Beauty School: How To Make Your Makeup Last All Day

woman in NYC

I do my makeup in the morning and I love what I see, but by mid-afternoon I look bare (and barely alive). By happy hour, the makeup has relocated on my face, or is simply gone. Help!

Length of wear for makeup is key especially in film and TV where stars may go hours under extreme lighting and always have to look flawless. The same goes for us as we navigate life, jobs and everything else we pack into our days. The look this summer is luminescent, streak-proof, glowing skin, but how the heck do we make that happen, and keep happening, through meetings, smog attacks, and the inevitable face-touching (which is a no-no, but we all do it).

When the heat hits, we have to pile humidity and perspiration on in addition to the concern of makeup not staying put. It’s a wonder we even try every morning in the first place. But don’t give up. Application and the right products are key when addressing length of wear and achieving this summer’s clean-looking, glowing skin. With these simple tricks and product tips, you’ll enjoy summer fully confident you’ve got your best face forward from morning commute ’til the director calls “cut!”

Read it! Labels baring the words “long wearing” and “water proof ” can be the key to your success. Most lines have a series of products (eyeshadows, eye liners, powders, lip liners, and lipsticks) that, thanks to these features, will last far beyond your curtain call.

Prime it! Adding layers may seem counterintuitive during the sweaty season, but trust me, primer is the holy grail. They refine pores, act like a barrier to the skin with some versions offering SPF, corrective and reparative properties all in one. Beyond acting like a protective glove for your skin, primer creates a layer for makeup to rest on top of — and cling to for dear life. Water based primers do your skin right and right now, my favorite is Classified Cosmetics Era Face Primer. This invisible mineral veil shields your skin from impurities and helps your makeup last while nurturing the skin underneath.

Cream it! In the age-old debate of cream vs. powder, I say: both! For oily complexions and summer skin in general, it’s all about choosing products that are cream based and oil free. Start with a cream (or even gel) blush, then sweep on a powdered bronzer or loose powder to set. I love Armani’s Fabric Blush in all shades; it blends seamlessly into your skin and seriously stays put. Creams in general create a more natural look, and are often water- and sweat-proof. Take it from Bobbi Brown, or try Laura Mercier’s Caviar Eye Stick Eye Color for a creamy eyeshadow crayon that clings to lids. Quick tip: don’t be limited by the crayon or pot approach, clean fingers are an excellent way to achieve different effects.

Blend it! Blending is a must. Whenever you apply a bronzer, eyeshadow, or cheek color, make sure you blend the product into your skin so there is no visual start and stop line. The embarrassing chin-strap isn’t the only reason makeup artists preach blending from on high; the technique actually helps your makeup make a bond that will ensure hours of wear. Try Hour Glass Superficial Waterproof Bronzer, which is specifically made to withstand extreme humidity for extra long wear.

Set it! Set that face with a light dusting of your favorite loose powder. The lighter the version, the better. Summer skin is about seeing the glow, so don’t hide behind layers of product; just use enough to lock in your look. If you have special areas that require a bit of coverage (i.e. are a human), address those specifically and then dust with a light brushing. Alison Raffaele and Laura Mercier both make ultra-light options that are great for summer.

Vanessa Elese has over 12 years of experience as a makeup artist and beauty consultant. She even won the 2010 EMMY Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Makeup” for her work on All My Children. Recently she’s worked with icons like Susan Lucci and Glenn Close, as well as contributes as part of the multiple Emmy Award Winning team on SNL. On top of all that, she still manages to have a growing list of private celebrity clients, and sticks around to answer your beauty woes! Have a question for Vanessa? Email it to! Visit her at

PREVIOUSLY: Pared-down Beauty For Travel, No Eyeliner Eye Makeup, Build The Perfect Makeup Bag, Fashion Week Makeup, Fall Makeup Trends, Grooming Products To Borrow From The Boys, How To Get Perfect BrowsAt-Home Beauty Swaps, Beach-Appropriate Makeup, How To Hide A Hangover, First Date Makeup, When To Splurge, Black Tie Makeup, When To Ditch Old Products, Prom Makeup, Spring Beauty Trends, How To Get Rid Of Shiny Skin, How To Hide Your Flaws, Travel Beauty Tips, A Complete Guide to Eyeliner, How To Survive A Humid Summer, Wedding Makeup, Highlighting & Contouring

Filed Under |
© 2015 Styleite, LLC   |   About UsAdvertiseNewsletterJobsPrivacyUser AgreementDisclaimerContactArchives RSS

Dan Abrams, Founder
  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. Styleite
  4. The Braiser
  5. SportsGrid
  6. Gossip Cop