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Breaking Down Beauty: Making Makeup Last

By Sheila Arkee

A photographer friend recently asked me if I could suggest some products that would help her on those occassions when she needs to be behind the camera, and remain looking polished through hours of  weddings and other special events. It’s a great question and I definitely know this is a complaint not only with photographers, but for others who want to look put together and might not have a lot of time throughout their work day to touch up when needed.

The techinques and products I suggest are ones that I’ve used and loved through years of trial and error. The goal is to keep as much makeup on your face as possible, so lets start with foundation.


Prime, prime, prime! Primer is extremely important as it helps secure the rest of your makeup. These days I’ve been spritizing my face with Skindinavia’s Makeup Spray and love the results. It controls oil so I don’t end up looking like a slippery mess.

When it comes to foundation, I suggest using something light like a tinted moisturizer or BB Cream that will give you coverage without necessarily weighing you down throughout the day. Use concealer where needed, use a bit of cream blush,  and lock your base down with a dusting of a transluscent powder. I love MAC’s Blot or Invisible Set powders for this purpose.


Forget using powdered eyeshadows. It’s not gonna happen! The best thing to use are cream shadows that you know won’t fade away. I’m using YSL’s Cream Shadow in Golden Fern on the lid and blended it with MAC’s Bare Study on the lid.

Liner is tricky, I don’t do so well with waterproof eyeliners – I always end up with some kind of allergic reaction, so I either skip liner, or use something just on the upper lids. In this photo I’m using Stila’s Brown Smudge Pot, which stays of pretty well.

As far as mascara goes, I suggest using something waterproof. I’ve been using MAC’s Opulash lately and it does hold on very well throughout long, hot days.

To make sure my eye makeup stays put, I’ll spritz a little bit of Model in a Bottle, which definitely helps with durability.


These are the times when long-lasting lip colors are perfect. I also like using a lip primer with a lip pencil all over, and balm on top if needed. My current favorite pencil/balm combo is Laura Mercier’s Chesnut with Burt’s Bees Hibiscus balm on top.

With a little preparation, you can make sure your face looks pretty near perfect for many hours at a time. Prime, blot, and you won’t be disappointed!

  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle

    Powder eye shadows last on me if I use concealer on my lids as a primer. Go figure.

  • http://www.poppisima.blogspot.com Poppy Buxom

    Michelle, I do the same thing. I use my beloved (now discontinued) Maybelline Age Rewind concealer and find that it does a better job than UD’s primer potion. But I don’t have a problem with oily eyelids–quite the reverse!

  • Jennifer Maddron

    I use Mary Kay eye primer to keep powdered shadows and eyeliner from fading/smudging.