Do You Have Any Wear-Time Boosting Tips To Help Your Makeup Last Longer?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To

Hey, what’s that over there?

I never would’ve guessed that one of the truest ways to test the longevity of my makeup would be during a massage, as drool slowly works it way down the side my chin, and my cheeks and face are smushed into that toilet seat-shaped contraption thing at the end of the massage table.

You know, that thing they have you put your head into when you lie down on your tummy so they can work on your back. It’s very strange… I always close my eyes to block out the weirdness.


Anywho, after my last deep-tissue massage, when I left the room and met up with my friend Jen in the ladies’ lounge, Jen looked really surprised.

Jen: Wow, how was your massage?

Me: Good! She tenderized me like Rocky on a side of beef.

Jen: I can’t believe your makeup stayed put.

Me: It did? Cool.

Jen: You must have tricks.

Me: Not really, but there are a bunch of different things you can do. It just depends on how much time you want to invest in the process.

1. Spritz and spray, the makeup way

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

That’s my jam!

Perfect for low-maintenance ladies, a makeup setting spray is one of the quickest, easiest ways to help your makeup last longer. My favorite one — like, literally, I’m almost never without it — is Urban Decay’s $29 All Nighter.

Basically, it sets your makeup so it lasts longer and won’t scoot around throughout the day.

It’s just a spray, so there’s not much to it. Hold the bottle about an arm’s length away from your face and spritz. I use it after I finish my makeup but before mascara.

I mean, you could use it after your mascara, and I’ve seen girls do that, but I always do mine before, thanks to the advice of a Sephora makeup artist buddy of mine named Chelsea. That way, you don’t risk your mascara running due to having wet lashes.

2. It’s prime time, baby!

Starting with a face primer also helps boost your wear time. Just apply it before your foundation and concealer.

It doesn’t take much. I use a bit all over my face, let it sink in for a minute or two, then take a tissue and dab it lightly to remove any excess. Then I continue with my regular routine.

I wear primer, oh, every day, mainly because I really think it makes my skin look smoother in pics, but it also has the side effect of making other products last longer. I use this one form MAC that I love called Prep + Prime Natural Radiance, which is so good for dry skin, and it doesn’t give me breakouts!

But there are plenty of other good ones out there.

If you can’t decide, or you want to do some research, stop by a Sephora, Nordstrom or any beauty counter that gives samples. That way, you can try some first to see which ones work best for you and your skin and makeup routines. You want something that will layer well with the products you’re currently using.

3. You mean like a dragon’s lair?

Oh, LAYERING. Girl, OK, now layering can make a really big difference in wear time, but it takes a while. I don’t do it when I’m a rush, but I will for special occasions or when I know I’m going to have a long day and need my makeup to go the distance.

So what is layering?

Well, it’s like what a painter does, except with makeup. When I want the pencil liner I’m wearing on my water lines to last longer, first, I’ll apply one thin layer and wait for it to dry. Then I’ll add another thin layer on top of the first one and wait for that to try. Then I’ll set that with an eyeshadow.

That’s where the magic happens, man. There’s something about those multiple layers. They just make everything last longer.

I actually do this a lot with face products like foundation. I’ll apply a thin layer, buff it down with a blending brush, apply a second thin layer on top, buff again, and set the whole thing with powder.

I use this technique all the time because not only does it make my makeup last longer, I think it also looks great in pics, and buffing between the layers makes a big difference. It’s about as close as I can get to flawless-looking skin, and as long as I apply thin layers, it doesn’t look heavy.

Well, those are my longevity-boosting tips. How about yours? Do you have any wear-time boosting tips to help your makeup last longer (I bet you do)? Please share yours in the comments.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,




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So far, 18 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sarah says:

    I just purchased UD all-nighter and am excited to try it! I’ve heard mixed things but most people rave about it. Thanks for sharing your tips!!

  2. Chaitra says:

    I have heard my grandmother say that rubbing an ice cube over your face before applying makeup helps the makeup to last longer.

    I just remembered this after reading your post. Will try it out soon!
    Chaitra recently posted … D.I.Y : Blemish Vanishing Turmeric Face Mask

  3. indya says:

    Hate to say it but Phillips milk of magnesia works wonders! I put it on before my foundation and it last all day into the night. No oil! just a matt face.

  4. So that Urban Decay spray, does it also help make your foundation stay put? And does it prevent shine? *secretly hopes it does*
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up look | Three eye looks with the new Smashbox Wonder Vision Eye Sets

  5. Tennyoceres says:

    If primer dries out your skin or makes your makeup patchy, moisturize before you put on your primer. During fall and winter your skin is sucking up moisture wherever it can find it, including your favorite primer and foundation. Just a thin layer of lotion or oil. Let it sit on your face for a minute or two before continuing your makeup ritual.

