Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Makeup That Lasts..........

As a professional makeup artist I have always been asked this question at many times - during a makeup job, at work, while shopping, in a bridal dressing room....almost everywhere. The question is 'How do I make my makeup last longer?' Trust me, everyone has this question to ask and everyone have their answers and ways to make it last long.

Beauty is expanding its horizons almost everyday and there's not a day where I have not learnt something new. To make your makeup last long is the easiest thing to do these days - provided you invest in the right makeup products and right formulations. For an Indian climate which is perennially hot and humid (at least in the Metro where I stay) its not an easy task to keep the makeup lasting longer. Especially when you have a day job which demands travelling and yet looking beautiful and presentable.

I would like to give my answer to this 'long lasting' business and lets see if you agree? I would love your inputs too...Let me tell you what I do for myself and my clients (its subject to change with time)....


  • A good makeup regimen actually is an extension of a good skin care regimen. If you have an unbalanced skin, whatever you do would end up in a pit. (Pit refers to open pores...LOL).  A great skin begins with a regular and meticulously followed skin care regimen. We may not be blessed with a good skin but our options are not less to get that perfect looking balanced skin.
  • Saying so, begin with a good cleanser that removes all the grime and dirt and gives you a thoroughly clean skin to begin your skin care regimen. A weekly or bi-weekly exfoliation helps maintain skin's turnover and brings up healthy looking skin cells that impart the glow and absorb almost everything you put on them. An alternate day mask gives your skin the food it needs to get nourished and glowing. 
  • I have started loving toners. Toners make the skin feel fresh and resilient. They are quite nourishing these days and skin feels really supple when a toner is used. 
  • Then follow the regular serum, a good hydrating oil free moisturizer and a good quality sunscreen. 
  • These are easy steps that we know but don't follow meticulously. I do make an attempt to follow my skin care regime as much as I can and trust me it yields good results.
My skin care regimen right now....(links wherever I can and that can be shipped in India)
  1. Cleanse - Shiseido White Lucent Foaming Cleanser/Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser
  2. Clarins Iris Toner/Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate
  3. La Prairie Advanced Marine Biology Tonic
  4. Lancome Dreamtone no.02 and 03
  5. La Prairie Advanced Marine Biology Sunscreen SPF 20
  6. Clarins Lotus Treatment Oil
  7. Elizabeth Arden Perpetual Moisture lotion 24 Hrs
  8. Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil
  9. Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask
  10. Clinique SSFM Scrub
Its more than enough right now. LOL.

