How to Make Your Make-Up Stay Put

Let me start by saying: we are not drunks, Lifetime readers. That is not our usual deal. Although right now we're discussing whether or not it would be a faux pas to use the petty cash to acquire a vat of mulled wine for the office. Christmas is what's happening and we're wearing bad jumpers and we're doing heinous things with clashing colours and tinsel. We're eating mince pies for breakfast and washing them down with overly sweet sherry which is all fine and socially acceptable because of the jumpers and date on the calendar.


There's a face-based problem that comes into play somewhere along the mince-pie-breakfast-to-post-Christmas-party-cab scale of booziness that reaches a climax around 2am on the first of January. I'm talking about the make-up situation, specifically the touch-ups you do when festive red lipstick is in your life at the same time as anything mulled. PICTURE THE FAMILIAR SCENE: you leave the house looking pretty excellent if you do say so yourself and a few hours later you return to see your face in the same mirror you saw it in earlier. It is: no longer perfect. It is: slightly blurry. It is: well, it looks like what happened is that at some point in the night you thought that you wanted some Angelina Jolie lips so you just drew them on a clear centimetre from your actual lips. That is what happened. While you were there you fixed your blush and now you look like Aunty Sally. And while you don't remember it happening it's pretty likely you let a drag queen draw on some new and completely fabulous eyebrows above your eyebrows.

Am I just speaking for myself here? Possibly. In which case: ignore me, let me be babble away in the corner with my huge new lips. But I'm just going to leave this here in case you need it. I found MAC make-up artist Chloe Turner and I said to her, “Hey Chloe? How can I make my make-up stay put so a drunk lady doesn't have to fix it halfway through the night?” and she said, “Primer, obviously.”

Here's a less Cliff's Notes version of that discussion:


“Priming is key. I know it seems totally bogus, but if you don't create that barrier between your skin and the foundation, the oil is going to come through the product and you will start to look like a disco ball. I recommend MAC Prep and Prime Skin if you are normal/combination skin or MAC Natural Radiance Primer if you are Dry/Normal. They both have silica in them which controls oil and sweat.”

TRANSLATION FOR PARTY PEOPLE: If you're less shiny you're less likely to want to get out your powder puff thing and scone-ify your face.


“Get yourself a good longwear foundation. I recommend either Studio Fix Fluid by MAC if you want a flawless finish or Prolongwear Foundation by MAC if you want a slightly more natural look. Whatever you get, the key is to build up the product gradually and lightly first, adding more if you need it.”

TRANSLATION FOR PARTY PEOPLE: if you build it up gradually instead of icing it on with a spatula at least you'll start off looking both sober and human.

“#PROTIP: Apply foundation first and THEN concealer. If you apply the concealer first, you will essentially be wiping it back off with the foundation. I love MAC Pro Longwear Concealer – it's great under the eyes for a super brightening look and doesn't do that under-eye-creasing thing.”

TRANSLATION FOR PARTY PEOPLE: The no-under-eye-creasing thing means you can wear it the next day at work and it won't pool in those crevasses you woke up with on the sofa the morning after, still with your coat on. Merry Christmas, by the way.

“After all that you'd have enough coverage to not need a heavy powder over the top, so a light dusting of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural should set your base.”

TRANSLATION FOR PARTY PEOPLE: You heard the lady. A light dusting. Please refer to that thing I said a bunch of paragraphs up about accidentally looking like your great aunt's afternoon tea.


“You GOTTA start with a good eye primer like MAC Paint Pot. They are 12 hour wear and come in a million different colours. This creates the perfect smooth base for your eyeshadow or eyeliner. If you find it hard to keep eyeshadow on, choose a matte one: they're generally smoother and will sit on the lid better.”

TRANSLATION FOR PARTY PEOPLE: Prime, prime, prime and you won't have to do it again in a dark bathroom while balancing on impractical glittery shoes. And doing dark eyeshadow in a badly lit room? We all know how that turns out. Please refer to any photos of me in high school.*

*Actually no don't.

“When choosing an eyeliner, liquid is going to stay on the lid a lot longer than pencil. MAC Superslick Liner or Liquidlast Liner is the way to go. You literally can't get that sh** off. If you are hopeless with liquid try to get a nice waxy pencil like MAC Defiantly Black Pro Longwear pencil liner. It's a bit more user friendly.”

TRANSLATION FOR PARTY PEOPLE: a bit more drunk friendly. But that doesn't mean you can top up. Definitely don't top up the liquid one later or people will think you're one of those emotional types who goes off for a Christmas cry. You'll come out looking fully Alice Cooper and still crying.

“To stop your mascara making you look like Courtney Love after a 48-hour bender use a waterproof formula. I love MAC Zoom Waterfast Lash. Nice and black but no panda eye.”

TRANSLATION FOR PARTY PEOPLE: Chloe referred to Courtney Love. She already translated this for party people.


“Always make sure your lips are prepped well before applying any sort of longwear product (they tend to be quite harsh and will make your lips look dry as hell). So start with a lip conditioner of your choice and THEN use MAC Prep + Prime Lip: its high wax content will help matte products glide on.

Then you'll want to line your lips. You're sort of drawing a fence around them and stopping any lipstick bleeding around your mouth. MAC Pro Longwear lip pencils are 12-hour wear. Make sure you choose your shade wisely: you literally cannot get them off.”

NOTICE TO PARTY PEOPLE: Do your liner and then LEAVE THE LINER AT HOME. The liner is the thing that makes it all go wrong later. Trust us on this. That part on your face where you're drawing in lips is not part of your lips. Also, Chloe's about to talk lipstick. Badly done lipstick is the great giveaway, the one that makes cabs zoom past you lest the driver finds out what you had for dinner. PAY ATTENTION and remember that Facebook exists and you are about to be tagged in 38 photos you won't even remember.


“I love MAC Retro Mattes – they don't budge. They're an original 50's formula that is very longwearing and matte. Otherwise there are MAC Pro Longwear Lip crèmes (they're 12 hour wear). If you don't have a longwear product but want your normal lipstick to last a bit longer, dust a little transparent powder over the whole lip with a small powder brush – it will help the lipstick last longer.”

FINAL TRANSLATION FOR DRUNK I MEAN PARTY PEOPLE: Do it properly and as long as you stick to one-bite canapés everything will stay put. That huge McD's on the bus home? Well, you're on the bus home. No one looks good on the bus home. Your work here is done.