How Long Does Makeup Last On Your Face? (Explained)

Model have a makeup by makeup artist in beauty salon


Are you planning for a big day or night out and wondering how long you can rely on your makeup to last?

Maybe your makeup hasn’t been lasting long enough and you are wondering if the quality is too low.

Whatever the case, in this article, we will go through how long your makeup should last on your face as well as a few things you can do to make your makeup last longer!


How Long Does Makeup Last on Your Face?

Mirror reflection of beautiful young woman


Makeup should last for 12 hours on your face.

This is great news for most because it can get you through the whole day (or whole night).

Considering most work days last eight hours on average (or nine hours with an hour-long lunch) this means that you are going to be able to wear your makeup from when you get ready in the morning to when you get home in the evening.

It also means that even for a long event or night out, your makeup should stay in place the whole time.

This 12-hour number applies to most foundations, blushes, bronzers, mascaras, eyeshadows, and eyeliners.

There are some specific products, though, that need to be refreshed a little more often.


Which Makeup Will Not Last 12 Hours?

Cropped view of woman applying lipstick


Some makeup simply is not made to last 12 hours.

  • Lip Gloss. Lip gloss is the fastest makeup to fade from your face. Most lip gloss only lasts a couple of hours on your lips. This is why it is important to carry your gloss with you throughout the day and reapply frequently. Tip: Carry a small compact with you so that you have a mirror available whenever you are ready to reapply your makeup.
  • Lipstick. Lipstick will last a little longer than lip gloss, which is great news. However, you will have to reapply/fix your lip gloss at least after every meal. If you are eating three times a day, you will need to reapply it three times a day. You also should reapply it after kissing and snacking. As you wear your lipstick, you will get used to checking it regularly. The good news is that it doesn’t take long to apply!
  • Lip Balm. Much like lipstick, lip balm should be applied after every meal. However, if you are just wearing lip balm, it isn’t going to do much to change your appearance, so it’s okay if you apply this one a little less regularly. You can reapply whenever you notice your lips starting to feel dry.


How Can I Make My Makeup Last Longer on My Face?

woman with makeup thinking


Are the typical 12 hours not long enough for you?

Maybe you are the type of person who goes to work at the crack of dawn but always makes happy hour after work as well.

If you love to work hard and play hard, 12 hours might seem like a short amount of time to wear your makeup.

If you need your look to last longer, here are a few things you can do:


1. Do a daytime look and a nighttime look

Woman with natural makeup and healthy skin portrait


Doing separate daytime and nighttime looks can ensure that your makeup looks fresh at all stages of your day.

This is a typical practice if you are going to go out after a long day at work.


What If I Can’t Go Home Before Going Out for the Evening?

If you can’t go home before going out for the night, it is still 100% possible to refresh your makeup look to make sure it last longer!

We recommend bringing a small amount of your essential makeup with you to do touch-ups and perhaps switch up your look a bit.

Search online for “daytime to nighttime makeup,” and you will find endless tutorials on how to take your daytime look, refresh it, and extend it into the night.


2. Prime

Closeup beauty portrait of redhead caucasian beautiful female applying moisturizing cream or face primer


Using a primer is a key way to make sure that your makeup stays intact all day long.

Using primer under your foundation can extend your wear time by hours.

Consider using these types of primer products:

  • Face Primers. Face primers are very common. Many have the additional benefit of smoothing out the pores and providing a more polished look.
  • Eyeshadow Primers. Eyeshadow primer is probably the most common type of primer. Eyeshadow primers are particularly important because the eyelid is constantly opening and closing. Without proper priming, your eye makeup can easily crease.
  • Lip Primers. Some people might not be aware that lip primers exist! They can be a game-changer, especially for people who favor bold lip colors.


3. Powder Up

 Closeup portrait of beautiful happy young girl


Setting your makeup with a powder can help ensure that it doesn’t fade throughout the day.

Cream or liquid products can naturally slip off your face.