  • When you use a moisturizer or a sunscreen before makeup, pat it into your skin without rubbing it in. Rubbing may improve the circulation of your skin but for oily skinned people, it may trigger oil production and can make the skin worse throughout the day. 
  • Begin with priming the skin. Whatever skin type you are (except very dry), do not forget to use a primer that is mattifying and pore refining. The ones with dry skin have the problem of makeup falling off and need 'Illuminating' and 'Hydrating' Primers to do the job and these are restricted only here. A pore refining primer makes the skin look amazingly resurfaced and does not allow any interactions with your foundation thus creating a barrier that is much needed for the makeup to last long. I love the following primers - Chanel Base Lumiere, Estee Lauder Mattifying Primer, YSL Matte Touch, Shiseido Refining Primer and Guerlain Meteorites Primer - the regular, Les Ors, Blanc De Perle and L'Or. These primers are mostly for different skin concerns and one should get their best one accordingly.
  • When I have a client with a super oily skin, then I use a Shiseido Pore Minimizing Cooling Essence and it does wonders on the skin. 
  • To keep the eyeshadows from creasing and stay put longer, I opt for a good eye primer. And then secure it even further with a long lasting creme eyeshadow. My favorites are Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Urban Decay Primer Potion and LORAC Behind the Scenes eyeshadow primer. For long lasting cream eyeshadows I look upon my trustworthy MAC Paint pots especially in Quite natural and Groundwork. The eyeshadows stay the longest without creasing and the eye liners refrain to budge with these products on.
  • Lip primers are in vogue too. I did not know about it till I discovered Elizabeth Arden Lip Fix and got hooked to it.
  • With a primer on the face, the next step is choosing a long lasting formulation in a foundation. I believe that liquid foundations last the longest and I have never been cheated by any of the liquid foundations I use. Cream foundations are good too but I really don't find them long lasting on their own and need some liquid around them. The stick foundations that dry to a powder form should be kept for touch ups (if required as its a hypocrisy towards using a long lasting formulation) and not used as primary foundations on their own (albeit the smart claims that they make). 
  • Look for words like 'long lasting', 'time release', 'time proof', 'lasting', 'extreme wear' etc etc. There is always something in the name of the foundation that indicates that it is long lasting. If not then double check and seek advice from the ever expanding world wide web.
  • I have a long list of long lasting foundations in my kit (alliteration) and they are a mixture of brands that I know and have trusted a lot through trial and errors. One common ingredient in all these brands is 'silicones' and I think these adhere to skin better than anything ever (not even minerals). I know a lot of people who stick to their 'mineral' foundations and I do honor their choice but I don't prefer them. The reason a foundation lasts not only depends on the formula and the longevity of the foundation but also on what type of skin it is applied on. A longevity of a foundation is indirectly proportional to the oil levels in one's skin and hence those skin priming techniques are very very important. 
  • My options are mostly 'oil free' formulations that are a mixture of silicones and pigments and sometimes even volatile silicones that would deposit a product on the skin surface and prevent it from moving (especially over a primer). I love some classic foundations like Guerlain Parure Extreme, Guerlain Tenue De Perfection, MAC Pro Longwear, Chanel Perfection Lumiere, Makeup Forever HD foundation, Rimmel 25 HR Lasting Finish foundation and Estee Lauder Double Wear and Double Wear Light foundations. These are my time tested and really long lasting foundations. They have lasted on my clients from morning to evening and of course through the most makeup compensating environments. 
  • For a long lasting concealer that stays throughout the day, I believe and only use MAC Pro Longwear concealers. They are very fluid, give a fabulous buildable coverage and stay put without budging. Only one may need some eye cream to hydrate the dry areas, as this concealer may accentuate them.
  • For an extra hold during the hottest of the days and to make the foundation almost sweat and water resistant, I use Kryolan's Derma Color Palette. A thin layer of Derma foundation helps the makeup adhere and stay put longer. A thin layer is enough and can be built according to requirements. 
  • I always use my favorite Guerlain Les Violettes Translucent powders, Kryolan Translucent Powders and Shiseido Luminising Powder Trios to set makeup. They have been my long time favorites and they come in the most skin friendly colors. I refrain from using compacts as they tend to make the face cakey over time and settle in unwanted areas of the skin making it all look patch (especially when someone sweats). 
  • I have the habit of doing eye makeup first and then doing the rest of the face. This makes everything go faster. Any fall outs can be cleared, any corrections in liner etc. can be done and lot more. I always and always prime the lids with a clear eyeshadow primer. A primer helps the eyeshadows adhere better, look denser and keep the colors going strong for a while. If one has oily lids, then I suggest wiping the lid cautiously with an alcohol free toner for oily skin and then immediately apply the primer. In case toner scares you (especially ones with Witch Hazel can) then use Johnson and Johnson Baby wipes to wipe the eye are clean and then begin. 
  • Another layer of MAC Pro Paint Pot works wonders. I believe in applying a paint pot which is almost closer to the color of the eye lid else they tend to look grey and ashy. My favorites are Fair - Soft Ochre, Medium/Dark - Groundwork and Deep - Quite Natural. They do a fabulous job of neutralizing the lid color so that the shadows look true to color.
  • I am not a fan of very very pigmented eyeshadows since they deposit a lot of color. Instead I love moderately pigmented eyeshadows and of course a densely pigmented matte range especially a brown and a black. My favorites are Guerlain's Velours D'Or, Urban Decay Naked/Naked 2, some MAC eyeshadows like - Woodwinked, Brown Down, Cork, All that Glitters, Smut; theBalm Shady lady palette no.02, an assortment of BH cosmetics eyeshadows and a lot more. The list is endless but I think I have enough colors to pull out different looks for my clients.
  • The mascara and the eye liners have to always be long lasting, smudge proof and waterproof. Look for such descriptions on the packaging of these products. 
  • A small tip - Always curl lashes with an eye lash curler before applying liners. If done after a liner, it might disturb the settled eye liner and cause a mess. Plus the eye liner tends to transfer on the eye lash curler and causes a plethora of problems there. I always clean my eye lash curler (shiseido) with a baby wipe before and after usage to maintain sanitation.
  • An eye liner can only last long if it is layered. A waterproof eye liner pencil over a Paint Pot acts like a primer for your liquid and gel liners to stay put. Plus the waxes in the eye liner pencil create a smooth layer so that the gel/liquid liners do not crack on the eye lids. Applying an eye liner pencil nearest to the lash line and tightlining it, gives an impression of luscious lashes. Eye liners that I love are Clinique Intense Ebony, Estee Lauder Double Wear Onyx and Guerlain Black Jack. They are the longest lasting ones I have ever seen and used.
  • I apply the eye liner pencil first, do the entire eye makeup and then apply the gel or liquid liner. Sometimes I apply the mascara first and then the liquid or gel liner. Applying mascara also enables me to gauge the eye shape and how the liner should be applied.
  • I always use a waterproof mascara since they have a lot of advantages. Not only that they stay put and are smudge and water resistant but also they hold the curl of the lashes very well. I love the L'Oreal 4 D Lash Architect Mascara, Maybelline Volume Express Falsies Lashes Mascara, Yves Rocher Waterproof mascara (it gives the most glistening lashes) and a current favorite Clinique High Impact Curling mascara.
  • For gel liners I only have and love Maybelline Eye Studio Gel liner and for liquid liners I only love L'Oreal Superliner Black Lacquer.
  • There is nothing as a long lasting blush. Those are only false claims. Never go for an extremely pigmented blush. It creates a blush stamp rather than a smooth glow-from-within color. I have faced a lot of problems with such blushes even though they tend to stay longer.
  • A silicone based oil free creme blush or cheek stain acts as a very good primer for the blushers to stay put. Begin with a very less quantity though as it is difficult to remove them later. 
  • This is what I do to make the blush long lasting. Before applying powder, I always apply an appropriate Kryolan Lip N cheek on the cheeks with a natural haired blush brush (Clinique/Real Techniques). Then I powder the entire face with a fluffy powder brush and blend the powder so that I get almost a velvety finish. Then goes the powder blush. I use only MAC Powder blushes - Bite Of an apple, Emote, Trace Gold, Gana, Hipness, Honour and Dollymix AND Clinique Blushing Blush in Smoldering Plum and Innocent Peach. 
  • For contouring - I always apply the Chanel Soleil De Tan Bronzing Base as a base and then apply my favorite mix of MAC Emote + Benefit Hoola Bronzer to create fabulous contours. 
  • For highlighters - my favorites are Too Faced Candle light, MAC Gana blush, Shiseido Multi Shade Enhancer no.01 and liquid highlighters include YSL Teint Parfait in 02 and 03. These blend with the heat of the skin to create the most incredible dewiness.
  • Recently I have started using finishing powders like Guerlain Meteorite Pearls to create that overall ethereal glow. My favorites are Perles De Nuit.
  • Lipsticks are one of the least long lasting ones. So many clients of mine tend to eat away their lipstick thence making it a tedious process. I do not like to opt for the semi permanent lipsticks as they seem to be harmful as the time passes. Although Max Factor Lip finity is my favorite group of lipsticks I have restricted using them due to their semi permanent tattooing effect. Its annoying for the client to remove them and can cause considerable lip damage in the process of removal..
  • I begin with an Elizabeth Arden Lip Fix. Its a good lip primer to keep the lipstick almost long lasting and fills in the lines to create a smooth base.
  • I always and always use MAC PRO LIP Mix to create that amazing lip color on a bride. I have Crimson, White, Fuchsia, Orange and Burgundy and they can be mixed to get the desired shade. A layer or 2 of MAC Lip mix makes the lipstick last really long.
  • Then I line the lips with a lip liner. One could skip this step if they are using flesh tones or rosy tones in lipsticks but is mandatory for dark colors. My favorite lip pencils are Bourjois and Estee Lauder Double Wear. They are very promising when it comes to long lasting. 
  • I use a lot of MAC lipsticks in Satin, Matte and Amplified formulas these days. They are better when I want a perfect color to match the client's taste. 
  • My favorite Lip Fixers are Kryolan Lip Fix and Tarte Smooth Operator Setting Powder. These make the lipsticks really last longer. I layer these and then apply a lip gloss if needed.

