Every woman has at one time or another wondered what more can be done to their make-up to help it last those extra few hours – be it for a wedding, a party or the fact that, like me, you just don’t have the time or energy to constantly touch up your make-up. Plus, who wants to be that lady on the tube who whips out her compact and entire make-up bag? A little mystery is far better! Anyway, I digress. The following will hopefully give you an insight into what you can do for that flawless look, all day long.
Primers are a good way of helping your foundation last longer, with the added bonus of giving your foundation a good base to adhere to and by evening out the texture of your skin. Another added advantage of primers is that different ones have different properties – you can have a primer which matifies if you have oily skin or illuminates if you have dull skin, to name a few.
I have a few favourites, my first being Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Light (£29), which is perfect for oily or sensitive skin. To get that glow under your foundation I particularly like YSL Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush (£36) or Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow Skin Perfecting Cream (£36). Finally, there is Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold – one swipe of this over your face before make-up will instantly tighten the skin and give you brighter, smoother looking skin. However, this product is better used as a serum every other night and under make-up only when you need that little extra boost.
If you don’t like to use a primer or find that they don’t do anything for you, then there’s always powder to help you set your make-up. Oily to combination skin types may wish to use a powder in addition to a primer. My favourites are Clinique Blended Face Powder (£20) and Shu Uemura Face Powder. Remember, you don’t need to overload your face with the powder, sometimes a light dusting is just enough.
Generally a powder will not last as long as a pencil or a wax product to fill in the brows, but you can always go over the pencil or wax with a powder to set them. Alternatively, you can use a brow gel or clear mascara to hold brows in place or if you’re going old school, then a bit of hairspray on a brow comb will have the same effect.
The biggest problem with eyes is eye shadow creasing. The solution? I have three. Firstly, you could use an eye primer – I particularly like Benefit’s Lemon Aid Eyelid Primer (£16.50) and YSL’s Touche Eclat (£24.50). Alternatively, you could use a cream shadow as a base underneath your powder shadow since it works like a primer and you also get a more intense colour. Secondly, you can powder the eyelid well prior to applying your eye shadow and this will give the eye shadow a good base. Lastly, you can use a cream shadow which doesn’t crease – there are many on the market but my favourite are Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Cream Eyeshadows (£15.50).
Eyeliners are another issue. How many times have you applied eyeliner, only to have it disappear a couple of hours later? Not anymore! There are three different types of eyeliners: gel pot liner, pencils and felt tip pen style. Let’s start with the gel liners – almost every make-up brand does them from M.A.C (Fluidline), Bobbi Brown (Long-wear Gel Eyeliner), and Clinique (Brush-on Cream Liner) to Maybelline (Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner). The good thing about them is that once they’re applied and dry, they stay put. The disadvantage is that they need to be applied with a brush and this takes practice! This brings us to pencils – there are A LOT of pencils out there, but if you want one that’s budge proof then you need a waterproof one. Gone are the days of hard pencils where you’re almost gouging your eye out to get any depth of colour, brands like YSL (Long-lasting Eye Pencil), Pixi (Endless Silky Eyeliner) and Avon have some great pencils which are very soft yet provide great colour depth with the smallest amount of pressure. Added bonus? The eyeliner can be smudged/moved once applied, but as soon as it dries it will only be removed with an eye make-up remover.
Finally, there’s the pen – Bourjois have a great new one called the Liner Feutre (5.99), which is long lasting, however as it’s a liquid it’s not very workable once applied as it pretty much dries instantly.
The final “eye issue” is mascara and you’re all going to know what I’m about to say – waterproof mascara! It withstands all – swimming, crying, hay fever.
To get a blusher that will last I recommend staying away from cream blushers as they wear off quicker than a powder blush or cheek stain. When using a powder blusher, a good tip is to always powder the cheek well before applying your colour as this will give an even finish and prevent your blusher looking patchy. Another alternative is to use a cheek stain to give that flushed look, but obviously this depends on what finished look you’re going for – both Benefit (Benetint) and The Body Shop do a good cheek stain.
Finally, we have the lips. The most important thing here is to make sure they’re in good condition and this takes time – I like to apply a little lip balm before I start any make-up application, so that it has time to soak in while I apply the rest of my make-up. When all that’s left is to apply lip colour, check your lips. They should be smooth and plump, if there’s any dry skin this can be removed with a dry cloth – rub gently to remove any dead skin. Once this is done, apply a very small amount of lip balm and blot the excess. Now all that’s left to do is a three step process:
Step One – apply a lip liner all over your lips (either in a nude/your own lip colour or the colour of your lipstick).
Step Two – apply your lipstick with a lip brush, blot with a tissue and then repeat. Depending on the finish you want, you may be done. However, if you want a glossier look…
Step Three – apply a lip gloss either in the same colour as your lipstick or a clear gloss.
Alternatively, if you’re short on time (or patience!), you can opt for a long lasting lipstick or gloss – there are so many brands which do them and promise you hours on the lips without a touch up, so go forth and explore. Personally, I love Chantecaille’s Hydra Chic Lipstick (£27) and Bourjois 3D Effect Lipgloss (£5.99).
And there you have it – flawless, beautiful make-up… all day!