How to Make Your Hair and Makeup Last All Day
A thing of beauty should be a joy forever—or at least until five o’clock. Here’s how to stretch the life of your makeup, hair, manicure, perfume—and more.
“Oil-free formulas stay put best, since they don’t contain the emollient ingredients that can make makeup slide off your face,” says Landy Dean, a makeup artist at the Marie Robinson Salon, in New York City. But if your skin is on the dry side, you’ll need to use a hydrating formula. To keep it in place, first let your moisturizer sink in completely (for five minutes or more) before spreading on the foundation. Then lock it in with translucent powder, which will help soak up oils that can accelerate fading, says Liliana Grajales, the spa director and a makeup artist at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, in Miami. Try Shiseido Translucent Pressed Powder ($32, shiseido.com) and Nars Ita Kabuki Brush ($39, narscosmetics.com for info).
There are a couple of ways to go here. For an enduring daytime look, Dean recommends first applying an eye-shadow base, such as Stila Prime Pot Waterproof Eye Shadow Primer ($20, stilacosmetics.com for info) or any concealer that doesn’t feel too oily, then topping it with powder shadow. Priming your lids will help the powder adhere. (This trick won’t work if you use cream shadow, which has more slip to it.) For deeper, evening-appropriate color that lasts, just layer on matching cream and powder shadows, putting the cream on first. Another pro tip, courtesy of Dean: If you prefer to skip layering, any powder shadow can be set sufficiently when applied with a damp makeup brush. Two you might like: Clinique Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8-Hour Eye Colour in Born Freesia ($19.50, clinique.com) and Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in Purple Dawn ($25, shiseido.com).
The formula is key—liquid and gel liners last longer than pencil. But if you can’t part with your beloved pencil, trace over it with a matching eye shadow (use a slant-tip brush or the pointy tip of a foam applicator). The powder helps to set the pencil. Try Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink ($23, bobbibrown.com).
Again, it’s all about the formula, says Sarah Lucero, a celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles. Pick a gel, liquid, or cream cheek stain; they’re all highly pigmented, which is why they last longer, but they go on sheer, so you can add color gradually until you get the intensity you’re after. If you prefer powder blush, try a slightly brighter shade than what you think you should use; it will fade throughout the day into something more subtle but still noticeable. Easy application trick: Sweep powder on in an X over the apple of each cheek. This will punch up your pigment load (allowing a little extra for fading) and guarantee that the strongest concentration of color is in the perfect place. A few recommendations: Revlon Powder Blush in Berry Rich ($8, walmart.com), YSL Crème de Blush in Fuchsia Temptation ($38, yslbeautyus.com), and Sonia Kashuk Crème Blush in Petal ($10, target.com).
No surprises here. If you want to avoid runoff, go for a waterproof formula, says Grajales: “Any kind of moisture, whether it’s humidity, tears, or sweat, makes non-waterproof mascara come off.” Barely touch the wand to your lashes and apply in quick layers before the formula starts to dry. (Applying after the mascara dries can cause clumping and flaking.) Try Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara ($70, nordstrom.com).
Start by outlining and filling in your mouth with a pencil in a tone similar to your lipstick. The pencil helps anchor the color on top. Then apply the lipstick with a brush, which presses the pigment deeper into your lips than the tube or a finger does. A brush will also allow you to apply several thin layers (another key to long wear) without a gloppy result. Consider Laura Mercier Crème Lip Colour in Seduction ($24, lauramercier.com), Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero ($25, narscosmetics.com), and CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipcolor in Temptress ($7.50, drugstore.com).
Whether it’s done by a professional or at home, you can keep a blow-out sleek for up to five days, says Naeemah Carre, a stylist at Blow NY, a salon in New York City. After a home blow-out, make sure that your hair is completely dry. If there’s any moisture left, your hair will revert to its naturally flat or frizzy state. Run your fingers through it thoroughly to double-check. To seal your hair off from humidity, the archenemy of a home or salon blow-out, wear a shower cap when bathing on subsequent days. And to manage grease and revive the look of your style after showering, sprinkle a dry shampoo, such as Fekkai Au Naturel Dry Shampoo ($25, 866-514-8048), into your roots. If necessary, you can smooth your hair out further with a round brush (one to try: Kevin Murphy round brush, $69, kevinmurphy.com.au for salons) and a dryer. “And sleep with your hair in a high ponytail to maintain volume at the roots,” says Carre.