Makeup setting sprays have revolutionized the makeup world and made makeup last on the most trying times. I love and cannot live without my Kryolan Derma Setting Spray and Kryolan Surgiva Water spray. They make the makeup lasting effortless and you need to do minimal touch ups. Derma setting spray also has a SPF 20 which is an instant sunscreen spray and does not flashback on the camera if sprayed from a 15 inch distance. 

Hope these tips help you. I have done a lot of trials and errors to get myself sorted when it comes to long lasting makeups. Some of these products are the ones I cannot live without and are always a staple in my makeup kit. 

What do you do to keep your makeup lasting long? Do share your tips in the comments. There is always something new to learn.

Till then,


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  1. this was like the encyclopedia for me... have very oily skin, and these will surely help.. :)

    1. these will work wonders for you!! definitely start a good skin care regimen and see the magic unfold...

  2. I love Stila's smudgeproof eye pencils but I really need to start layering my liners! Thanks for the fabulous tips; I have oily skin and I never knew about the "pat don't rub" idea! Thanks so much Neeraj! x

    1. Stila pencils r amazing. Eyeing them for a while. I'm so glad u liked the article. Thanks a tonnnn

  3. hi...great post :) I usually hate reading long posts but read each & every line hear. great recommendations here!

    1. Thanks a million reshma. Hope u loved it. Lolll

  4. This is a bookmarked post for me. Very much informative and such depth details and proper explanation.
    Thanks Doc for such an amazing post. :)

    1. Thanks a ton. U r most welcome. Shall write more of such practical posts. In much more detail.

  5. Wow.. Must haves in d MUA's vanity... Thanks a lot for dis blog.. :)

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