    Don’t put so much product on. I used to cake foundation on (talking thumbnail sized layers on my face) and GURRRRRRRRL it was a hot mess by the end of the day. Thinner layers of makeup allow more control of color and coverage.

    Let your primers dry! Eyeshadow primer, skin primer, lipstick primer, whatever you have to help boost the life of makeup. The primer’s purpose is ruined if you don’t give it time to stick to your skin.
    Tennyoceres recently posted … Miami Dolphins

  6. Natasha says:

    I think layering is key… power to set the pencil or cream always works for me… and I work outdoors which is really hard on make-up. I also like to spritz some setting spray on a brush and then dip it in eyeshadow for a long-wearing eyeshadow or liner. And primer is crucial — especially for eyes… mine are so oily that most shadows disappear after an hour, but primers have fixed that little problem — all of them: two-faced, urban decay, smashbox, and ELF…

  7. Agata says:

    Funny thing: I went to the gym today and had a good intense work out and after that went out to lunch and a waitress complimented me on how good my make up looked…It must be that primer and setting powder magic!

    Happy Friday Karen&Tabs& El Hub!

  8. Vineetha says:

    Korres primer, UD spray, Fix+. These ususally give all the wear I need! 🙂
    Vineetha recently posted … Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar All-Star Mini x 4 Set Review, Swatches

  9. Sylvia says:

    I will be keeping up with this post diligently because I am always looking for tips to prolong my makeup.

    The tip I have is in regards to using Urban Decay’s De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray. I have tried this product in many different orders in my makeup routine and find that this works best:

    – moisturizer
    – de-slick spray
    – primer
    – foundation
    – concealer
    – de-slick spray
    – powder

    Just one spray before any makeup does not seem to work. This is probably because of the layers theory.
    Sylvia recently posted … My Top 10 Autumn Nail Polishes

  10. hanna says:

    My best tip is not to rub on your eyes!
    hanna recently posted … No Talking on the Phone, that Didn’t Work

  11. Primer on lids for eyeshaodws work wonders, it not only saves them from creasing but they look vibrant even after hours of wear. For face thin layers of makeup is the best, Also, applying makeup on a clean moisturised face helps. 🙂
    Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Sponsored: Firmoo Giveaway – 5 Winners!!

  12. Akanksha says:

    NARS smudgeproof for eyes is my HG! my liner and shadow just last and last and last….. 🙂

  13. Lena says:

    Primes is a must for me, for both smoothing the facial surface and holding makeup. I also agree with layering esp for cheek and lip products, which are the first ones to start disintegrating on me (with primer, eye products can last 12+ hours on me). And one last thing is to blot the oils away and not let too much appear on the skin’s surface, since it breaks up makeup; I like blotters with powder on them to both absorb oil and mattify and set makeup again.

    Great post Karenitschky, have a good weekend.
    Lena recently posted … Makeup Space-saving Tips for When Traveling

  14. Danielle says:

    I have had bad luck with setting sprays; I almost feel like they make my makeup wear off quicker. I typically go for primer if I want long-lasting makeup.
    Danielle recently posted … Christmas Shopping: Town Center at Boca Raton

  15. Bella says:

    I love your look here. Subtle smoky eyes and soft lips suit you so well, and your skin is looking stunning lately. What foundation are you wearing and which colour?

  16. Georgia says:

    Your comment can be about anything at all, but here are some ideas if you’re stuck:

    When was the last time you gave someone flowers? A few months ago during a play I was in. We gave each other flowers.

    Do you eat ice cream in winter? Sometimes

    Do you have a favorite hair mask? Kerastase

    What was the last bridge you crossed? The Golden Gate – yup, I’m Bay Area too (S.F.)

    Have you ever had multicolored hair? Does Red and Gray count?

    What’s the longest you’ve ever had your nails? Talonesque

  17. Chelsea says:

    For weddings and special occasions in hot weather, facial antiperspirant can be a lifesaver. I have one especially for the face called Neat 3B Face Saver (I’ve only found it at WalMart) but I’ve also used fragrance-free roll on antiperspirants. I have a heart/nervous system condition that causes me to sweat very easily and profusely, this stuff is a lifesaver.

    I also love setting spray, and multiple, thinner layers. Layering blushes works well for me – I’ll layer a stain (Becca Beach Tint) with a similarly colored powder blush (I like Tarte and theBalm) for extra staying power. I use the Becca Beach Tint layered with lipstick too!

  18. KhaliaNicole says:

    This was a great post! The liner in my water line fade so quickly. Never even thought of dragon lair-ing. Ha!
    KhaliaNicole recently posted … 4 Reasons to Try Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Mud Mask

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