To make a pricey professional job last, start before you leave the salon, says Stacy Heitman, a hair colorist at the Warren-Tricomi salon in Los Angeles. She suggests asking the colorist to apply a clear gloss after she has colored your hair. (At some salons, this is included in your treatment; at others there’s an additional charge.) “The gloss helps lock in the color and adds shine,” says Heitman. At home, monitor your shower temperature. “As much as we all love a hot shower, the best way to preserve pigment is to wash your hair in cooler water,” says Vicki Casciola, a hairstylist in Las Vegas. It doesn’t need to be freezing, but keep in mind that the warmer the water, the more hair strands swell. This eventually causes their outer layers to peel up and allows color molecules to escape. Maintenance products are important, too, says Casciola, who recommends shampooing and conditioning only every two or three days (if your hair doesn’t get too greasy) and using color-preserving formulas, such as Paul Mitchell Color Protect Daily Shampoo and Conditioner (shampoo, $8.50; conditioner, $10.50: paulmitchell.com for salons). As time goes by, upgrade to a shampoo that actually deposits pigment, like Watercolors Color Maintenance Shampoo by Tressa ($15, 704-573-1001).
Putting your hair up, while not costly, falls into the “too irritating to do twice” camp. To keep an updo in place, start by saturating freshly washed and dried hair with mousse. Then blow the mousse dry, says Kristan Serafino, a celebrity stylist in New York City. Next, tease the roots before sweeping your hair up. The combination of the tack of the mousse and the texture of the tease will help anchor your style. Try Kérastase Paris Mousse Substantive ($42, kerastase-usa.com).
If you want to maintain curl, your hair has to be pliable, not dry or brittle, says Ouidad, a stylist and salon owner in New York City. So whether your hair is naturally straight, wavy, or curly (and you just want more defined coils), here’s the lock-tight technique: Start by shampooing and conditioning with moisturizing formulas, then spritz a flexible-hold hair spray onto your damp hair (try Oribe Soft Lacquer Hair Spray; $33, oribe.com). This will create a slightly sticky foundation on which to set the curls. Most stylists recommend setting hair in large Velcro rollers, because they’re easy to slip in and out without damaging hair. If your hair is short, pin curls work equally well; create them by twisting small sections of hair and securing them to your scalp with bobby pins. Then air-dry or blow-dry until no moisture remains, unravel the rollers or the pin curls, and retwist the curls around the barrel of a curling iron. Consider it a worthwhile project: Done correctly, this method makes curls that last for days.
For a ding-resistant, DIY polish job, gently buff each nail smooth before you paint it, says Deborah Lippmann, creator of the Deborah Lippmann nail-care line, as it’s harder for polish to adhere to a rough surface. “Never skip a base or topcoat, either, no matter how tempted you are to speed up the process,” says Lippmann. “The base gives the polish something to stick to, and the topcoat seals in the color.” Let one coat dry for a full two minutes before adding the next. “This helps the polish dry properly, which ultimately helps it stay on longer, since you won’t get any bubbling or gloppiness that can lead to chips,” says Lippmann. To protect the polish further, every other day brush on a clear topcoat, such as Essie No Chips Ahead ($10, essie.com for stores). This strategy will also help extend the life of a salon manicure. Also, at the salon, allow polish to dry about 10 minutes longer than you think necessary to make sure it’s bulletproof, or at least keys-in-purse–proof.
The lasting power of a fragrance depends on three things, says Jean Claude Ellena, a perfumer for Hermès: your skin (larger pores trap scent more easily), your nose (some people are just keener sniffers, so even if you can’t smell yourself, other people might), and your perfume. Since that last factor is the only one you can control, choose an eau de parfum (such as Tom Ford Violet Blonde, $110 for 1.7 ounces, saks.com, or Bottega Veneta, $110 for 1.7 ounces, neimanmarcus.com), which is more concentrated and stronger than an eau de toilette or a splash. But keep in mind that no scent will last more than 24 hours. Apply perfume to body parts that aren’t exposed to the air—the nape of your neck (if you have long hair), your covered décolletage—rather than your exposed wrists. That way, it won’t evaporate as quickly.
First use a hydrating shave gel, such as Skintimate Skin Therapy for dry skin ($3 at drugstores). This will prop up hairs and ensure that your razor has access to the roots, giving you the closest crop possible, says Doris Day, a dermatologist in New York City. Use a thin layer of gel, since any more will obstruct the razor. And don’t start shaving until the end of your shower. When your skin and hairs are saturated, they’re more supple, which helps the razor to glide effortlessly. Make a few passes over each area, rinsing the razor in between passes.
The name of the game is preparation and aftercare. A few hours before tanning (in a spray booth, at a salon, or at home), use a gentle scrub or a loofah to exfoliate, then moisturize. If you don’t, your skin cells—not to mention your future self-tan—will flake off more quickly, says Mike Krief of Hollywood Tans, in New Jersey. After self-tanning, although your skin may feel slightly sticky, resist rubbing off the excess with a towel; the color needs time to develop fully. If you must, blot. In the days following, moisturize daily with a product like Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Moisturizer ($9 at drugstores) to seal in the tint and keep the color from sloughing off.