Durable Makeup Products

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In a perfect world, all makeup would stay in place through oily skin days, intense humidity, rain, and even swimming. In reality though, it can take time to find the right products that will look great and stay put. Knowing what to look for is the first step to finding long-lasting makeup products that are perfect for you.


If you live in a hot, humid climate (and sometimes even if you don't!), you've probably tried your fair share of foundations and blushes that just couldn't outlast your day. Oil-free foundations will generally last the longest, and you'll want to look for a light formula that will blend easily into your skin. Before applying, make sure that your skin is clean and moisturized.


If you wear foundation you know how important it is that this base layer stays put. While there are dozens of products that claim to last all day, these are the ones that have proven themselves with customers and reviewers.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
Estée Lauder Double Wear Makeup
  • Try Estee Lauder's Double Wear makeup, which earned an almost perfect score at Macys.com where just over 900 reviewers have given their feedback. It's lightweight and claims say it'll last for 15 hours. It also won the Best Foundation Shade Range in Allure magazine's 2013 Best of Beauty Awards.
  • Revlon Colorstay, which says it'll last up to 24 hours, comes in formulas for dry and oily skin types. It's another popular choice among makeup artists like Makeup Geek. At MakeupAlley, 70 percent of users say they'd purchase the newest formulation again. The foundation has 3.8 of 5.0 stars, based on almost 4,500 reviews.
  • L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Makeup was Good Housekeeping's top pick for long-wearing foundations. It lasted a whole nine hours in their evaluation. The official claims are 18 hours of wear and that it's humidity-proof. As an added bonus you get the protection of SPF 18 with this product.


For blush, cheek stains will normally be your best bet. Be prepared to spend a little time applying, smoothing, and layering these products in the morning, but rest assured that stains usually won't budge until you wash them off. Powders won't give you the same staying power, but opting for a clay-based formula will help.


Often, a good eye primer is all you need to extend the wear of your shadows, but there are some tricks and products that will ensure that your eye makeup stays on even longer.


For shadow, apply eye makeup primer first, then layer the powder on top. For even more color intensity, you can use a cream product designed to stick around and then layer powder shadow on top (optional). Paint Pots and Color Tattoo shadows have enough color intensity to stand alone in most cases though opacity varies by color.

  • MAC's Paint Pots average 4.3 of 5.0 stars with over 1000 reviews on MakeupAlley and users sing its praises, remarking on durability, lack of creasing, and longevity of wear despite oily lids. Manufacturer's claims include 15 hours of wear, non-caking, non-flaking, non-creasing, water resistance, and stay-true color.
  • Maybelline's Color Tattoo shadows claim to last 24 hours without creasing or fading, and they have an average of 3.5 stars at Ulta. Reviewers love that it stays on even if you tend to rub your eyes throughout the day.


For long-lasting liners, the general rule is to skip the traditional pencil and go for a liquid or gel. For those who love the control and ease of application of a pencil though, a "liquid pencil" combines the best of both worlds.


When it comes to mascara, one sure way to keep it around longer is to buy it in the waterproof formula.


Eating, drinking, and even talking can make lipstick or gloss fade within a couple of hours or even less. Stains are usually the best pick when you want longevity, but some of the other lip products on the market may surprise you.

Lip Stains

Lip stains have serious staying power, but sometimes they can leave your lips feeling a little dry and looking cracked. Seek out products with moisturizing ingredients in them or choose one that comes with a gloss. Layering your own gloss on top of a stain or long-wearing lipstick can cause it to break down more quickly. Chanel Rouge Allure Colour & Shine Lip Gloss took the top spot in Glamour's roundup of the best lip stains of the year. It also got glowing reviews from Temptalia including 8.5 of 10.0 stars for longevity.


In general, the more matte the formula, the better it will stay on. Kat von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick comes in 28 highly pigmented shades that provide hours of wear in a matte finish that still feels comfortable thanks to vitamin E and sunflower seed. It earned 4.3 of 5.0 stars at Sephora based on almost 3,000 reviews. Some reviewers say they only have to apply it once per day making the $20.00 price tag a good deal!


The Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss earned a spot on Allure magazine's list of the 10 most unbelievably long-wearing lip colors. Allure editors reported that it stayed on through a few cocktails, keeping the color but losing its shine. L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Lipgloss also made the list, with high praise for long-lasting shine and flexibility.

Other Ways to Make Your Makeup Last

Using products designed to stay put is the best way to make your makeup last, but these products can also be useful.


Primers can fill in pores and give the illusion of smoother skin, but they can also keep oil at bay. That means they can help keep your makeup on your face when it's hot or your skin's especially oily. Think of a primer as a skin normalizer, a foundation for your foundation to cling to.


If you already have dry skin, you'll likely want to stay away from powder on top of your liquid foundation. If your skin is oily, try a dusting of translucent powder (translucent will be less cakey). If you're having trouble with a cakey, powdery finish despite your oily skin, consider a loose powder instead of pressed, or try blotting papers that will take the oil out but leave the makeup behind. Based on customer reviews, a couple of good brands to try include:

Setting Sprays

A setting spray like Urban Decay's All Nighter (which gets rave reviews) can be the magical finishing touch for your makeup. This product incorporates Temperature Control Technology to keep your skin looking smooth and your other makeup looking vibrant regardless of the circumstances.

Key Words to Look For

Obviously, if a product says "long-wearing," "long-lasting," or gives you a number of hours it's meant to last, it's worth a second look. You can also look for:

  • "Oil-free" often can clue you in to makeup that will last (though the fact that something is oil-free is no guarantee; it's just a good starting place).
  • You may also see "anti-humidity" now and then, which means that the makeup should stand up to humidity and even sweat.
  • "Waterproof," especially when it comes to eye makeup or foundation you'd like to be able to wear in the pool, is another key word to check for.

Even when products claim to be long-lasting, it's worth taking the time to find reviews or ask for samples, so that you can see how they will work for you.

Trial and Error

There will be some trial and error involved when you begin looking for makeup that will stand up to everyday demands, long days, nights out dancing, sweat, and even water. What works for your friends may not work for you; keep your skin type in mind during your search and be on the lookout for the words that mean a product is designed to stay on through whatever comes your way.

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Durable Makeup Products