However, if you lock it in with a translucent powder, you can get more wear time.


4. Setting Spray

Beautiful Indian woman applying spray water on face isolated gray background.


Setting spray is another essential for many people who want to make sure that their makeup lasts throughout the day.

Setting prays are full of polymer.

When you spray this product onto your face, the solvent in the spray evaporates and the polymer merges to create a strong hold and even some waterproofing.


5. Line Those Lips

Businesswoman is applying lipstick


More common than lip primer is lip liner.

However, if you want to guarantee your lipstick to last, it is great to use both of these methods together.

Lip liner is harder and less creamy than lipstick, which means that it takes longer to fade.

You can line just the outside of the lips, or if you really want to make things last longer, you can fill in your entire lip with lip liner!

Then you just layer your lipstick over the liner, and voilà, you are set!


6. air a Cream Product + Powder

Set of eyeshadow and a cream primer


Even if you prime your lids, you can take your eyeshadow to the next level and make it last even longer by using a cream base.

This has the added advantage of making your eyeshadow appear even more vibrant.


What Is the Longest-Lasting Type of Makeup?

Decorative cosmetics and makeup brushes on a white background, top view


If you regularly have long days and long nights, you might wonder how you can invest in products that have a longer wear time.


1. Waterproof Makeup

The longest-lasting type of makeup is going to be waterproof makeup.

Waterproof makeup is so long-lasting that sometimes it even becomes difficult to remove! Waterproof makeup doesn’t just have to be reserved for beach days or the swimming pool.

It can also hold up in humidity, rain, snow, and sweat.

This is particularly true with waterproof eye makeup.

Waterproof mascara can stick for quite a long time.

The same is true of waterproof liners.

Even if you aren’t planning on getting into the water anytime soon, both of these products will last longer than their non-waterproof counterparts.


2. Long-Lasting Makeup Lines

In addition to looking into waterproof makeup, you might benefit from looking into long-lasting brands if you want to be able to wear your makeup throughout the day and into the night.

Some brands are made specifically to be long-lasting.

If a makeup product is specifically made to be long-lasting, it’s probably going to tell you right in the name.

For example, Benefit makes a “Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer,” which is three more hours of wear than your typical makeup.

Stila makes a “Stay All Day Bronzer” which, as the name suggests, is made to stay on your face all day.


3. Lip Tint

As we have said in the section above, lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm are three of the fastest fading products.

It makes sense why this is.

After all, your mouth sees the most movement all day, and with eating, it is a struggle to get your makeup to stay.

Lip tints are the perfect solution if you want a color that won’t fade in the face of eating.

Some lip tints can last as long as 12 hours.

That means that you are only going to have to refresh your lip tint as often as your foundation.

That is a huge change from having to reapply every few hours!


4. Matte Lip Products

There is no way around it.

As cute as gloss is, it simply is not long-wearing when compared to matte products.

Some matte liquid lipsticks can even last up to 12 hours.

Matte lipsticks certainly do better when up against eating and drinking.

Perhaps you should reserve the gloss for after your meal when you know it’ll be a few hours before you eat again.


How Long Should You Wear Makeup?

Professional makeup artist working with beautiful young woman


It’s totally natural to want to wear your makeup for as long as possible.

After all, when you take the time to put on a full face of makeup, you don’t want to have to redo it a couple of hours down the road.

However, it’s also important to give your skin a break from makeup.

Makeup, even high-quality makeup, can lead to breakouts and blemishes.

It’s probably best to try to remove your makeup after 16 hours to give your face a break.

Of course, wearing it for longer once or twice a week isn’t going to be a big deal.

The most important thing is to pay attention to your skin.

If you are breaking out, try eliminating makeup from that part of your face.

It can be tempting to cover up a breakout.

That’s when you want to wear makeup the most! Doing so will just continue the cycle, though.

Let your breakout heal completely before you apply makeup again.


