How to make your makeup last all day | 9Lives
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On a busy day I’m often rushing between meetings and media events, which sometimes carry on long into the night. There is rarely time to touch up (not to mention redo) my makeup. I need to know that when I apply it in the morning it is going to keep until I am ready for bed, and at most I’ll need to reapply a bit of powder.

I have picked up a couple of tricks over the last few years that really help to stretch my makeup-wear, from starting with the right moisturiser and SPF, to a couple of makeup goodies that you can add to your routine.

1. Choose the best moisturiser for your skin

Starting with the right moisturiser makes all the difference. Oily skin can be a nightmare when it comes to foundation, causing the product to shift throughout the day as your skin gets shinier. Look for a moisturiser that will mattify your skin without drying it out.

If you suffer from dry skin you need something that will consistently moisturise through the day, so look for a formula with Hyaluronic Acid that will act as a reservoir. This will prevent your foundation from becoming flaky or powdery.

Try: Estée Lauder DayWear Matte Oil-Control Anti-Oxidant Moisture Gel Creme

R515 for 30ml and R620 for 50ml,

Estée Lauder DayWear Matte Oil-Control Gel Creme Liezel Malherbe 9Lives

This is a great product if you struggle with oily or combination skin. It has a lightweight, gel texture that quickly melts into your skin, with mattifying and oil-absorbing powders that are effective at keeping oil and shine under control. I also found that while this kept my skin matte, it still provided sufficient hydration throughout the day.

They have also added a blend of antioxidants – Stabilised Vitamin C, Vitamin E, EGT and Eukarion – that will help to protect your skin against free radical damage. I’m not sure how the jar packaging will influence the stability of these though.

2. Look for a matte sunscreen

It is essential to wear sunscreen everyday. Unfortunately many sunscreens have a shiny, oily finish that is not ideal when worn underneath foundation. Thankfully many brands have improved their formulations to make their products more matte and these work much better underneath makeup.

Try: Vichy Capital Idéal Soleil Anti-Blemishes SPF30

R290 for 50ml, leading pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores

Vichy Capital Idéal Soleil Anti-Blemishes SPF30 Liezel Malherbe 9Lives

This new launch from Vichy is targeted at blemish-prone skin, working to treat spots, clear pores and reduce shine. It is a great product for normal to combination skins, and also sensitive skin types, and it works like a charm underneath foundation, helping to keep skin matte all day.

Apart from providing sun protection, the Idéal Soleil Anti-Blemishes contains Salicylic Acid, an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps treat congested skin and breakouts. They’ve also added Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) which supports cell turnover, helps treat discoloration and strengthens your skin barrier.

Since it is a treatment product, it might drying for already dehydrated skin but I didn’t experience any discomfort while using it.

3. Start with a primer

A good primer will smooth your pores and help to provide a good canvas for your foundation. Look for formulas that target your specific skin type and concerns. I prefer products that have additional skincare benefits, with antioxidants and sunscreen to protect against environmental damage.

Try: Urban Decay Self-Adjusting Complexion Primer

R450 for 30ml, Urban Decay Sandton City, Stuttafords Sandton, Foschini Eastgate &

Urban Decay Self-Adjusting Complexion Primer Liezel Malherbe 9Lives

This primer works to colour-correct, blur flaws and control shine. It has a liquid, velvety feel to it, with encapsulated pigments that adjust to your skin-tone as you apply it – the more you work it, the more pigment it releases.

The primer also blurs imperfections, creating a soft-focus effect so that flaws are less visible. It finally dries down to a matte finish, with corn powder to absorb oil and control shine, and Vitamin E to nourish.

I found my skin appears softened when using it, and it keeps shine away for longer.

4. Set the look with powder

Setting powders make all the difference. Lightly dusting powder over your finished makeup look will set any liquid makeup, mattify your skin and it will help to absorb oil during the day. Look for a super fine powder that is either translucent or matches your foundation.

Try: Revlon ColorStay Pressed Powder

R199 for 8.4g, leading supermarkets, pharmacies and department stores

Revlon ColorStay Pressed Powder Liezel Malherbe 9Lives

This powder has become one of my favourites since it launched last year. It has a super fine texture and leaves your skin looking soft and velvety – not powdery at all. It also keeps my skin shine-free for the entire day.

The powder is available in 15 shades that will match most South African skins, including a translucent variant.

5. Finish with a setting spray

I only recently started using setting sprays. Personally I see it as an optional add-on but it does make a big difference in the finished makeup look.

Where your setting powder will help to fix your foundation and absorb oil through the day, your setting spray is there to fix the entire look and blend it all together. It takes away that powdery finish and leaves you with natural-looking, velvety skin. It also helps to make your makeup last longer, and it can be used over your makeup through the day to refresh your look.

Try: Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

R450 for 118ml, Urban Decay Sandton City, Stuttafords Sandton, Foschini Eastgate &

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray Liezel Malherbe 9Lives

Urban Decay recently introduced exciting additions to their setting spray and primer collection. I really like their All-Nighter Setting Spray, which prevents makeup from melting, fading or settling into fine lines. I found it gives a beautiful finish to my look, and it makes a huge difference in how long my makeup lasts.

The Urban Decay setting sprays have been formulated with Skindinavia‘s Temperature Control Technology, which controls the temperature of your makeup, meaning better oil-control and less moisture loss. This in turn prevents your makeup from drying out or fading. Clever.

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for all-day perfection? Pop your recommendations in the comments below, I would love to hear from you.


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.

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