Jul 28, 2022

How To Keep Makeup From Rubbing Off

How to prevent your carefully applied makeup from rubbing off.

Janine wants to know how to make her makeup last all day long:

I'm always finding makeup stains on my clothes. I'll accidentally touch my face during the day and then I'll be wearing makeup on my sleeve for the rest of the day. It's embarrassing. I feel like accidentally rubbing off makeup is my superpower. I try to touch up my makeup periodically throughout the day, but I'd prefer to just keep the first application on. I swear, I don't apply a thick amount of makeup, but it's always melting off my face, which is so frustrating. How can I make my makeup last throughout the day without rubbing off?

Thanks for writing, Janine! We're glad you reached out. There are several things you can do to lessen the amount of makeup that's rubbed off from your face. Here are our eight best tips. We hope they help!

How To Keep Makeup From Rubbing Off

Start with a clean, moisturized face

Give your makeup a clean, blank canvas to adhere to. Gently exfoliate, then wash your face with a moisturizing cleanser. If your skin feels tight or itchy after you wash it, your cleanser might not be moisturizing enough. After washing, apply a thin film of moisturizer all over your face. Give it time to dry before following up with makeup. A well-moisturized face is important since dry skin tends to overproduce sebum, which will cause makeup to migrate and rub off. Moisturizer will also reduce the appearance of fine lines in the skin, preventing your makeup from caking into wrinkles.

Try out a primer

Primers aren't always necessary for long-lasting makeup, but they can be helpful. To choose a primer, consider the underlying issue that is causing your makeup to rub off. Is it because your skin is oily?Is it because your makeup is melting into your wrinkles? Is it because your skin is dry, and you can't help but itch it, thus rubbing off makeup? Choose a primer that is formulated to solve the primary problem that you're experiencing. If you have a combination of different problems, spot treat different areas of your face with different primers. Let your primer dry before moving onto the next step. And if you decide primer isn't for you, no worries, just be sure not to skimp on the moisturizer before applying your makeup.

Apply a setting power before and after foundation...

After you've applied moisturizer/primer and before you apply your foundation, apply a light layer of colorless setting powder across your face. Repeat this step after you've applied your foundation and concealer. This double application gives you twice the amount of protection from sweat and oil breaking through and disintegrating your makeup. 

...And apply the powder like a professional, using a powder puff

Powder puffs allow for you to merge the setting powder with your moisturizer and foundation, rendering the powder more effective. Apply a coin-sized amount of powder to your powder puff, then rub the powder into the puff by folding it in half like a taco and rubbing the sides together. Once the puff is saturated with powder, apply to your face with a pressing and rolling motion. Since you're applying the powder twice, be careful not to apply an excessive amount either time, since you don't want your makeup to look caked on.

Apply generous amounts of an alcohol-based setting spray to the most active areas of your face...

Alcohol evaporates quickly and is less likely to disturb the foundation opacity. Complete this step after you have applied your makeup, but before you apply the second round of setting powder. Lightly spray a sponge or beauty blender with setting spray, and gently press it onto the areas of your face that are most active. If you raise your eyebrows a lot during the day, focus there. If you frequently frown and purse your lips while concentrating, focus between your eyebrows and around your mouth. If you wrinkle your nose while you think, apply to the lines of your cheeks and between your brows. It's helpful to place the setting spray on the most active areas of your face since these are the areas that makeup will most likely move around on. 

...and do the same for the parts of your face that get oily

If you have a particularly oily T zone, focus your spray there. If sweat pools beneath your eyes focus there. This will provide extra protection from sweat and oil, preventing your makeup from disintegrating.

Keep oil blotters and a powder puff with you during the day.

One of the most helpful things you can do during the day is reapply your setting powder. Grab a portable powder and puff set, and keep it accessible any time you excuse yourself to use the restroom. Rice paper blotting sheets can also do a lot of good in removing excess oil from your face before it smudges your makeup.

Keep white clothes away from your face, and wear clothes that don't touch your makeup

This won't necessarily prevent your makeup from rubbing off, but it will make it less noticeable if it does. If you're wearing a full face of makeup on a hot summer day, you'll be best served by not wearing a white blouse. You may accidentally swipe your hand across your forehead and end up with a makeup stain on your sleeve. It will also be helpful if you dress in clothes with low collars and skip scarves, since there will be less clothing to rub against your face.

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