5 ways to stop your makeup from sliding off

Don’t you hate those day when you actually put some effort into doing your makeup for a big day of facing the world, and find that by lunch time half of it has either disappeared or slid a centimetre down from where you put it?

Because of our different lifestyles and skin types, there’s no single “trick” to avoiding this, but there are a bunch of things you can do to help. The following are my tried and true favourites.

1. Cleanse your face before putting makeup on

Greasy skin makes it near impossible for your makeup to stick, so if your skin is on the oilier side, cleanse it properly then moisturise before doing your makeup. This way the product is applying directly to your skin, and not the layer of oil on top of it!

2. Use a primer before applying your base

Primers are designed to help create the best canvas for your skin and give your foundation the best chance of survival (as well as helping it to sit as naturally as possible on your skin). Primers can take a bit of trial and error as each will have a unique reaction to different foundations. I personally prefer moisturising primers to “blurring” or “pore minimising” foundations but that’s just me!

If you’re in Australia I highly recommend checking out the DB Cosmetics primers as they’re all really affordable and effective. A more high-end alternative (worldwide) is the Smashbox Primerizer. I’ve been using it daily and think it’s great for just about any skin type (TIP: buy the travel size version as it works out cheaper per mL than the full-size 30mL bottle!)

3. Prime your eyes with concealer

Yes, technically there are“eye primers” out there that do this job, but I personally find them unnecessary. Applying a matte concealer directly to your lids (no need for foundation there) by patting it on with your ring finger will create a solid base for your eyeshadow & liner, helping it to stick all day. Once you put the concealer on, set it with translucent powder or your neutral eyeshadow shade.

4. Set your base with powder

Even just using the tiniest bit of setting powder (loose, pressed, translucent or coloured – doesn’t matter) will add hours of wear to your foundation. Use a fluffy brush to pick up some powder, tap off the excess, then pat it onto your face (don’t drag the brush as this will wipe off the foundation and create streaks) until your base feels less tacky. Use a light hand as a little goes a long way plus using too much can give you that horrible cakey finish.

5. Use a setting spray

There are a lot of makeup setting spray sceptics out there, but I’m in the “hey, can’t hurt” party. As long as you don’t have problematic skin (acne or extreme dryness), I think it’s a great idea to finish off your makeup with a few spritzes of the stuff to add it a little moisture plus set it in place… even if it’s just for the placebo effect. My personal favourite (chosen because it was the most highly recommended across the board) is Urban Decay’s All Nighter Spray. I bought the jumbo bottle because it’s the best value and you can also pour some into a mini bottle for travelling.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

The thing with makeup is that there are so many variable. Depending on the weather, your hormones, your activities and how you applied your makeup that day, your makeup might stick one day then slide the next. With practice and some experimentation, you’ll start to get to know your skin and products better so you can make sure you create a routine that suits your lifestyle. And until then, keep a touch-ups kit (cotton tips, concealer, powder – whatever you find doesn’t last) in your bag for those days when it’s important you stay fresh!


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