12 of the best long-lasting makeup products

Anna Hunter 5 October 2017
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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12 of the best long-lasting makeup products

Midday makeup migration is never ideal, but a beauty meltdown pre wedding, party or career-changing meeting is especially irksome. A dewy slip of coverage is all very well (and

en vogue

) but sometimes you require your makeup to be on lockdown so that you can get on and run the world/a marathon or similar. When staying power is paramount, the following 12 won’t let you down, and will make you look fresh and foxy with it. I’ve rounded up some classic, long-lasting cosmetic loves, plus some new makeup launches that are in it for the long-haul. To seal the deal, read on…

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Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer

To quote the scout motto, “be prepared”. Like in almost any situation in life, mastering the basics and having a game plan pays off, and in this case your immaculate makeup blueprint should be provided by a silky, steadfast primer. This nifty twist-up face base looks and works not unlike a Prit Stick, which is no bad thing in terms of makeup adherence, convenience and sheer ease of use. It is indeed sheer in formulation, and despite it being invisible to the naked eye, it anchors makeup in place and makes skin look velvety and practically poreless. A Benefit consumer panel reported that 97% of testers saw an improvement both in makeup wear and the appearance of the skin, while 94% felt it enhanced foundation’s coverage. A base layer that gives a leg up to the makeup that follows is praiseworthy indeed, but its worth noting that this solid as a rock primer performs best when teamed with liquid makeup, and even better when preceded by a juicy moisturiser.

Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer , £27

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MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

The Pro Longwear range’s reputation, and resilience, is globally revered; Longwear is legendary in most makeup circles. This new addition looks set to join its hardy yet surprisingly light colleagues in the ranks. Originally developed as a concealer, this oil-free, water repellent foundation was put through its paces at A/W14 fashion shows and impressed makeup artists, designers, editors and models alike. Described as ‘tenacious’ by the MAC team, if this base had a brain, it would be strong-willed yet subtle. With customisable coverage (medium to full), a bulletproof 16 hour hold and hybrid concealer/foundation properties, it delivers the goods, but it’s not remotely mask like. Instead it blends like a fluffy cloud and feels and looks very natural; it’s the gentle giant of the foundation world.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation , £27

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Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF 35

The Double Wear line up is famed for its stealth camouflage capability; leopards and chameleons have nothing on Lauder. This latest edition leaves no stone uncovered, or lurking imperfection unconcealed. The brand’s highest coverage concealer, it feels weightless yet veils scars, blemishes, pigmentation, redness and anything else that’s on your ‘get lost’ list. It claims to last 12 hours, and does a good job of fulfilling its promise (it fought its way flawlessly through a rainy bank holiday during my testing period). The SPF 35 is also a welcome protective plus.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF 35 , £23.50

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Stila Stay All Day Bronzer for Face & Body

Blotchy bronzer is a bummer, be in an all-over-glow that’s turned muddy or low key contouring gone rogue. Take out some trustworthy tan insurance and invest in a no-budge bronzer. This sheer, satiny Stila offering is just that. Matte, finely milled and lifeproof, it’s a rare find that won’t go streaky on the beach, during sundowners, or...ever. It’s available in three shades so the dreaded Tango stripe should be easy to avoid, especially if you apply gradually with a soft, fluffy brush .

Stila Stay All Day Bronzer for Face & Body , £28

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Nars Dual-Intensity Blush

Technically not a waterproof or ‘long-wearing’ product, but trust Monsieur Nars  to invent a multi-use, multi-dimensional blusher that breaks beauty boundaries and stays strong no matter what you throw at it (rest assured makeup remover will do the trick though). Building on the light-reflective, customisable dual-intensity eyeshadow range , this double blusher compact looks gorgeous and ethereal when applied dry and bold yet believably see-through when applied wet. I’ve subjected both application methods to a rowdy hen weekend and they stood their ground despite a very raucous environment. Flattering pearl particles, intense pigment and a versatility of effects make this flush a keeper. Don’t be put off by the bold shades in the pan - you can dial up or dial down the colour according to the demands of the day.

Nars Dual-Intensity Blush , £30

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Giorgio Armani Eye Tint

Not a powder, not a cream and not a paint, this inky tint has a fluid texture and practically permanent colour payoff - it’s the future of smokey eyes and subtle, sparkly looks alike. The key to a nigh on everlasting makeover is artful layering of high-tech products, and this slick wand lets you achieve just that. The longer you need it to last, the more you can build on the initial application, although even a quick swipe should last you 16 hours. Available in 12 jewel-like colours, I predict that these will especially come into their own during wedding and festival season. Not only do they allow you to create a variety of looks, from close to the lash liner to watercolour effect shadow, but they feel cool and comfortable to wear and the lip gloss style applicator means that there’s no fiddling about with brushes or palettes. I predict that my love for these will endure far beyond a summer fling.

