The Fix: How to Prevent Afternoon Makeup Fade

Stay fresh-faced from 9 to 5 (and beyond!) with tricks from Armani Beauty’s Tim Quinn. Hint: It all starts with primer.

the fix for afternoon makeup fade

Photo by Peter Ardito

Photo by Peter Ardito

To buy: Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Water,, $32. Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge d’Armani Matte in 400,, $38. CoverGirl TruBlend Base Business Face Primer,, $9. Maybelline New York Lip Studio Prime It Up Lip Primer,, $8. AmazingCosmetics Illuminate Eye Primer,, $24. L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Lightweight Foundation,, $15. 


Primer is the secret to making your makeup last. It provides a base for your foundation to grab on to, just as priming a wall helps paint to adhere. Primers can also do double duty—they brighten skin, blur fine lines, tamp down shine—so choose one formulated for your specific concern. To apply, use a pearl-sized amount to cover your whole face. Gently pat it into skin with your fingertips, then apply your regular makeup over it.


Pro Tip: Swirl on sheer setting powder over your makeup to lock in formulas and reduce shine. 


Whether you’re planning to wear cream or powder eye shadow, start by dabbing eye primer all over your lids. As with face primer, this gives the shadow something to stick to. Keep mascara from smudging by making sure your lids and lashes aren’t damp or oily from the lotions you use. If you’re adding multiple coats of mascara, let each layer dry before adding more. 


Your lips are part of your skin—make sure you treat them as such! A smooth surface helps lipstick stay put longer, so scrub lips weekly. Try Burt’s Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub (, $9) to get rid of flakes and dead skin. Before you put on lipstick, apply a (you guessed it!) lip primer. Matte lipsticks have great staying power because they typically contain more pigment and less oil than gloss or shiny lipstick.