How Long Makeup Lasts by Product

Decorative cosmetics on black


If you are looking for an even more specific answer for how long your makeup is going to last, we’ve broken it down by product.

Here is some information on how long some of the most common makeup products last on your face.


1. Powder Blush & Contour: 12+ hours

Your powder blush should last the full 12 hours that your foundation will typically last.

The same can be said of powder contour (which is essentially the same product but in a different shade).

A setting spray on top of powder blush & contour can go a long way toward extending your makeup wear time.


2. Cream Blush & Contour: 6–10 hours

Out of all of the blush options, cream blush is going to fade the fastest.

If you have oily skin, it can easily start to fade in six hours.

If you don’t have oily skin and lock it in with a setting powder, though, it can last longer.

Many people like cream blush for a more natural look, and if that is the case, you might not find it to be a big deal when it fades.


3. Cheek Tint (Blush Stain): 16+ hours

Just like with lip tint, cheek tint takes the cake on how long it lasts.

That is because you are temporarily staining your skin.

This is not only the longest-lasting option in the blush category, but it is also often considered to be waterproof.

That makes it a summertime favorite!


4. Foundation: 12–24 hours

If your foundation doesn’t have any specific claims on how long it lasts, expect it to last 12 hours on your face.

However, some foundations out there claim to hold for more than 24 hours.

For example, Maybelline Super Stay Active Wear Foundation says that it “delivers up to 30 hours of wear“ on the company’s website.

However, something you should keep in mind with these claims is that they often don’t specify whether you have to reapply to keep the foundation looking fresh.


5. Liquid Liner: 12 hours

A normal quality liquid liner will stay on for 12 hours.

Liquid liner is going to be one of the most important types of makeup you want to ensure you are touching up properly.

The point of liquid liner is to get a sharp, defined look.

With pencil liner, a little smudging isn’t going to hurt, but with a liquid liner, you really want to make sure that you don’t have any movement, or it could totally ruin your eye look!


6. Waterproof Liquid Liner: 24 hours

Liquid liner has some of the most impressive staying power of all of the makeup products.

Urban Decay Perversions Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner claims to stay on your lid for 24 hours.

Anyone who has used a high-quality liquid liner knows that sometimes they stay just a little too well.

Make sure you have a good makeup remover on hand to get it off!


7. Pencil Liner: 10 hours

A pencil liner should stay completely intact for about 10 hours.

The nice thing about pencil liners, though, is that they give a softer look.

Even if it is smudging a bit, no one is likely to notice.

Just swipe over the liner to refresh your makeup with another coat, and you should be good to go.

Tip: If you want to make your liner last longer, you can use a combination of pencil liner and liquid liner.

All you need to do is draw the base shape you want with your pencil liner and then top it with your liquid liner.


8. Mascara: 8 hours

Normal mascara can usually last around eight hours.

Now, that doesn’t mean it will have suddenly evaporated from your face at the end of that time.

Instead, it simply means that, by eight hours, you might have some fading of the color and could probably use another swipe to touch it up.


9. Waterproof Mascara: 12+ hours

Just like with waterproof liquid liner, waterproof mascara can have such a strong staying power that it can even be difficult to remove sometimes!

It can last 12 hours easily without any chipping.

Yes, that is typically how waterproof mascara starts to fade—by chipping off your lash instead of melting away like normal mascara.


10. Lipstick: 6 hours

Lip products face the most wear and tear of any makeup you put on your face.

This is because you are constantly eating and talking!

Lipstick can last up to six hours, but you should really reapply it whenever you eat.

This is especially true with greasy food.


11. Lipliner: 12 hours

Lipliner is one of those products that you really should only have to apply once a day.

It is the base that you will lay your lipstick on, so any touchups will be to the lipstick, not the lip liner.


12. Lip Gloss: 4 hours

Lip gloss is going to be the fastest fading product.

Even without eating, it will typically fade within four hours.

This is a good one to always keep in your bag ready for any touchups you might need to make!

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