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint , £27

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Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof

Not cheap, granted, but for definition that doesn’t let up, put your faith in the double Cs. I gave this one to a family member to take to the tropics and it survived many a sultry evening, plus it didn’t flake into her contact lenses (unfortunately not always a given). The silicone formula (always look for silicone on the label if long-wear is a priority) creates a beautifully smooth, tight line that doesn’t waver from its designated path, and the host of colours is refreshingly wearable and grown up. Ensure that your makeup remover is up to the task though; this one would party on all night and probably for a good fortnight afterwards if permitted.

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof , £19

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Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eyeliner

And now for something a tad cheaper, but just as invincible. This exceptional yet economical eyeliner has taken pride of place in the most prestigious makeup bags across the land for years, and for good reason. Liquid often holds its own better than pencil in the eyeliner stakes, and this precise, black as night liner proves that you needn’t splash out for splash, smear and tear proof eye makeup. It essentially creates all the drama you desire with none of the actual drama that can accompany drippy liquid eyeliner, namely flaking, blobbing and running. Its neat nib allows you to create a simple, speedy line or flick, and the fact that it dries quickly makes it relatively mistake averse.

Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eyeliner , £5.29

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Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara

As you can tell by its name, this mascara really means it on the waterproof front. Creamy, sooty and quite the magic wand when it comes to holding shape and curl, its elegant, understated packaging belies its lasting, lash-raising impact. It also cares for lashes more than your average robust waterproof mascara, as natural plant waxes lubricate and condition lashes, shielding them from the damaging effects of saltwater and chlorine. The long, limber brush makes it a doddle to apply and the fact that it doesn’t wonder for over 12 hours is reassuring. If you’re feeling daring or art teacher-y, try the summery aquatic green shade. As with most of the products in this gallery, get your hands on an efficient makeup remover to ensure it dissolves; this lash plumper puts up one hell of a fight come bed time.

Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara , £21.50

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Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long Wear Eye Pencil

Brow product sales continue to soar, and according to the NPD Group Inc, Bobbi Brown is the second best-selling brand in the market. This slanted automatic pencil could very well propel BB to number one; it has both a flat and pointed to edge to allow you to blend and define like a pro, combing through with the spooly on the other end to ensure the most natural finish possible. Another element that will make your brows look godgiven is the impressive colour range; browns in many tones as well as greys and blondes are catered for. Smudges and dragging won’t give you away either; a wax and emollient formula guarantees 16 hour wear without fading. Say sayonara to sparse brows and aloha to awesome arches from here on out.

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long Wear Brow Pencil , £30

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Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour

Sometimes the simplest makeup to pull off when you have a long or hot day ahead is one single statement or flash of colour; that way you create a focus and don’t have to constantly maintain multiple elements of a look. Putting lips in the limelight is often a tricky business, as everything from eating to an animated conversation can cause colour to go off piste, but your this brilliant new Paint Wash will keep it on the straight and narrow. Creamy in texture with a matte but not chalky finish, colour is lightweight yet rich and the shade range allows you to go bright and bold or chic and neutral. Once applied (use the end of the applicator as a liner), colour sets fast but unlike some liquid lipsticks out there it won’t flake, crack or leave your lips dry as the desert; the creamy feel lingers almost as long as the intense colour.

Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour , £22

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Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder

To really give a beauty look legs, it’s essential to set makeup with powder. Don’t let cakiness or a Miss Havisham-esque ashy pallor scare you off; a dusting of the good stuff can make all the difference between all-day polished perfection and disheveled mid afternoon makeup. Powders have come on in leaps and bounds since the heavy, one-shade-fits-all compacts of the past; these days they’re airy, virtually undetectable and skin-perfecting. A case in point is Urban Decay’s popular Naked version - it’s barely there yet blots shine, blurs fine lines and blotchiness and also gives the rest of your beauty products some serious backbone (they’re not going anywhere). For the ultimate in makeup stamina, take a few powder application tips from makeup artist Bobbi Brown:

“Set concealer and powder with a sheer loose powder. Powder applied with a powder puff assures amazing wearability and reduces unwanted shine.”

If you’re after a mere whisper of coverage, pick your shade and apply just a smidge with a  soft, buffing brush ; you’re HD ready.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder , £23