Everyone can benefit from priming and setting makeup to make sure it will last all day. You don't have to, but whether you're using a $9 foundation or $90 one, that product was an investment, and there's no point if you're not going to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
Priming and setting are easy, and the products to do them don't need to be expensive. Plus, they not only keep your makeup in place, but make them look their best. Now, let's make sure your makeup lasts as long as it possibly can.
Primers Go On First and Prepare Skin for Makeup
Primers come in creams, gels and powders to prep your skin for makeup. They are usually silicone based, which helps to smooth fine lines, minimise pores and give your foundation something to grab onto. They are available in a range of benefits, including illuminating to help give dull skin a healthy glow, mattifying to keep skin free of shine and smoothing to help even skin's texture. Your foundation may be long wear, but without something to cling to, you're at risk of it fading, migrating or just wiping off.
Like everything else, primers come in a range of price points. Here are some of my favourites.
Available in illuminating, redness control or smoothing (they're all smoothing though) they work as an affordable base for whatever you're going to put on top of them. The Blur + Smooth is a great all around primer. Blur + Redness Control has the faintest green tint to help even out places where your face flushes, minimise blemishes and improve the tone of your skin, but the Blur + Illuminate is the real standout.
The illuminating primer has a soft, pearlescent glow that helps your skin glow through your foundation. It can be used under for a lit from within effect, mixed in with the foundation to add a bit of luminescence to any base or used on top as a highlighter. It should be in everyone's makeup bag.
I live for a good glowy beauty moment, but I prefer to control the glow with highlighters and other products instead of having uniform, all over glow, which can sometimes read as oily. Because of this, I love starting with a matte base, and this primer is perfect for doing so.
It's a light gel that rubs in smooth, almost like a powder, as you rub it in, leaving your face incredibly smooth, looking poreless, and free of any shine. Even on days when I'm bare faced, I'll apply this over my moisturizer and then do a quick dusting of translucent powder to have matte skin that lasts all day.
This is my favourite luxury primer. It's a little pricey, but you get a full ounce of it. That may not sound like a lot but a little bit goes a long way, so you get a lot of mileage out of it. Like the matte primer above, it applies leaving your skin feeling very smooth, but adding a bit of glow. It's designed to keep your skin hydrated and nourished all day without adding any shine.
But now that you've primed and applied makeup, you want it stay put, right? There are two ways to set your makeup, but I find they work best when used in tandem.
Setting Powders Go On Top Of Foundation to Keep It In Place All Day
Setting powders are applied on top of your liquid or cream foundation to keep them in place, prevent them from sliding or migrating throughout the day, and control oil and shine. A quick dusting is all you need to help your makeup stay put.
They also make a great base to for the powder products you plan to put on top of your foundation to add colour and dimension, like blush, contour, or highlighter, helping them blend and stay in place.
Again, do whatever you want, but the rule of thumb if you plan to use both cream and powder products, is to use cream first, then powder. Using a powder blush directly on top of a liquid foundation will cause the powder to stick to foundation, making it patchy and preventing it from blending smoothly. Setting your liquid with powder helps keep your base in place and makes the rest of your powders apply, blend, and wear better.
Powders come in loose and pressed versions. They act in almost the same way, though loose powders tend to be better for heavier makeup, while pressed powders obviously travel better. I use both interchangeably, though I find myself reaching of pressed powders more out of convenience.
I hesitate to drop a ton of money on loose powders because they're more prone to wasted product when travelling or getting knocked off of your sink. The Maybelline option is a great drugstore find that sets makeup beautifully and won't break the bank.
Everyone has a favourite when it comes to translucent powders, but the real stunner that not enough people talk about are It Cosmetics' loose and pressed powders. They create a poreless, smooth finish, prevent your makeup from creasing and don't make your skin look dry. They create a natural matte finish while keeping makeup in check and oil at bay all day.
Setting Sprays Keep Your Makeup Locked All Night Long
Setting sprays are an important last step to really ensure that your makeup lasts as long as possible. It's a great way to set the whole face without actually touching it, and seals in foundation, blush, eyeshadow and everything else you've applied, so you don't move it or smudge it before you walk out the door. This also works as another barrier between you and the elements, in case you get caught in the rain.
Sprays can get pretty pricey, but they don't all have to empty your wallet. L'Oreal's is a great option in the drugstore that keeps your face in check no matter how much makeup you've got on. Plus, the nozzle hits you with ample product and a wide spray, giving you even coverage without wasting too much.
Some sprays can leave your face looking glossy throughout the night. Urban Decay's won't mattify your entire look or mute your highlight, but it will control oil through hours of wear and keep your face looking like you just stepped away from your vanity. No matter if you're wearing a matte or glow foundation, it keeps makeup looking exactly the way you wanted it while helping it stay put.
No matter what products you're using, taking the time to prime and set them will ensure that you get the most out of your makeup. No one wants to worry about having to touch up their face in the middle of a night out, or cart around all of their products with them in case they need to reapply. Taking an extra thirty seconds while doing your makeup is well worth the peace of mind knowing that your face will flawless until you take your makeup off at the end of the night.