18 Jan 2012

Budge-proof makeup! How to make it last...

If you want your makeup to last, there are a lot of tips and tricks to use.

Obviously, doing all of these would be highly time-consuming, so it's likely that you're only going to use these techniques for an all-day event; like makeup for a wedding you're attending, or a day at the races, anywhere you need to put on your face and not think about it for the day.  It's not really standard work/day makeup - using all of these products and all of these techniques all of the time would overload your skin and take forever!

That said, read on, and take on board at least some of these tips to help guarantee a budge-proof, smudge-proof face for those rare occasions you really need it!

Start with basics.  After cleansing, put your moisturiser on.  Allow ten minutes for that to sink into your skin and do its work before you apply anything else to your face.  Then, gently blot with a tissue by pressing it to your skin, all over your face.  This removes excess moisture/oil.

Face Primers Help Makeup Last
Use a primer.  Allow another few minutes before continuing.  Try to have either your moisturiser or your primer contain an SPF to prevent you having to put yet another layer on your face.  I really like the L'Oreal or the Clarins ones I  have mentioned here

Lip Primers
Use a lip primer at this point, you're going to leave it stay on until the end.  If you want to go with a cheaper option, Carmex or Vaseline do the trick quite nicely.  Personally I love MAC Prep+Prime lip (but it is more expensive).

Use a corrector if you need to (eg to counteract redness or pigmentation issues).  Recommendations here.

If your skin is looking a little tired or dull, you may want to use an illuminator to give your skin a glow.  You can put some of this on strategic high points of your face, or all over your cheeks (if it's not too shiny) or mix a tiny bit with your foundation.  Or you can skip this and use an illuminator or highlighter later.  Some of the (many) illuminators that I like are listed here.

Long Lasting Foundation
Now we're on to your foundation.  To make this last, really work it into your skin, taking your time, making sure it's very buffed-in.  Consider two thinner layers, worked-in each time.  Or use a long-lasting formula that works with your skin type (eg Chanel Perfection Lumière is an amazingly long lasting (matte) option).  Blend all around the edges, your jawline, down along your neck, and check your ears too.  If you're wearing fake tan, match your foundation to your tan, not your normal skin shade/tone.  When you're finished, press and hold your hands to your face.  This will help further "melt" the foundation together into your skin.

Conceal any blemishes, pigmentation, spots, scars, redness in your face.

Get started on your eyes next... do your brows, remembering to balance them with the rest of your makeup.  If you want them to last, then add a final step (after your powder/pencil product) - use a wax or other brow-set product over them.  Or, for a really cheap and cheerful option, you can always spritz some hairspray onto a clean mascara spoolie and brush this through.

Apply an eye primer.  This will make your eyeshadow pop a bit, it will also give it something to grab onto, and last a little longer.  If your lids are prone to oiliness, this will help your shadow from creasing - but note, if you have oily lids, your eyeshadow will crease eventually, and there's very little you can do about it.  This step will just help defer the eventuality a little longer (read here for a post on "why to prime").

Layer products 1-3 times...
Apply your eye makeup.  The trick to a longer lasting eye makeup is in layering.  If you apply thinner layers and blend after each iteration, you will lay down more product and it will last longer (usually three layers is a good rule of thumb, but you may need more, depending on the colours and products you're using).

Add your under eye concealer.  The reason I suggest doing this after your eye makeup is because you may have fall-out that you need to clean up before you conceal.  Use an under-eye primer (this can really help if you have very dark circles), a corrector, concealer, whichever products you need (see here and here for more information on under-eye concealers).

Apply your mascara, several coats, making sure you are using a good product that won't flake or dry or crisp up over the day.

Some of my recommended eye makeup products are referenced in this post.

Tissues: Your new best friend
Blot your foundation with a tissue and get started on shaping your cheeks: again, the secret of longevity is in sandwiching.  Start with cream blusher/bronzer/contour/highlighters, and then add some powder products (blusher/bronzer/contour/highlighters) on top.  Putting powder on top of cream products really works because the cream product underneath intensifies the powder product and the powder product "sets" the cream product and helps it last longer (If you're going to be somewhere very hot, cream products sometimes often don't work, so think about where you're going to be first).

Powders help cement product in place

Powder your face where needed, perhaps just the t-zone or your nose, or underneath your eyes, or wherever you need to lock products into place and remove shine.  Remember that as a general rule of thumb, you can add powder on top of cream products, but the reverse isn't always true.  If you are not very oily, or prone to oil, a light dusting of loose powder might be all you need.  Otherwise, use a powder puff and roll the powder along on your face, really working it in.  You can use a brush afterwards to very gently remove excess powder.  Make sure to smudge away any lines etc that might have formed in any cream products (eg concealer) first, otherwise, you'll just cement these lines into place.

The same layering principle applies to your lips... Firstly, remove the lip primer.  If you need to exfoliate your lips, do so now (eg you can use a clean, unused, soft toothbrush).  Line your lips, but take the liner all over the lip, not just the outside.  This gives an "undercoat" and guarantees that as your lipstick fades away, you'll still have a stain of colour underneath and not just at the edges.  Apply your lipstick, blot it, place a 1-ply tissue over it, powder it, then repeat this another one-two times.  Doing this removes some of the emollients from the products and leaves the pigment, which is what you want.

Locking Lipstick In PlaceYou can always buy products (eg Rimmel Lipstick Lock, Benefit She-Lac (discontinued now though I believe)) that you can paint over your lips to make them last, but they sting like crazy and can cause the lipstick to wear off in patches.  You can also buy specific lip "stains" but I am not crazy about them either as they tend to make your lips very dry and chapped and patchy over the duration of the day.

Apply your lipgloss.  If you're using lipgloss, just do it in the middle of your bottom lip, to avoid your lips looking greasy and gloopy.   A very glossy lipgloss, applied all the way to the corners of your mouth, will migrate and tend to make you look like your're drooling after a while - not a good look!

You can use 
finishing sprays or setting sprays if you wish.  These are two different things.  Finishing sprays (eg MAC Fix+) "meld" your makeup together.  They don't stop your makeup from moving, but they can help it all set together.  Spritz a light coating on, with your eyes closed, from about 6-12 inches away.  Setting sprays actually set your makeup in-place by putting a film on your face to stop your makeup budging.  These really can sting, and I have yet to find one that has a scent I can tolerate, but they work very well, especially if you are going to be in extreme heat for example.

Cream-to-powder: Great for touch-ups
At this point you're pretty much done.  There's a lot involved with this, if you want to absolutely guarantee your makeup lasts, but if it's for a special occasion then it's worth putting the time into it to ensure a budge-proof face.  For touch-ups later, it's a good idea to have your lipliner and lipstick to hand.  A cream-to-powder foundation (eg MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation) is great to double-up as a concealer/powder product.  (Be aware however that a product like this generally gives a very matte finish).

Some Other Hints

You need to bear in mind what your skin type is.  If you have excessively oily skin, powders may break up on your skin.  If you have overly dry skin, they may just sit on your face.  If you are going somewhere hot, cream-based makeup may be a bad idea (waterproof makeup or makeup specifically designed for heat, or designated "long lasting" will work better).

If you're going to be photographed a lot, avoid anything with titanium dioxide especially for under-eye concealer as these can tend to flash back.

As you've seen from above, tissues and powder are the big tips for setting makeup in-place, along with layering of products!


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