Don’t you just hate it when lunch roles around…you head to the bathroom as part of your pre-meal ritual and then you catch of glimpse of your tired and drawnface in the mirror? What happened to that fresh, sparkling face that you saw in the mirror in the morning????
Work does that to you …but it doesn’t have to! Here are my top 8 tried and true beauty tips to keep your face in its place – and 2 that I love for refreshing during the day too.
#1. EXFOLIATE! Create a canvas that is built for sticking
Probably my number 1 tip for getting makeup to stay in place during the work day, actually doesn’t start out with make up at all. It starts with getting rid of all that caked on junk and old, dead skin cells that are begging to be sloughed off…along with any make up you try and put on top of them. My all time favourite product is the Olay Regenerist – Regenerating Skin Cleanser (~ $10-12).
As a previous St. Ives – Apricot Scrub maniac (as I know many of you are), I was addicted to that hard core scratchy sensation that you get with that product that made me think I was getting my skin extra clean….. but I found out otherwise from a couple of beauty insiders! Because the exfoliating particles are actually shards of broken apricot pit, what I was doing was actually creating micro cuts/tears in my skin and pores that was leaving me wide open for infections and blemishes. Ack! how could I have known?
So the point is – the Olay Regenerist Cleanser still gets you that clean feeling but with gentle exfoliating particles that will refresh your skin, not tear it apart. Wash with it and use a light moisturizer with spf in the morning and you’ll be half way there to setting your skin up for success that day.
#2 – PRIMER – you won’t believe what it can do
Another recent discovery is primer! I always thought it was another one of those beauty product cash grabs and I just couldn’t buy into it, especially when the ones most recommended are like $40 a pop. Plus, I never really wore foundation, just a little cover up so I never really saw the point.
Then I tried Covergirl’s Simply Ageless Serum/Primer (~$12-16 each – often goes on sale)
This light weight formula goes on after your moisturizer and sets the stage for easy and flawless makeup application. I wouldn’t have believed it but it make SUCH a difference, especially in terms of those little eye wrinkles. It makes everything smooth and prevents makeup from drifting into lines during the day and making them seem bigger than they are. You can go with a more expensive brand – Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer is the undeniable favourite by all beauty reviewers but at $36 for 1 oz (at Canadian Sephora Locations), I’ll stick with my Covergirl primer at less than half the price.
#3 – Dior’s Air Flash Spray Foundation
Now, as I mentioned, I’m not usually a foundation wearer (and I don’t normally go for the top of the top expensive products – this one is $62 …eeep!) but I couldn’t believe:
a) how AMAZING just a little of this product makes your skin look
b) how it feels like nothing (I stipple it on with a sponge, don’t spray it on and wipe with your fingers) and..
c) how it makes my make up stay on my face ALL DAY LONG! That alone is worth it.
Keeping in mind though, I haven’t found one other spray foundation that exists out there, if there was a less expensive one I might try but in the mean time this one will be on my birthday list for the years to come.
#4 – EYE SHADOW PRIMER
As you can see – it’s actually all in the prep, rather than the product. One of the absolute best is Benefit Cosmetic’s “Stay Don’t Stray” lid Primer ($26). This one is light enough but has staying power. Again, there are waterproof long wear shadows out there that will last the day (I’ll mention a couple of good ones) but if you have a favourite powder shadow that you refuse to part with, then this is what you need to make it last. I’ve tried a few other ones like Too Faced “Shadow Insurance” and Urban Decay’s “Eye Shadow Primer Potion” but none seem to do the job as well. Also, Benefit has lots of little trial/combo packs that include a mini version of this product so if you’re curious, I would start there.
#5 – USE STAY PUT SHADOW & BLUSH – Make Up Forever “Aqua Cream”
I’ve tried lots of products in this category and I’ve haven’t found one that I loved and lasted until I found Make Up Forever’s “Aqua Cream”. There are 22 shades for the lid and cheeks (so don’t get worked up about the turquoise in the picture :) ) and the staying power is bananas. BUT – I made a crucial when I first purchased the blush the blush. I couldn’t understand why it was going on smudgy and uneven – really hard to blend and disastrous if I make a mistake. What I learned is that if you use it in combo with a primer (like the cover girl one above) it goes on smooth and last the whole day. Unbelievable!!!! I love “Warm Beige” for a long lasting neutral eye with a soft champagne sparkle and “Fresh Pink” for a stay put rosy cheek that will stay with you past 4pm.
Another product that will last literally until you wash is M.A.C. “Paints” (~$20). It comes in a little tube and when I intially bought it I thought…hmmm…rip off. But then I realized 3 years later when I still have half the tube left that all you need is a little bit and it goes the distance. These babies are long long wear and can even double as a lid primer if you want to layer a darker shadow on top for evening.
Now – another line that tends to put out long LONG wear products is Stila. They have lip colour, shadows and even concealer that I’m pretty sure you need a jack hammer to get off but I find the error margin with application is just a bit to sharp for me so I’ve refrained from recommending these. Give them a try though if you’re adventurous and haven’t found anything else that will work for you and last the day.
#6 – LONG WEAR LIP SHADES – Cover Girl OUTLAST All Day Lip Colour
I used to do a lot of public speaking as part of my day job and because I have REALLY pale lips I was always looking ashen 2 hours in when my lip colour wore off. I HATE THAT! Plus, there was no time to re-apply! So, that’s when I started experimenting with long ware lip colour.
One of my absolute favs is Cover Girl OUTLAST lip colour. It’s a 2 step process but I’ve found there really is no getting around it if you want truly lasting colour. One word of caution – be careful with strong colours. It’s difficult to try them in department stores and difficult to return if they don’t work for you. Start out with more neutral shades and work your way up.
On the other hand, one of the WORST products I’ve ever tried that claims long wear also happens to be a Cover Girl product as well:
OUTLAST Lip Stain
This is a TERRIBLE product. It goes on like a marker, does nothing to moisturize your lips and it fails miserably at staying in place. In fact, my colour was gone within the hour. Do not waste your money.
#7 – STAY PUT EYE LINER – Revlon “ColourStay” Eye Liner
Again, using eye lid primer is always a step towards keeping things in place…but if you just can’t buy into it (or buy it) I recommend another low cost solution – Revlon’s ColourStay Eye Liner. It comes in 8 shades and claims it will last up to 16 hours (but not so sure about that). It’ll definitely stay put for an 8 hour workday though and for the low low price of ~$9, you can definitely afford to lose them from time to time….which I manage to do.
#8 – STAY PUT MASCARA – Maybelline “Great Lash” Waterproof mascara
Don’t you just hate it when you get all the way through an important meeting and when you hit the loo afterwards you realize you’ve had this really attractive mascara smudge under both your eyes the whole time? Just lovely.
If I really want to keep things in place I go for their old classic that lacks the volume but is 100% trustworthy – Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara ($6.99).
Caution ladies – this is not really for those of you with mega curly hair but for those of us with wavy to curly hair that choose to wear it short and straight…(eh em – me) then you hear me when I say this is a necessity. You can never be sure when you’ll be caught in the rain … or fog…or just a bad gust of wind that’ll throw your do all out of wack. This mini straightener is perfect for work and those emergency touch up moments. You’ll thank the straight hair gods when you try this one out.