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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Staying Power: 18 Tips for Long-Lasting Makeup

Keep your makeup as fresh as it was when you stepped out of the house in the morning with these tips. By Myra Santiago

Flattering clothes? Check! Stylish bag? Check! Comfortable yet chic shoes? Check! Long-lasting makeup? "I'll get back to you on that..."

As on-the-go women who lead active lifestyles, reapplying makeup may be the last thing on our minds—or at least, an annoying inconvenience. Sure, you won't leave the house without dabbing on a bit of concealer and swiping on some lipstick—after all, you still have to look presentable. But come midday, when work and family become the priority, will this still be the case?

The solution? Long-wearing makeup that will take you from a meeting with a client to cocktails with the girls! After all, why worry about constantly retouching your makeup when you can make it last through the long hours? Here are a few tips and tricks to make budge-proof, long-lasting makeup an easy reality.


1. Exfoliate regularly.
Keep those flakes away. Remove the dead cells that cling to the surface of your skin—they prevent products from setting on your skin—by exfoliating regularly.
TIP: A gentle daily exfoliation is best. Follow it up with a light application of oil-free moisturizer to prevent excessive dryness from the exfoliation.

2. Get primed.

Another way to prepare your skin for long-lasting foundation? Use a foundation primer, which works specifically to help foundation adhere to your skin. Other products to use before foundation: line and pore minimizers and anti-puffiness eye gels. Give the products a few minutes to absorb into your skin before applying your foundation.

3. Use concealer for blemishes and dark areas.

Don’t hide behind your foundation. Concealers cover blemishes and dark circles, but foundation is meant to merely even out your skin tone. Do not use your foundation in excess, trying to cover skin flaws.

TIP: Use a concealer after applying a regular layer of sheer liquid foundation, and blend the edges with a small, flat brush. Thick and dry textured concealers will stay longer because they’re heavy, but do not apply in one thick layer. Apply in thin layers, allowing them to dry in between each application.

4. Use cheek stains when going natural, but powdered blush when fully made up.

Oil and water don’t mix. Long-lasting cheek stains are better suited for bare skin or light foundation only. Do not make the mistake of trying to apply a water-based stain on top of a heavy, oil-based foundation. Use powders instead, and make sure to press some of the blush into your foundation. Blend carefully with a rounded brush.

TIP: It is possible to use a cheek stain and set it with powder, although you will dull that natural-looking blush.


1. When it comes to lipstick, less is more.

Less is more! The more lipstick you put on your lips, the more likely that it’s going to disappear from your lips and transfer to your teeth or your drinking glass.

TIP: Use a lip brush to apply satin-finish lipstick (these types stay the longest without drying your lips) in just the right amount.

2. Powder your nose, not your lips.

Some women think that powdering their lips after applying lipstick will set it and make it stay in place. Wrong! Doing that will only dry your lipstick and make it flake off, besides the fact that it ruins the color too.

TIP: Powder the edges of your lips before applying lipstick to keep color from bleeding.

3. Always keep your lips soft and moisturized.

Dry lips cannot hold color. If your lips are dry and chapped, they won’t hold pigment well. The emollients in your lipstick will just make it slide off the dry surface of your lips. However, keep in mind that too much moisture doesn’t hold color well either.

TIP: After applying lip balm, blot your lips lightly to remove excess moisture.

4. Lip liner is your lipstick’s best friend.

A light layer of lip liner over your lips acts as a base, helping lipstick cling on a little longer. Lip liner also keeps your lipstick from bleeding out towards the little lines around
the mouth.

5. Skip the gloss.

High-shine glosses are so pretty, but they really don’t stay. In fact, they take our lipstick with them when they slide off our lips.

TIP: If you really like it, increase your odds by using a matte, long-wearing lipstick underneath.

6. Color your lips with lip stains.

There is a whole range of lip stains available on the market today, all of which mark your lips with either a deep red or dark pink blush.

TIP: The stains won’t set if your lips are dry or flaking. They won’t absorb into your lips and will wipe off.


1. Make your peepers the star of the show.

Lipsticks smear off, blushes fade and foundation rubs off, but in general, eye makeup doesn’t move unless you mess with it. That’s why the dramatic-eye look is the most popular for long days and even longer nights—less touch-ups needed. Invest time before going out of the house to apply your eye makeup cleanly and carefully. Putting the effort now means you won’t have to repeat it later.

2. Prep your lids.

A base or make-up primer will help your eyeshadow cling longer to your eyelids. But too much moisture will make the product slide off.

TIP: Wipe off any excess moisturizer or eye cream from your lids before prepping your eyes.

3. Use a light hand to downplay under-eye circles.

We know what raccoon eyes look like, but have you also noticed reverse raccoon eyes? This is what happens when coverage over dark circles is excessive. Instead of camouflaging it, these white circles of concealer draw even more attention to it! Learn to apply a creamy concealer with a flat brush and to blend in carefully and little by little, until just below the lash line. Set it with a damp sponge and a couple of light presses of pressed powder.

4. Opt for an eyeliner pencil for everyday use.

True, liquid eyeliner can stay for as long as you keep it there, but the dramatic look is not especially flattering for everyday. It can look too harsh, especially on fairer-skinned women. To get that same longevity, but without all the drama, use an eyeliner pencil (not crayon) and set it with a matching shade of eyeshadow using a stiff, angled brush to gently press the powder into the eyeliner.

5. Water-resistant mascaras are sufficient for daily wear.

When it comes to mascara, waterproof properties have their benefits. But for more urban purposes, a water-resistant mascara is enough. They’re actually friendlier on your eyes than waterproof because they are less likely to flake off and irritate your eyes. Plus, they are so much easier to remove at the end of the day.

TIP: Whether your mascara is regular, water-resistant or waterproof, change it every three to four months. Old mascara smells bad and can harbor bacteria, not something you want near your eyes.


“What stays longer on the face, powders or creams?”

With the humidity and tendency of the Filipina to have oily skin, it’s safe to say that cream shadows and blushes will not stay on as long as powders. They will slip away with the oil and sweat from our face. Powders, on the other hand, absorb oiliness and help set make-up. On eyelids, powder eyeshadow will not crease the way cream eyeshadow will. On cheeks, powder blush adheres easier to base foundation than any creamy blush does.

“When applying powder to my face, should I press it in or rub it in?

Powder should always be applied with light pressure in a dabbing motion. Do not move your hand from side to side. Rubbing in or smearing it on will just ruin the makeup that you’re trying to set. For an even surface application of powder, try using a thick powder brush. Dip the tip into loose powder, shake it off slightly, and lightly brush your face with the powder. This is pretty, especially with translucent powder or bronzer, but this technique doesn’t make the application last any longer.

“Is it better to apply makeup with your fingers or a brush?

Makeup brushes are definitely the better choice; they are much more precise and make flawless blending an easier job. Your fingers are good for emergency situations (when there’s nothing else available), or for quick on-the-spot blending, but always choose the brush over your fingers. The exception is cream blush that is impossible to apply with a brush. In this case, use all the fingers you want.