadow to plain dry lids. The eye shadow will not stay, and it will flake right off.
  • Invest in primer and foundation.
  • Use eye primer. 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!
  • Use a lip primer before applying lipstick to prevent smudging and improve finish.
  • Don't pick off your mascara! Doing so can cause eyelashes to break and fall out. Use a cleanser or make-up wipes instead.
  • Put a face moisturizer on your face and then apply powder foundation with a blusher brush and it will last you all day.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Be careful if you use a make up holding spray, as these tend to sting sensitive areas of your face, such as under your nose. So hold from a distance and then spray, and choose 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

Article Info

Categories: Makeup