How to Make Your Makeup Last Through Date Night and Beyond

Aly Walansky


A good lesson on how to make your makeup last through date night is pertinent every time of the year, but it’s especially relevant with Valentine’s Day on the horizon. When we’re headed out on a hot date, the last thing we want to worry about is our makeup going south before the evening is over. Just like any great date-night cocktail, there are a few essential ingredients that can make or break the results of your makeup application. If longevity is your goal, make sure you follow these basic rules.

Keep it simple.
Create a simple look that won’t require a lot of touch-ups—the idea is to focus on your date instead of whether your lipstick is smudged, says makeup artist and beauty expert Jami Svay. Go for a lip stain rather than a bold color or gloss as there will naturally be less fussing to worry about.

Primers are key.
Using a foundation primer before applying your complexion products is critical as it smooths out the skin and helps you stay matte over the course of the night, says Christina Choi of Christina Choi Cosmetics. Be sure to prime your eyelids with a designated primer, too, before applying eyeshadow or liner. “This will allow the shadow to adhere to the primer and help prevent creasing,” Choi says. “This technique will also make the eyeshadow more vibrant.”

Layer, layer, layer.
Layering multiple products with various consistencies will increase the endurance of your makeup application when you need it to last through a long night, says Cristy Guy, founder of On the Set Styling-Behind the Scenes Style & Makeup. To get eyeshadow to stay put, apply an eyeshadow primer followed by a cream eyeshadow over the primer, then apply a powder eyeshadow over the cream. This eyeshadow “sandwich” is the ultimate tool in keeping your look in place all day and night, says Guy.

Keep your foundation and blush looking freshly applied by layering primer, foundation, cream blush, powder blush, and translucent setting powder—in that order. It may seem like too much, but applying a cream and powder blush combination will keep your cheeks perfectly flushed, while setting everything with translucent powder ensures that your complexion looks flawless all evening, Guy says.

Know your audience.
If you plan on kissing a lot, focus the drama on your eyes, suggests Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup. A subtle smoky eye with plenty of liner will anchor your whole look, even when your lipstick is long gone. For long-lasting lip color, prime lips with a bit of foundation first, then use a lip stain to lay down a base color. Once the stain is dry, apply a creamy lipstick or gloss over it. After drinks or stolen kisses, the lip stain will still be there and will help you avoid the worn off look, says Trotter. If you’re doing a smoky eye, stick to a softer nude pink lip to avoid looking too overdone.

Set it and and forget it.
Set your makeup application with a good quality makeup setting spray, says Guy. Hold the bottle six to eight inches away and mist your face with spray until slightly damp. Allow the makeup mist to air dry on the skin, or step in front of a fan to speed up the process. Once dry, the setting spray forms a protective layer that allows you to focus on the night’s festivities rather than constantly checking your makeup, says Guy.

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