In an ideal world your perfectly-applied makeup would always stay put, lasting from morning until evening with barely a touch-up. Unfortunately for us, though, there’s normally too many variables that occur for that to happen consistantly. I’m talking midday oil attacks, bouts of dehydration that cause your skin to drink in your makeup like a sponge, and getting caught in terrible weather. You know, a normal day.
You probably don’t mind all that much on a day-to-day basis, where a touch of powder and a top up of your lipstick can make you feel fresh again. But those special occasions when you need to look at your photo-perfect best for as long as possible? It’s okay to expect your makeup to pull its weight – and it really, truly can.
As I’m getting married this month, I’ve been putting the hard work in trying to find unicorn-like makeup that will go the distance from morning mimosas to last night revelry… and I think I might have cracked it. Here are the tried-and-tested, hardworking items that have made their way into my makeup bag – may they bring you hours of confidence-boosting, photo-ready brilliance.
The Base That (Truly) Lasts All Day
For me, the base is the most important (and the trickiest) makeup step to get right. It’s your largest canvas and the one that is the most reactive to both internal and external niggles, so it’s well worth that extra attention. Prep your skin well and be sure to give your skin time to absorb and rebalance before moving from one stage to the next, and you’ll be on to a winner.
Don’t Skip The Primer
If you want to create the best possible canvas for your makeup, you can’t miss the priming step. The aim of the game here is to create as neutral a base as possible, which will allow your foundation to do its thing without having to battle your complexion hang-ups. So if you’re oily, choose a mattifying base. Battling with dullness? A radiance-boosting primer is the way forward. The primer stage is also a great time to neutralise areas of redness or tackle other pigmentation concerns (learn more about colour correcting here).
When I’m asked for a good starting point for primers, I point people in the direction of Laura Geller. The variety of the Spackle Primer collection is legendary! I really love the Spackle Tinted Under Make-Up Primer in Ethereal, which gives my dull, uneven skin a flattering pink-toned gleam whilst smoothing its texture.
Go For A Satin Soft Base
When approaching foundation for photography-heavy events, I always think that a satin finish is the safest and most versatile bet for most skin types (unless you have very oily skin, in which case consider a matte formula). Satin foundations have a skin-like finish whilst still offering beautiful coverage, making you feel like an even better version of yourself. If you want to add a little dewiness, you can mix in a touch of illuminating primer, or if you want to mattify you can dust some powder over the top. It’s the perfect starting point.
My absolute favourite satin finish foundation is Guerlain Lingerie de Peau, which is a bit of a triple threat: buildable, perfecting and with a great selection of shades. The foundation has an SPF of 15 which is brilliant for outdoor ceremonies and events, but be mindful as there could be some flashback in nighttime flash photography.
The All Weather, All Situations Eye
Accentuating your eyes with a beautifully executed smoke-out is something we all want, but what’s the point of all that effort if bad weather, humidity or tears end up making you look more like an impressionist painting? Rather than trying to avoid these inevitabilities, you need products that will work harder to stay put. Oh, and they have to photograph well and make the most of your eyes. It seems like a tall order, but it’s possible!
Yes, Waterproof is Essential!
Don’t ‘um and ahh’ about whether or not to use a waterproof mascara for big events – you absolutely need to reach for that waterproof formula! There’re just too many things that could potentially cause your eye makeup to run and smudge, from bad weather to mid-ceremony weepiness. If you cry and your other makeup is compromised, it’s far easier to touch it up without having to clear up black pigment, too. The formula I always turn to is the Dior Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara, which effortlessly builds the most voluptuous and volumised lashes with its curved wand, whilst its brilliantly effective waterproof formula won’t budge until you want it to.
An added bonus of waterproof mascaras is they tend to hold curl even better than their non-waterproof counterparts thanks to its various polymers and waxes – however, this does make them a bit trickier to take off at the end of the day. Invest in a good remover like the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover, which’ll ensure the mascara is quickly melted away without damaging your lashes.
Consider a Cream
One of my best tips for long-lasting eye makeup is to use creamy eyeshadow alongside, or instead of, powder eyeshadow. Creamy formulas make the best bases for your eye look; they essentially act like primers, making everything that’s put on top of them more long-wearing and colour-true. If you’ve got oilier lids, applying a powder eyeshadow on top will effectively set your colour, however non-oily lids should be able to wear just a cream. I find that creams are a bit easier to rework halfway through the day if a little refresh is needed, particularly if you’re prone to creasing.
Hands down, the winner in this category has to be the Givenchy Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadow. It’s waterproof, it lasts for 16 hours, and its selection of shades contains a solid (although not extensive) mix of nudes, browns and some brights. If you’re hankering for a bolder finish, check out limited edition shades 17 Glorious Silver, 18 Gold Blossom and 19 Graphic Bronze.
The Completely Kiss-Proof Lip
Your lip colour is by far the easiest part of your look to top up during the day, but sometimes you just don’t want to have to think about it – especially if you’re the bride. There’s good news though! Long-lasting formulas are the lip trend du jour, so there’s plenty of products to choose from. And if you’ve got your favourite already but you’d like to make it last longer, we’ve got that covered too.
The Lip Liner Primer
You may be starting to sense a theme here; if you build your lip look with a priming base, you’ll have longer lasting colour. And when it comes to lip primers, I can’t think of a more efficient and long-lasting option than a lip liner. A high concentration of pigment? Check. Long-lasting? Check. Multi-purpose? Double check.
Start by prepping the area with a lip scrub followed by a lip balm, and then lightly trace the outline of your lips with your liner before filling in the entire area. A brilliantly comfortable and pigment-rich choice is the Laura Geller Pout Perfection Waterproof Lip Liner, which glides effortlessly over the lips and doesn’t feel drying in the slightest. It has an incredible shade selection and has a waterproof element that is pure magic – you’ll be able to sip your drink and kiss cheeks for hours without having to worry about reapplying.
On top of your primed base, your favourite lipstick should last for a good amount of time before you need to go in for a discreet retouch between photographs. If you’re really concerned about the longevity of your lip colour though, try a liquid lip colour on for size.
These supremely pigment-rich formulas aren’t quite as moisturising as a lipstick will be, but what they lack in plant butters they make up for in pure colour (just make sure you don’t skip out on the lip balm base). The one I’m falling deeper and deeper for with every use is the brand new Laura Geller Fifty Kisses Lip Locking Liquid Color; its perfect velveteen finish and deep hues were just made to be photographed. The shade Ravishing Rose is what I’m wearing above, which is a deliciously bitten shade that has the added bonus of adding a natural flush to the complexion.