Long lasting makeup tips to keep your look fresh from pictures to the dance floor


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Getting your makeup just right for an event can seem quite overwhelming, spending hours perfecting makeup only to have it smudge, fade or melt off halfway through the day.

With spring in bloom, it is finally time to bust out of our winter hibernation and attend some of the year’s best events. Danielle Moore, a makeup artist, gives her best tips to achieve a flawless, long-lasting look that will stay from morning to night.

Whether you are prepping for spring formals, wedding season or graduation, there are ways to keep your makeup looking fresh for hours.

Test your look

Testing your makeup before an event is essential to ensure your look stays flawless all day. You don’t want to worry about smudged eyeliner or patchy foundation while out having fun.

“One of the biggest problems people encounter is using the wrong powder and realizing they look like a ghost in all of the pictures the next day,” Moore said. “I recommend testing with a flash picture in various lighting to ensure you don’t get any flashback.”

Moore’s favorite setting powder is the AirSpun Loose Face Powder. It is long-lasting, reduces creasing and is an affordable option. By taking the time to test your makeup beforehand, you can be confident that your look will stay put from pictures to the dance floor.

Coty, Airspun Loose Face Powder – $6.99

Start with a clean canvas

The key to long-lasting makeup is starting with a clean, moisturized face. Cleanse your skin thoroughly to remove any oil or dirt that could interfere with your makeup’s staying power. Use a gentle cleanser appropriate for your skin type, and be sure to remove all traces of makeup from your face before going to bed the night before.

After cleansing, apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated without adding any extra oil that could cause your makeup to slip off. Choose a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type – whether it is oily, dry or a combination.

Use a primer

A good primer is essential for long-lasting makeup. A primer creates a smooth, even base for your makeup to adhere to and helps to control oil and sweat that could cause your makeup to fade or melt off.

Apply a dime-sized amount of primer to your face after moisturizing, focusing on any areas where you tend to get oily or where your makeup tends to fade first. Moore said primers are individualized based on skin types and purposes. A color-correcting primer can help to even out skin tones, while a mattifying primer can help to control shine.

“I don’t have a specific primer I use on every client.” Moore said. “When I choose primers, I tend to lean towards ones that are a bit more sticky and tacky. That way, it really feels like it’s holding the makeup in place. A personal favorite is the Pro Filt’r True Matte by Fenty Beauty.”

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Pro Filt’r Mattifying Primer – $36

Choose long-lasting formulas

When selecting makeup products, look for formulas specifically designed to be long-lasting. Waterproof or smudge-proof eyeliners and mascaras, long-wear foundations and lipsticks, powder-based blushes and bronzers are all great options for a lasting look.

Waterproof or smudge-proof eyeliners and mascaras are especially important if you have oily eyelids or tend to rub your eyes throughout the day. For long-lasting lipstick, Moore recommended choosing a matte or semi-matte formula, as these tend to last longer than glossy or creamy formulas.

If matte lips are not your thing, Moore recommended layering up with a sheer gloss for shiny lips all night.

Layer your products

Layering your makeup products can increase their staying power. After applying your foundation, use a powder-based blush or bronzer on top to set the foundation and prevent it from rubbing off. Layering can also help build up the intensity of your makeup to achieve a lasting bold look.

“A lot of people tend to get worried about layering makeup, and I totally get it,” Moore said. “It can be super easy to end up with an overdone face if you aren’t blending properly.”

To avoid this, Moore advised starting light and slowly building up. The goal is to have as little product on your face as possible while achieving a smooth, clean finish. She also stressed the importance of blending down your neck.

“One of the biggest mistakes I notice when people do their makeup themselves is problems with their face not matching their skin tone,” Moore said. “Make sure you are blending all of your face products down your neck, especially bronzer.”

Paige Blaskovich, a senior in psychology, has been to many formals and shared a few tips on blending for the upcoming season.

“The main thing I try to focus on is blending everything,” Blaskovich said. “It’s easy to overdo your makeup because you want it to look good for pictures. I’ve found it usually ends up looking worse in person and can make your face look caked on. I like to just enhance my natural features and keep everything soft and glowy.”

Choose eyeshadow that compliments your look

Choosing the right eye makeup to match your dress can be daunting, but it is all about finding the right balance. If your dress is bold and colorful, opt for a more neutral eye makeup look to avoid clashing. Alternatively, if your dress is more subtle or monochromatic, you can play up your eyes with a more dramatic look.

“One of my favorite ways to find the right colors is to base them on subtle aspects of your look,” Moore said. “Let’s say you’re wearing a plain black dress but have super colorful heels on. Treat your eyeshadow like an accessory and match it with your heels, earrings or a statement necklace. This will make everything feel super cohesive.”

Moore recognizes that only some can access a large eyeshadow palette with many colors. She recommends getting a 32-shade palette by the brand Morphe.

“Morphe has a lot of affordable options, especially with their larger pallets,” Moore said. “I recommend them to beginner makeup artists or to really anyone who does their own makeup.”

Morphe offers pallets with a wide range of colors that are easy to follow.

Morphe 35V Stunning Vibes – $38

Blend, blend, blend

If eyeshadow is not your expertise, stick to a simple blended look.

“When clients aren’t sure exactly what they want for eyes, I usually stick to a simple neutral look with a light glitter on the lid, a darker shadow in the crease of your eye, and a pop of highlight in the inner corner,” Moore said. “Eyeshadow can be stressful, but all you need to do is blend with a swooping motion in your crease until the shades become seamless.”

Achieving long-lasting makeup is all about finding the right products and techniques for your needs. Remember to start with a good skincare routine, use a primer to create a smooth base and choose products specifically designed to last longer, and remember to set your makeup for extra staying power.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently wear your makeup all day or night without worrying about sneaking away for touch-ups. Experiment with different products and techniques to find what works best for you, and have fun creating your perfect long-lasting look.