Prep Makes Perfect
In a perfect world, we could wake up, apply makeup once and present a fresh face all day with no need for touch-ups. Mascara wouldn’t smudge. Lipstick would stay put. And our skin would look as flawless in the evening as it did when we walked out the door that morning. Think of all the money we’d save by avoiding those makeup re-applications — not to mention the time!
Some beauty products tout the magic of “all-day” wear or “everlasting” color that requires just once or twice a day application (“lasts 12 hours!”). But, as countless makeup artists have told me over the years, the secret to making your look last isn’t just about finding the right brands of makeup. It’s what you put on your face before and after that really makes the difference. These seven products will not only help your makeup stay put but have real staying power themselves. The best part? You can even wear them alone on days when you want a more natural (but still polished) look.
For Flawless Skin
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just wave a magic wand and make your skin perfectly smooth and flawless? Well you can, and foundation is not the answer. With one quick step before (or in place of) foundation, applying a light layer of translucent primer instantly acts as though an invisible blanket has hidden all your skin’s imperfections. Skin primers (temporarily) erase any fine lines, pores and redness. They work by filling in any surface depressions, which gives the illusion of fine, smooth skin. Primers also help hold your makeup in place and give you a wonderful, near-perfect base to layer your makeup over.
Try it: Benefit’s POREfessional pro balm, $30
For Perfect Lashes
One product most women say they cannot live without (or is that just me?) is mascara. But let’s face it ladies, that spiky, little wand can only do so much. If your lashes are pale, skimpy or wimpy, eyelash extensions may just be for you. Because this is a custom service and it takes a bit of bravery the first few times around, it’s best to select someone in your area that has excellent credentials. The process takes about one to two hours and involves silky, synthetic hairs that are bonded to the base of your natural lashes, lash by lash. The effects are stunning and can be a real eye opener. Prices average anywhere from $150 for a smaller set and application to around $700 for a fuller set (more lashes) and application.
Try these: JJ Eyelashes in New York City, D’Lashes in Los Angeles, Salon Lashe in Chicago, The Lash Lounge in Dallas, Goddess Lashes in Miami
For All-Day Color
Mastering the art of eye shadow application is no small task, but what’s the point of all that effort if it doesn’t stay put? Like primer for your face, an eye primer is a must if you wear eye makeup, particularly if you’re wearing deep, intense colors. A good primer will glide on your lids easily (you never want to pull too much at the skin around your eyes) and hold onto your shadows, regardless if they are powder, cream or pencil based. Promising creaseless, smudge-proof lids day and night is the goal. Preparation makes perfect.
Try It: Sonia Kashuk’s Extreme Wear Eye Primer, $9.99
For a Matte Finish
If you’re like me, makeup has a tendency to disappear under the weight of oily skin. There’s nothing worse than having the sensation that your face is sliding off, well, your face. A brilliant solution is spritzing on a makeup setting spray. Formulated to grab and hold your makeup in place and keep it there for 12 hours or more, makeup setting sprays will insure that your makeup doesn’t fade, crack or smudge, regardless of temperature or stress level. If you have an important event or are having your photograph taken, a good setting spray is essential. And if you have a t-zone that resembles an oil slick, go with a setting spray that will also de-shine and mattify your face.
Try It: Urban Decay’s De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray, $29
For a Fresh Face
Looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is easier said than done. All you need is one sleepless night or a plate of salty French fries for dinner to wake up the next morning with puffy eyes or dark under-eye circles. Give your eye area some relief with a specially targeted eye contour stick that helps you combat unsightly swelling caused by anything from hormones to jet lag. By combining ingredients that cool and refresh the skin as well as a little firming action, swipe your eye area after cleansing and before eye cream. Eye contour sticks will make you look (and hopefully feel) more awake.
Try It: Talika’s Skin Retouch Eye Contour Stick, $30
For a Pretty Pucker
Chapped, dry and cracked lips are the scourge of a good beauty look – they’re downright uncomfortable and unsightly. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been cursed with dry, peeling lips. Sometimes they hurt and sometimes they even bleed, but they always look like there is a layer of distressed leather popping through my lipstick. Not a good look. Fortunately, there is a solution: exfoliation. The act of sloughing away that unwanted skin on my lips with an exfoliator that also comfortably moisturizes can do wonders in just a few minutes time. Do your lipsticks proud.
Try It: Jane Iredale’s Sugar & Butter Lip Exfoliator and Plumper, $25
For Tamed Brows
There’s something odd about unruly eyebrows that seem to go rogue all on their own. If you have issues with messy brows, there is an easy solution to the problem, and once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked. Brow groomer, a clear gel that goes on quickly and easily like mascara, will keep those pesky little arches right where they’re supposed to be.
Having a well-groomed brow is one of the most important features on your face. Ever notice that having them professionally tweezed or waxed is also like an instant eye-lift? Just consider that every day when you brush on your brow groomer, you’re adding shape and lift not just to your brows, but your entire face.
Try It: Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Brow Tamer Grooming Gel, $38