Tips to Making Your Makeup Last

Sweating bullets, like actually…

Sitting at my desk (aka kitchen table), writing this blog, it’s currently 27 degrees (that’s over 80 in Fahrenheit for my northern hemisphere friends). No biggie you say, that’s mild. Ordinarily it would be, for Queensland anyway, but, it’s currently 86% humidity!! And it’s not even raining!

If you were a bride, you might be mildly freaking out. How will my makeup stay put? Am I going to look fresh beyond two minutes after stepping outside the ac? Is my face going to slide off, ruin my dress and my life?

And the answer is, maybe. I know, that’s not what you want to hear but there are things you can do on the day, and, in the lead up to your event. Your artist too (ahem, over here, hi *waving) should have tips and tricks for makeup longevity, so let’s look at a few…

What you can do:

Skin Prep

Makeup works best on well prepared skin and while your artist will do this on the day, you can help your artist and your skin by becoming dedicated to your skincare routine. If you’re not already following something that’s working for you (excellent – I’m so proud!), check out my basic skin routine here. Your makeup artist will also be able to guide you if you’re unsure or you can find a beauty therapist to help. Just don’t start crazy routines two weeks out from the wedding, start now, and your skin and makeup artist will thank you on the day.


Avoid alcohol the night before and even too much on the day. Alcohol makes you sweat.  Where do we sweat? Our largest and most clever organ, the skin! I’m not saying don’t drink all but perhaps take it easy, stay hydrated too. Long glasses if you’re having spirits, mimosa’s if you’re having champagne, mineral water and water and even cooling water filled snacks like watermelon, cucumber, celery all help. 

Hair and makeup by me on Tiarna, wearing robe by Little White Couture, photographed by Keira McCall at Montville Country Gardens.

Stay Cool

Well duh! Thanks Captain Obvious, but I mean to say physically AND, emotionally, try to stay calm and keep your cool. Sweating is also a reaction to stress. Try to remain calm on your wedding day, surround yourself with calming people (pre-empt any drama llamas from making an appearance or popping in and let them know you won’t be taking (those) visitors), take time out if you need, get some fresh air, listen to a calming playlist or use an app like Insight Timer to find some stress-less guided soundtracks. 

Match Your Season

Avoid heavily layered gowns, long sleeves or heavier fabrics in warmer climates and seasons. Wedding dresses aren’t known for being like your fav pair of jogger pants and tee so as much as possible, choose something that will be comfortable to wear in the aircon and outside. Consider your hairstyle and how that might affect your body temperature too; if you know you’re inclined to sweat up a storm, try an upstyle to get all the hair away from your neck and back. 

Hair and Makeup by me on model Nora Haukland, captured by Sharleen Christie, wearing gown by Niki Teljega, styled by The Bella Styling Co

What your artist can do:

Skin prep on the wedding day

There are products that can stop sweating however, I’m not a huge fan as I feel they affect the finish of the makeup and change the texture. They also contain ingredients that I wouldn’t wear on my face and taste like ass. Skin prep in terms of a gentle exfoliation/cleanse, tone and moisturiser will absolutely help. I do this for each makeup, but I take care to ensure I’m using the best for you, so we don’t end up creating extra slip.

The right products

There are so many products on the market. Some make extraordinary claims, I use products for your base that I know and trust. I prefer a silicone base for most of my foundations, they have staying power and with the right skin prep, a winning combination will see your makeup lasting through sweat, tears, all-night karaoke and head-banging on the d-floor. I have brides and clients tell me they wore their makeup to bed and only needed to touch-up their lips for the next day!!! PLEASE don’t do that – maybe one night, I know your wedding day is a big one and you just want to flop at the end of it, so you can have a free pass, but just this once. 

Finishing your look

A setting powder can help however using too much will appear cakey and potentially gluggy with too much moisture. Your artist will use powder sparingly and in the right zones to secure your look. I like Ben Nye Neutral Set – this is a powder used in stage and theatre so I know it lasts, Graftobian HD Pro Powder – adds a little more coverage and setting power, Mecca Cosmetica Soft Focus Finishing Powder – with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to help diffuse light, and ByTerry Hydra Hyaluronic Powder – like the name suggests, it also contains hyaluronic acid to plump lines, this one also contains silica microspheres to increase the appearance of  smoothness.

Makeup & Hairstyling by me, Gown by Hilde Heim Designer, image by We Are Twine. Tiara by Crystal Eclipse Crowns.

Setting sprays 

These sprays are especially helpful to lock in your base. I use a few depending on your look. I love Model in A Bottle for a more mattified look and for a glow-up look Ciate’s Dewy Spritz, another great one is Ben Nye Final Seal. They allow you to sweat through without the makeup shifting.

Touching up

Touch-up kits are a good idea to investigate too, your artist can make suggestions on what will work with the makeup they have applied, and, will look great on camera too. A small pressed powder compact and a puff gently pressed to areas like the nose, forehead and chin to take away shine. Avoid being too heavy handed or using loose powders as your makeup could become cakey or gluggy, not to mention the possibility of spilling the contents on one’s dress!!

Blotting sheets are a handy item to have in your clutch, these take away excess shine and oil without disturbing the makeup at all. 

Ask your artist too about their All-Day or Extended service to attend to you and your makeup and bridal party after your ceremony and prior to having those all-important wedding photos. While this may seem too much to some, your wedding day is likely THE most photographed day of your life, knowing you look your absolute best is worth the investment. 

I hope that helps. The weather can be such a big factor on your wedding day, I hope that knowing your makeup at least will stay put and you can look and feel amazing all day and night will help create those calm, Zen feelings that every bride deserves.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Carly xx

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