Irene Barros finds a way of making make-up last longer than some marriages
Foundation in streaks, panda eyes, lipgloss everywhere. Raise your hand if you've ever cringed at the long awaited pictures of an important event just to see after hours of anticipation your make-up had melted. You'd be forgiven if you lived in an oven (literally) or worked under the scrutiny of 996-watt photographic lights, but in this day and age, it can be avoided and it's far from a fairy tale. Yes, you can actually have a long-lasting (and loving) relationship with your make-up.
THE COURTSHIP Just like courtship itself, nothing will let your make-up want to stay on your face for longer than good preparation. In the same way that a broken heart needs time to recover, the condition of your skin is essential for your relationship with make-up to last. Good condition, that is. So cleanse thoroughly. At the same time, a new flame wouldn't enjoy coexisting with thoughts and remains of your old lover, so how do you think your freshly applied make-up feels when it has to share space with those ugly, old, dead skin cells? Exfoliating is the answer. And so, we're onto the most important step of long-lasting make-up application: moisturising. Whether you're using a day cream or a primer to moisturise your face, neck and dcolletage, do it conscientiously and with love, not leaving any areas uncovered.
THE VOWS Finding the perfect foundation is like finding the perfect partner, there may be one for you out there but you may not have come across it yet, but if you have, you'll probably remain faithful to it for the rest of your life. However, when it comes to make-up there is a bit of a misconception - make-up that lasts doesn't have to look unnatural. In fact it's not a matter of how much you put on, but how well you put it on. So apart from choosing a foundation that perfectly matches your skin tone (and by that we mean the colour of your neck too), think about texture - if your skin is oily, go for a balancing foundation, if your skin feels dry or is starting to feel wrinkly, opt for one that has moisturising or antiageing properties. And the same story goes for concealer.
Once you've applied foundation as caringly as you would apply moisturiser, it's time to take your vows, that is, making it last all day with powder. For oily skin types, loose powder is the best option for setting your make-up when it is first applied, as it contains more oil absorbers than pressed powder. The latter, however, is a great choice for travelling and touch-ups throughout the day. Always apply powder after you've applied all other cream cosmetics, such as mousse blush, liquid highlighter or cream eyeshadows, and use a mist to refresh and fix make-up between powder applications.
THE EXTRAS Or those little things that will make your relationship with your make-up not just long-lasting but also special. Tools are essential to achieve a perfect finish as they make application, the most important step in your make-up routine, flawless. Although many a pro prefers applying foundation with fingers, tools are the best possible choice for colour-placing as they reach every area and give you total control over the look you want to achieve. The same goes with long-lasting lipstick or in its absence, lip liner applied all over the lip (no visible lines, please) before your favourite lippie. In any case, lip exfoliation and a lip make-up base before applying colour can make all the difference, and remember to always drink through a straw! Waterproof mascara or your favourite mascara over a base is de rigueur if you think you may cry, swim, or similar. Choosing a gel eyeliner over a pencil kohl can also give you more lasting results, just as applying an eyeshadow base before placing colour on your eyelids or going for liquid stains for cheeks and lips, as they make an excellent lasting choice for oily skin types.
THE MARRIAGE More and more women are literally marrying their make-up, with semi permanent make-up being high in the fashion stakes at the moment. Semipermanent make-up expert Debra Robson Lawrence offers her FAME Fatale makeover (from £495), which lasts approximately a year, where brows, lips and eyes are all subtly defined, therefore eliminating your everyday make-up routine and having you looking fabulous even when you sleep. Her Brows Perfection service (£495) is also perfect if you don't wish to go all the way but have always dreamed of having perfectly framed eyes 24/7.
THE DIVORCE And to finish this romance, remember that the one difference between relationships and long-lasting makeup is that you really should get rid of the latter before you go to bed - no matter what.