The After Dark Edit Expert-Approved Makeup Tips to Keep You Glistening Through the Holiday Season The After-Dark Issue
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Expert-Approved Makeup Tips to Keep You Glistening Through the Holiday Season

For flawless makeup whether you're on the couch or at a party.

Everyone enjoys the holiday season in a unique way. Whether you're lounging on your mom's couch with family, creating new memories with your significant other, or attending glitzy parties, at some point, we all want to look and feel fabulous. 

One easy way to feel festive and put together is with makeup, where seasonal trends and ideas are abundant. Still, you may find that no matter how many red lipsticks or sparkly highlighters you own, your makeup vanishes throughout the day or requires annoying amounts of reapplication. The good news? You don't have to cut into time spent taking ugly sweater photos or dancing the night away worried about your makeup. 

Ahead, we spoke to makeup industry experts for easy ways to help your makeup last so you get the most out of your holiday time.

Don't Neglect Skin Prep 

woman with glitter eyeshadow

Stocksy/Designed by Tiana Crispino

It might feel instinctive to put products on top of your makeup to keep it in place (which isn't wrong), but securing your base is the most important thing to consider. According to Eddie Duyos, Head of Pro Education & Artistry for North America at Make Up For Ever, skin prep (or lack thereof) is usually the culprit for finicky makeup. "Skin prep is one of the key factors that can affect the wearability of your makeup," Duyos says. "Many people tend to over-prep their skin with serums and face oils that they may not even need."

 When doing your skincare routine before applying makeup, Duyos says to avoid serums and creams with oils, which will only cause your foundation to chill on the surface of your skin. "Leave your rich skincare routines for nighttime and keep your skincare simple for daytime," he says. Instead, Duyos recommends focusing on products geared toward hydration and addressing textural concerns if you have them. "Vitamin C is a great option to use during the daytime, but be sure that it's not suspended in a rich serum or oil," he explains. Ultimately, keeping your skincare simple is the best plan of action for a prepped face.

If you have the time, Nars Senior Makeup Artist Julia Sohn also says to spend some time really massaging in your skincare. "Whether I'm on set or doing a client's makeup, I always make sure to spend time massaging skincare products into the skin," she says. "This activates blood flow, helps me learn the contours of their face, and ensures that the skincare is fully absorbed and not just sitting on the surface of the face." While giving yourself a mini massage may seem like an extra step, it can make a huge difference in how you look and feel before hitting the road.

Primer Is Your Friend

Once your skincare is applied, extra preparation is necessary before buffing on foundations. All our experts agree that you shouldn't skimp on primer at this stage (something I am guilty of). Sohn says primers aren't one-size-fits-all, however, so some trial and error might be necessary here. "There are so many different primers on the market to cater to everyone's specific needs," Sohn says. "It's important to look for recommendations that work for your skin type." Sohn changes her primers seasonally and uses Nars Radiance Primer ($36) during cooler months when her skin is dry. "It gives me an extra cushion of hydration and a nice glow," she explains. 

Duyos says that the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Hydra Booster Primer ($39) is great for dehydrated skin, while the Step 1 Primer Pore Minimizer Primer ($39) is great for blurring pores.

Maybelline Pro Makeup Artist Keita Moore also swears by Maybelline Master Primer ($11), an effective and affordable option if you're new to the primer category. "Take a damp beauty sponge and blend the product into the skin, and then apply makeup for a longwear flawless finish," Moore explains. 

Layering Is Important 

 Once your skincare and primer are in place, Duyos says to apply makeup in thin layers versus slathering heavily. "The Make Up For Ever HD Skin Foundation ($43) is an amazing formula because you can apply a thin layer and achieve medium to full coverage without it looking thick or cakey on the skin," he explains. Moore also recommends Maybelline Super Stay Longwear Liquid Foundation ($13). "It offers the perfect balance and consistency for application and ensures your face stays put throughout the day or night," says Moore.

glitter eyeshadow

Stocksy/Designed by Tiana Crispino

Sohn says that if you're looking for lasting power, you may want to ditch your daily tinted moisturizer or mix it with something else. "Lightweight products like tinted moisturizers don't tend to have the longest wear because they are so thin. For anyone who wants to achieve a more natural look that still lasts all day, I sometimes recommend cocktailing a tinted moisturizer by mixing a primer with a longwear foundation to achieve that no-makeup makeup look that lasts all day," Sohn says. "Of course, you want to ensure that you're using the right combination of products to do this, and it can take some experimentation to get it perfect."

Set It Off (With Powder or Spray)

Another step I am guilty of skipping is setting my makeup, which all our experts say is crucial to keeping your face on all day. Here, you have two options: Either use a setting mist or a setting powder to lock in your makeup, which all boils down to your preference. 

"Mist & Fix Setting Spray is one of my all-time favorites because it seals in the makeup and can provide your skin the additional hydration it may need depending on the skin type and environment," Duyos explains. He also shares that the product's unique formula makes it so that you can prime or set the skin. "If you're having a bad skin texture day, apply the appropriate primer, and then spray your skin with Mist & Fix spray some on a damp makeup sponge and press it into the skin," Duyos says. "This technique will seal down any texture that may lay on the skin's surface and provide a smoother surface for foundation to adhere to while elongating the wear to any makeup." If you're cramped in a sweaty dance party or sweating from a warm outfit, Moore says Ben Nye Final Seal ($26) is a great setting spray to keep your makeup from faltering. 

Sohn recommends layering a setting powder on top of your makeup, especially if liquid and cream products are used. "I love the Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder ($39). It's a lightweight texture that locks makeup in without changing the finish you've achieved with products beforehand," she says. Moore adds that there's a difference between setting and finishing powder, and you can use the two together for maximum results. "Setting powder sets your makeup in place, and finishing powder is made to give makeup a flawless finish, but it doesn't set," Moore says. "Try applying a setting powder first, and then lightly dust on the finishing powder."

Play With Color

The holidays are a great time to play with color, but if you're looking for durable results, opt for formulas designed to last. Duyos says that Make Up For Ever's Aqua Resist Range is an excellent option for enhancing the eyes without worrying about smearing or smudging. "This waterproof product will ensure long wear and color vibrancy all day long," he says.

woman with red lipstick

Stocksy/Designed by Tiana Crispino

In the lip department, you also have a lot of options. "Nars Powermatte Long-Lasting Lipsticks ($34) or Lip Pigments ($28) are incredible for those looking for long-lasting lip color that isn't overly drying," Sohn says. "I love using the Powermatte Lip Pigments as a sheer stain to get that blushed look on the lip. I apply a dot of the product to the center of the lip and use a brush to blend it out quickly." 

Duyos also cosigns Make Up For Ever's Rogue Artist For Ever Matte Lipstick ($25) for a waterproof color payoff that won't budge. "The formula is so comfortable and velvety that it's almost impossible to believe its lasting power," he says. 

Final Takeaway

Ultimately, securing your makeup for festivities doesn't have to be a complicated process. Keeping your routine simple and pulling out the right products is all you need. "Too many steps or products in your makeup routine doesn't necessarily mean it's going to elongate the life of your makeup; it can actually do the opposite," Duyos says. "Look for long-wearing, high-performing formulas best suited for your skin type." 

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