How Long Does Makeup Last On Your Face?

The world of makeup is complex and can seem downright overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. There are so many amazing products out there, with more coming out each day. This is both a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, there’s such a broad diversity of products, there really is something for everyone. On the other hand, when there’s everything from fake lashes and primer to settings sprays, powder foundation, an eyebrow gel, it can be tough to know where to begin or what’s truly essential.

When you’re first beginning to use makeup, it’s best to start with the basics. I know all those crazy beautiful tutorials on Youtube look tempting, but they’ll go much smoother if you’ve mastered the basics first.

One basic you may not know about yet is the length of time makeup lasts on your face: does it last days, or does it fade?

How Long Does Makeup Last On Your Face?

The length of time makeup will stay on your face without fading and losing vibrancy depends on a number of factors. These include the brand of makeup you choose, how premium the product is, how dry or oily your skin is if you applied primer, and the environment you’re in while wearing your makeup.

As a general rule of thumb, your makeup should stay on your face for 12 to 16 hours. This number assumes that you have first applied at least a decent quality primer to your face to help keep your makeup set and in place longer. If you didn’t, your makeup won’t last as long, but that’s ok if you don’t mind either reapplying or going without during the evening hours. Plus, cutting out a step can make makeup application quicker and less daunting.

It’s important not to let your makeup rest on your face overnight, even if it says 24-hour coverage on the bottle. It’s healthy to let your skin breathe overnight. This refreshes your pores and washes away any dirt or bacteria that has accumulated on your skin throughout the day.

How Long Does it Take For Makeup to Fade?

How long your makeup takes to fade depends on a number of factors, including what products you apply to your face. Everyone’s skin reacts differently to products. It involves a lot of trial and error to find products that work well for you and don’t fade throughout the day.

There are a few things that can really speed up the fading of your makeup:

  • using a cheap or poor quality foundation
  • not using primer
  • sweating a lot, like during strenuous exercise
  • not using a powder
  • not using setting spray

Avoiding these common problems will help your makeup last longer and stay vibrant throughout the day. Higher quality brands of makeup are more likely to look bold for hours instead of fading by the time lunch rolls around. Making sure to get products that are water and sweat-resistant will also go a long way to a smudge-free face of makeup.

How Long Does Foundation Last On Your Face?

Some foundations seem to have everything going for them. They’re smooth and creamy, blend like a dream, and don’t give you the appearance of someone who’s just gotten a bad fake tan. Everything seems perfect until you have to reapply after a few hours.

Lower quality foundations don’t last as long, for several reasons. They tend to be comprised of a lot of fillers, instead of high-quality ingredients. These fillers break down quickly, leaving you with no coverage. Some of these ingredients can even make your skin red and broken out in painful rashes, which isn’t doing you any favors.

Cheap foundations are also heavy, which doesn’t allow for an even and proper application. A good foundation will be lightweight, so you can apply it in layers for the best coverage and wearability.

Getting a foundation specially formulated for all-day wear is crucial if you’re concerned about making your makeup last all day. Shoot for a brand that promises at least eight hours of wear. This will get you through a day of work or school with your makeup intact. Even better is one that lasts 12 hours. This allows you to go out and party a bit without having to slather on more foundation.

One we recommend trying is the Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. It’s lightweight, lasts all day long, and is both heat and sweat-resistant.

How Long Does Makeup Last On Your Face Without Primer?

A primer works to make your foundation glide on and stay longer than it would if it were applied straight to your face. With the use of a primer, you can typically add about 1/3rd of time compared to regular makeup. So if you had a brand of foundation that tended to last eight hours without primer then used primer on the next application, you might get 12 hours of wear instead.

Primers also provide a number of benefits and advantages, other than prolonging the wear of your makeup look:

  • seals pores and makes your skin look smooth
  • has anti-aging properties
  • makes your skin feel softer
  • reduces redness in the skin
  • reduces the appearance of acne

For a great starter primer, we recommend the NYX Professional Makeup Studio Perfect Primer. This formula is lightweight and completely vegan and animal cruelty-free. It applies easily and blends well with the other makeup on your face.

Why Doesn’t Makeup Last All Day?

Makeup lasts a lot longer than it used to. Back before we had modern technologies like primers and setting sprays, along with better-formulated makeup in general, a face full of makeup that took an hour to apply might have been smeared or blurry after half the day.

Even with modern innovations, makeup often lasts less time than we’d like it to. That’s because we have to be vigilant with our makeup routines and application if we want it to last until our nightly shower. Certain activities reduce the time makeup lasts on our faces, like:

  • exercise, especially strenuous activity that makes you sweat
  • not wearing waterproof makeup
  • having skin that’s oily
  • using a powder brush for touch-ups
  • applying your makeup too quickly
  • touching your face often
  • applying lipstick on top of lip balm
  • spending time in rain, snow, or wind
  • using old or expired makeup

Paying attention to all these small habits can seem overwhelming. Over time, keeping your makeup polished throughout the day will become second nature to you. As you become more and more of an expert, you’ll pick up on handy little tips and tricks of your own that you can then pass on to others.

How Can I Make My Makeup Last All Day?

One way you can have longer-lasting makeup is to use a high-quality setting spray. The purpose of a setting spray is to prolong the wear of your makeup. They also prevent smudging and fading. They’re a cooling liquid mist that is an enjoyable addition to your makeup routine.

A good one to start with is the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Makeup Setting Spray. It’s a good balance between a beginner’s budget and a product that’s actually good quality. It has peptides in it that help revitalizes skin. It gives you that dewy glow while protecting your makeup.

Other things you can do to keep your makeup looking fab all day include:

  • using a setting powder, primer, and setting spray
  • purchasing high quality cosmetics
  • controlling the oiliness of your skin
  • refraining from touching your face or resting your face on your hands
  • making sure your face is clean before applying makeup
  • applying in layers, with time for each to dry and sink in between

In Conclusion

Being new to makeup is a fun time. It’s a time for experimentation and patience and a whole lot of trial and error. Perfecting your signature look is going to take some time, but once you’ve got it in the bag, it’s a skill you’ll have for life.

We hope we demystified a small piece of the makeup world for you. With your newfound knowledge of how long makeup lasts on the face, depending upon different circumstances, you’ll be able to plan and make purchases accordingly.

We hope you have a great rest of your day. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s important to have fun with your new hobby. It’s not a race to be the best of the best. Slow down and enjoy the process!

Further reading material

Now that you know how long makeup lasts on your face, it is time to learn more! More about beauty, more about makeup, and more about everything you love! I’ve picked out a couple of articles that you might like. Just click on the link below and start reading again!

What to Do When Makeup Doesn’t Look Good on Me?
How to Keep Your Eyebrow Makeup From Rubbing Off?
How to Clean Makeup Brushes